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Black Mountain Elementary School - Scottsdale, AZ

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School NameAddressPhoneGradesCountyTypeDistrict Name
Black Mountain Elementary School33606 N. 60th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85266
(480) 575-21001-6MaricopapublicCave Creek Unified District

Ethnic BackgroundPercentYear
White, non-Hispanic86.42862008

Students per TeacherYear

School Head OfficialYear
Matt Owsley2012


Students Getting Free LunchYear

10/29/2012parentWe relocated from Chicago neighborhood to BMES last fall... both daughters adapted to new class structures, they were both in excelling classes in IL. Would love to see CCUSD get on board for recognizing and implementing excelling classes. Overall- the school is involved with students and parents.
7/27/2012parentI can't believe the last reviewer! BME should have 5 stars overall. My son also attended school at BMES since 1st grade and it has improved in many ways. The sixth grade classes did have over 30 students per class but not the 36 that the last reviewer wrote. The teachers were great! They did not mix up grades one time! One project due date did change but it should have. It is called monitoring and adjusting - something good teachers should so. There was some change in Math teacher as the first one had a baby and the school refused to just put anyone in the spot. Instead, substitute teachers were in the spot until they made a choice. In all, there were 3 sixth grade math teachers. As for the no homework, that was totaly wrong! The school is not against homework, just against irrelevant homework. As for students transfering to PV, very few students have left the school. In fact, many many students come to BMES from outside the attendance zone. This school is the best and I am sad that it was my son's last year. It really is heading in the right direction!!!! It is too bad that it hasn't always been this way.
6/25/2012parentI can't believe BME has 4 stars overall. My son attended K-6 there and it has really gone down hill in my opinion. The extreme right led by the local newspaper vote down EVERYTHING the schools try to do and its taking its toll. Results: 36 kids in my son's class this year, overwhelmed unorganized teachers, mixed up grades and nobody even notices, project due dates ALWAYS changed on original due date, newbie teachers writing emails to the parents with multiple spelling errors, 6 sixth grade math teachers in one year, no homework because the principal and the teachers don't believe in it, no librarian, no gifted anything (many of the brainiacs have transferred to PV district anyway), and many other traits of a very mediocre public school. Too bad. It hasn't always been this way.
5/22/2012parentMy daughter almost had finish her 2nd year at BMES. Since the new principal has been on board the school is going in the right direction. He connects with students, parents, and teachers. The teachers are excellent and the PTO is really involved. Looking forward to another exciting school year!
3/31/2012parentMy child's homeroom teacher, Mrs. Finley, is amazing! When I ask my daughter about what she does at school, she doesn't give me the "nothing" comment. Instead she won't stop talking about everything. And I know it is not just my child's teacher because all of my friends' say the same thing. Great teachers, great principal, great school!
1/28/2012parentBMES is a great school! My daughter has the best teacher ever too! I love that my children have the opportunity to do so many extras! She was in the Reptile club this year, is going to apply for the BMES National Elementary Honor Society, and is currently in intramurals. We even attended a star gazing night at the school last week. This school really goes above and beyond for its students!
1/16/2012parentBMES is ok if you just want your child to go through the paces. The school tends to spend more time promoting itself and trying to convince the public they are great, when really they are just mediocre by true educational standards. Their average of 80 for AIMS math may permit them to claim that they are great, but what that really means is that 20% of the kids couldn t even pass the AIMS math test which is a low bench mark to begin with. 80% doesn t mean that all the kids got B s it means only 80% of the student body could muster 60% or greater score on the test. I would recommend looking at the AZDE spreadsheet on the AZDE website and look how the kids really did. Compare this to some of the local charter schools and it s clear they have nothing to brag about. Lastly, we found the school to be a bit depressing. There is a constant barrage of threats that things are going to be worse, programs cut and teachers laid off etc... As parents we were constantly told how bad things are going to get. It s just not an upbeat positive place to be and more of a place that seems to be very proud that they are striving for mediocrity.
10/26/2011parentBMES is an "Excelling, A" School and this is according to the State of Az standards; which means, CCUSD is # 1 in Maricopa County and #4 is the State of AZ. So, like the person said in the posting Oct. 6th, if someone is looking for more, they need to keep looking beyond PV, and Scottsdale, because they are ranked behind CCUSD so bye-bye to Maricopa County. Again, with property values falling, they will probably find cheaper housing elsewhere. BMES Administration and Staff is more than "nice enough", and more than "fine" and they are great for Cave Creek because they are reaching EVERYONE; and not just individualizing or specializing. As for the Love & Logic and Go-Math, well, we are "stuck" there; but the bullying is a continual growing epidemic in all schools and it needs to be defused; which incidentally it is at BMES thanks to Mr. Owsley. BMES is moving forward and not looking back so either you are with us or you are not; this is still America and you have a choice. Good Luck...GO BOBCATS ,
