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Public district
Lake Elsinore, CA
Students enrolled: 1,315
Before care: No

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29291 Lake Street
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

School website
(951) 253-7380
(951) 674-5191
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Terra Cotta Middle School address.

January 20, 2015
AVID Demonstration School TCMS is our newest AVID National Demonstration School! Congratulations to Terra Cotta Middle School, officially certified today as an AVID National Demonstration School! This distinction lasts three years, which is the highest that can be awarded to any AVID demonstration school. Of the thousands of AVID schools in the nation, only 147 have the distinction of being AVID National Demonstration Schools.

- submitted by a parent

September 04, 2013
Both of my children went to this school and I would say it was a huge change from their Elementary school Luiseno to the middle school Terra Cotta because of the change of demographics. I would say there was only one horrible math teacher that graded my son not passing in Algebra 1 and his star testing results scored him advanced and on target. My son had to redo the class in highschool. This teacher is retiring this year so now the school is great in teachers!

- submitted by a parent

September 03, 2013
This school is horrible! My Daughter was there for two weeks and was already bullied and threatened because she was white and the advice she received from the school was , " just ignore it" and her being bullied because she was white they said " has been a problem here for years". Nice! I do not recommend this school. I removed my daghter from the school and she is much happier.

- submitted by a parent

August 11, 2013
TCM is a horrible school to have your children attend. I personally went there as a student, and they would stress you out more than necessary. The administration overreacts about every little thing. A certain was pregnant and off duty for three months. We received a substitute who put hands on a student. Who then got fired causing us to have an unsteady line of substitutes. The punishments given to students are definitely over the top. The cafeteria food has been shown to cause food poisoning due to not being fully cooked, All issues aside, I definitely would not recommend this school to anyone, regardless of close location, or so called great administration. They clearly don't take their jobs seriously. Thank you.

- submitted by a community member

October 28, 2011
My son's experience has been absolutely wonderful. As an educator, I can say first-hand that this school has some really great people. The administration has always been very receptive to my concerns and have always helped me find solutions despite how minor they may be (they were not made aware of my profession), and the teachers always reply to my emails and always find ways to help my son should he require additional assitance. Although the school and surrounding neighborhoods are socioeconomically disadvantaged, which can be seen with the clientele who attend the school, we've been lucky in selecting a good circle to avoid facing any of the problems that sometimes accompany that type of demographic. We've had a wonderful experience and give praise to the entire staff. Two thumbs up!

- submitted by a parent

April 22, 2010
I recently took my grandson out of Terra Cotta because of the lack of communication between the teachers and parents. He was failing in all his classes and snap grades and homework assignments on the computer in all of his classes were at least 2 weeks behind. We were told 'by middle school it was the students responsibility to know their assignments and get them turned in'...Well, first year of middle school is difficult for some of these kids, if we could have looked things up on the computer it would have solved alot of problems. Papers not turned in, he would get to spend the day sitting in the office. Thats not what I call an education. He is now in private school. 'No child left behind'. Huh????

- submitted by a parent

March 07, 2010
I have 4 children. My oldest went to TCMS for his 6-8 grades. He is graduating this spring from Temescal Canyon High School. His first day at TCMS was a real shocker. The girls dressed like hookers and the boys looked like gang members. As I left him on campus, I went back to my car and cried. With that said, his experience there was a good one and he excelled due to the fact that he was in band which the school is a magnet for the performing arts. Son #2 and daughter are now at TCMS. TCMS has dealt with the dress code issue but the students are still an issue. Yes, there are a FEW good teachers & Yes, it is a strict school IF they are able to catch the offenders. We are moving after this summer and will not be sad to say goodbye to TCMS!

- submitted by a parent

January 26, 2010
Great School! Very high API Score, great music program and dedicated teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
November 15, 2009
I haved moved here since the first day of school from l.a and my old school was to small for 300 students.but terra cotta has lots of space for all of the students and all my teachers are really funny and nice.so thank you terra cotta for a great new school year and for all the teachers. From, Ruiz Flores Destiny

- submitted by a student
no rating
September 08, 2009
I find this school a great place to learn and raise a kid

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 29, 2009
i love this school it has great classes such as avid and way much more!!

- submitted by a student

February 05, 2009
I just want to say Terra Cotta is a great middle school. For the parent that says it's all about what you have and where you're from- you are soooo wrong. It's not like that at all, we are in Lake Elsinore for godness sake. There is a great team of counselors, teachers and the office staff is awesome. A nice group of smiling people ready to help. The main problem is that parents do not let our children's schools do their jobs without us interfering, if you take a step back and let the team do the job, you will see it is amazing. Believe it or not, the workers at the school probably know some students better than their own families. Please be happy with what you have and just let them do their jobs and you do yours.

- submitted by a parent

October 01, 2008
Staff does not always show a compassionate and caring attitude toward the students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
March 13, 2008
I am really glad to see some parents stepping up and supporting Terra Cotta. I have taught at a private school, in San Bernardino, and now at Terra Cotta. This school is by far the best that I have taught at. When a student has a bad experience at a school, it normally has something to do with the attitude towards the school....at likewise for a student that has a positive experience. I know that the kids in MY classroom get a really good education not only in academics but also in life skills. Terra Cotta is a really good school and my son will go here when the time comes!

