My son is a fourth grader in Mrs. Hardos's class. He is a sweet but quarky kid who was prone to being picked on at his old school. Thankfully, we have experienced none of that at Malcom. He adores his teachers and school mates. We feel very fortunate to have moved into such a wonderful community.
Bullying is a big issue at this school. Kindergarten was extremely difficult for my son. He has never struggled to make friends and is very outgoing. His experience at Malcom made him so insecure and he lost so much self confidence, thinking he was not smart and a bad kid. I was in disbelief at the behaviors coming from some of the children and their parents for allowing, and at times, encouraging this behavior. When my son began to struggle in class as a result, the teacher never recognized the bullying, but he was punished for his struggles, by means of not getting recess for example. Day after day he wouldn't get snack or recess with the other students, creating an even tougher situation. Even worse, the teacher didn't approach me until she had already given up on him. This summer was tough as a parent because I want to protect him, but also don't want to teach my son that when things get tough, he can cut out. Today he started his 1st day in 1st grade at Malcom and we are sincerely hoping for a different result being that he is in a new classroom under new instruction and there is a new principal. If we start seeing things going down the same path, we're out of there.
The school is fine, however, the biggest problem at this school is bullying, without a doubt. The teachers and staff do nothing! My daughter went through a whole year and 1/2 of this until I finally threatened to go to the superintendent. What the heck Malcom, get with the real program and stand by your words. You claim to be zero tolerance for bullying...then do something about it!
Malcom has a wonderful PTA program and many fund raisers that directly benefit the students. Many of the teachers are excellent. Now to the part that matters most. This school has a huge problem with bullying and it is not addressed in a manner that makes a difference. It is "out of the hands" of the staff and principal. My child has attended from pre-K to 2nd grade and we're pulling him out for 3rd due to the bullying problem. He's a typical kid and makes friends easily, but the bullying is so global at Malcom that he's highly affected and begging us to change his school next year. I've heard from many other parents that it affects their children as well and we aren't the type to sacrifice our child's happiness and safety for a "blue ribbon" experience. There should be more done in the way of prevention.. more staff on duty at recess and lunch and bigger consequences for students and parents when bullying continues. More accountability overall. I mean look around, it's a serious and growing issue in the U.S. so nip it in the bud before you end up in the media Malcom!
It is true that Malcom receives a good number of open enrollment students but I would contend that this only helps give it some diversity which it needs. There are a fair amount of pampered kids (and parents) from high income families but there are also plenty of parents coming in flip flops and shorts. Any elitism feel at the school is directly related to the area where the school is located - not the teachers or the principal. In fact, the principal, Dr. Morris, goes out of her way not to cater to squeaky wheel parents and this is well known on campus. She is regarded as fair and a good principal. The volunteer community is strong and Malcom has a fundraising arm, separate from the PTA, that raises funds for support teachers that spend time in each classroom working under the direction of the teacher. Malcom also has a thriving school garden program that works with the Ecology Center in San Juan. All in all, a good experience for my kids - not perfect but nothing is.
This is a very mixed school with a high number of open enrollment students from outside the caption area in Laguna Niguel who are drawn by parents wanting to their children to go to a wealthy PTA funded and run school. The realilty is that many students are pulled from this school for various reasons including bullying and lack of dicipline in the classroom to go to other private, public and charter schools in the district. The inflow and outflow of students is hidden but should be noted and considered if you are looking to send your child here.
A great school! The teachers are very experienced and very concerned about the child's education. The math program is very advanced by offering the ST Math, weekly testing and advanced math classes. Dr. Morris is a very energetic principal, Miss Sally is wonderful and Rosie is amazing.
Looking over the reviews I had to chime in. My boy has had 3 teachers at Malcolm. All have been truly envoled in the process. The cirriculum is advanced, but well thought out and implemented. However, parents must get involved with homework and after school activities at Malcolm. For parents who complain about social issues and kindness, 'get involved' and send your kids to school 'prepared'. They will have more fun and look forward to school, learning and friendships. The rest will fall into place naturally. Kids wand to be proud of their accomplishments and share successes on a social level. Malcom also has a Great Principal and a Super Staff!