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GreatSchools Rating

Southwest Academy

Public | 6-8 | 743 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
No new ratings

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18 reviews of this school


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Posted October 6, 2013

I was a student a southwest Academy last year and I loved it very much so of course the schools not perfect no school is but it's very much educational and fun theirs so many beneficial opportunities for the kids in the extra curriculum area such as chorus,dance and band. There are afterschool. Programs and trips to take such as going to new York and performing and staying over night. And the Spanish program is amazing. Your child would have a chance to take up to Spanish two. And Southwest started this cool program last year called get global where each mouth they recognize and celebrate a culture. We also had many concerts and junior prom and dance mixers so your child will love it there


Posted July 14, 2013

I'm a student at SWA and I'm going into the 8th grade. So far , I very much love this school. The school is very fun which makes me want to go to schools. Though there are drama and bad kids here. I stay away from that and just enjoy middle school while I can. I recommend this school for anyone that loves chorus or dance because I've very much been loving those two subjects and I can say that my 7th grade year was the most amazing. Grades went up, school was easier, and the fun stuff we do here like field trips, basketball games, prom, dances, concerts, and many many more! I cannot wait till summers over so I can enjoy my 8th grade (: O , and btw you'll like the school if Ur a good student.. The teachers and principals don't like bad students.. And they're serious and can put u out in a split


Posted December 31, 2012

I am currently a student at southwest academy in the 7th and i have to say since the new principal has started working there things have gotten a little better.But if you are looking for a school to go to you may want to check a couple of other schools.My main reason is the oter students there some of them are fine but some can make you very distracted.But its not just the students its the teacher to some of them are just as bad as the students.


Posted June 30, 2010

My son is in the science magnet program at SWA. I read all of the reviews, checked the school MSA scores, talked to other parents and made a conscious decision to send my son there for 6th grade for better or for worse. After one year I must say my SWA "scale" was not tipped to one end or the other (better or worst). The administrative and teaching staff was very responsive and very much open to go above and beyond the call of duty. My son always had a notebook full of work throughout the entire school, not just during MSA. The school utilized the phone messaging system to send out school updates and generally enforced the code of conduct in a consistent, fair, and reward based manner. I can t SWA reputation or previous ratings are completely off base as I do see cracks in the school such as inconsistent enforcement of the school uniform policy and relatively higher academic rigor during MSA time. However I can say parent involvement appears to be low which has a huge impact on the success of a school. With that said the school is not the best but it definitely is not the worst it is as good or bad as you make it. We are riding it out and we are going to make it GREAT!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 28, 2009

The school is ridiculously underfunded. Teachers are given ONE box of copy paper to last the entire year. Focus on learning is on hold for several months BEFORE MSA tests. All time is spent learning how to answer test questions. No learning takes place during this time. The school only cares about making AYP...meaning, if students don't do well on the tests, they lose funding and the school is taken over by the state. To make sure students pass, teachers focus on test-taking skills rather than History, Science, English, Math, etc.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 24, 2009

The Administration paints a vague picture of reality. It is possible their reputation is linked to specific numbers., What 'appears' to be the problem, How many problems there really are. The school looks better on paper if suspensions are low, as well as absences. There is a very big difference from what is shown to what really occurs here. If your child wants to learn, try getting into another magnet program


Posted August 22, 2009

My child has completed 3 yrs at SWA. Although she was in all the G.T classes, I was really DISAPPOINTED to recieve the MSA results in the mail last week!!!! My child one of the few that scored ADVANCE in both reading and math, but to see that school is BASIC in Math was very appaling. Some of the teachers are just as rowdy as some of the kids. Although it was the first year for the new principle I sure hope that she re-evaulate her V.P staff or I will have no choice to find an alternative school for my next child who is due to attend a middle school in two years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 21, 2009

The Administration must re-define their priorities and set an example for their teachers. I went in with an open-mind and left with a clear perspective of why the students are not preforming. I would never recommend any child to attend this school. The special education system needs much repair, and some teachers are left without the assistance they need. My child was 1 out of 34 students in an academic class. There is no facility to remove disruptive students during the school day, so they are able to disrupt the learning of the others. A vague and biased discipline system. It appears that some teachers are given more resources, while others are left to fend for themselves. My child will not be returning. The principal can only do so much if his/her A.P.'s are not communicating fairly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2009