- submitted by a teacher

February 22, 2008
I been to this school its excellent,when teachers see that your failing they help you prove.i love this school

- submitted by a student
no rating
November 08, 2007
My son and I recently moved from Las Vegas back to California and I was terrified to enroll him at Terra Cotta after reading the scathing reviews on this site. My fiance and I decided to go ahead and send him here and to our surprise we are thrilled with his progress. The school is strict, supportive, helpful and he has a stong B average. In Vegas, he was getting C's and D's and always visiting the Dean, this year he is being praised by the teachers and his self esteem has soared. Terra Cotta is a great place, give it a chance

- submitted by a parent

October 24, 2007
My kids transferred to Terra Cotta this year. My son is in 7th and my daughter is in 8th. We have been pleasantly surprised at the staff, the activities, progress tracking and teacher feedback. So far, it has been the best and most supportive academic experience my children have had. The school is tough and there is definite student accountability. However, our child is kept involved and with close monitoring of assignments at home, they are both doing very well. Fellow students are kind and were welcoming. I think it's a great school that has made excellent progress. I encourage anyone to research this themselves. I kept my kids away and shuffled them elsewhere because of the feedback I read... this was truly a mistake. If I had done the research sooner, it probably would have saved our family a lot of stress.

- submitted by a parent

October 24, 2006
Everyone is right this school is a disgrace. so if i was you i would be worried about having your children in that school. i tried to complain and to organize a meeting with the vice principal. I thought children come first.

- submitted by a parent

June 05, 2006
I am a frustraded parent! My son also never had a problem until Terra Cotta. So far our experience has been terrible. Our son is a 6th grader and I have to agree that there are a few teachers in this school who should not be teaching. This is a new generation on kids that need encouragement and enthusiasim from their teachers. My son attended a strict school with zero tollerance before we moved here and he wishes he could go back. This goes beyond the teaching methods. We do not even get a notice to let us know what is going on. What are we teaching our kids?

- submitted by a parent

March 22, 2006
Terra Cotta has been a rather disappointing experience for my 6th grader. She is the youngest child of 5 we've raised, so we have a bit of parental experience on the subject, although in another school district. While some teachers are wonderfully inspiring and handle students beautifully, other's, we feel, really shouldn't be teaching.Parents are made to feel completely helpless and frustrated with only minimal 'band-aid' solutions being offered. Imagine how the child must feel!

- submitted by a parent

January 06, 2006
I must disagree 100 % with the other parents review regarding the schools lack of effort and support for children that may have a problem. Our experience at Terra Cotta was completely different. When my son showed signs of struggling in an area he had never had a problem with the school was quick to act with regard to my concern and insured that not only his teacher but his councilor and the principal were aware that I saw a potential problem. The teacher of the subject in question then volunteered his own time for after hours tutoring. It is my understanding that this is not a one off occurance either, there are other teachers that have done the same. We have been very happy with this school and so has our son.

- submitted by a parent

September 04, 2005
Hmmm what can I say about Terra Cotta, well my daughter went there last year when Mrs. Sommers was still there. She was the best drama teacher they could hope for. But when she left it was taken over and doesn't seem promising. The aids and some teachers obviously have somthing on their minds. I don't recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent

May 25, 2005
My student was transferred here as part of the 'No child left behind' program. I am not impressed. My students GPA went DOWN by over a full point at Terra Cotta and he begs to go back to the previous school. Looks are deceiving at TCMS. More a social event than an educational experience. What you have and who you know come first here.

- submitted by a student

May 25, 2005
Terra Cotta does not provide extra work, help or guidance to parents or students if grades are failing. I have older children, and in over 25 years of academic experience I have never seen anything like this. If your student needs any effort by the staff to succeed at school, forget it. If your student likes drama, music, dance or just being part of the 'in crowd', they will be a shining star at Terra Cotta.

- submitted by a student

May 21, 2004
This school has the best discipline I have ever seen. It is a little dumpy, but has amazing teachers, such as Mrs. Loughran, a science teacher. The new Dean of Discipline is very good at his job and punishes fairly. Since it is a magnet school, it has many extra classes. The dance teacher, Mrs. Sommers, is awesome, as is the band teacher. The P.E. teachers are great and do a fine job as well. I am very glad that we have such a nice school.

- submitted by a student

March 24, 2004
Love this school. It is a magnet school, both my children went to Terra cotta. The school is great and so are the teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
January 30, 2004
This school's drama class is the best thing there is. There is little to no art program and the dance class is headed by a teacher who leaves all responsabilities of being the teacher to the students. I recently attended one of the dance recitles and was appualed by the suggestive and provactive routines and uniforms.

- submitted by a parent

September 23, 2003
In complete disagreement with the previous author, I believe Terra Cotta to be one of the best school in Southern California. Not only is Terra Cotta a California Distinguished school, it has also earned and 'Excellence in the Arts' award. My oldest daughter graduated 8th grade in '03 and my second oldest is a 7th grader this year. I have EXCELLENT communication with the teachers, office staff and Dr. Guevara, the principal. Any problems (though not many) have been handled in a swift, professional manner by all faculty involved. The staff truly cares about the students at Terra Cotta and have done as well as WILL DO what they can to help them succeed. I am proud to say that both of my children have been on honor roll since they started at Terra Cotta and it DEFINITLY takes a joint effort.I am proud to say that my children attend Terra Cotta Middle School and have been quite pleased thus far.

- submitted by a parent

July 30, 2003
My daughter, who will be entering 8th grade the '03/'04 school year, started to fall behind in some of her core subjects. Her teachers didn't offer any sort of extra help or guidance to get her back on track. They never contacted us to let us know her scores were starting to decline. They were more then happy to hand out failing marks without trying to intervene. Unacceptable! We have transfered my daughter out of this failing school who doesn't take the time for their students. I feel sorry for all the children in the new homes being built that will be assigned to this school. Look at the school's scores! They are a failing school!

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: January 20, 2015

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Terra Cotta Middle School
29291 Lake Street, Lake Elsinore, CA  92530
(951) 253-7380
Last modified Terra Cotta Middle School is a Public school that serves grades 6-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Terra Cotta Middle School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top