IB kids are overloaded. Plus, they are not allowed to carry backpacks but are required to carry 25 lb. binder cases - plus their band instrument if they have one. As for the text books - there's no way without a back pack unless you have 3 arms.
IB Teachers do not communicate with the parents. At Back to School Night they all say "E mail me anytime" and yes you can do that, but don't expect a response. I've only e-mailed two teachers one time and neither responded. They (IB Teachers) do not want to have anything to do with the parents, and push them away as much as possible. (Unless you are giving them money or your time - very one sided) Their claims of encouraging parental involvement is strictly financial. Extremely rude and self righteous behavior from teachers who are claiming to teach the students positive behavior and life skills. I am very disappointed with the disconnect they are attempting to put between parent and child and parent and school, not to mention the ridiculous amount of homework, and not sure we will be staying through the long haul.
My son came after 7 yrs of private school. Our app for IB was declined because it must be in by Dec for the next year. Ranking 94% in nation had no bearing. This school is segregated so badly, IB vs. trash is how it should be represented but its exactly how the staff and students see it too. A teacher said "if your student isnt in IB, dont bother". That very same teacher seemed to despise he had to teach non IB classes, he literally made students hate Science who had otherwise liked it. Its overcrowded, everyone wants their child in IB yet if yours can't handle IB workload, they don't facilitate them out and replace with a more gifted student, they just let them to fail. My student was miserable, he hated going to school, being treated like trash. No thank you. We transferred to a school that doesn't offer IB and he's fine being in HA, the teachers enjoy all students and classes alike. Winston Churchill is too segregated and overcrowded, any student will tell you if you ask them. If your student desires to be IB then rest assured, they'll have little to no contact with the "rest of the cookie crumbs" but if they arent cutting it, youll sit and watch them fail miserably.
If I was to rate this, it depends on which program. You've got Passport, AVID, and IB. IB is the best by far, as just being there, you can sense the dissent from the Passport kids. However, some students from AVID do truly try, and it reflects in the limited interaction the IB have with them. I myself attend the IB Program at Churchill.
I went to Churchill from 2009-2012, and I think of this school very fondly. I recommend joining the Student Government class for 7th and 8th grade -- I was an officer one year and in the class for both years, and it was the class that I looked forward to every day. I was in the IB program, and the teachers were excellent. Every student formed a tight bond with their teachers and by the end of 8th grade, you literally ruled the school. The school is rather small, so you really get to know everyone, even the teachers you didn't have. All of the teachers are very approachable and friendly and are always willing to help. I felt very at home at this school, and it helped me come out of my shell and grow as a person. Sports are eh, along with music, drama, and art, but most kids don't come here for that. School food isn't very healthy... but most kids don't care. Kids in the IB program or Student Government don't take P.E. everyday, which some people may not like, but the kids definitely don't mind! To be honest, your experience at this school is as good as you make it. You can either enjoy it and try to have the best experience, or you can go through middle school with a bad mentality.
I am a student at this school. The health at this shool isn't that great. In the mornings you can buy hot chocolate w/ whip cream and chocolate suace; at lunch there is a stand with pizza, baked chips, drinks, cup noodles, and candy people can buy with their lunch; at the end of school there is a stand with different ice cream sutff you can buy and on Friday Jamba Juice comes. I feel as though this school doesn't influence health but uses kid's interests to support the funds. Also because of our language requirement, i.b. kids have P.E every other week or quarter. [switches off with our elective (based on elective)] Though I must say that the P.E. teachers are try their best with the time we have them.
My son in in his third year at Churchill, 8th grader. We have had a wonderful experience watching him grow as an IB student. He loves Japanese and Science, and is a whiz in math, so it's like he's with his "people." The bar is set very high and the students rise to the occasion.
I am a student at Churchill, and the IB program is fantastic. We have great teachers that really care about us and help us learn. Our school has 4 great language departments, Japanese, Chinese, French, and Spanish. The non-ib program is not that good, so only enroll at Churchill for the IB program. We are all very supportive of each other and are like one big IB family.
We've found Churchill provides instruction in at a level and depth unmatched by other middle schools in the area. In particular, Churchill offers a much richer music and foreign language curriculum. Our son attended from 6th - 8th grade and our daughter is a new student. The school culture has a real positive energy, the teachers and parent volunteers are fantastic, and we are so happy with our choice of school!