We just finished our first year at MTA and We lived it! I must admit however, I was a little hesitant when I got the phone call a week before school started. We decided to go for it and it was the best decision we ever made! Our child LOVES it there! As an educator myself, I was very impressed with what these kindergarteners were learning- from double digit subtraction, to reading, to writing stories. Every time I volunteered in the classroom, the students were engaged and actively learning. There was a sense of security and everyone felt safe. The kindergarten team is amazing! I hear not every grade level has the same caliber of teachers as the kindergarten team, but that is true at every school in America. Some grade levels are stronger than others. Some teachers are better than others. You will find that everywhere. I must say, I am confused with the negative comments about MTA. It is a school of choice. If you are not happy there, leave. Make room for other families who truly want to be there.
MTA is not for average kids, I will agree with that. It is NOT for above average kids either, make no mistake of that. The academics are not rigorous (that comment actually made my laugh out loud). Volunteer time is there, but you do have to look for it now that the school has outgrown itself and made the class sizes too large (6 years ago we were told MAX class size would be 25- now my child is in a class of 36). I actually heard the principle state "working is not a valid reason to not volunteer" at a meeting last year. Not something you want to hear while you're literally trying to keep the power on and put food on the table. I'm not trying to convince anyone of my opinion, which seems to be a common theme among the other parents here, but you all can't change other peoples experiences. Just because they aren't the same as yours, and you have found a wonderful school at MTA doesn't mean that everyone has that same opinion. It also doesn't mean that it's because their kids aren't up to the challenge. My son has been bored with MTA for years- because he was doing Algebra in 1st grade at home- I'm not exaggerating. Keep in mind that MTA doesn't offer anything for kids like that.
I have a comment on the volunteer hours. I'm a working mom, in our 4th year with MTA and not one single month have I had to search high and low for ways to get my required hours. Not Once. There are volunteer opportunities EVERYWHERE. I think a mistake some parents make is to rely on their child's teacher to provide all their volunteer hours. That is not their job, nor do they have that much work to give. Instead, email committee chairs and Guild board members...you'll have your hours in no time flat. As far as your warning goes....We all sign the volunteer requirement form each year. We all know exactly what is expected of us, and it is our responsibility to find, record, and KNOW how many hours we have worked each month. That is all the warning you need. If our busy staff does happen to take the time to let you know that you are falling behind on your required hours, that is simply a courtesy.
I am really disappointed in these other parent reviews. We have been at this school since it has opened. This school has great academic accelerated curriculum. I brag about this school every chance I get and I almost feel guilty when other parents I talk to don't have their kids enrolled in this school. The principal is all matter of fact. It works for some and not everyone. The open door policy does not bother me. Let him do his job running our great school and making it better. The volunteer hours are a minimum of two per month. This school is for parents who really want to be involved with their kids at school and at home. The teachers are outstanding in all grade levels. Volunteering really lets you know the teacher your child has as well as other teachers in all grade levels, depending on what you are volunteering for. I love knowing each one and having a good relationship with each. We support our teachers at this school with different volunteer jobs, so that they can focus on the children. I will have all 5 of my kids go through this school and I am proud of that. Food for thought "shouldn't you have this same kind of excitement about where your child attends"?
Our kinder teacher was amazing, infact all of the kinder teachers are. BUT, the principal is not a people person and runs it like a prison. He's not friendly, rude, and in fact his reputation has followed him from Cheyenne Traditional in Scottsdale, when he left families there were ecstatic. There is no open door policy only sees parents on appt. basis, and am appauled we thought this was the place for us. They give traditional schools a bad rep. I encourage you to seek out Alhambra Traditional School, MTA was modeled after them. ATS out does MTA by far, kind of sad actually. Their volunteer policy is so strict, they kick families out with no warning.. there's not enough volunteer opp. - I asked many times and had to search high and low for opportunities... this is your warning. parents there told me after kinder the school goes downhill from there, It hurt me as a mother .. we all try to find the best for our children. good luck!
Run Run don't stop to look at MTA! We waited overnight to get our daughter in this school.. thinking this was the best place for her.. Instead we found out, it was a "bully" school the teachers don't even know where the kids are half the time. The pricipal is a "bully" as well. Do not put your kids in this school!
I recently moved my 1st grader from madison simis to MTA... it has been an absolute blessing. His teacher, Mrs. Wolf, is a phenomonal teacher. She is organized and has expectations of the children in her class. Both academically and behaviorally. She is also willing to communicate with the parent when necessary, which is a huge factor in keeping the parents involved with their kids education. My son no longer has to play 100 questions when he is doing homework as she makes sure to cover all the information he needs to know to do it by himself. Thank you MTA and Mrs. Wolf!
Several parents including myself were not happy with the 3rd Grade curriculum last year. Not only did we see our kids' reading and math levels decrease, their enthusiasm for school did too. We weren't whining about too much homework or expecting MTA to fix our kids because most of us have had our kids at MTA since kindergarten. However, there was a legitimate problem with 3rd grade and the administration has responded. What gripes me about these parent reviews, is if a parent dares to complain about MTA, the Kool-Aid crowd snarkily tells them to send their kids to another school because the world needs ditch diggers and hamburger flippers. For your children's sake, I hope they never struggle in school because it's obvious they won't get support at home. No school is perfect and that includes MTA, but I still think it's a great school.
We started with MTA 6 years ago - when parents were willing to overlook the lack of facilities and extracurricular activities in lieu of advanced curriculum and dedicated staff. Now that we have a new campus and great test scores, people want in for all the wrong reasons: proximity to home, convenience of having all their kids at a k-8 school, thinking MTA can "fix" their kids, that if their kids are currently struggling, a tutor can "catch them up". As a frequent volunteer, I have been in the office when prospective parents come in to inquiry about enrollment. I want to shake some of them! If your child isn't currently excelling - why would you consider moving them to a school with rigorous academics? When I overhear a parent say that their child isn't doing well at their current school because they are bored... or don't like their teacher ... or will "catch up" , I cringe. As a public school, MTA can' t turn away students... but it really is the parent's responsibility to make an educated and wise choice. MTA was never intended for the "average student".