You can't escape the fact that this is part of the Baltimore City School System. The administration is purposefully opaque in all their dealings, just like North Avenue.If your child has a disability, they will try to con you out of accommodations. Don't trust them. Get an advocate
I attended RPEMS from kindergarten through the beginning of seventh grade. My experiences in elementary school here were almost entirely good ones, but for an inevitable few bad teachers. However, once I began middle school (I was in the Ingenuity Program), everything went downhill. There was a definite sense of elitism amongst the students, and for many students their self-esteem was based almost entirely on their grades. For math, each class was divided into two groups, the "fast" and the "slow" learners. Having these more personalised classes could have been quite beneficial, but because the children are taught that intelligence/gpa is their sole source of value, being placed in the "slow" class was very damaging to many students (myself included). This also created a more intense atmosphere of competition, because if a student did well enough in the "slow" class they could be promoted to the "fast" class. The rest of the classes were awful. I think the teachers did their best, but with so many students it had to have been difficult. Rather than teaching more difficult topics (as one would expect in an advanced program), the teachers merely assigned more classwork and homework on simple topics. This caused a lot of stress for many students, because it was impossible to get good grades without spending nearly all your free time working on homework (even if you understood the topic). I remember having an average of three hours of homework a day in seventh grade. Many students in my class that year dropped out (including myself) due to anxiety & depression caused by stress- CHILDREN were cutting themselves because the Ingenuity Program taught them that they have no worth beyond a number on a paper. Protect your children's mental and emotional health- do not send them here for middle school.
When we first entered Roland Park Elementary School in 2003, it was a moderate-sized academically challenging neighborhood school. Our kids were happy and we felt blessed to have found one of the only decent schools in Baltimore City. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said 10 years later. In fact, we pulled our last child from Roland Park after 5th grade and transfered to private school. Through a combination of over-crowding, decline in academic rigor, poor school management on the part of Baltimore City Public Schools, terrible curriculum changes, and declining facilities, this school has had a fundamental negative shift during our 10 years of attendance. Teacher morale is low (I'm a former employee as well) and student behavior is intolerable (by my standards, which admittedly are high). Many great teachers continue to struggle on and do the best they can - my hats are off to them, as they are the one bright spot in this once great school.