Students enrolled 1245
Hours 8:35 - 2:43
School leader Morgan Smith
Transportation options Yes
District Huntington Beach City Elementary

Contact this school

1502 Palm Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

School website
(714) 536-7507
(714) 960-0955
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Ethel Dwyer Middle School address.

4 stars
Based on 40 ratings

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think about this school

September 15, 2014
In response to the review above Dwyer is not even close to being a Title 1 school nor is on the list of California Title 1 schools. Dwyer is in an extremely affluent area of coastal HB and the PTA and parents contribute lots of money to keep many of the programs going.. That being said the school does a great job of catering to all students no matter their background or income level.

- submitted by a teacher
June 14, 2014
My kid is in 6th grade GATE at Dwyer. The comment about the school "dumbing down" the math curriculum is no longer correct. In response to intense parent concern, the district has sent a letter to parents of children in advanced math to let them know that there will be algebra for qualified 7th graders and geometry for 8th graders. GATE language arts is very good. My kid has read short classics and poetry, learned literary analysis and critical evaluation. Math is advanced and I feel my child is challenged, although we do supplement all work at home as well. It's a very good public school. Teachers have responded to all of my queries or concerns. (except one -- woodshop -- who seems lackadaisical and indifferent but there are always inadequacies no matter where you're at). Overall, very satisfied. Remember that even when a child doesn't have a great teacher, or an unfair teacher, THAT experience itself is a learning experience. You cannot nor should you insulate your child from everything. I am concerned, however, by the foul language kids at schools (probably most schools) use nowadays, which I hear when I pick up my kid. It is a disgrace.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2014
This school is okay. The school district has chosen to be dumb down the math for all grades next year, so Dwyer will no longer offer accelerated math to 6th graders, algebra to 7th graders, or geometry to 8th graders. The kids spend a lot of time on their phones during class, and the teachers teach straight out of their manuals. In English, the kids don't even read entire books; instead, they read shortened "mcbooks" geared toward standardized tests. Kids aren't formally taught how to write, and have no idea how to structure an essay. My child has not once written a formal lab report for science. If you just want your kids out of the house and in a safe holding pen until they move on to high school, this school is for you. If you have a bright kid who wants to do something other than learn to a standardized test, consider sending her elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
November 23, 2013
AMAZING school with AMAZING leadership!! These people really care about the children and families! I have always felt welcomed every time I have ever walked into the office. The teachers are more than willing to help and support, and the principle and vs principle will do whatever needed to make it happen! My son has received so much love and support at Dwyer from all! We came from a horrific school where there was a ton of bulling, a very cold un caring staff, a few real bad teachers, and a NIGHTMARE of a principle, Ms O at Harbor View! My son has thanked me for getting him here! He is a straight A student, Honor Roll, with a 4.0 GPA so I am a happy grateful mom! THANK YOU Dwyer, and Dr Smith for all the wonderful things you do for our kids!

- submitted by a parent
November 23, 2013
My school is 2nd to none on making sure ALL students get the best education they can get for the 3 years that the students attend. The Teachers really care & make sure the students EARN their grades. The front office staff handles matters with respect and careful consideration whenever you may have an issue of any sort. In schools, it's the help of parents, like myself, to help make the school successful by being a volunteer to make things happen. You get a good feeling when you're involved because you see 1st hand that you can, maybe, do anything good to help the kid's succeed. I'm close to all the issues and success that the PTA does, and with Dr. Smith giving his TEAM direction, anything is possible the Dwyer the best school ever.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2013
I have 3 Children that have gone to Dwyer. We are impressed with how things are handled by the principal Mr. Smith. The new Zap program is great! It keeps kids accountable for their OWN classwork/homework. I am thankful for this great school, in our wonderful community. :)

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2013
We have 2 sons at Dwyer School. One graduated in 2012 and one is going to 7th grade. It's a very good school, academically. Even though a Title 1 (school with high % of low income), it continuously improves its STAR scores every year in 7 years, and now is the # 1 middle school in district. It ranks 9 out of 10 (10 is the best) in statewide, and on the right path to reach the 10 in near future. The principal is great and understandable. He supports students wanting in higher education. My 2nd son was transferred from elementary, and placed in accelerated Math 6 with history/english in GATE. We asked the principal to place him in pre-algebra (after showing his excellent STAR results), he agreed. My son performed well and now ready to take on algebra 1 in 7th grade. Thanks to principal. Most teachers are nice; They do care for kids. Some give too little or nothing on homework. That makes kids lazy and lose their studiousness habit, and unlikely improving their knowledge. I like some teachers giving hw around 30 min per subject, or 45 minutes for GATE. Dwyer has great GATE program, enjoys lots of volunteered parents. Dwyer produces many excellent students going to high schools.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2013
Uninspired homeroom teachers! My son got bad home room teachers two years in a row and now he hates school! They were there going through the motion but they are not really teaching nor do they really care whether the kids are learning. Forget the part about them taking initiative to inspire the kids to learn. My son is like a boiling angry person inside because he can never get the feeling of being on the right with the teachers who seem to flush him down the toilet in everything he tried to do.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2013
I have 2 children at Dwyer (6th & 8th) and I could not be happier. We have lived in 3 diff. states & my children have attended 8 diff. schools and this is by far is the best (previous school was 10). Teachers are amazing and the principal is the best! Music program is spectacular esp. the teacher! Everything of course is not perfect but I feel that you get from a situation what you put in. I work with the teacher that I have. They each have different styles - just as the kids do. I have found that almost all teachers are receptive and care about the students. It is a great place to learn and I am not an easy person to please. I have never met a better principal - truly gifted in what he does. My children are both very different - one in GATE, the other has some academic challenges. The school has handled both situations exceptionally. For example, my son was struggling on his math tests, due to inattention and he now takes his tests in the principals office & he has rec'd 100 on both of his last tests. My daughter recently applied to some private high schools & both principal and teachers wrote numerous ltrs of recomm. without any hassle. Truly a "Great School."

