After 7 years with children at Newton, my youngest child finished 8th grade last spring. It was once an IB school but due to budget cuts the district made the choice to discontinue the IB program. (Despite a very vocal community presence at Board of Education meetings requesting that the program not be shut down.) The loss of the IB program was a huge loss for the school and it has not fully recovered from that loss. The math department is excellent! Incredible teachers who really know how to reach students and teach math. I can't say enough good things about the math department at Newton. The Language Arts department has struggled to properly teach writing, but the school is starting to see some success. Spanish instruction at Newton is a joke - it is horrible, The high school that most of the students feed into fully acknowledges that students from Newton are not prepared for high school Spanish courses. Despite this, no changes have been made to improve instruction of Spanish - a huge mistake!
As a parent of a former student at this school I would discourage anyone from sending their children to this school under the current leadership. My child attended Lois Lenski Elementary school and was very well prepared for middle school. Unfortunaletly, after the first semester at Newton we had no other choice than to switch schools. My child made straight A's and was unchallenged by the curriculum. The administration was unwilling to advance my child into more challenging courses. I found the Principal to be very unprofessional, unwilling to work with us and down right childish. When he found out our child was transferring to another school he refused to allow attendance at the honor roll ceremony and would not provide any of the benefits earned. This may not appear to be a big deal but it was and is still a big deal to this day. I have no doubt this type of behavior is not isolated and is affecting others. My child is very driven and takes pride in the successes achieved. Mr. O' Tremba acted in a very unprofessional manner and negatively affected my child's confidence, pride and sense of achievement. He should be ashamed of his actions and pettiness.
As a student from this school, my friend and I had been bullied by another girl. Typical middle school drama right? I had wrote a official student complaint of this girl, and had given it to Mrs. Barrot, the 6th grade principal, to review. She pulled me in and had gotten my side of the story, and then the other girls side. When she pulled us together again my friends had suddenly become involved. How this happened? Good question. I myself am a straight A-B student. I work hard to keep focused in school. Never once have I been in the principals office. Myself, and my friend were sent away and called liars. I was the one being bullied. Take it from me. DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL. Good kids end up being the put down for the littlest things. The bad kids get away with anything under the sun. The principals have given the girl to practically do anything she wanted to me, without being in trouble. Mrs. Barrot, and Mr. O' Tremba are unprofessional, and very untalented at what they do.
Wow, there is something odd going on at this school.. The administration toutes themselves as a certified no-bullying school. I beg to differ, when my child went to the principles for help, she was accused as a liar and threatened with suspension (without myself or my husband being notifed... twice) Remember one student was so upset about bullying there were attempts to make a bomb --Made the news 2011!! BEWARE!
My daughter came from Lenski Elementary and she was so well prepared for middle school...and that is where the excellence ended. I feel so disappointed by the lack of academic challenge at Newton. The teachers seem overworked and too busy to address issues, and I have repeatedly tried to get my daughter to be more academically challenged, but I am not getting any dialog going. I am very frustrated and we are looking for another school for 7th grade. This year has been pretty much wasted. They may have good programs for other students, but I would definitely look elsewhere (like Euclid or Cresthill) for GT programs.
up until recently, newton was an IB school where children are learning more than your average 'bear'. newton is a no-tolerance school when it comes to weapons, bullying and or poor attendance. newton also has an online website fit for students, parents and teachers open streaming communication at all times. poor grades or missing assignments are immediately reported to parents via email that simply lists necessary info. teachers are extremely prompt and welcome feedback, questions and concerns. newton is always simplifying areas that could use work by working out the kinks.
Let's cut to the chase, if you're reading this, you're probably interested in the 'IB MYP' status. IMO, it's worthless. I have two in school. One is highly advanced A+ student and one is doing great in advanced classes (A to A-). My A+ student is bored. My other student loves how many movies they watch (You Tube). Principal is disappointing and uninformed. Teachers are strong in Science, weak in English. Math is a crap shoot based on teacher. Foriegn language is average. Shop and art are required (drives me nuts). Very safe atmosphere for kids. For a public school, I rate it average, no better/no worse.
Our daughter has had an excellent experience at Newton. She has maintained an excellent academic record with guidance from an extraordinary faculty and staff. Although she is not highly involved with the new IB program instated in her 8th grade year, I hear great things from parents of 6th and 7th graders in the program. Her humanities teacher, new to the school this year, has created in her a great interest in current events by bringing the workings of government, both past and present, alive in her class activities. The foreign language department is in the process of incorporating additional languages under the supervision of an outstanding, long term teacher. It saddens me to think of her leaving this wonderful school at the end of this school year but she goes out with a solid base on which to build!
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