We moved to Baltimore February, 2014 and have had such a poor experience at Roland Park that our child now attends a private school in Baltimore City. We moved from New England and have always attended public school as a matter of fast I sat on the School Board in our town suffice to say we believed in public education. We moved to the neighborhood for the school and understood there will be an adjustment period for our son but he lost interest in going to school, felt no teacher connection, found it difficult to make friends, and never ate lunch. We expressed our concerns to teachers and vice principal and our emails were never returned. The delay in getting us into the parent portal and their online classroom parent communication system caused us to miss school events, extra curricular activities and even a day that our child was dismissed half day and no one from the front office called me (stay at home Mom) to tell me my child was sitting on the steps for hours in the afternoon. No accommodation for transferring midyear. No buddy family and no classroom buddy. Goodbye Roland Park, I am sorry we wasted my son's second half of third grade was a shame to say the least.
I attended Roland Park School K-8 50+ years ago and received a wonderful education. I've gone on to earn two graduate degrees (MSW and JD) based on this firm foundation. Lots of good memories. Thanks to all the teachers, now passed on, who educated me so well - I still remember their names. - Don Hope
Roland park is a pretty good school. The class sizes are to big, but parent volunteering helps to ease the over whelming task of teaching 30 kids with no help. There should be an assitant to help teachers everyday not only when a parent shows up.
Roland Park is fortunate to serve a population of students that performs well academically and has strong parental support. It's hard to go wrong with kids that value education. That said, I don't find the instructional practices or overall faculty/staff performance to be as impressive as the children themselves. In other words, I think the school capitalizes on its kids. Teachers are not particularly friendly (there are of course exceptions), they do not make any effort beyond what is required of them to include parents, they do not demonstrate particularly forward-thinking instructional practices (my child is drowned with dittos, for instance, and frequently describes boring lectures), and they (at least in my limited experience with 7th and 8th grade teachers) fail to see the connection between their practices and student achievement. The answer to my complaints will undoubtedly be, "But look at their scores!" My point is the scores are not a direct reflection of teacher competence. These children would be successful anywhere and this school fails to take them to the heights they could reach with excellent guidance. The 4-star rating reflects the kids, not the adults.
My son transferred here from Landsdowne Elementary school last December mid-1st grade. I used to think Lansdowne was a great school but my son started RPEMS miles behind the other kids in his class academically. It took extra time and patience from his teacher to help him get caught up. His teachers have been wonderful and his class is definitely a mix of kids who learn easily and other children who struggle a bit; like all public schools. I dont know how the classes are divided (there are 4 classes in his grade) but I do not believe they just pile the smartest kids into one class like a reviewer commented. And no parent contact? I get at least 5 emails a week from the school discussing upcoming events and anytime I have a question I email his teacher and she responds within the hour. Last year his teacher was the same way. My son also has ADHD. His teacher tried very hard to work with us because she really wanted to try everything before we tried medication. I dont think she even agreed with medicating him (at first). She tried so hard, working with us on a plan and going above and beyond what you could ask from any 2nd grade teacher with a whole class to manage. We love RPEMS!
The educational excellence at Roland Park has declined significantly in the past ten years. The administration is ill equipped to teach the modern day student. Although there have been changes to administrators and curriculum over these years, the attention to statistical results has increased. Unfortunately the wholeness of the student's experience is diminished. My son is a highly functioning student with ADHD. The teachers have little experience in dealing with special needs and exceptional children are often the casualities of this lack of training. I have had other children come through the school and I am so disappointed in what is offered today. The school is holding on to the legacy of its former years and the expectations of the community in which it resides. However, I think the community at large is disappointed with the mediocrity that is now the "common core" standard for education at Roland Park.
RPEMS has gone down in recent years. Their clubs are more limited now, elitist, and poorly supervised. There is also no parent contact, which is okay if your kid is doing well, but can be very bad if your kid struggles. Teachers just keep giving work, get very irritated with low performers, and offer little support and encouragement. Instruction is test-driven, and students are just data. Classes are overcrowded and students have to compete for attention, which just means quieter students fall by the wayside or are ignored. All of this comes down to ineffective administrators. My formerly high-performing son has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, and now has low academic self-esteem and an overwhelming feeling that his teachers just don't like him. The school environment has made him miserable and frightened by punitive teachers and bullying students. I will transfer him back to his old school...where his teachers put forth an effort and cared whether he succeeded or failed, not just if they were getting their paycheck and rest on the school's former reputation. I want my son to get a good education, but not at the cost of his happiness, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
Roland Park is a good school if your child is ready to beat out other children for the best teachers. I am not sure why so many parents would put their child here when itis clear the higher level classes beginning in first grade are all rigidly tracked with best teachers. Fortunately I am the parent of a high achiever but I do not know why more parents do not speak out. Perhaps the "vocal" members of the Roland Park community like it that way but it is a form of strict educational segregation. Alternatively, I would rather pay money to attend one of the more responsive independent schools where at least ALL children have a better chance at being taught rigorous curriculum at a high level.
RPEMS is a terrific city school, offering parents a public option to all the private choices in the city. With a new pricipal, there is renewed interest in becoming a Blue Ribbon school again, and a welcomeness to parent involvement. The parent community is outstanding - very engaged in making RPEMS outstanding not only for current students, but for students of future generations. Teachers are experienced but for the most part energetic and engaged as well. There just aren't enough teachers to effectively shrink the size of the classes. The class sizes are one of a few reasons I didn't give RPEMS 5 stars. While I think most of the leadership is strong, there is at least one vice principal who is terrible. I also think there isn't enough emphasis on science, or enough PE. But I think those failures are a function of the school system rather than the school.
