Mirman has an uncaring, ungifted administration.. The kids and their parents are gifted and still have to intervene in teaching on many levels. Every year 10-12 kids do not get into the schools they apply to - mostly due to the incompetent math program there. All mathlethes and successful kids at Miman get math training in some way outside of school. They now try and keep the Upper School students and do not purposely teach them how to write essays until after US2. The Head of US is a bully. They only care about their bottom line - not the kids.
I recently graduated from The Mirman School and am now attending a private boarding school. I attended Mirman for 8 years and loved almost every single moment of it. Mirman has a very strong and charismatic faculty, which I enjoyed my entire time there. Unfortunately, many great teachers have left over the hears, which has really changed the chemistry around campus. I must say Mirman was a wonderful school for me, and affected my character development and passion for learning in extremely positive ways. It instilled the importance of community, which I'll be greatful for forever. Unfortunately, I do feel that Mirman is on a slight decline, but if it gets its act together and continues to be a wonderful school, I'd love to send my children there someday. Unfortunately, it did not instill a the best work ethic, and it was hard to adjust to such a rigorous workload when I went to high school. In summary, thank you Mirman, for providing me with the best possible learning environment I can imagine.
My child went to Mirman for 6 years. The academic education is very strong and your child will be well prepared academically for middle and high school. However, I really had the feeling the the administration of the school is corrupt. Very wealthy parents (i.e. large donors) and members of the board seem to get to choose the teachers that their kids get, their kids do not face the same discipline, and they seem to get preferential treatment with help in applying out to other schools for 7th and 9th grades. I found that aspect of the school loathsome. That being said, the children are quite bright and have a nice peer group. I am just glad that I do not have to deal with that environment anymore as frankly I would get a sick feeling in my stomach when I dropped my child off.
Exceptional school! Perfect for bright children who love to learn. The nicest kids. It's a very special place.
My daughter is thriving at this school. Mirman instills such confidence in their students. They really inspire the students to challenge themselves & strive to be their personal best.
For the right kid it s heaven! Teachers & peer group are amazing. We live far but it has been well worth the drive. My kids are challenged, stimulated & miss it on vacation. Here it s cool to be smart: kids don t have to dumb down to fit in. They are supportive, polite & super happy. I ll dispel 2 Mirman myths: 1) B/c there aren t distractions of disruptive or slow kids they cover lots in class so no need for tons of homework. 2) Since all the kids are smart there s no boasting or hyper-competitive kids/parents. It s the 1 school you can t buy your way into. Mirman is about the kids not who you know. They admit kids that will thrive here. If your child is admitted you will enjoy great parents who volunteer in many ways. As LA s only highly gifted school there are not nearly enough spaces for all the deserving applicants. Parents are grateful to have their kids in & thus supportive w/ time & $. It s the only LA school that gets 100% parent participation to its annual fund. Mirman is very diverse & committed to giftedness knowing no boundaries. While not a neighborhood school parents help their kids foster friendships building a strong community. Also great at welcoming new kids.
The most exceptional school in Los Angeles academically. Our kids have thrived and they love their school. Mirman is a treasure--but not totally for very athletic kids....just really smart and well rounded ones.
The Mirman School was more then I ever hoped it to be. My child is thriving and wakes himself up everyday excited to go to school. The community of parents is warm, inviting and welcoming and the staff is accessible on every level. The school focuses on independence and self discipline with amazing results. As my child was getting adjusted to full time school the staff was with me every step of the way. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this school.
The Mirman School is an amazing place! An excellent faculty at all levels, an accessible administration and a diverse curriculum. It is certainly student-centric (as opposed to catering to parents), with a focus on all facets of a child's well-being from academics to character to nutrition. There is a strong emphasis on a student's independence and personal responsibility -- perhaps some of the negative reviewers found that kind of structure off-putting. I found it liberating and exactly the kind of boundaries that intelligent, creative kids need to thrive. They myth of the mass exodus is just that -- a myth. Many families have always chosen to leave after 6th grade in order to enter a middle school/high school at 7th grade. Some kids find it socially difficult to enter a school later (and, of course, most of these schools accept more students in 7th than in 9th). I highly recommend Mirman.
In kindergarten, our child was reading chapter books and doing math at a level far beyond what was being offered. Instead of encouraging his desire for more information and giving him advanced work to complete, he was ignored by his teachers. Our search for a diffrent option led us to Mirman. Now he is truly among his peers and he absolutely LOVES IT!!! All of the teachers either have certificates in gifted education or have recieved training in this capacity. We have found the teachers/administrators to be extremely approachable and responsive to our concerns. That being said, Mirman is there for the kids first and foremost. Parents expecting to influence the curriculum or be catered to because it is a private school will be greatly disappointed. For >40yrs, The Mirman School has educated highly gifted children and I can say without a doubt it has been the right choice for us.
