This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Thomas W. Pyle Middle School2
Posted August 07, 2014
- a community member
Pyle Middle School is okay. I went there and am going to be a junior in high school this year, but not at Walt Whitman High School. I went to Whitman for my freshman year and for a tiny portion of last school year, but moved to Severna Park High School (Anne Arundel County). Pyle has nice teachers, but the schools' local community is a snobbish community who just has one goal: To be the best at everything, even if it risks your child's happiness. Walt Whitman High School is even worse (which is why we left). Not only do they push expectations, but they pass kids just to make numbers look good. And Whitman doesn't do it for all of its students. Only for the students that are in a sport or are in some big school club or something. The education quality at Bethesda schools is the same as any other MoCO school. Don't be fooled and waste your money on a house in Bethesda, when there are many more academically outstanding schools that provide a better, more diverse social environment and don't require you to sell your soul on a house.
I came here in the 7th grade, and I sure was glad when I found out that I didn't have to be here in the 8th grade. The environment is a bit too restrictive. I wasn't allowed to leave the cafeteria during lunch, and I had to wait outside the main entrance in all weather extremes until 7:45 to enter the building, even though the bus almost always arrived earlier. I could only be at a designated area during TAG unless I had a pass. Grade integration is discouraged because on the buses, it's 6th front, 7th middle, and 8th back (student tradition). Lunch periods are segregated by grade, so 8th graders are guaranteed to go hungry with 3rd or 4th lunch. The 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms are grouped together. Backpacks and coats have to be stored in lockers, so when there was a fire emergency in December, I had to stand outside in the freezing cold. There is one media center rather than multiple computer labs. The good things about Pyle were the food and sufficient academic performance. Most kids made the honor roll and a large percentage got straight As for a given quarter. There were two teachers that I liked out of the nine I had.
In some ways Pyle is a great school. The curriculum is excellent and rigorous, if a little traditional. Most teachers are dedicated and caring. But be prepared for high expectations on students, relentless pressure and over-emphasis on grades and testing. I get that the school tries to prepare students for the pressure and competitiveness of high school, but it is too much pressure on kids too early. This school may be better than most, but it does not attempt to meet the needs of young people. Rather, It demands that students fit its mould. There is a belief that as Pyle is such a good school, if a student is unhappy there must be something wrong with the student. There is no recess or outdoor time during the school day, which is just terrible for students this age. Students often can't sit with friends, even at lunch. At worst, It is a rote learning factory churning out high performing, hard working drones. But they will be prepared for the demands and high expectations of the local high school. The school isn't totally responsible for this educational culture - local parents demand the school set the bar high for students. But I've met many parents who question it too.
This school is inconclusive no other word for it the English teachers drone on the front office is rude (They seem to speek in some wierd variation of morse code that involves tapping on the desk) avoid it at all costs alot of my fellow students are rude as well it's like no one here knows how to act halfway decent i'm thinking of leaving and going to Westland thigs seem much better there than at this poor school.
omg the person below me is right. The front office is VERY RUDE. I have zero involvement with the school because of it. I think my kids are doing ok but it really it's just average and not worth 5 stars. If your first point of contact with the school is the front office and the interaction is so rude what does that say about the school.....
Academically this school is first-rate. About half of the teachers through my child's time here were excellent and the other half were mediocre (especially the teachers who've been there for many, many years). The counselors are superb! The front office -- if you ever have to do anything that requires you dealing with the people in the front office, brace yourself for uncivil behavior, including answering your questions with tapping on different parts of the desk to indicate a form that needs to be filled out (Hey lady, I don't speak "tap" - USE YOUR WORDS!). Avoid the front office as much as possible.
This is one of the best public school and anyone placing their kids in private schools here really has an issue(s)!!! Of course there are minuses (such as the Drama dept... very unexpected BAD reviews there, take another elective and skip Mrs Cox OMG) but there are AMAZING teachers (walk on water amazing) and they really care about the kids, their safety, their learning styles etc... If your kids has ANY issue that needs to be addressed it will be. Their Special Ed department is unreal! They get kids from the brink back to straight As. My son attended 6, 7 and 8th gr and I cannot thank them enough for their "gentle toughness" and their constant attention. Counselors rock (REALLY!) and even if the language department leaves much to be desired in terms of teacher quality, you will not find a better math dept anywhere!!! The organization and parent contact and involvement also is fantastic. Go on ratemyteachers dot com and check out individuals. That's the only negative I can point out, but if your child has an issue with a specific teacher they will address it! They are very accessible. Loved it.
Pyle middle school has good teachers and to be honest is a pretty good school, however I do not beleive it is outstanding. I beleive for a school to be above average it needs to really engage students. It fails. English (one of my favorite subjects) has become so extremely boring I'm starting to forget the point. I have never liked math either but last year at my old school I got an A. Here I can barely stay awake. Also parents tend to be somewhat deluded about kids. There are some really great students but I've never met students (and I'm not just speaking about those few extremely bad kids) that where so stunningly disrespectful or immature. Not even funny immature just really annoying. My parents say thats most kids that lived out of the country are more mature, but going to school now feels like doomsday.
Truly a very productive school. I only recently transfered here from another public school in the county, and I couldn't be happier. The envoirment is so relaxed, and there are very little bullies and reluctant students who want to do work. The teachers put work in a creative, yet straitforward way. I wonder if thats just the way the cirricuclum is formed ir just the teachers. I haven't seen a teacher or student who isn't prepared to work (sadly with a few minnor exeptions). Not only that, but the extra cirricular activities are astonding. The band sounds very well organized and professional, unlike many other middle schools in the county which im sorry to say, are not as high quality as this one.