This is a public charter school that includes language arts (FRENCH) in the curriculum. The art and music classes are taught by professionals in industry. It is a true liberal arts education where children read classical literature and are also educated on virtues of the heart. I like that my child's school environment promotes secular ethics- educating and encouraging children on what it means to be a good friend, good citizen, and a good person. They teach children How to think, NOT what to think. Overall State test scores reflect that this is a superb school.
In addition they offer an array of after school clubs such as: Engineering, Chess, French, Garden, Art, Music, World cultures (Passport) clubs.
Overall we are satisfied with our experience at this school and highly recommend it to our friends.
This school is a wonderful environment for children who desire to learn. This school doesn't just teach mindless drivel, it's a liberal arts education based on a vast pool of knowledge that the public schools refuses to consider. My children only read classics for credits. The children sit as a class and discuss what authors are attempting to convey with imagery. My child is doing math far and above where we were only last year. This school is nothing less than fantastic. The headmaster has been open and genuinely cares about his students and the parents always making sure that we are in the loop and working with us to make changes! He's always listened to our ideas and insights and more than once I have seen the school implement discussion items from his coffee talks!
This is a response to the student review dated November 24, 2012. I believe your intention was to paint a positive picture of Mesa Prep. The students do receive a lot of support, encouragement , 1:1 guidance from the teachers, and are offered many opportunities for tutoring. I was very impressed with how Great Hearts/Mesa Prep also encourages the students to simply be solid citizens with good character and most importantly to respect each other. However, this student was not very respectful to his or her peers or their parents in their review. The assumption that students who struggle are "lazy" along with their other very obnoxious insults are in fact a sign of poor character and a bad attitude (especially for a mentor). Considering the insulting vibe of the review, I found it ironic that he or she opened with how the school is so friendly and encouraging. To give a little background - I am not a complaining parent - my child has been at Mesa Prep for 3 years with A's and B's. The students here need to work real hard at this school - there is no coasting through. However, I would never write off a child who is struggling with this curriculum as being "lazy."
Am very impressed with the academics at Great Hearts Academies. The teaching staff is outstanding, but in response to the poster about administration and athletics, it is to be expected. These schools are small in size, allowing for big fishes in small ponds to go unchecked. The same goes for the athletics. There is no such thing as tryouts, because it's a small school, the player roster is pretty much fraternally predetermined even before registration for that sport is open. It's another example of big fishes in small ponds where politiking is the norm. Unfortunate for the kids when it comes to sports. If you can overlook the egos, avoid the politking and the beauty pageant backstage menusha of GH sports programs, and just focus on the academics and find outside athletic programs, your child could benefit academically.
The previous comment (posted on 8/26/12), regarding complete disorganization, is absolutely true! It's at this school and the main office. Whether it be uniforms, sports, field trips, volunteer fingerprinting, etc., the only consistent is a complete lack of organization. To make it worse, none of it makes logical sense. For a school that claims to be built on pillars of logic, their own actions repeatedly defy it. Also, if you re coming from a private school then you're in for a surprise. The class sizes are BIG (25-26 students). The facilities are cramped and overcrowded! Every day my students class locations change due to disorganization and a lack of space to accommodate as many students as they can stuff in. Likewise, the school does NOT seek parental involvement or input. They don't seem to care what parents have to say. I'm not impressed or easily dazzled by rapid growth or test scores. If it weren't for their competition being in a state with horrible public schools (AIMS), I don't believe they'd look nearly so good.
We left Mesa Prep because they are disorganized. The Exeter program was just one example of how they may have good intentions but fail to operate their school professionally. Exeter may be the best curriculum for math but in the hands of inexperienced, untrained teachers it was a mess. Perhaps the experiencing Exeter math, Mesa Prep style, has made parents negative about the program. The disorganization is widespread. A simple field trip causes total chaos for attendance and the office. A school handbook was not published until 3rd quarter. They manage the school defensively, making decisions as they go rather than setting solid policies in advance. The uniform changes every year, especially the expensive skirts. At times the management is so bad it would be humorous if it wasn't so frustrating. The one area they excel in is asking for Community Investments, a lot of time and attention is spent asking for monthly donations.
Follow the advice of the parent who suggested doing your research. Rely on solid numbers from the AIMS and Standford scores; not the highly subjective grading system the school has in place. Although a Great Hearts School, Mesa Prep is probably one of the worst administrated schools in the network. Do your due diligence before you place your child here. All Great Hearts Schools are NOT created equally.
Do the research, don't believe the negativity - find out what using the Philips Exeter Math model means - I did The Harkness teaching method that is used by Exeter develops a student's use of theorems and principles organically. The end result being a student who is able to apply mathematics to develop solutions to real problems. The staff and faculty are incredible, we couldn't be happier.
We have been very impressed with the teachers and curriculum Mesa Prep. This school is continually improving the way the subjects are being taught. I completely disagree with the parent who does not like the Exeter math curriculum. My student has enjoyed math more this past year than ever before and has learned the concepts more completely. The teachers in all areas have been incredibly helpful and they offer tutoring to their students every single week. I would highly recommend Mesa Prep for any student who wants a great education and is willing to work hard. My child will be well prepared for college and for life.