This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Trailridge Middle School5
Posted February 11, 2015
- a parent
I had two kids go through Trialridge and bridge the school consolidation, where Trailridge doubled in size, and the principal change. The principal change was definitely a positive, because the former principal was phoning it in whereas the new leadership seems enthusiastic and engaged. The huge increase in students wasn't as traumatic as we feared, but it did take a couple of years to get it all worked out. It's nice to see the facilities improvements (new gym, theater stage, lockers, classrooms). The classroom experience seems to be highly teacher and class specific. If at all possible, take the honors-level classes, they aren't as hard as elementary teachers say. The music programs are great, especially jazz band. Intramurals have been re-introduced, so kids can participate in after-school sports year-round (until budget cuts eliminate this perk, again). The biggest Trailridge negative is that there is almost no opportunity for parental involvement. There's a PTA, but they just handle the fundraiser and a few school-wide parties for the kids.
I'm not a teacher, I'm not a parent, but I do know what goes on in this school and some of the teachers are absolutely fantastic. Others are just collecting a paycheck. I think this can probably said for almost all schools. This is a difficult school to teach in with the large range of diversity including many different languages being spoken. Teachers are asked a lot in some cases. How is a teacher supposed to communicate with a student who speaks little to no English? Parents are another story. Again, this is probably a standard in education but parents accept little to no responsibility anymore for their child's education. They blame everything on the teachers. When a child hasn't turned in an assignment it is the teachers fault. When they fail a test because they didn't study it is the teachers fault. Parents need to take some responsibility for what their children do at home when it comes to school work. Teachers aren't there to babysit their child. They are their to educate them for 7-8 hours a day. The rest of the time they are the responsibility of the parent. This would solve a lot of the problems some of these kids have when they come to school.
Trailridge has teachers that are well educated and ready to teach. The school has struggles with students that have alot going on in their home life spiling into the classroom and often school time is taken to deal with crisis. My child has a different learning style that requires an IEP. The school is not very understanding of the diagnosis and I have had to routinely talk to teachers to ensure his accommodations are in place. The Principal leadership is new so I can not comment much on them.
I can't wait for my child to be done with middle school. His reports of students swearing loudly in hallways and classrooms, the lack of discipline by some teachers, to the point where students can't even hear the announcements, the surly secretary, and lack of communication with parents are just the tip of the iceberg. I've been exposed to better middle schools and it makes me sad to know my son has to endure another year of mediocrity before he can leave this place behind. In all fairness, I will say we have been pleased with a few of his teachers and their efforts to get to know our son as a person, versus treating him as one more cow in the herd.
I would not recommend sending a child to this school if you care for them just a little bit. The school is rundown and has poor use of funding. You could get a better education in the Favela. There would also be less use of contraband there as well. In most restrooms only one of the three stalls have working locks. They either don't work because of poor installation or [ most likely] because students have broken the locks. There are only windows in FOUR of the 250-some rooms. Also, the principal focuses mainly on punishment and not on encouragement. Going to 'Jailridge" has been the worst experience of my life. If you can send your children to Hocker Grove. The staff are much more caring and there are openable windows in every room.
No real learning happens here. Trailridge is like a holding cell until the kids can get to high school. The kids are disrespecful and often very mean, although the comments about the teachers being "too strict" are way off. Teachers have to be strict to put up with kids like these. The curriculum is stultifying; it would make the smartest of us want to drop out. The principal is fine. I don't see what the beef is, there. I would suggest homeschooling your kids during the middle school years in Shawnee Mission, so that your kids' self esteem is left intact.
I believe that this school is very successful. Although the No Child Left Behind program may not recognize that. Our school is very smart, but with many foreign students and disabled children, it is harder to make the percentage go up 2% every year. Most students are very kind and smart. It also wins the science fairs for state every year. This school has many positive qualities but i do believe that the teachers are getting too strict.
I do not like this school. The curriculum is too easy and I find myself not learning anything, bored all of the time. While the lessons are meaningless the homework load is tremendous. There are some good teachers, but they are overwhelmed with students not willing to learn and cannot focus on the kids who are.