I have a child in the lower school and this is my second year here. Overall Morgan Park Academy is a good school academically and the foreign language and global studies are wonderful. However, the safety can be much better and is often a concern for me. Although I have not heard of anything happening to the students since I have been there, we shouldn't wait until something does happen before we make changes. I'm working on figuring out something now because I believe in parent involvement. Also, the parents don't seem very friendly and welcoming. It seems like if you're not the elite or already know the parents and kids there no one wants to talk to you. It's been like that since I've been here and I'm very involved. But luckily my family isn't here to be liked. It seems to have rubbed off on their kids as well because I notice how funny acting they are with my child. But again I don't teach her to be with the in-crowd. I do plan to remove my child after 5th grade since I keep hearing bad things about the middle and high schools.
I hope this review helps someone :-)
I would advise parents to do some research. MPA is a very strong school when it comes to academics. It cannot be compared to the local catholic schools. One only needs to look at ACT and SAT scores, which are much higher than the other local schools. My youngest was an athlete and really wanted to attend a local catholic school. He enjoyed being able to play in a more competitive setting. Academically, he did suffer. My oldest stayed at MPA and had much higher grades and was accepted to a better university with a stronger scholarship package. I encourage families to do their research. I feel like my oldest benefitted from the small classrooms and strong AP offerings.
The high school has changed from being a very student centered, progressive and academically challenging program to being more like a Catholic or Charter School complete with uniforms, a traditional schedule, teacher-centered classroom teaching, and unnecessary rules. The thing is that for far less money you can give your child that experience at one of the many Catholic schools in the neighborhood. In fact the Catholic schools have become more progressive while MPA has been running fast back to its military days. I am disappointed. This school sells itself as an "independent school" but the way they operate does not make you feel like you are getting that experience.
Morgan Park Academy used to be a place where, according to my first child, students could be independent within a small community. She said she felt like she was more than just a number and that the faculty wanted her to succeed, especially during high school. My second, younger child has described the school much differently...numerous brilliant faculty members in math, english, and history departments were pushed out of the school due to disagreements with the school administration. Thus, several new teachers were brought into the school, disrupting the comfortable, tight knit atmosphere of the school. A few of these new teachers are new to teaching in high school, and cannot connect with young, developing minds. The introduction of uniforms made the school seem more professional and elite, however it stripped my child's sense of independence. My child isn't connecting with many teachers, however my older child formed solid bonds with many of her teachers, and is still in contact with them. Overall, Morgan Park Academy has gone downhill in my opinion.
MPA has been great for my children. My last one will be graduating soon and she has been doing really well. Small class sizes, diversity and rigorous academic programs have made this school a great fit for my children.
Sadly, MPA is not as great as it used to be. We have experienced both the middle school and high school and unless you have a student that is self motivated, high achieving, needs absolutely no help and has no learning differences than this may be the school for you. Our biggest issue started after the summer of 2013 when 8 long term high school teachers left the school. That was the year that one of our kids was starting their freshman year, what a disaster. Our student had 2 new teachers, both new to teaching high school and the experience led us to many meetings over the school year. We received lots of promises, no follow through. It was so bad that we did not send our student back for their sophomore year and no bothered to ask us why they weren't returning. Our second student is in their 8th grade year and although academically challenged, a similar situation is occurring with a high school teacher. Administration does not want to hear about issues, they seem to be bothered by having to deal with a possible problem. Since we already know what high school will be like, we will not be sending our second child to high school there either.
Enrollment challenged High turnover in faculty & staff Head of School with no experience or credentials in education Board too busy controlling school, Head, principals & teachers PC standards don't equal tuition over $18K
I just love the school. They have great teachers and a vibrant parents club. I have a son in the middle school and he really likes it. He was involved in the musical and he likes the after school offerings. They have great teachers and they seem really happy to be working there.
I love Morgan Park Academy. This education is second to none. The small class sizes allow each child amazing opportunities for intellectual and social growth. My children are excelling at this excellent school; the educators are incredible.
Morgan Park Academy Sunday's posting by a parent who was very critical of the recent decisions and changes made at the Academy prompted me to respond. How long will we continue to play Monday morning quarterback? We have more people tearing down than building up. There are only two camps - part of the problem or part of the solution. Negative intentions are clear even when we wrap them in pseudo compliments. Getting involved allow one to see the big picture and then can you to work with the program instead of tearing it down. We must do better - be less critical and opinionated and more hands on.