With every life experience nothing is perfect. With that said, you can add parental involvement plus school involvement to equals a successful growing being. Without both, failure is inevitable.
Morgan Park Academy has been wonderful for my three children, who started in the lower school this past year. Compared to the public schools we were at previously, I feel like they have finally found their true selves, are supported 100% by very loving and dedicated teachers and have made a terrific set of peer friends. The older kids are supportive of the younger kids - it feels like a great big family! We couldn't be happier.
Big things are happening for the better at MPA. I think the administrative changes are long overdue but will address these concerns. I just hope the Board will get the teachers back! We had the greatest, most committed, creative educators, and although I have not had enough time to get to know the newly-hired educators, who may be wonderful . . . I really must the old teachers! I hope the Board is listening. I would also love to know when the Board meets, so parents can communicate. The principals are great, but the leadership failed.
The school is no longer as it use to be and anyone that says that its a solid school must live in the neighborhood and are VERY limited with the choices of schools. Why have so many teachers left? Why is upper school full of exchange students? The only reason that someone would rate the school so high is because they have no other choice of schools. If you have other choices please do so. It's not worth the money at all. Since the new head of school has been there around 35 staff members have left.
MPA has been so wonderful for my eighth-grade son, and the staff have been so kind to him. He feels so far away from the difficulties at his previous school because of the healing that has taken place at MPA. Someone he knew slightly at his old school has started at MPA this year. The boys got together this summer to talk about MPA and how it is a different place. I overheard part of the conversation, and more the tone of enthusiasm my son had, in talking about his teachers and the students, and the cool and quirky things they do. I saw in this other boy the same look my son had 2 years ago, and I know he'll feel differently after a little time at MPA. We are so grateful for the generosity of the school and its board that makes it possible for him to be there.
The school is solid with a strong academic program. I know that our child is in the Upper School and the enrollment there is higher then last year. Our child likes the challenging curriculum that is in place. For us this is the best place to send our child.
The school is not where near 4 stars. My previous review was removed. Too many teachers and families have left. Test scores have declined sharply. A school that at one time made people feel welcome no longer does that. They don't want to hear the truth about the school. Please ask to see the test scores from 5 years ago to now they have changed greatly. This is not a great place for learning.
We are new to the school and we are very happy so far. My son's teacher is so nice and warm. We felt welcomed from the start. Her classroom is beautiful and my son loves it. I have also been very impressed with the Parents Association. The coffee and the picnic were great.
Awesome education. Morgan Park Academy is the best private, non-religious school in Chicago. My daughter graduated from MPA last spring and is now at a fantastic university.
Thank you MPA for providing an absolutely awesome Project Week for our 12th-grade son! He toured England and Scotland and loved his experience!!!
My family is new at MPA. I do not have enough room to post all of the accolades due MPA. My granddaughter is a freshman. From the moment we visited MPA, we knew we had found education heaven. The courteousness and helpfulness of every employee we've intereacted with, the excellence of and autonomy given the Parents Association, the ability to have uninhibited access to the teachers, the mind-blowing global studies/project week initiatives, the teaching methods used in conjunction with the students interests to encourage success in the classroom, we are ecstatic!!!! As a grandmother, I have sent three children to private schools. MPA exceeds them all in its uniqueness and mission to prepare successful GLOBAL-educated/minded adults. I continually sing MPA praises whenever people ask my granddaughter what high school she attends. Other schools' students could benefit if they took on key MPA principles and practices. I know my granddaughter is in the right place! Not only are we making preparations for our grandson to attend MPA next year; we have decided that our granddaughter who is due to be born next month will be a future MPA student. Thank you, MPA!
To the previous poster: Really, after 7 school days you have determined that the new faculty are "equally as good or better" than the tenured faculty that they replaced? I do not have a child in the upper schoiol, but I have heard from many parents how disappointed they and their students are that so many of the much respected teachers are gone. Why has there been such a major turn-over of faculty and staff in the last few years?
I am just glad that my child graduated. It used to be a nice and quaint, but it's lost its way. There is nothing wrong with remaining steadfast to the principles with which the school was founded. My daughter is a fourth generatin in Morgan Park/Beverly and I am glad that she experienced the MPA Way that I remembered as a student there myself. Nothing wrong with a little East Coast Prep Class on the south side!
