I initially came to Yorba Linda because of a transportation issue. I didn't not know anyone and unfortunately I had a hard time making friends. Most of the kids there did not have the same interests as I did. Some of the teachers there have made an effort help me to connect with others. The staff was very nice and encouraging me to pursue a higher education. In addition, I didn't feel like I was challenged intellectually. I would finish all my homework in an hour and I would get 100s on my tests without studying. Most students here don't make an effort to study and learn and many teachers don't encourage improvement. After middle school, I went to Valencia High for the IB program and found that the students from Kraemer were more driven and loved the challenge of a rigorous education. It was difficult for me to keep up with them. In addition, I was able to connect the Kraemer students because we cared about our education and our future careers. All in all, if you want to be intellectually challenged, going to Yorba Linda would be a waste of your time.
My son in in the 8th grade this year and it has been a pleasure to have him in the YLMS. The school has very knowlegable, fun and easy to communicate with teachers. They care and are very understanding and work with parents very well. Their music program is excellent, also they have Honors and GATE programs. Teachers challenge the children to grow and succeed. School has afterschool activities, 3K run, fundraisers and also Boys and Girls Club on campus for afterschool care. We will miss you next year YLMS!!
My son is in 7th grade at this school and he is flourishing in every way. I cannot be more enthusiastic and positive about everything available at this school in every aspect- Music, Academics, Activities and Student Leadership activities. The principal is amazing. He is there in his 3-pc suit until very late each night and is seen DAILY shaking kids hands, greeting them BY NAME, opening car doors in the mornings, and actually participating in most events from the 3K Run to PTA meetings. I have contact with almost all of my son's teachers and get responses by the end of the day. Also, there are huge strides made to accommodate ALL levels that students are at- from struggling to advanced in all areas of academia. Our scores speak for themselves....
The teachers are nice enough but it doesn't seem that they know what they are teaching. My daughter was assigned a book to read that was far too mature for her age. When I tried to contact the teacher I could not get a response. Then I couldn't get an answer from the administration and had to go to the district level. I finally had to put in a transfer to another school in the district. At that school their test scores refelected their commitment to the standards and the teachers actually assigned reading from "approved" lists of the district. The sad thing about this school is that they have decent kids but don't seem to help the kids grow. As far as activities, it is basically non-existant.
I was worried about my daughter attending 6th grade at a middle school, but she seems to have adjusted well. Although she enjoys it, I have my own concerns. I don't think the kids are challenged. There seems to be very little homework and my child is finished quickly. I don't believe in overwhelming kids, but i do believe there is a benefit to 'good' homework, at least until dinner? I do not see any academic challenges for my child and I hope she does not get lazy. When asked about the safety issue (no gates surround the school), the answer I received was nothing short of letting the parents know that it is our responsibility to teach our kids how to handle different situations which arise. All I want was another deterrant to avoid some (not all) 'situations'.
YLMS has some very good academic programs but I have personally seen students get lost in the shuffle and left behind. If your child isnt a very bright quick study count on spending lots of time outside the classroom teaching them what they didnt absorb during the school day. Many students also end up having to use private tutoring services to work on math and writing skills to pass the required achievment tests. Therein lies a problem. Too much of the curriculum is directed toward 'teaching to the test' rather than emphasizing student learning. In all fairness some of this is due to Federal and CA state standards imposed on the teachers. There is also a lot of social pressure on students to be popular, to have more and do more than other students, particularly in the 7th and 8th grades, which complicates the academic environment.
I've been going to YLMS for two years now and I have to say that I'm impressed with how wonderful the staff is to us students! They treat us maturely and give us a say in what happens in our school. I feel really safe here and never feel the normal peer-pressure teens usually go through during this age. Students here are responsible and want to make a difference. The staff at YLMS recognizes our potential and through peep rallies and programs like the Unity Workshop, they show us how we can make a difference in the world around us. Thanks YLMS!