This is our 2nd year attending this school. Our child is now in 6th grade. I can't imagine a better middle school exists!
First off, the teachers. As much as teenagers get a bad rap, the teachers here really like them. They take the time to understand them. They help them learn and grow. They don't stress the kids out and tests aren't pushed as the "end all be all". They also make time in their schedules to do 1-1 tutoring if you need it and if your child is having problems grasping concepts of their work, they go above and beyond anything I could have expected. (And we came from a private school!)
2nd: The kids at this school reflect the values of their teachers. They are kind, considerate and bullying appears to be non-existent. They all help each other.
3rd: The work load at Mt Everest for a new family will probably seem overwhelming. But once you figure it out and understand what is expected, it becomes second nature.
If you have a child that has other (outside of school) interests, this is the place for you. There isn't homework as all their work is done at home. They "busy" work that they normally get from school is not part of the curriculum so the kids have time to do other things. Maybe that's why the kids here are so happy!
I don't know how to answer this question. I think it's meant to be a positive thing, but with all the stresses we put on our kids to achieve, I'm not sure I really want the "whole school" driving "persistence, grit and determination." I have to ask, at the detriment of who?
That being said, this is an independent study school. So it does take a certain amount of determination to fully "get" time management and priorities of workload to name a few.
There really isn't "homework" as with other schools. The majority of studies are completed at home and turned in on a monthly basis. It really eliminates the "busy work" that other schools mandate for the students.
I feel that Miss Gail provides a great service. She is a friendly ambassador to keep the kids going in the right direction, feeling good, and happy. She is always smiling and going out of her way to make sure the kids are getting what they need. I also feel that Miss Susan is an amazing asset to the school. She has been volunteering for 11 or 12 years, she heads up the Parent Advisory Group among many other things. She also is a wealth of knowledge and always will to lend a helping hand to a student, parent, or teacher.
I feel the majority of the teachers are fantastic and do a great job of utilizing their study groups effectively. A few are not necessarily the best teacher for the subject due to lack of organization or personality. This is true for just about any school.
Because of the format of this school there really isn't homework, as all work is "home" work. Instead of sitting in a classroom all day, 5 days a week, they have study groups once a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes. During this time, they review troublesome subjects, do labs, have discussions, etc. Then they go home or work at the school to complete the work and become fluent in the subject and test monthly.
Being new to the school, I haven't seen too much of this yet. Although during orientation the staff talked about how they want our students to persevere and work hard for their goals. I do know that there is a college counselor who is strongly working on getting all kids to understand that being prepared for college is starting by starting to plan in 7th or 8th grade.