I have gone to Piedmont Middle School for over two years(I still attend) and I have gotten a great education and had great oppurtunities here. All the teachers are wonderful, and offer extra help if needed. Everyone is really supportive of ALL students, and ASB helps to make the school a great place to be. Go Mrs. Lippy! :)
My son entered 6th grade in 2012 after having attended elementary school here. After hearing trepidation expressed by many parents about the challenges of transitioning to middle school, I have to say it was much ado about nothing. Sixth grade has been great! Academically, socially, etc. He is having a great time and learning a lot. I'd like to respond to some rather bitter posts about not fitting in. We fit in when we stop worrying about fitting in. I'm a single mom, I've rented here for nearly 10 years, don't make a ton of dough, do not sit on boards and committees like many stay-at-home moms do (and WHAT would we do without their volunteerism??) and my son is bi-racial. Not an issue. I have never felt like an outsider, unless I decide to feel that way on a bad day. Moving to Piedmont from SF for the schools is the best decision I've ever made, hands down.
I moved from Oakland to Piedmont when it was time for my oldest to begin Middle School. I sold a house in Oakland that I loved for a much smaller one in Piedmont and I am extremely glad that I did. My 6th grader had a tough adjustment to middle school. Thankfully PMS was very proactive in getting him the additional help that he needed. His core teacher was communicative and supportive and he gained confidence and skill throughout the year. The beginning of 7th grade has been much smoother as he started the year with all of his support in place. I am impressed by the faculty's ability and willingness to work with and understand the needs of different learners. I have found that my "out of the box" kid has been accepted easily by his peers. As to economic and racial diversity, while it certainly does not compare to Oakland schools, there are plenty of folks in Piedmont who live in modest homes, work hard to pay their mortgages, and have "non-traditional" family arrangements. I have no idea what goes on in anyone else's social world and don't care who might be in or out. I care about my kids getting a good, broad, well rounded education and for that, in my opinion, Piedmont is tops.
We're nearing the end of the biggest mistake I've made and I can finally find the words. Gave up my great house in Oakland for a mediocre, FAR more expensive home here after my daughter finished 5th grade at a top Oakland elementary school. Why? Same reason everyone moves here: I was scared. So I gave up ALL diversity-social, economic, racial and cultural to move to the one spot in the inner East bay without a shred, actually a hint of tolerance for it. The girls in this school are reflections of their mothers: Uber involved in one anther's social dynamics and stature with little consciousness given to the world surrounding this tiny haven. Not skinny? Out. Not wealthy? Out. Not a stay at home mom that has time to chair a committee? Double out. Does your child need the slightest bit of extra help? That's ok---we hide those kids at the "other" school. Kids know all the ins and outs of wealth and social standing and care for little else. To make matters worse, my daughter's peers are thriving at a "decent" Oakland middle school while she (even though she is white, thin, pretty)is an outcast because she has a single, working mom. If I could go back in time...
I've been a student at PMS for 3 years and I'm going on to the Piedmont High School this coming new school semester. The school is definitely a great school for it has understanding teachers, a great principal and vice principal, and an awesome vast variety of electives you can take in 7th and 8th grade. First of all, not only does this school have a great school environment, but it amazingly has an ASB, or more commonly known as Associative Student Body. Elected students from each class and each grade get to be in a room together brainstorming ideas on how to get the school together in spirit and also helping improving the school. The teachers don't interfere much with the ASB, only if necessary, such as helping arranging announcements and etc. I'd tell you a lot more, but this comment thing only limits up to 150 words. Oh man.
A few great teachers, students seem like they are not getting their full education. Other than that, this school can improve in many ways.
Dedicated staff, interesting electives, focus on individual students' developmental needs.
I've been going to this school for 2 years already and it's a top notched school. The teachers offer help before and after and between lunch which really help me if I am struggling at a subject. All the math teachers at PMS is really great. This school is free of drug and i never seen anyone physically or mentally bullied. The education here is unbeatable for a public school. Well, what do except if a school is ranked 64 in the nation out of like 10,000 middle schools. ;)
I've been going to PMS for 2 years now, and it has been very good. although there has been a few problems socially, academically it has been very fulfilling. Mrs. Knapp is one if best math teachers i have ever had. when I started to fall behind, she offered to go over all my tests and to give me free, extra tutoring after school. i am now getting A's in math and that is thanks to the wonderful support I got.
As a Piedmont alum, it s funny to read little has changed. Note to parents: while Piedmont kids will likely have to deal w/ ridiculous issues like popularity, name-brand clothes, etc., I promise they're also getting a first rate education. In fact, upon return from my class reunion, I was really happy to see the type of citizen the Piedmont schools produces. All of them- successful, smart and contributing in a positive way to society.
I went to this school for 2 years and I loved it there. The teachers are always there to help you when you need it, before school, during lunch, and after school. I truly recommend this school, it's in a great area and has excellent teachers. Though if you fall being in math or science, it'll be hard to keep up unless you speak with a teacher to help you understand. Mr.James is a great math teacher; although if you fall being in his class, he'll expect you to know how to do something and sometimes won't help. The core teachers are great, and almost all teachers have a sense of humor. This city and it's schools are simply amazing. Almost all of the students are great as well. Though parents be careful, because somehow theres a lot of peer pressure at the schools between students.
This school is great for those on top academically, but generally those who aren't at the top but yet don't qualify as learning disabled can be left behind. There's a new program (one semester study hall /study skills) which seems to be wonderful for those (mostly boys) who for whatever reason aren't keeping up. Although parents are supposed to get progress notes midway through the semester if their child isn't doing well, my experience has been that they haven't been sent to us. There are some great teachers who will go the extra mile- Mr. James, for example.
My daughter had a bad experience at this school and we pulled her out. I have since heard that a lot of kids look back at the middle school and feel that it was very hard. Academics are hard, and the staff can be somewhat unsupportive. My daughter fell way behind, and we had no idea how bad it had gotten. There are also some issues concerning social dynamics, although my daughter didn't have a problem with that. I'd say that if your kid is comfortable socially, and strong academically, it's probably a good school. However, if your kid has some problems, you'll have to really get behind it from the start, because the the school won't. There are some very good teachers, notably Ms.Kennedy.
This is a great school academically, with committed teachers and administrators, but there really needs to be more of a focus on real diversity work, in the areas of both ethnicity and socio-economic status. Students lack any true depth of understanding and tolerance of people who are different/outside of Euro-American, middle or upper class groups.
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