August 10, 2013
I know a lot of parents who work at the university who think they need to send their kids to Giant City or Unity Point to get a decent education. It's true, test scores are higher at those schools. But they serve far less diverse populations. What we've liked about Thomas School is that every kid in the city of Carbondale goes there: black, white, hispanic, rich, poor, middle-income, you name it. It looks a lot like real life. And what I'm surprised so few people realize is how superior the range of offerings at Thomas is. There is a fantastic two-way Spanish-English immersion program; there is an academic talent program; and there are not only regular art and music classes, but also optional lunchtime programs in dance, theater, art, and music. Also, EVERY kid learns how to play the violin through a grant program! It's pretty amazing, especially given that both Giant City and Unity Point no longer have art classes at all. Thomas isn't perfect, but it's got a lot more going for it than many people give it credit for. I'm giving it three stars because I think in many respects it *is* average, but it can be great if you and your child are able to take advantage of what it offers.
- submitted by a parent