My child attended TMA for 5 years, all in the GATE program. 4 out of the 5 teachers were outstanding, one was average. The principal is fantastic. The classes are large, 32-34 students per class. However, the students are very motivated, well behaved, and engaged. The teachers understood my child, and were not afraid to let us know where improvement was needed. There was a great deal of homework. The teachers allow and even encourage the students to demonstrate creativity in their work. Parental involvement is required (10 volunteer hours per year) and a huge asset for the school. The parents are very focused on educational achievement for their children. My biggest issues were with TUSD more than TMA. TMA school facilities are old and not in great shape. The school fields are in horrible condition. TUSD fails to provide adequate (any?) funding for PE and music, so TMA is reliant on donations from parents. A smaller issue is that I would prefer staff development be done during the summer and not on school days. I highly recommend TMA and feel fortunate that or child had the opportunity to attend.
The PE teacher that subbed did a great job. She has her teaching credential in Elementary Education . She is now a full time elementary school teacher in Tustin unified school district. She was well qualified and my child loved her and learned a lot.
Our kid started in 5th grade today and 'SURPRISE'. PE teacher is substituting for the regular teacher who is on medical leave. Did they have to wait till the last day to let us know about this? We don't have anything against this teacher, but without any experience regularly teaching 5th graders, we wonder how this teacher is going to manage/help with the students during their one of the critical year before going to Middle School. We are planning to talk to the teacher directly and candidly about our concerns and we hope to get a positive opinion/view after talking. Anybody has any experience / comments / thoughts about this? We really appreciate it. Thanks,
School is a good school, but I am not happy with some of the teachers attitude. They forget that they are there to help students. Anyone can take care of a good student but controlling the student who is over active in class, depends mostly on teacher, we can only ask our child to behave well in class everyday, but utimately its in class when surround by classmates her behavious changes so the teacher has to find method to refine her, not just blame the parents for everything and not trying enough herself.
Great school that demands a high level of parent involvement - which is what results in a great school. The Club 365 program was put in place to bypass the endless fundraising and I support it wholeheartedly. I would so much rather just write a check that goes in full to the school over bothering friends and family to purchase something they don't need and then having only a small portion of that money make it back to the schools. The state issues are very upsetting, but TMA is doing all it can to keep the programs that enrich our children in a broad and critical way. The all GATE classes are wonderful as well. Thanks TMA!
TMA is an excellent school--a private education experience from a public school is hard to find. The staff is highly experienced and the new principal is bringing about some much-needed change. The waiting list to get in is long but well worth the wait. We are very pleased with all aspects of the school.
We've gone through some changes at this school over the years. This year, we have a new principal who comes from another respected school in the disctrict, and she seems very articulate and energetic. We are also trying a new fundraising model where we are asking families to contribute a fixed dollar amount at the start of the school year to minimize other fundraiser activities like cookie dough, gift wrap etc. Previous posts talk about the never-ending requests for money, and the school listened. Some people still don't understand that the state does not pay for "extras" like PE, art and music -- it it only through the support of TMA parents that these things are even possible. But it's getting too crowded. We are at capacity with just over 700 students, 34 kids in my son's class!
I agree with both reviewers from Sept 09. The fundraising is plentiful and agressive, but yeah we are in a budget crisis and we all try to do the best for the kids. Its true if you are unemplyed or have financial troubles I'm sure it can be stressful but one can contribute in other ways. At the end, wether you give all your time and money or just time to the school or just your child, this is a great environment for children's learning. The kids really get a great start and thats a common thing I've noticed with all the parents (the parents that are always at the school and the parents that aren') everyone wants the best for their kids. Its an awesome thing to see at this school. Across cultures, socio economic, etc, having thier kids do well at a good school is all our goals.
TMA is a great school, starting from K -they are doing homework M-TH and they offer a lot more involvement than most schools in the area, creating a total learning environment that kids take to junior high. One thing to consider is the time involved and money involved ( I'm sure unemplyed parents are shocked with the amt of fundraising letters coming at them) as well as the parent environment. The time is considerable, being 'hit up' constantly with fundraising opportunities ( I don't mind, we're in budget crisis) and many moms or dads do not seem to work outside the home, and if they do, I do not know how they can keep up with all the short notice and several things that they have to do at the school. Thru the yrs,I've never minded, but one should be aware of the reality before considering it for their tyke.