This is our 6th year at MPA. Over the years we have seen many changes and growth. The most positive change was in leadership! Mr. Wagner is an amazing leader with great vision and love for his students, families and staff. He is very willing to listen, and address areas of concern. We are incredibly blessed to have him as Head Master. Is any school perfect and without areas that need improvement? We have yet to find one! At least MPA faces issues head on and is willing to make changes. We have been able to compare this school alongside several different public schools/charter schools over the years. We have had our ups and downs with our feelings/frustrations etc. but have persevered through the growing pains and couldn't be happier that we did. Need to know: The curriculum is challenging, but RICH and solid in philosophy and truth. The teachers are dedicated and EXCITED about teaching their subject area (which inherently rubs off on the students), and what I appreciate is that if they are not cutting it, they are FIRED! Parents, get involved! You will find a community that is welcoming and needs you! MPA is adding a K-5 and a new campus next year so more good things are to come!
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."
My son, who is finishing 6th grade loves Mesa Prep and the teachers! The academics is challenging but it is presented in a way that is interesting and allows the children to think on their own. The teachers and staff really do know my son. I know this from their reviews and speaking with them one on one, throughout the year. Tutoring is free and encouraged even for the most advanced students. There is a no cut rule in sports which allows all the children to be part of "Team", but academics will always be priority at this school. Warning! Be prepared to cut the apron strings. Parent involvement is done through the lunch program, school activities, fundraising, teacher appreciation, but not in the classroom. Also, student organization is key to your childs success at this school. My son has learned life-long organizational skills this year that many adults still do not have. All the parents and children have been very welcoming to us. They have an excellent student mentor program which makes the transition to Junior High very smooth. The Headmaster has made sound decisions since we have been here and I have been able to speak with him on several occasions. We love it!
We couldn't be happier at Mesa Prep. The curriculum is challenging, teachers are amazing and the administration is approachable and helpful. I'm surprised by the comments about inexperienced teachers, athletics, lack of parent input and disorganization. We have been at Mesa Prep for many years and have certainly not had the same experience. There have been a few teachers over the years that did not seem to fit and the headmaster replaced them quickly. The athletic department is incredibly organized and there is never a lack of communication, sometimes there seems to be more than we need. Any time the school considers making a major change the families are polled for their opinions. The school communicates with families regularly about what is happening and my child enjoys going to school at Mesa Prep. While the facilities could certainly use a facelift, the school itself is a great fit for any family who is looking for a school with good leadership, challenging curriculum and happy students and teachers.
I am a freshman student at MPA and it's the most friendly and encouraging school I've been to. There are no cliques and everyone knows each other. I'm part of the mentorship program, and it's great that new students have a student's perspective and guidance. Also, I'm pretty sure that we're the first school to implement the Exeter math program, and I think it's great, despite the reviews on here (which are bad reviews because your kid is obviously too lazy to struggle with a problem without having instructions right on the page for you... Good luck in life, not all the answers will always be right there for you). Also, I think the teachers are great! They ALL offer tutoring for extra help. I think that some kids (or their parents complaining on here) are upset because the teachers usually answer questions with questions and try to guide us to figure out things on our own or with our peers, instead of just giving us the answers. Sorry, your kid is lazy, good luck after high school. And finally, the front office ladies are wonderful and pleasant. I think last year was moreso unorganized because there were very few people trying to run the front office, but this year we have more help
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 just joined MPA and give you the first impressions: There definitely is a good spirit in this school. It appears that the students like to be there. Atmosphere on campus is positive, friendly, polite. My own child thinks the school is awesome. There also are high academic expectations, the curriculum is challenging. Now the bad parts: I have never seen such a disorganized leadership. The athletic program is a disaster because the coaches cannot even manage to put together a game schedule without conflicts. This is typical for the whole school: the uniform policy is another disaster: changes are implemented at the last minute, the provider is completely unable to satisfy demand, so the policy is changed again - all that days before the school year begins. The front office was clueless about the recently changed school hours until one day before the school year started. The teachers seem extremely inexperienced and not to talk to each other, subject curricula like science and math are not synched so that science teacher expects knowledge that will be taught in math only next year and so on. The homework load is ridiculous. If things don't improve soon, we'll be out of there.
