Brookfield School

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Brookfield a School for Only Gifted Students?

At Brookfield, we believe that “giftedness” is within every child. Yes, our academic program is very rigorous, and students who demonstrate high aptitude for traditional academics tend to be our highest performers; however, any child who works hard and receives the necessary support from home will achieve at a higher level at Brookfield than at other schools. This is due to an atmosphere of high expectations, excellent teaching, enriched curriculum, small class sizes, and a safe environment free from bullying and disruptive behavior. At Brookfield, it is cool to be smart. Students experience “positive peer pressure” to do their best.

What is the Difference between Brookfield’s Academic Program and a GATE Program?

Students must test for admission into both programs, but the programs are quite different. In a GATE (Gifted and talented education) program, qualified students are often isolated from the rest of their peers in school-within-a-school programs. They are typically taught an enriched curriculum at grade level. At Brookfield, all of our students benefit from the same enriched program. In addition, our students learn from curriculum that is one grade level ahead. For example, our first graders are working with second grade text books and standards. Students experience a busy day of instruction which includes math, literature, language arts, social studies, geography, science, foreign language, PE, and technology education. Homework is assigned daily, and students prepare for monthly book reports and declamations.

Middle school at Brookfield begins in fifth grade. In grades 5-8, students are taught by subject area specialists in each curricular area. Eighth graders benefit from a thorough preparation in Algebra 1, introduction to Geometry, as well as high school level instruction in English, Geography, and French. The additional year of middle school Science allows for instruction in Environmental Science and Chemistry.

Brookfield graduates typically place in honors programs in high school, and skip the introductory level courses they have already completed in eighth grade. It is not unusual for Brookfield graduates to take Honors Geometry, Honors English, Honors Biology, French 3, and skip Geography freshman year. By junior and senior year, our graduates may take advantage of additional advanced course offerings, more electives, and have time to acquire a third language.

Our school is very proud of the unusually high number of valedictorians that were former Brookfield graduates. In the competitive world of college admissions, Brookfield graduates stand head and shoulders above the rest!

Our 21st century global environment still requires us to use many of our old skills, but in new ways. What is Brookfield doing to address this?

People still need to perform to a high standard individually, but they also need to work cooperatively in problem solving with groups of people who have different strengths. Communication and teamwork skills have become essential for success, as have flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to change. Group projects are exercises in communication, teamwork, and learning to work with people. Group projects are introduced gradually as students demonstrate individual competence, ensuring the environment does not fall into an undirected exercise without focus or goals. Interdisciplinary, theme based projects continue to draw on a broader range of students' skills as they grow.

Why choose Brookfield?

In the Sacramento area, Brookfield has earned a reputation for preparing students to succeed, both in their further academic experience and in their eventual careers. Brookfield's mission promotes individual academic achievement, self-reliant learning, and commendable character. Parents know that at Brookfield, their child is getting what they need for future success.

Brookfield teaches students to become self-reliant learners. Conceptual learning and critical thinking are built on practical skills, which include a complete grasp of the mechanics. However, there is a profound difference between being able to understand and being able to perform, and Brookfield excels here as well. Regular study habits for homework or projects are encouraged, as the practice builds concentration and proficiency. The sense of accomplishment from a job well done instills motivation and the desire for more success. Students experience the "joy of learning" most dramatically when they are able to do it themselves. Once students acquire the skills, study habits and confidence our curriculum instills, they become true self-learners.

What does The School do for developing the values and character of children?

Brookfield offers an outstanding foundation in academic training as well as reinforcement in the traditional values held by time-tested educational institutions. It is a non-sectarian school that fosters the formation of intellect with character. Teachers encourage students to model respectful citizenship and to promote attitudes necessary for a positive learning environment. Personal responsibility and organization are emphasized through the daily preparation of one's work. Mutual respect and the common courtesies of "please" and "thank you" are encouraged, as is good sportsmanship. The Brookfield culture helps students develop perseverance and self-discipline in the learning process. The honor code provides a base for each student to perform with the knowledge and integrity that the work is his or her personal best without the influence of others.

With such small class sizes, what kind of social experience can I expect for my child?

Since so many students spend the first nine years of their school together, many of the friendships that develop among classmates are often life long. Throughout the years, students participate in a variety of activities together outside of the school environment. Some students are neighbors and others play in the same sports groups. Students frequently develop friendships with siblings of their classmates because of common interests and activities and children often cross over grade levels to play together in the after school program.

Why do the students wear uniforms?

Experience has shown that students have a better focus on studies when they are not overly concerned with dress. Stylish fads can be distracting and expensive, particularly among students in middle school. The uniforms are simple, practical, and economical. Students are expected to wear the uniform each day and to abide by the school's dress code regarding neatness and general cleanliness.