10/6/2011parentSorry, but Black Mountain is not the school you are looking for if you are looking for excellence. There are no services for the gifted, the new math program Go Math is second-rate at best, and the teachers are fine but not stellar (as with most things in the CCUSD). If the school only put as much effort into the learning as they did into the anti-bullying or Love&Logic programs, the school would not be in the bottom tier of the elementary schools in the district. And while the heavy-handed old principal is gone, she was replaced with a new principal who while he seems nice enough, it is evident he has no experience leading a school in an area like Cave Creek. Like most administrators in the district, he wants to keep the status quo and not make any waves. So if you want adequate, Black Mountain is for you. If you want more, keep looking (if at all possible outside of the district).
9/18/2011teacherBlack Mountain is a high quality school at every level. We have wonderful staff members, teachers, students, parents, and community members. Our halls are filled with learning, a caring culture, and a passion for education. Every classroom has highly qualified teachers that teach Core Knowledge, State Standards, and 21st Century Skills through best practices in teaching with the use of resources and technology that includes mounted projectors and Smartboards. Our school is one of the best in Arizona and continues to move in the right direction.
3/9/2011parentMy child has never been happier at a school than they are now at BMES! My child says she feels safe there and loves her teacher. They are learning so much more than they ever did before with Core Knowledge. The principal, Elie Gaines, is always out and about at school and I am amazed at how she knows so many childrens names and parents names. She even started a group for grandparents and she thanks me whenever she sees me volunteering at school. She really listens to kids and parents and is fair. I will send my son next year to BMES as a Kindergartner without hesitation.
2/17/2010otherI am glad my child no longer attends this school. It was such a strong school under the former principal. There was incredible parental involvement. The school and PTO were held up as examples throughout the district. There were in-depth professional development programs for the teachers. The programs and teachers at BMES were held up as examples to nearby universities who would come to the school for observations. The new principal came in and immediately set about changing what was a great school to a bad one. She continually limited parental involvement to only within boundaries she could control. She came in with the single-minded goal to force the school into Core Knowledge and has done so through manipulation -- not through building solid support among parents and teachers. She has shouted at and scolded teachers and parents in front of children. What a difference a year can make.
4/14/2009parentI've loved BMES until this year. The school has many wonderful teachers and a super PTO. The atmosphere around campus has changed this year with the new principal and is not as open or warm. Due to the budget crisis, teachers and programs are being cut, and parents are worried about next year. Staff and supplies are already streched thin, but class sizes will increase and PE, art, and music programs are expected to be very limited if not cut entirely. Getting honest, candid answers has been difficult. Teacher contracts are renewed by seniority, not performance, a common public school policy, but not in the students' best interest. If teachers must be cut, shouldn't those remaining be the best of the best and not just the ones who have been there longest? Concern has many parents, including myself, looking into other options.
4/5/2007parentBlack Mountain is an excellent school. The teachers are very caring and motivating to students. The principal is friendly and helpful. She is seen around campus and enjoys the students. I am very happy to have had three children attend this school. There are many activities before and after school. The children have very few conflicts - as they have a great playground and productive activities for students. Parents do not have to pay for most field trips because the trips are paid by tax-credit donations. This school is outstanding in every way.
3/25/2007parentMy fifth grader has attended Black Mtn since Kindergarten. I am highly satisfied. He has been an almost straight A student. I feel he has had top notch teachers who truly care about his academic success. I would recommend Black Mtn without reservation. Great school!
6/29/2006parentWe just finished our first year at Black Mountain and loved it. My son was in kindergarten and we were 100% happy with his teacher. I went round and round about sending him to public vs private. With few choices of private shcools in our area I decided to try the public school first. Wow Im so glad I did. The communication was good, learning was exceptional, the PTO is fabalous, and there was such a since of community. I would highly recommend this school to others considering. :)
10/28/2005parentThough Black Mountain is the oldest school in the district and does not have the physical facilities of the newer schools, the academic focus is second to none. Over the past five years the teachers and administration have worked hard to increase the academic standards of Black Mountain and their work is paying off. In addition the school has extensive parental and community involvement and is focused on developing lifelong learners with character. They were recognized for these efforts with A+ Certification last year. In addition BMES boasts highly qualified teachers who are continually challenging themselves and working to ensure our students receive the best education possible. My children love being at Black Mountain.