I am a student at s.w.a currently in the 7th grade finishing off the last semester.(2008-09) Recently i've noticed these reviews. You must be able to look at the Pros And Cons. The only problem is not ONLY the students or teachers fault but it is also the parents fault for not inforcing any academic work upon their kids. But this year with a new set of foundation everything is changing into a good turn; even if it isnt in a good fast process. The body system of the school is atleast trying then doing nothing at all. I am a 4.0 AVG student; heading to the gifted program in 8th Grade of 2010. In time S.W.A will progress. Please do NOT JUDGE as if you go there, and have experienced it, Personally your saying that ALL students are idiots? Think before you judge.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 19, 2008

I do not recommend this school. Parents, think long and hard about the school you send your child to. Southwest has been a great disappointment. The teachers nor administrative staff have not been supportive at all this school year (2008-09). The MSA test scores continue to decline. Most importantly, the safety and quality of work has me very concerned. I decided to withdraw my son from this school and send him to private school....where he tested into the gifted program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2008

My child is in the 8th, and I feel this school year is starting off to be the best year. With a new principle and fairly new teachers I've notice a change. I think the kids are your typical 'middle school' kids. This is their time when some are trying to find themselves in life, and I feel this year's teachers are finally understanding that. I do get automated phone calls about school events at least once a week. So Southwest is trying to get the community/parents involved.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2008

I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by all the positive changes at Southwest Academy for the 2008-2009 school year. I am the parent of a 6th grade student who is in the GT (Gifted and Talented) program and Dance Magnet. My daughter loves school and all of her teachers. The work is challenging and the quantity of homework is consistent with the class work-load. The new administration has proven to be quite dedicated and the newly hired teaching staff seems to be highly qualified and very professional. You can see a vast improvement at the school. Its been a pleasure so far.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 7, 2008

i am currently a student at southwest academy and its the best. I have alot of friends and learn alot and the teachers are the best ever..
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 25, 2006

I am a former teacher at southwest academy. I taught at the school for two years and enjoyed my time teaching there. I had my fair share of good and bad days. I think that with the proper support system of parent and community any school can succeed. So the question I ask is, should we say that this is a bad school or should we be saying that its not in the best community. There are many dedicated staff members at the school who really do care about the future of our society which are our children.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 1, 2005

I would not recommend anyone taking their child to this school. The school is extremely over-crowded and the teachers could care less whether your child passes or fails.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2005

This school is an average school. The science magnet program is highly educational. There are great programs too, but I gave it a 4 insead of 5 because of the Southwest Aademy MESA program, which won the county prize twice in row had very few meetings this year(2004-2005). The sixth grade math teachers are very good as one teacher, Mrs.Roberts helps her students a lot. The qualification of some teachers seems to be high because the children have learned a lot from them. These are mostly the science and math teachers. The principal does not seem to be a good manager though. The safety and discipline of the schoo is low. There have been a few stinkbombs and quite a lot of bomb threats and fights recently. some teachers also are very high tempered and seem to be lowly qualified.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 21, 2004

My child has attended this school for 2years now. I am especially dissapointed and ashamed of the music department. Since mr. Smith and ms. Leak moved on to greater challenges the music department has really suffered. The recent spring concert showed how little effort and interest was made in giving an excellent performance. Proper dress code was not enforced. It was awful. Some of the parents should have been ashamed to allow their kids to dress inappropriately. For the students who showed great talent, poise and professionalism it was a blessing to see. It was also dissapointing that the principal did not attend to show her support.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 19, 2004

Both of my daughters attend this school. I must admit, from outer appearances, it appears frightening especially when you witness hundreds of kids in the hallway during the course of changing classes. However, this school has strong support from the parents. Parent patrol, which consists of over 30 parents, is always present to prevent potential adverse situations in the hallways or in classes. The parent patrol take an active role in counseling the kids on how to behave. I am truly impressed. Southwest Acedemny proves that it definitely takes a village to raise a child.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 68% in 2014.

235 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
67%

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
81%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 83% in 2014.

268 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
78%

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
80%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2014.

276 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
50%

2013

 
 
62%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
68%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2014.

231 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
76%

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
81%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 59% in 2014.

245 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
45%

2013

 
 
58%

2012

 
 
58%

2011

 
 
49%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2014.

246 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
74%

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
80%
Science

The state average for Science was 69% in 2014.

246 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
66%

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
51%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Maryland used the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in reading and math, and grades 5 and 8 in science. The MSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Maryland. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 78% 35%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 9% 6%
Hispanic 6% 12%
White 4% 42%
Two or more races 2% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 70%N/A42%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students School counslor
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment

Arts & music

Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
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Programs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • School counslor
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Cafeteria
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Arts & music

Music
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Parent involvement
  • Join PTO/PTA
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
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6200 Johnnycake Rd
Baltimore, MD 21207
Phone: (410) 887-0825

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