New parents should know the education is a mixed bag. It depends on the luck of which teacher you get or you'll be homeschooling. The kids themselves and the strong parents are the major assets. New parents gush until they either get unlucky with their teacher or ask too many questions, esp. in lower school. The old days with the Mirman family influence are gone.
Mirman is at a breaking point. With high teacher loss and a non-gifted administration only focused on political issues, including how to raise and spend money, money, money - no one seems concerned that SOME children are falling behind even the public schools! A very high number of teachers are leaving. Why? These new hires are crucial to the school's future - since past hires were all green. If these teachers aren't gifted themselves, Mirman will really go down fast. It seems the administration has no time to invest into actually creating challenging, innovative educational experiences for these extraordinary children. Instead, parents are supposed to divert their attentions to the shiny object - the new library (that's been the shiny object for a while.) They've even spun the mass exodus of teachers into a new way to -- raise some more money!!! Mirman is turning into just another LA private school.
I am a Mirman alumnae and have only the fondest memories of my years there. As an adult, I maintain a relationship with the school and hope my children will one day attend. As a student, I was constantly challenged and stimulated in a very supportive and nurturing environment. That philosophy endures.
My child attended this school for six years and matriculated to an excellent 7-12 prep school. It has an advanced, but very traditional curriculum. It is strong in math, but only in the Upper School where calculus is available to some students. It offers science, but curiously not integrated with math and if your child has a passion passion for history, english or serious science, you're out of luck. You will be paying a tutor or finding enrichment for the child on your own.
I can honestly say my favorite place in the world is school. The small classes enable the kids to form bonds with each other and the teachers and get a better understanding of the assignments given. As opposed to busy work, the homework and classwork given is informative and challenging. Most parents who complain about Mirman have children who did not possess the academic stamina required to survive in the demanding (although enjoyable) curriculum. Instead of listening to reviews of parents whose children were not asked to return, listen to this review: I get up in the morning, excited to get to school. The teachers are engaging and their lessons enlightening. I no longer feel like an outsider because of the welcoming community. I love it here, and definitely reccomend it. Although it is an acquired taste, this school is brilliance at it's best.
The best thing about this school is that it offers a large group of peers for highly gifted students. My kid did fine, but I feel lukewarm about the experience. Lots of field trips and experiences which were good, but sometimes repetitious. The administration is the weakest part of the chain. I found most a bit cold and clueless about highly gifted children.
Our children could not be happier. They are learning in an environment conducive to the way that they learn, surrounded by other children who see the world through similar eyes. We came to Mirman from another school - and know now how other learning environments can claim that they understand highly gifted children, but in reality, simply pile on busy work or let them 'learn' on their own. The first year of Mirman is particularly wonderful, giving the children the opportunity to work at their own advanced pace (not waiting and waiting, as in our previous school) and learning to accept challenges as an exciting part of learning. Our children never experienced a 'challenge' in their other school. Time is spent on character development. Art and Music here are phenomenal. The parents are warm and supportive and those who volunteer donate many hours because of their love of this wonderful school.
Would not choose this school if I had to do over again. Although my daughter is at the top of her class, I do not believe that she has received an education that best prepares her for the 21st century. Many of the educational concepts of the school are truly outdated.
Amazing school for the right child. Not for the average kid, I can see why some parents may be frustrated because Mirman is not a good match for every student. But for the truly gifted child you can not dream up anything better!
Pros: highly gifted students are stimulated at their own pace, award-winning art and music programs, some excellent teachers, plus putting all gifted children together is wonderful as their enthusiasm and interests feed off of each other. Cons: the horrendous admin who don't even appear to show a fondness for children and don't know the childrens' names; the increasingly harsh discipline which seems to focus on form rather than substance and following rules to the letter; a small, select clique of wealthy families who run the place, cheer on the administration without debate, and treat everyone else as outcasts; alarming changes to the curriculum which include far less art, PE, recess, etc. Generally, our children are happy but we take it day by day.
I am not saying the school is perfect, but it is as close to perfect as you can get (for the right child). The children are challenged and very happy there.
It is a horrible school. I would avoid it like the plague. Don't be misled by the glossy brochures and fancy website. This school does not foster academic excellence or a love of learning. It does not promote critical thinking. The only way that I would reccommend the school is if your only alternative was an inner-city public school.
I think Mirman is a great school for so many reasons but mostly because the children are truly the most important priority here. I am very satisfied with the curiculum, the extracurricular offerings the level of parental involvement, diversity of faculty and the feeling of family that I get from Mirman. Like every school it's not perfect but I am happy my kids go there because they come home happy every day from school. What else can you ask for?
Would not recommend school. Parents are highly competitive and are involved in school in order to get leg up for their children. Teacher quality is on par with other schools in the area. The most important question is what is the end product of the education. Unfotunately, if one looks at the record of the school it is rather dismal. There is a very high turnover rate among students compared to other private schools. And the accomplishments of the graduates in terms of the colleges that they end up going to and what they accomplish later in life is actually quite disaapointing.
The school is highly academic, probably the most rigourous elementary program in Los Angeles. However, the school tends to stress memorization of facts rather than conceptual thinking and understanding. The availability of sports is poor as the school does not have a gym and the amount of time allocated to physical education is too little. A major problem with the school is that the school does not do what is in the best interests of the children but rather what is in the best interests of the school.
this school is the greatest of all. all 3 of my children go there and seem to exceed in all academic levels. they are highly gifted, and love the experience that mirman gives. one of children love the sports and seem to push her team to the best and now has the gift of teamwork. this school should be recommended to all!
My child attended Mirman for six years. We left only because we moved away. It was the most wonderful and educational experience. The children accomplished amazing things in an incredibly small nurturing environment. They were stimulated and challenged and loved school. Most of the teachers were exceptional. The music and drama department unbelievable. Computer instruction and science incredible and many opportunities not available anywhere else.The school participated in interschool athletic events and recieved awards. The parent community was very friendly and not at all what people conjecture. There was a lot of self discipline taught, and the children's safety paramount, something we now sorely miss in the public schools. We were there when the Mirmans were there and after they left and feel that it was the best education that we could have given our child and only wish that we lived close enough for our son to attend.
The lower school curriculums are fun and engaging, and the upper school learning is very alterantive and hands on. All the teachers are accepting and do not pile on homework. The classes are small and everybody is very close and in the later years is very happy. I attend this school and it remains the one place that I cannot wait to go to. In fact now, in the summer, I recently realized that I could not wait for school to start. Take it from somebody who actually goes to Mirman, not a parent, a child. Mirman is amazing and I love every second. I learn so much everyday. send your kid to Mirman! It's fantastic. I love it.
This school was recommended by other schools for our son who is exceptionally gifted. What a mistake. The academics are fine, but the teaching/administrative style is highly punitive. It teaches kids to be afraid and hate school. It squelches creativity in kids whenever possible and encourages conformity, passiveness and fearful obedience. Art and music are limited, after school activities are basic. PE is ok and is a favorite with our child. The administration is hostile to even the politest parental inquiries and rewards only those parents who donate in large sums. We are eager to move him to another school. He is at the top of his class but he is miserable. I would rather have a happy child and give him extra work at home than a scared and beat down child that hates school. We were really disappointed with our experience at the school.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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