My son is entering 6th grade this fall. We are new to Maryland and the staff at this school made our transition so much easier. The principal asked my son how he could help him have a great year. We had an amazing experience!
My son will be going to middle school in 2014. We do not live in the area. We are in the 21207 zone. I have the option to sign him up in an non-zone school. I am thinking about your school and for now, also Kipp Ujima Ac.
Roland Park is the crowned jewel of Baltimore City Public Schools for multiple reasons..the teachers are excellent, the academic environment is excellent, the extra-curricular activity offerings are numerous and varied, and by far this is the most parentally engaged school in the universe...ROLAND PARK ROCKS!
Wonderful community, great kids, touches all the basics, but not much beyond that. Everything is test driven. if it isn't on the test, you won't see it taught in the classroom. Teaching staff & class assignment is vastly uneven, thus one can have a radically different experience dependent on one's class placement in the school. Has the components to be an amazing school, but the difficulty lies in it's administration & in particular with it's Elementary Assistant Principal who is obstructive, punitive, & stubbornly unresponsive to staff & parental suggestion. Class size is too large & instruction limited as a result. Given a different administration, more open to dialogue, the school could be truly amazing. This year's acting principal is such a delight in comparison to the former principal, who in response to parents complaining about bullying said: "There's no bulling." The anti bulling program is a joke & consists of handing out stickers with a slogan, rather than a comprehensive, far reaching anti bulling program interwoven in the curriculum throughout the year. The Middle School Assistant Principal is great though. Class size is far too large & needs capping.
Treachers that wreally impacted my life were my fouth grade math teacher who was just the best and even when I was in fifth grade she would let me come into her room and ask for help , ( scince my fifth grade math teacher was horrible I tried so extremly hard and she never even cared ) And of course my amazing first grade teacher who was just WOW infact her teaching was so amazing that I learned to read in just 3 months ! Even before I left she gave me hugs and asked not only about me but my entire family( my mom and her are facebook friends) ! Other than that all the other teachers I had were just unexceptable or average this school is full of favoritists , cheaters , and rule breakers . I pretty sure they do not tell parents about how our elementary vice principal has a group of girls crowding around her and how she sets a bad example and refuses to punish the girls if they do something bad ( for example my younger sister was being constanly bullied by this girl whom was part of this gruop and when my sister told on her all the vice said was I am sure a nice girl like her would never do thet ) . The academics are okay nothing amazing and the administration and principal :( .
RPEMS was so bad I have nightmares about it! I recently moved and I am very happy.I was there k-3 and it was terrible the most of the class's were hard to understand,a lot of stuff was based on favoritism,and the bullying was not under control.me and my sister went to after school and one monitors had a beer app and pretended to pour a glass of the kids! And the some of the third grade teachers gossiped more then they taught. And if you take away the teachers,students,other staff the school would still be bad! And there plan of dismissal was lose 20 minutes after elementary was dismissed the middle school can out. The whole point of this message is " thank gosh my family moved!"
It's a good school IF you assure they stay on the Adv Academic or Ingenuity tracks. In a microcosm this tracking system is what has the public system tetering on disaster. e.g. if your kid gets stuck in a "regular" track in MS they will have a really tough time getting into a civilized and positive classroom environment, and out of the "I hate school" cycle of doom.
I think my child, who attended middle school at Roland Park, greatly benefited from the general atmosphere of organization and discipline. In his middle school years (now doing very well in a city high school) my child just did not have the maturity to have free periods or to go out for recess without strong adult supervision. I do think the parents at Roland Park, especially those who have jobs in city government, universities and other think tank/policy places forget that they may be experts in what they do, but they are clueless about how to run a school or pretty much do anything other than moan and complain, let the school people run the school. One very small minority of parents in particular really made my child feel uncomfortable because they were lobbying for school changes that just did not work of me and my child. I may have gone to UMBC, not some fancy college, but I know when my child is happy and learning. I just wish the tiny and overly vocal reform group at RPMS would remember that what is right for them is not right for everybody. The school is very structured and has strong leadership, but I liked it that way and it worked for my son.
This school has an amazing parent community and is seen as the best public school in Baltimore. My kids got a good elementary education, and there are some real gems among the teaching staff. However, the bureaucratic administrators have created a climate that values the ease of the adults over what's good for kids. Parents that want to fundraise, chaperone or volunteer in the cafeteria are OK. However, if you have an idea, a question, want information about curriculum, then you are treated to condescension, avoidance and delay. Many families bail out if they can for middle school, but the school has no incentive to be more transparent or less toxic because there are always more families lining up to take their place as the quality of schools overall in Baltimore is so uneven. Unfortunately as well, the administrators feel that a command and control culture of discipline is necessary, making middle school a bigger drag for the kids than it needs to be. I really wish this school had better leadership that set a tone of empathy for children, openness to parents at the table as decision makers and commitment to making this a school that educates heads AND hearts and bodies.
it's ok I mean it does not deserve #3 no offense It is creative in the classrooms though
I LOVE THIS SCHOOL!!!! Its only my first year, but the students, teachers, administrators, and parents are great. We have community activities and the teachers think of creative things to do, educationally. I also like this school because it has all different races, colors, and people. I would recommend this school to any kid looking for a fun time, a great education, and some happy memories.
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