As a few others have stated, I am shocked by the negative reviews here. My children have absolutely thrived at this school. I know I could not do better for them. Mirman teachers regularly attend gifted conferences and even speak at them. The school's reputation is international. Several children in my younger child's 'room' - there are no grades - have been the equivalent of grade skipped and even double grade skipped. The LEAP program in the Upper School allows my older child more curricular freedom than he could possibly have anywhere other than homeschooling. Nothing lockstep about this school at all from our experience! However, if you are a parent who believes your child should be taking college courses at 9 or 10, as some parents of highly gifted children do, then Mirman is not the right school for you. A community college would be a better fit.
Disappointing school! They do not understand teaching to GIFTED CHILDREN! No differentiation in the classroom; children are taught in lockstep. Our child has been at the school for over 5 years now, and we are constantly shocked by the poor quality of administration and teaching. The lower school is a waste of time, except for one or two teachers. The upper school has excellent English and history departments, but math and science need help. The head of school loves to hear himself talk, only reaches out to the wealthy families and has NO board oversight. The board is afraid to act on information received from the parent and student body. The best thing at the school are the other children. The administration needs to bring in a gifted education specialist!
We sent our child to an excellent local public school and despite this, he was always helping the teacher, reading to the other kids, and doing math on his own time. The first day at Mirman he came home and said he wanted to sleep there because it was so great. It is a place for a particular child and parents who have a philosophy about education, not about prestige or status.
First of all, I disagree with the negative comments regarding the strictness of teachers. It's true that 3 or 4 teachers (out of maybe around 15 that I had), were harsh, but there was rarely a dull moment throughout Mirman. I was there all 9 years. One bonds with the teachers, particularly at the Upper School, and there is a very strong sense of community because the school is so small. All the teachers from Upper School that I had luck to be taught by where very kind and understanding, though firm in their high expectations. They deeply care for the students and adjust to the pace of each individual class. The environment challenges the student and pushes and helps them to explore. Also, Mirman is very aware of the technological advances of this time, and rapidly caught on to it and implicated these advances in the student's learning.
This school is a great and fantastic school!! I would recommend ths school for parents of gifted children. The teachers are fantastic and exepcitional, all of them!!! this is a great school for everyone.
Mirman is the perfect place for a highly gifted child. After trying our public school and then moving to Mirman, there is no comparison. The attention and respect given to each child is amazing and the advanced work and pace is great for kids who have to sit in classroom at other schools doing work that is years below their ability level. The technology program is first rate as each child has a Mac laptop and uses it throughout the day. We didn't realize before we started at Mirman how much character education and comnunity service is incorporated into the program. The old stereotypes about Mirman no longer exist. This is a great place with great kids who are receiving a first rate education.
I was a student at the Mirman school for six years and I absolutely loved every second of it. This is the only school, of which I know, where every student is found crying on the last day of school, because he or she won't return until next September. It was an incredible, life-changing experience made even better by the enthusiastic teachers, the nicest, politest kids in town and the loving faculty. The theatre program is honestly incredible and much more advanced and professional than most of the other high schools in the state. The art teacher is most probably the best, most insightful art teacher in the state as well. The English department is definitely the most fast paced as students not only read, but also critically analyze books that are 3-5 years beyond their age level. This is the best school and I will definitely enroll my own kids.
I attended the Mirman Upper School for four years, and graduated a few years ago. My experience at the school is unparalleled compared to my (many) other school experiences. To be honest, I didn't even realize how good of an education I got at Mirman until after I left. At no other middle school can you find eleven and twelve year olds not only reading Romeo and Juliet, but writing in-depth literary analysis essays on it. The English progarm is definitely a standout. Science is really the weakest program - the material is simply not at a high enough level. Now, the only complaint I have about Mirman, and one that I know many of my peers who attended Mirman have, is that it does not instill the kind of work ethic that one needs in order to succeed at the top private schools that most attend after Mirman.
As a single parent (father), my son's experience while attending The Mirman School was outstanding. He entered as an upper school student. Quickly adjusted and performed at the gifted pace with my involvement. This was a perfect fit for him. The Mirman School staff provided the proper instruction and balance. Upon graduating (2005). He was accepted to college. He selected a top college pre boarding high school. He was so prepared by The Mirman School for his high school years, he graudated (2009) as one of the top students in his class. Accepted by several of the top universities in the nation. Attending baby/parenting classes and working with a child psychologist in his Mirman's years. Focusing on his developement and abilities provided me insight into my expectations of him and his needs. I understood my son 'growing up' was a process. The Mirman School offered that special place... for him.
As the only private school for profoundly gifted children in LA, parental expectations should be high. While the Upper School delivers, the Lower School does not. Hiring practices favor low-cost over experience; the administration is more concerned over finances than quality. The heart of the school is largely missing, with a lack of caring for the individual student missing by the administration. It is still better than an average school, but it should be, and was, so much more. It has changed substantially over the past 3-6 years and is a far cry from what it used to be.
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