6/22/2005parentAs a parent I have five plus years with Black Mountain Elementary and so far have no major concerns. Academics and teacher/administration willingness to work with parents is good. Probably one of the biggest challenges we deal with is growth in the nearby community. A new elementary school is opening in our district and I was very dissappointed to see a large number of our established teachers transfer to the new school.
5/2/2005parentI love this school. The teachers really care about the students!
4/4/2005parentBlack Mountain has several areas they need improvement in. Dicipline-Not consistent Teachers-Because of the lack of dicipline many teachers have no control in their classrooms .Principal- She listens but does nothing to fix the problem. Academics-The teacher my child has teaches to the lowest level and the higher end kids are left on their own. In general the school has set fairly low expectations for the students. PTO-Has done a great job at Black Mountain.Many of the positve responses are from the board members. They are fortunate that they have not had to deal with the lack of concern my family has. My children have attended other schools both in and out of AZ. BMES needs improvement.
3/20/2005parentMultiage program is very good for academics and character building. Music program is new and growing, with a strings program most newly reinstalled. Parental involvement is important for the success of multiage program and school overall.
2/7/2005parentHaving moved here from one of the nation's top districts, we have been very pleased. The students are well attended and challenged. The staff is confident. The over-all learning environment is strong. A well run, low-key school, in which children thrive.
10/11/2004parentUnfortunately, my experience has been one of administrative incompetence and educational mediocrity. The principal is unresponsiveness to issues (although she will 'listen' but does not take action) and the staff seem to be functioning without strong leadership. Consequently, the curriculum and teaching are very uneven. Parents are not provided opportunities to offer opinions and site council is populated by cheerleaders. The specials--art, music, and P.E.--are uniformly disliked by the students and the administration seems unresponsiveness to the widespread impression that these courses are not up to par.
5/27/2003 I have had four children that have attended Black Mountain over the past several years. With my youngest two children in the multi-age program I would have to say that Black Mountain has surpassed my expectations in every way. The teachers are very deicated to their students and the parent volunteers are amazing. The open door policy allows me to observe any class at any time. Teachers always invite parents into the classrooms to help or to observe. Overall I'd say Black Mountain is one of the finest elementary schools in Arizona!
4/28/2003 Black Mountain Elementary School has an excellent staff, with multiple learning environments to choose from that should suit any child. The principal of last 2 years has done an outstanding job of improving staff development, achieving grants for wonderful programs and assistance for both students and children. She has done a great job working with the PTO and other community agencies to improve the look and feel of the campus. She will only make what has been a wonderful school, even better. I have been at the school for 5 years, and 2 of my children are attending the school at this time. I believe that the curriculum is appropriate, but could be tightened up and more consistent across each grade level to make the school even stronger. I see that happening with this principal. The parents and PTO are fantastic at this school, and are well supported. It has been a great experience for me and my children.
4/3/2003 I have a child in Kindergarten. I believe the classroom/lesson plan in the class my child is in is disorganized and could be more effectively implemented. As a result, work comes home unfinished with no explanation. Often activities get scheduled but they run out of time before they get to them. This is the principal's 2nd year. The PTO seems to get things done. Most recently new playground equipment. I am encouraged by the volunteerism rate at the school and the 'open door policies' within the classroom for parent observation and/or participation. I'm discouraged at the proposed budget cuts within the district and unsure how they will affect my child going into 1st grade. The district is a rapidly growing one.
3/28/2003  we were new into the area. turns out the teacher we got was as well. The blended 1/2 class could have been fine if the teacher had done this type of work before but she hadnt (only 1st grade & special needs work). She was pretty good for middle of the road kids. The ones at the top of the class seemed under challanged to me. The class discipline was a mess & food as a reward for everything sends a message I don't want to get into here. I have heard other great things about the other teachers in the school so I wonder if we just got the worst deal with new teacher who got very little help from the school at the get go. My child was at the top of the class and the work I was seeing her do/bring home was a full grade level below where we came from in Seattle. Very disappointing. We moved her after making 3 requests for more challenging/better leveled work for her. The teacher was not able to help - she was swamped with the most demanding children. In her defense, I was trying to be involved and get other parents to help out in the class - very little help or continuous cancellations from parents. So she had a very difficult class to work with & no/little help from the parents or admin. They needed a set curriculum to help her get a leg up on the school year and get established. I don't see any consistency with regard their grade curriculums. I moved my daughter to Dynamite Montessori after 4 months. Worlds of improvement.

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