my son came here in mid 7th grade and found the marine science program which he is now thriving in 8th grade Honors!! I give a lot of credit to the marine science teachers who implement walking field trips to the beach, Ballona Wetlands, ocean safety day (fun!!) learning about oceanography, science/marine mammals while students are actively relating to one another. Also, I feel the Principal is ACTIVELY engaged with the students, I have seen them come up to her and hug her like a mother! This year I have walked into the school and found her readily available at the counter in the office. She informed me that Marina just recently received NEW computers!! This is a big plus!! Last year my son came into the school that had some academic issues, but this year was placed in all Honors classes as his teachers can see he is capable of the work as long as he is stimulated! Thanks to the teachers working with me, my son is now doing well socially, emotionally and academically! This year he will learn robotics (underwater!) and a marine science field trip to Catalina!! Came home ecstatic about his new teachers Mr. George, Mr. DeVault! So far, Marina has done a great job with my student!
My daughter attends the Performing Arts program and loves it. She LOVES her music class and is doing exceptionally well academically. The school is not perfect but what school is. As long as my daughter is happy and engaged and her grades are good I can't say anything bad.
My son went through all 3 years here and my daughter is now in 7th grade. We love it. It is a dynamic, diverse middle school which my kids feel (felt) an important part of. Some of the students are very serious performers but my kids chose the performing arts magnet because it made school fun. They learned how to be relied on as part of a group in performances. My son was surprised at how much he learned in dance. Coach Farris is an LAUSD treasure. The school needs more support as the energetic new principal and tireless lead teachers are doing more with less--as most public schools are--every year.
I really like this school for a few reasons. I have two children here, one in marine science, the other in performing arts. Teachers have been great about communicating. The dance performance night really showed how dedicated the children & teachers are. It was a fabulous! My daughter is always showing off something new she learned in dance class. My son has taken many field trips learning about Marine Science & community. The Current principal has made a difference already in the few months she s been there. As with any school children are children, and they will test the limits. Speaking from personal experience, the Dean is on his job, keep calling but they re on it this year - calling parents, getting involved, expelling bullies,& notifying us of almost everything. I love it. My children are bussed the school has been very supportive. Open your pockets school board! We almost lost great teachers w/ the cuts. Both of my kids love the school. Everywhere issues. It has nothing to do with life status or where you live but rather what is your value system and the direction in which ones moral compass points & what our kids are taught @ home by word & example. It takes a village!
This school get money for the children in the magnet program and most of the children in the magnet program are treated unfair by teachers and their Coordinator. They need these children to keep their numbers up in the school, but they really don't won't these children at MDR, that are being bused in. Some of the teachers have no classroom management skills but ready to speak about one male teacher when they class is just as much out control as his. Parents please do your research before putting your child here. My opinion it is worst for boys. Not a fair school for all children.
I think the previous review was an extremist point of view. This is a decent school, with some really great teachers and some satisfactory teachers. The problem is that the principal who was there from 2011-13 was terrible with discipline & the dean position was vacated in 2012. There is a new start at principal and they have a really solid dean for 2013-14. He won't allow nonsense to go on. Kids tend to get away with what they are allowed to do. This group can and probably be better managed this year... As far as campus cleanliness goes, the plant staff works their rears off, the campus is beautiful & the location is awesome.
We visited over a dozen middle schools all over the south bay and my daughter chose to comute over 30 miles each way to attend this school. While I cannot say it is perfect, she has benefited tremendously from the program they offer. Now in her second year, we moved to be closer since my son has now chosen to follow his sister to pursue similar interests. Many of the teachers are absolutely outstanding, especially the magnet coordinator, who must also teach due to budget cuts. The dance instruction is unparalleled. Parents are very involved on campus and provide a nurturing environment. A criticism might be that they do not tend to expell students when they maybe should, they really try to work with them and help them make better choices. You know the saying, "a few bad apples". The same goes for some teachers, just a few bad apples, but all in all, we are very happy with our experience there.
We decided (parent and student) to enroll in the marina performing arts magnet program and so far we are satisfied with the school. Teachers are great, staff in the offices needs improvement, administration just ok . We do like how vocal and involved the parents are.