I love this school for so many reasons. First and most importantly, my son LOVES school! The Teachers he has had have given him the gift of LOVE for learning. What amazingly dedicated teachers! They go above and beyond for their students and school family. We also love Murdock for the incredibly strong parent involvement. You really can't find this type of support and involvement in any other school these days. The PTA at our school rocks! There is always something fun happening on campus that includes the whole family (movie & popcorn nights, Halloween Happenings, Science Night, Art Night, etc.). Daily, I see Moms, Dads, and Grandparents, on campus... helping with art, PE, reading with students, grading papers, volunteering their time for the students. It's a wonderful school family! You sense that family-feeling when you walk on campus. We also love this school because it has a Music Program. We feel very grateful that the PTA sees the importance of music in kids lives- and faithfully raises the funds to provide a great music teacher. What's not to love about Murdock?
We left a private school during the past recession to place our son in this school. We heard lots of wonderful things about this school, and since we live in the boundaries, we thought we would give it a try. I agree that the office staff are extremely rude. They NEVER smile and act like you are bothering them when you have to speak with them. The principal also lacks great leadership skills. What makes this school stand out is its excellent teachers that care about teaching their students. The other is the parent involvement; however, it makes some of us full-time employed parents feel guilty about not being able to readily pitch in. This school works for the average or exceptionally intelligent child. It was a terrible fit for our son who needs a little more attention and support. We have since returned to the private school, which is a better fit for our son. I was under the impression that Murdock has no problem dismissing the students that are not gifted so they can keep their test scores high. They focus a lot on maintaining high test scores.
I wrote my 1st review in '07 when we began here and I thought I'd write a new review now that this is our last year. First, we LOVE that there is a 6th grade on this campus. If we could stay longer, we would. Despite economic cut-backs district-wide, Murdock has kept its policy of providing the BEST education via it's caring teachers, support staff, and principal. The PTA is fabulous. What continues to make the difference and fill in the gaps is the amount of support from the parents. On any given day, you will see parents volunteering their time making copies, stuffing folders, laminating, doing errands, walking the halls, supervising the fields at recess...it truly all adds up and makes a difference. Thanks to all at Murdock for a wonderful 7 years; we have made great friends, learned lots and will truly miss you & wish you well!
Our daughter was in EAK (Early Admission Kindergarten) at Murdock. I was a teacher at a local private school, and my husband and I hadn't considered public school as an option. We thought we'd try it for EAK and LOVED it. To say it is an outstanding school is truly not enough, and we have decided to send both of our children to Murdock. Mrs. Tavolazzi was patient, knowledgeable, kind, organized, and truly provided the best educational introduction these little students could have hoped for (as well as us parents!) We have heard wonderful things about the kindergarten teachers as well as many other teachers throughout the school. They are very strong in their field, & due to the strong interest in teaching at Murdock, must have many years of experience in order to teach at this particular school. They are accessible to families, and the number of volunteers here is astounding. I always felt welcome to come and help in the classroom and in the school. It is considered the strongest in La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, and I have no doubt after our time here that it is a very special place for any child during their educational journey.
There is an overall spirit of success at Murdock. Teachers, Staff, students, parents and other volunteers all work toward a common goal, "every child learning, every day!" Where other schools offer some extra programs, Murdock strives to offer many through its PTA, Accelerated Reader, Field Trips, Art Docents, PE Docents, Cultural Arts Assemblies, and lots of After School Clubs to name a few.
I love that volunteers can come in to help their chid(ren)'s teachers and be a part of the school community. The teachers really care and teach to the best of their abilities, even with diminishing resources (aides and other support staff). You can work with the pricipal and his staff to make sure your child gets the best education, and know they are doing what is best for your child.