No parent communication, teacher are not sharing graded work. They want to make my son retake a class, based on a placement exam at the end of the year in a class where the teacher was suspended and out for 6 weeks (w/no replacement) even though his grade was a B. I have requested conferences w/another teacher, who just didn't show up. I put my son in this school, thinking he would be more challenged than in the west haven school public school he was in (straight A's and in the TAG program), but this school is nothing but a good concept executed poorly. There are a handful of decent teachers, but overall the teaching staff does not care about individual students and will not make any efforts to help them. All of the parents I have talked to have the same issues and many are pulling their children out and putting them in different schools. Not because of bad grades or because it's tough- these are honors students I'm talking about. It's because the school is so poorly run and nobody seems to care. I am so disappointed in ESUMS.
The teachers do not communicate w/parents at all. Also I requested a conference w/one specific teacher, took time off from work to speak with her and she didn't even come to school that day- no email or notice. She never rescheduled, instead just changed my son's grade w/no explanation. All the parents I spoke too had numerous issues w/teacher's communication and grading and were not given information or answers, ESP the 7th grade team of teachers.
My son is in his 2nd year year at ESUMS, and he loves it! For the first time ever, he really enjoys going to school every day. The science, math and engineering classes are amazing, and they are taught by excellent teachers who want your kid to succeed. They are now in the process of building a new school for ESUMS. If and when that happens, the school will be a 5 out of 5 stars, since right now the lack of a building is the only thing holding them back!
My daughter has happily attended ESUMS for 6th - 8th grade. The school has a small-school feeling such that the students, parents, teacher and staff are familiar with each other. The students are grouped according to ability allowing those who require more work in a particular area to spend additional time with it while students who excel can move forward. The STEM focused program supports achievement in those area regardless of sex; female students are encouraged in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics equally to the male students. The only drawbacks are that 1. arts related studies are diminished, the students are allowed 1/2 year of "art" and 1/2 year of "music or band" (students may need to seek additional music or arts studies outside of the school setting) and 2. there are limited after school programs/clubs which require (parental) pick-up during hours most parents are at work, making the clubs inaccessible to students of working parents. These items I consider to be areas that could be improved, however; despite the room for improvement, our family has found this school to be far superior to any other school my daughter had attended.
The school is great, the teachers let you know what is going in the classrooms and the my son enjoys the teachers and his friends. My son is not bored in his classrooms but he is taught how to think out of the box, which I really like. The school keeps you well informed of activities that are having, I enjoy the PTO meeting along with the community meetings.
I have two children at ESUMS, and my daughter loves it even more than my son does. She has found a community of girls who are supportive, interested in academics, responsible and fun. The advanced classes are terrific, the teachers and staff are wonderful, the field trips have been great, and there seem to be many opportunities ahead (classes at UNH for example). The criticisms of the school's organization have a grain of truth: it is a fairly loose environment, but that makes it feel friendly and cooperative. The school has a commitment to "non-violent communication." If you're used to a more authoritarian model, it might take some getting used to, but everything academic is handled very, very well.