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.
I have heard so many great things about Mesa Prep. It's always difficult when someone has a negative experience, but keep up the great work at Mesa Prep.
People are leaving this school in droves because the headmaster is unethical and the teachers have little or no experience (hired right out of college). The Exeter mathematics curriculum is a total joke. There are no resources for students like text books, examples, study guides or other materials the kids can rely on to study on their own. The teachers are encouraged to curve grades to make it appear that the kids are learning math. Most people leave after 8th grade and go to a public school for better choices of elective courses.
We have been at Mesa Prep since the very beginning. I have seen a very high teacher turn over along with many different administrators. We were very pleased the first two years but they were unable to meet my childs needs for high school. My children get good grades at this highly academic school. Unfortunately, now the comment that we hear most from staff about getting involved with larger public schools is that "we don't want to associate with those kinds of people". Many people who attend this school have entitlement issues. Now Mesa Prep has a very good education, but all the attitudes, groups and favorites can make it very difficult for a child to act like themselves. Most kids are trying to prove how much money they have even if they don't. I also don't appreciate the bad mouthing of past students that have left from faculity members. "They left because they don't care about their education" or "public schools only prepare you for a job out of high school, we prepare kids for college". Bad mouthing another school does not make me what to go to Mesa Prep, it actually does the opposite. Like I said from the beginning great education but lacks the extras.
OH. EM. GEE. Really, that's about all I've got. We could not be happier with our daughter's experience at Mesa Prep. People who are writing about cliques and bullying... I have no idea what school those people are talking about! An atmosphere of respect is cultivated actively. It is modeled by teachers and administrators and demanded of students. One of the things I love here is that the nerds ARE the popular kids! Each child has a chance to shine and stand out for their achievements, and they are acknowledged by their community for that. The academics are top-notch, and contrary to a previous poster, the classics are NOT outdated for the modern world! People have to learn HOW to think, and think critically, and evaluate for quality, truthfulness, and relevance. That is what is missing in this country today, and the Great Hearts schools are filling the need. As I told Mr. Wagner, "You couldn't PAY me to take my kid out of this school!"
Mesa Prep is the perfect fit for our student. He was not challenged at his previous school and he became lazy in his study habits. The first year at MPA was a wake up call! :o) He has grown so much thanks to the extra attention of the amazing teachers and staff. His grades have improved and he looks forward to participating in extracurricular activities.
The best school I've ever been to by far. I miss it more then you could imagine. You get close with the people there and it gives you a lot of great opportunities to do things you never knew you could do. This includes academics and athletics. The students that don't do well bring it on themselves. If you want to do well you can.
Mesa Prep has far exceeded our expectations for what a school community can do for a student. We have seen our child challenged, encouraged to grow, introduced to think outside of the traditional box of learning and provided repeated words of encouragement. We have seen our child grow not only academically but in character and his values strengthened. The students at the school are very supportive of each other. The teachers answer questions either in person, on the phone or over email. The administration is quite supportive. Our student has begun to feel more challenged but at the same time he feels respected for his thoughts and views.
Very disappointed with this school. A lot of parents are removing their kids and sending them to regular public schools next year.
Our child is finishing up 6th grade and will continue with Mesa Prep in the fall. The homework is demanding and it took some getting used to. Our daughter really has stepped up to the challenge and has been getting excellent grades. She doesn't enjoy the homework but has gotten used to it and has been following a schedule. She is very involved in extra curricular sports/ activities so she has been able to make time for those as well. We are thrilled to see how much she is learning. Would love to see a day off once in awhile from the uniforms :)
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