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I am looking at Realm Charter in Berkeley for 6th grade next fall, 2014. Can a current family provide a review of the school (good or bad). Many thanks. Carolyn
Realm is a supportive place, particularly for sixth grade. For students on a 504 plan the accomodations are wonderful. The teachers really care about the kids and there are kids from all over Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro. There are services to support learning and there is an expectation that students will conduct project based work at school and think about it at home.
All of that said, I worry about Realm's grading system. My own daughter who has NEVER scored at a position of Basic on any standardized tests is being given nearly straight A s on her report card. While I understand their philosophy of gearing grades to effort, zone of proximal development and IQ/IEP/504/Learning Ability, my daughter has an inflated sense of her ability. For example, she believes that her math and writing are at grade level standards. When I look at my niece's third grade writing, the grammar, sentence structure and word choice is far more sophisticated. The same with math - my daughter earned an A in math but if you look at the state standards for mathematics she simply cannot complete half of the tasks (fractions to decimals to percent and calculating using ratios).
However, for the first time my daughter feels like she is succeeding and she likes going to school. For a middle schooler that is impressive. My daughter stays for help after school and that is available without charge, which is a great thing. Just as in any other school, some girls are snotty and for the most part the marjority are nice kids. Catherine, Mom of A
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