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2012
Our daughter is doing very well at Dwyer. Is it Dwyer or her? She's in GATE and scores very high in standardized tests. The GATE program at Dwyer is very good in that it requires the students to show initiative and take responsibility. She works very hard on her school work to achieve her results. She is taking Algebra in 7th while one of her friends who was good in math in elementary school is now struggling in basic math, which I find puzzling. The school offers many levels of math for 7th graders, from algebra, pre-algebra, math and basic math [my son took math in 7th & pre-algebra in 8th].

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2011
I love it here, especially the teachers and other staffs. But the students here can be disrespectful, mean, and some even say inappropriate things.

- submitted by a community member
August 06, 2010
Interesting to read other reviews and know our experience has been completely different with this school and principal. My child was placed in inappropriate class 2 years in a row she could not keep up with and my phone calls and emails regarding the matter were not returned and now she faces having to repeat them in high school. 2 quarters last year she received inaccurate grades on her report card from careless teachers looking only to their own retirement and caring not about their "oopsie". Now we can only hope it doesn't affect her placement next year. I think she's actually dumber having attended here. My little girl learned from this school that she's just a girl and she does not matter. Great lessons for the 21st century Dwyer. I couldn't be happier she won't go there next year!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 18, 2010
Dwyer was an excellent school. My daughter learned so much and made tons of friends that have lasted through the years. They care about the students, the teachers & the community and we were proud to be Jr. Oilers :)

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2010
ethel dwyer middle school is awesome and the kids teachers and everybody else are super!

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 27, 2010
Dwyer is an excellant Middle School. This starts at the top with an amazing Principal, Don Rusinger. I have seen him reach out and change the direction of children that were at a crossroads in their lives., He is open to all activities that reflects the diversity of the student population. He is a great communicator and a beloved fisture in our community. We love Dwyer.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2009
i love this school and i will miss it after this year because i am in 8th grade and i went here all three years!! I Dwyer!!

- submitted by a student
October 27, 2009
I really like it here, it's nice and pretty much clean. Activities are fun, and the classes aren't TOO hard. Except for Mrs. Durbin :P but she's nice : D

- submitted by a student
October 21, 2009
The principal, Mr. Ruisinger, is the most organized, involved and hoest pricipal I have ever met. Every Sunday night we get a message from him saying what to expect in the coming week. He is upfront about the budget challenges the school faces and handles bullies immediately and thoroughly. I do not have one bad thing to say about this great school. It is meeting it's challenges and exceeding it's goals.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 13, 2009
My daughter and my Niece both go to Ethel Dwyer Middle School. this is 6th, 7th and 8th grade. The teachers are wonderful, the principal is very involved with the student and teachers and sends out phone calls at least once a week as well as daily emails to all the parents with updates and activities with the school. Wonderful School!

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2009
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- submitted by a student
December 22, 2008
Dwyer rocks! They have the best staff and students.

- submitted by a student
April 06, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
no rating August 10, 2007
4 Stars, great staff and friendly atmosphere.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 08, 2007
I think Dwyer is a great and pro active middle school. We are a distinguished school. We also have successful sports teams.

- submitted by a student
May 31, 2007
I think that Dwyer is an excellent school. Most of the teachers seem very enthusiastic and positive. There are many opportunities for extracurricular involvement in sports and other activities. We wish there was a better band program and a girls softball team, but overall the school, teachers and principal are fantastic!

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2007
My daughter attends this school and she dislikes the student attidtude, but the teachers are okay. The students are typical spoiled beach kids and can be mean.

- submitted by a student
April 27, 2006
Dwyer Middle School has wonderful honors and gate programs. The Language Arts, Math, and History teachers are experiened, caring , and make the student want to learn. The pricnipal is new this year and is still feeling his way. The remodeling of the school has diminished some of the extra programs this year. The music program is good but not as well funded or extensive as Sower's it's cross town rival. I feel my son has gotten a good education here but wish that the school was more committed to parent communication and partication.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2006
Some excellent teachers. My kids hated it. My daughter calls it the 'evil Fortress.'

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2006
Good school that is making much needed improvements! Teachers are great, communicate well with students and parents and overall academics within CA standards. New principal in 2006 - working hard to establish himself within the community and the school environments.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2006
Dwyer Middle School is currently undergoing some renovations (ie: modernizaton of classic buildings), so there is a little mess and disorganization. The new principal there is dynamic, enthusiastic and energetic. The school provides soccer, volleyball, surf and basketball teams. Surf club and track are open to all students. The PTA only does one fundraiser per year, but they are active in other enhancing activities such as RIF.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2005
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- submitted by a administrator
August 19, 2005
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- submitted by a student
April 17, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
January 02, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2004
This school is one of the most fabulous places for a child to gain an education. This school gives the student a challenging yet healthy and encouraging environment. Teachers at this school incorporate fun and games into the curriculum they teach. It is a great way to get the students involved in the lesson. The teachers are willing to go to great extents to help their pupils understand the material they taught. I have even seen a teacher who gave before school lessons and gave out her phone number to students who needed extra help or were having trouble with the lesson. This school has some of the finest teachers in Huntington Beach School District. Dwyer Middle School is one of the best places you could send your child for middle school.

- submitted by a student
August 19, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
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Ethel Dwyer Middle School
1502 Palm Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA  92648
(714) 536-7507
Last modified Ethel Dwyer Middle School is a Public school that serves grades 6-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Ethel Dwyer Middle School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 45 reviews. Top