This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Kyrene Altadena Middle School4
Posted April 14, 2012
- a parent
The teachers are generally dedicated, kind, and offer quality lessons. This school serves an upper-middle class population and students receive a lot of home support, so they should be doing extremely well and like the other reviewers said, they could probably be doing even better. As far as Arizona, goes it's great, but probably average compared to schools in other regions. Students who excel at sports are recognized more than the students who are participating in theater, music, or academic clubs. The school is located in a beautiful area with excellent resources. FYI: If you have a problem with a teacher, don't expect the principal to take action or even assist with the problem. She does not seem to have the students best interest or safety as a priority.
I have two kids here currently and one that is now at the local high school DV -- I love this middel school! Issues are communicated and dealt with appropriately and in a timely fashion. The teachers have been awesome! Middle school can be be a place of transition, change and growth which is challenging at times for all involved. This school has done a wonderful job adapting and adjusting to the economic challenges they have faced and continuing to stress the importance of a good education in a safe, supporting environment.
Altadena is in a fairly wealthy district and many of the students have the advantages of strong home support, well educated parents, and participation in expensive extracurricular activities. The school should be doing much, much better. The Principal is largely unknown to the students, which reflects her self-absorbed attitude. The teachers lack maturity, which is to say that they sometimes engage in bullying, teasing or other behaviors normally associated with pre-teen students. Our daughter had a miserable experience on the softball and basketball teams, but a WONderful experience with X-country. In fact, the X-country program is the highlight of the school. They get great participation from students, teachers and even parents. The coaches are very supportive and positive and the team always competes extremely well. There are other individual bright spots, such as the 8th grade counselor and chorus. Math instruction is a strength. But the Principal is such a disappointment. Her lack of leadership shows up in the quality of many of the teachers. Also, the volleyball team is so competitive... several girls that are outstanding players were cut this year.
As a student, I have to rate this as the worst school I've ever attended. I was labeled a lost cause once my attendance started slipping, and I quickly realized that the administration (namely the respective grade's counselors, and in particular Tiffany Jump) saw me as nothing more than a problem to be dealt with. The principal Nancy Corner never actually spared the time to speak to me, but she didn't hesitate to issue me a court citation for truancy without speaking to my parents or ever glancing at my file to understand the various medical and familial problems contributing to my absences. The administration seems to care about the school's reputation and the money each student's attendance represents, and they spare very little attention for the kids, none of which is not related to punishment or guilt-laying. I was repeatedly told to 'get over it' and I have to say that the majority of my self-esteem problems in years following stemmed from the treatment I was given there. That being said, many of the teachers I had were very kind and understanding, but lacked the authority to stand up for their students. If 90% of the office staff were replaced, this would be a great school.
Our experience has been the same as the parent who left Alta Dena for a bad teacher...we have been ignored, challenged, and treated disrespectfully by the 6th grade teacher: Ms. Demos, Ms. Fortun-the counselor, & ignored by the principal, Ms. Corner. We still have not heard directly from the teacher & she's being protected by the admin. Our son came to this school as a Gifted student from another state. Ms.Fortun made it a repeated conversation that our son was probably not as gifted as the other students at her school. Along with this absurd treatment, we just received the outline for the "puberty" education. It was explicit as anything I've seen-even California...what a way to strip children of their natural modesty and lay out a defined menu of what not to do! Craziness for young children. We will be removing our son from this school next week.
I think if your child is mainstream, Altadena is a great school. If your child has challenges this school has a difficult time dealing with those challenges. They are trying to keep their numbers high for the district and state report card. They do like to deal with students that fall below c grade average.
My son attended Altadena Middle School and the Kyrene School District for a number of years through the beginning of his 8th year. However, when we needed to address problems my son was having with one particular teacher this past year, I found that the administration took the defensive position on behalf of the teacher (who was bullying my son for lack of a better word), sweeping the problem under the rug, and refusing to help us with the problem. Because of Ms. Corner not addressing the problem, we had to transfer our son to another school. There was no way he could stay without her defending our family, but the teacher. In retrospect, it saddens me that he was unable to attend all 3 years at Altadena, because we really do feel it is a good school
Altadena is thee BEST school in the Phoenix area. 5/5 STARS. Your child (children) would enjoy the school. Very nice teachers, students, and staff members. Altadena is the highest school to score on testing. Best cirriculum your child could possibly have. My parent drives out of their way just to take me to Altadena. :) That should tell you something.
I thought the curriculum to be very challenging and the teachers always willing to help. Altadena is right in the 'hollywood' of Arizona and the students base popularity on what you have. If you are looking solely for curriculum then it is fantastic. Hope this was helpful!