As a grand parent I have been on several of my granddaughters field trips. The most impressive one was an overnight in the Sacramento Zoo. The zoo staff was very complimentary of the Mission Avenue staff and even waived some of their restrictions on overnights because of Mission Avenues outstanding programs
Sometimes I can't believe that most people (many are) aren't knocking the doors down to get their child into this school. While there are many great schools within the San Juan Unified School District and the surrounding area, this school stands out for for reasons including academics. The learning at this school is enhanced by the projects, field trips and the parent involvement that each student experiences. This school is a community and a great example in today's world. To put it simply, a school official emphasized that this school offers a private school education but is a public school in the San Juan Unified School District. http://www.sanjuan.edu/MissionAvenueOpen.cfm?subpage=157900
I've been a parent at Mission for many years now and Mission used to be a really great school. Administration changes have taken the "open" out of it and for me, the cliques of parents and the total inequities that take place on a daily basis ("rules" or not), got very old to me and my family. The elementary grades are wonderful, starting with Kindergarten. Many students leave after fifth grade, rather than staying for sixth grade for many reasons. This is a school where one of the parents should not work so they can be in the loop of favorites with teachers.
The teachers at this school are great. The only problem that stood out for my child and I was the fact that sometimes there was a lot of clicks and some minor bullying. There was also a little too much parent participation to the point of gossip and clickiness among the parents as well. Overall my daughter's experience academically was excellent but socially she was lacking. She loves the new school she is attending socially and academically.
I attended Mission many years ago and now my oldest son is lucky enough to attend, everything is as great as I remember. The teachers, principal, assignments, parental involvement and field trips are fantastic! My son is at the end of his first grade year and we were lucky enough to have Miss Rausch as his teacher. We look forward to what second grade brings our way. We are truely blessed to have or son attend this school and our youngest in a couple years!
I loved Mission when my daughter first started there. It is a very good regular school. Changes in the past 4 years have really removed a lot of what was special in the 'old days' when it WAS a special school. For kids who are self directed, this is a great school. Lots of field trips. Good for high acheiving kids too. But if your child needs any services or help, you had better be ready to fight for it. And smart kids need services too sometimes, speech for example. Many parents leave Mission instead of fighting for help.
Mission Ave is an amazing elementary school, and I could not have had a better experience. The teachers and programs are excellent, and Mission produces truly unique kids. I could not advise a better school to send your child to.
Mission Avenue Open Elementary is an awesome school. It follows the Open Philosophy which believes children learn best with hand-on and real world learning. They take incredible field trips, some multi-night. They emphasize public speaking and presentations. I have heard high school teachers comment that kids from Mission Avenue have a lot of confidence and are easily able to talk to and relate to adults. Kids love attending Mission Avenue. This is not an ordinary, run-of-the-mil,l reading, writing, math, no fun school. There are too many special events to list here, but suffice it to say each day is a new, fun adventure.
I have two boys at this school one in KG and one in 2nd Grade. Teachers and Principal support the open philosophy with tons of extra curricula enrichment options and really get parents involved. Children are challenged to move forward in their learning no matter where they start. The teachers empower the students to have a presence and a voice. How can kids loose if they are both smart and confident. The expectation is that your child will do great things! Graduates show that is true.
After several years at Mission, we are having a very hard time deciding if we want to keep our children here. It is a very average school, and we didn't sign up for average. What was failed to be stated at our initial review is that Mission functions best for families with a stay-at-home parent. The loose, fun classroom structure works better when a parent is present. As I've seen in the last two years, with more parents having to return to work, the class environment is suffering a lot. And sad to say, the test scores support what I'm saying.
After seeing reviews criticizing Mission's lack of 'challenge for highly gifted students', I feel I must say something. My child could have gone to a Rapid Learner school but chose Mission instead and we both loved it. She did not miss out on any kind of 'additional learning' RL claimed to provide. She got into the IB program with ease, and is still handling that program very well. Just because Mission doesn't have an official 'high achiever' program doesn't mean it doesn't have programs or ways to challenge kids and make them better people.
We are a former military family and have moved all over this state and gone to schools in many different areas and I have to say that Mission Avenue is one of the best schools I have seen by far. My son is challenged on a daily basis. Curriculum is hands on, which is how my child learns best. Having parent involvement and participation in the classroom means that my child can learn at his pace and not be forced to fit some learning curve based on all students in the class. It is a wonderful experience to know the faces and families of my children's school mates and to have him grow from Kinder to 6th grade with the same group of kids. Drawbacks? Parents are committed but cliques are definitely present. A lot of work outside of classroom for kids and parents.
I have 3 kids at this school. All children in the US should have the opportunity to attend a school such as Mission. Hillary was right, 'It does take a village.' There's a job for everyone, working parent or not. I believe some of the recent poor reviews come from parents with disruptive children. I volunteer in 3 classrooms each week and I feel I 'see' the workings of the education my children receive. Children are challenged and the kids that need extra help get it. Yes, it can be like high school for some of the parents but the majority of adults are there for the kids. You want your child to fondly remember their elementary school years, send them to Mission. BTW, the principal is the best one we've had in the 6 years I've been there. She responds to my issues; obviously, she must follow district policy.
Mission Avenue is a great school. I have been very pleased with it. My son, who is GATE-identified, is challenged and loves school. He learns through a variety of methods, and there is always something new and interesting going on. His teachers have been great, and there are always many parents helping out.
Mission is a disappointment, the upper grades 5th and 6th have weak teachers and little to offer children during such a important growing period. I was disappointed that the teachers didn't act as good role models and you could tell they didn't get along that good. This effects our childrens learning.
Mission has been such a disappointment. The administration is ineffective when dealing with hard issues such as 'problem children and teachers'. Kindergarten and third grade have been great experiences but all the other grades have provided terrible experiences. I truly wish I would have chosen Mariemont, Cowan, Del Dayo or even Del Paso Manor. I've been told by many friends that the Principal's at those schools will at least put their foot down when something happens that is unacceptable. Mission isn't what it used to be.
This school is only designed for the child who could pretty much teach them selves. Not enough emphasis is focused on the foundation of learning. It's all about the experience ( field trips). The parent volunteering is out of control. If I could do it over again, I would put my child in a fundamental school and leave the field trips for family time. Then they would have an education, and we would have family memories.
My two children have attended Mission Avenue. This is a fablous village of teachers, staff, parents and children. It is not a school for all families. Parent participation is highly encouraged. If you cannot put in significant time with your child and their classmates, this school is not for you. If you are a parent of a 'highly gifted' child, there are no special programs or distinctions for these children. Every student is dealt with as a child gifted with their own talents. Field trips are integral in all grades with extended overnight field trips starting in 1st grade. Trips include Yosemite, Point Reyes, Sea Camp in San Diego, Mount Lasen, Marin Headlands and many more. Every child is included in school-wide musical productions. Each of my children have greatly benefited from attending this outstanding and unique school.
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