So far we are thrilled with new teachers that have started in the high school, top rate individuals that bring new and exciting ideas to the classroom. Yes some long tenured and beloved teachers left but I think there are equally as good or better teachers that have replaced them. It certainly feels fresher and the kids are excited to have them. My daughter is very happy. The high school has also grown in every grade bringing great new students from all over the city and suburbs too. I can't complain about a place that knows my children well and pushes them to succeed. The teachers care about their success almost as much as I do or at least make the kids feel that way!
Do not send you child to Morgan Park Academy. There is only 1 good teacher out of all of them. The buildings are falling apart, yet they won't use any money to fix them. The administration is absolutely horrible and has no concern for the students, just money. Many students agree that they wish they went elsewhere. They only stayed because of their friends. I highly advise to send you child somewhere else.
We went back and forth about our decision to send our son to MPA, and I am so glad we did. At his former school, where we also paid tuition, when he had an issue - academically, socially or emotionally - we were pretty much on our own. Phone calls rarely got returned, if ever. At MPA, we get follow up phone calls almost immediately from the dean, and she knows my son, and cares about him. The school has arranged for him to take accelerated, high-school Math classes in the middle school. We are very pleased with our decision, and certainly pleased with our happy kid.
MPA is the best school ever! From its diverse student body to the amazing student-teacher relationships. This is my second year and its really fun. It has a much more diverse student body than the other popular private schools such as Parker and Latin. The academics are great! I have straight A's and on high honor roll! The small class sizes are a huge plus. In the whole sixth grade there is 29 kids. There are no cliques because everyone is each others friends. The athletics program is great and offers many sports. Same with leadership with the NJHS in middle school. There are many clubs and organizations you can join. Service is a big part of MPA and is done by all students. BEST SCHOOL EVER!!!
I wonder what school these parents giving reviews are talking about. It is certainly not my experience. I am so disheartened with my MPA parent-child experience that I am on the verge of yanking my child out any minute. I initially drank the water about the well-rounded atmosphere and all the bells and whistles of daily PE and foreign language. Wonderful. Unfortunately, as a parent I have had to address so much teasing, and bullying among other inappropriate student behavior as well as a laxadasical attitude among the deans until I have concluded that it is not worth it. It seems they are letting anybody in with a checkbook. Sure, kids will be kids and no school is perfect. Got it.. But this is unacceptable. Yes, I have raised the points several times with staff and faculty, but I get more of mish-mash about how they are addressing the whole child and isn't this a great place? But where's the action and follow up behind dealing with the problems? Lastly and really the last straw, we have discovered that my child lacks the foundation to succeed in his current class. The whole point of being there is to have the academic foundation to succeed.
An excellent school with students, teachers and parents who care. The diversity of the school is not merely about ethnic diversity. The school reflects diversity in many areas: socio-economic background, religions, cultures and languages. This is a school that where my children know that diversity is not about the color of their skin. For parents looking to classify kids and families in one of two categories, black or white, MPA may not be for them. I love that my children are getting an education that includes all the core subjects plus art, music, physical education and world languages. This is a school that is not stuck on stereotypes about diversity and does a better job than many schools in teaching children to be accepting and understanding of others. MPA is a great school!
Here are my suggestions for making MPA a better school. 1) MPA should have full time Deans of the Lower, Middle and High school whose sole jobs are to provide leadership rather than having teachers serving in a a dual capacity. 2) The school needs to better define and explain the vision of the school to parents rather than assuming everyone understands the vision. 3) The school needs to better define what type of students and families they intend to serve and what academic outcomes they would like the students to achieve. Currently, the lower school is not diverse, currently serving mostly African American kids. The school recognizes that this will be a problem attracting kids from different backgrounds. To lower the number of African American families at the school, some teachers and administrators seem to be deliberately unresponsive to the concerns of African American families, hoping that many of them will not return, as a means of achieving better diversity.This is not a sensible way to run a school. 5) Finally, technology needs to introduced in the early grades starting in the lower school. MPA is a good school, but is short of being a great school.
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