The biggest issue I feel need to be addressed at the Upper School is leadership. It was exciting to hear that the school will have a new Head of Upper School, but there is fear that he may be expected to conform and submit to the current ways of the school. The Head of School carries himself professionally, yet seems to lack any concern for students, getting to know them as individuals and has demonstrated the ability to be a bully himself. Administrative bullying and intimidation is definitely a problem. Dean of Students wears two hats - Dean of Students and AP Biology teacher. She shows favoritism towards some students and harassment and bullying towards others. She cries tears only for those girls who have been at Mount Vernon since she was 5 and fit the perfect image of "who she wants her daughter to aspire to be like in life." While leadership searches are going on, it would be nice to see the position of Head of School and/or Dean of Students up for grabs. Bringing in someone from the outside and away from this small school with more experience in handling issues to serve as Dean of Students would be good for the school and great for students.
I've been in middle school for a few years and while I've heard the lower and upper school are alright, the middle school is terrible. Middle school is very tough by default with all the growth going on, but the administration just makes it awful. They give unbalanced and biased punishments, and just want to know absolutely everything you're doing. If one grade does something, then the restriction stays with the future classes for good. Someone got suspended for saying the "f-word" on social media, whereas if you were to say it in school, you would have gotten 1 detention. Take your kids to a middle school with real funding towards it, not one like this where the higher-ups don't care at all about middle school.
Everything about MVPS is OUTSTANDING -- Dr. Jacobsen is a phenomenal leader, the administrative team and teachers are creative and truly care about our children, the innovative activities they do with our children are so engaging and fun, the extra activities they have for our children are so diverse and unique (they have lacrosse now too starting with middle school), I could go on and on! My family has been part of the MVPS family for six years (we have a first grader and a third grader), and I am just in awe of how the School is so open to change and new methods of thinking and teaching. There is no "textbook curriculum" at MVPS that you can get at any other school. The administrative team and teachers collaborate together with national and international educational leaders and design their own lesson plans and a truly unique program for our children that I think really encourages learning and global responsibility. I am amazed at what my children know and how much they have learned!
We picked the RIGHT SCHOOL! The intellectual energy on the entire campus is amazing. The way the entire staff energizes you is so uplifting!!! I love what my son is learning, but more importantly how he is learning to think! In addition, there is a real family feel...children are known and celebrated! A great combination of nurturing environment and challenging opportunities. Supportive teachers and faculty work hard to help every student become confident and capable. My son has come out of his shell and found his place! I hear everyday about "What I have learned" and "Mommy do you know that.....?" I am astounded by the teachers and entire faculty that support my son daily. This is the best kept secret of Atlanta!
Like another parent stated, the school is nestled in a very homogenous entitled community that lacks true representation of the real world. The school is nowhere near where it should be as it relates to diversity. The school is small, but is one huge political arena. If you seek and or support diversity and fairness, consider all school options. Administration picks and chooses which situations that will be dealt with and which situations will be swept under the rug which sends a very strong message to students and leaves it overtly apparent that different rules apply to the students. The core of equity theory says that individuals judge the fairness of their treatment. Until this becomes of minimal importance to those in administration, morale will continue to be an issue.
We have multiple kids here and they all enjoy school and are receiving a uniquely excellent education. We have not had any bullying issues and it is my opinion that the educators are all focused 100% on providing the best possible learning environment for the students.
This school is so focused on the image of the "perfect" student, that it doesn't leave room for the majority of average students. The administration makes every effort to keep any students with learning differences or diversity out of the school. It is a very homogenous entitled community lacking any true representation of the real world. They are willing to spend thousands of dollars on technology, but forget hiring any additional teachers to help students that may develop a need for additional tutoring. Bullying has also been a problem recently with any kids that don't fit the mold of a perfect kid.
My middle school son attended for 1.5 years. Ultimately we withdrew him because he was emotionally bullied by a few key administrators and after-school staff. There are several fabulous faculty members who are student-centered; however, a few key adults hold power beyond what their functional title would imply. As parents, we could not support the myopic views they perpetrated. If you are even mildly liberal or support diversity of thought, this is NOT the school for your child or your family.
Mt. Vernon is an Awesome school. I am a sub at several private Christian Schools in the Atlanta area and Mt. Vernon is my favorite place to teach. I cannot say enough about the quality of students that attend and the teachers who teach. The leadership and vision of the school is right on target with Christian Values. They are the best well balanced private school in North Atlanta! Well worth the money for the excellent education and facilities that are provided to the students.
Mount Vernon is simply the best school in the area. We evaluated every independent school in the Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs area - and we are simply thrilled with our choice. Our kids love going to school. The curriculum is challenging and innovative. Teachers are engaged, progressive and caring. This is a school on the move. I highly recommend Mount Vernon!