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GreatSchools Rating

Takoma Park Middle School

Public | 6-8 | 840 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

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13 reviews of this school


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Posted November 13, 2014

I have a child who attends the magnet program at this school, and I do like this school, although I am frankly disappointed with a few aspects. The new principle (this is her second year) is amazing and really puts aside some time to try to contribute to the students - I've heard that the "theme" this year is superheroes, which my daughter thinks is pretty cool. Most of the teachers, as well, are definitely well-qualified and know what they are doing. However, there do seem to be some teachers who have less positive attitudes towards students, especially some non-magnet teachers towards the magnet. There's also the fact that last year, a student was apparently pushed into a locker and had to wait almost to the point of suffocation until rescued by building services. I was very scared for the safety of my child when I heard about this, and I think that somehow it's not something that would happen in some other schools. The curriculum of the school, however, is pretty challenging for the most part, depending on which teacher a student has, and most of the teachers that my child has had do present it in a relevant way that keeps my child looking forward to all of her classes.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2014

I am currently a seventh grader at this school and i love it. From the minute i stepped in i felt welcomed and secure.There are so many nice teachers in and outside the magnet. The school has amazing bands, very many other electives such as Spanish, French, the home education class, computer applications, and multimedia. There are very many extra curricular activities too that you can enjoy. It is surprisingly diverse and filled with so many students that you are bound to find friends. It is the perfect stepping stone in between elementary and high school, because it welcomes you, teaches you, and challenges you, all while preparing you for high school or "the real world." I would generally recommend it to everyone, but some people might struggle with so many people and such a diverse environment. A Really Good School!!!


Posted January 5, 2014

I am a student at TPM and I generally like it. I love most of my magnet classes even though I dislike some of those teachers. With that in mind, the non-magnet academic classes have ten somewhat of a problem. World Studies is fine and has good teachers, but an extremely easy curriculum for most of the magnet. Then there is English. At TPMS, all magnet students take a class called Advanced English 6, 7, or 8. This class is extremely easy and not up to any standards of a magnet student. The school offers this as the most advanced english course e The teachers for this class are generally not that great in my experience but, some are less than par. My electives are great here as well. I am in advanced band and our teacher is wonderful. Also, my spanish experiences here are great as well with some very experienced and challenging teachers. TPMS is the place to be for you if you really want to pursue math, science, and technology, but if you want more liberal arts, try somewhere else.


Posted October 31, 2013

To be honest (and as speaking as a student) the experience the school offers is great if you're in the magnet. If you're not, it's a normal school. Again, as the person below me said our English teachers are fine despite the school having a Math/Science/Computer Science focus. Really, I don't see a way TPMS could improve, it's already great the way it is (however closed-minded that sounds.) Clubs here are great, there are almost too many in my opinion XD the band is good, and I have no idea where the topic of bullying was raised. I.... haven't seen a single example of bullying in the three years I've been here? However the school demands a lot of work, but if you apply here that's what you're asking for :/


Posted February 17, 2013

I am currently an eighth grader at this school and I couldn't be happier with my experience. While my friends have complained about some of the teachers I have never really disliked a teacher in the three years I've been here. Granted some are less than extraordinary but if you pay attention in class you will learn everything you need to know. The classes make the subject actually interesting and the student culture is such that everyone enjoys learning. On the topic of student culture, some people worry about fights and bullying. I've that you can easily avoid this by simply not making an effort to join in with misbehaving students. Bullying has never been an issue for me- as long as your friends are positive influences your social experience here will be great. Takoma really helps you become well-rounded, with a huge range of electives and after-school clubs. The diversity of talent and personalities is amazing. Contrary to popular belief our English classes are generally phenomenal. My current English teacher had previously taught AP English in high school, and he helps us prepare for high school English. After learning here for three years I know I'm ready for high school!


Posted December 7, 2012

The extra-curricular activities are truly exemplary. While the humanities courses are not particularly strong due to the STEM magnet program, they are not weak either and most of the teachers are superb. The Science Teams and Math Teams are amazing as well. I couldn't have asked for more out of my experience here.


Posted March 26, 2011

There are some great teachers at this school, and overall we are happy. While the great teachers outnumber the poor ones, there are definitely some poor teachers as well, though that's probably true in any school. Parents are also expected to check Edline regularly, but apparently teachers are not expected to update Edline on a regular basis. Often 3 weeks will go by without updates, and many teachers don't bother to post assignments on Edline, which means if you have a disorganized kid who doesn't get everything down in her agenda then you can't support them as much as you should be able to. The communication is also much poorer than I would have expected. My child was failing a class and I heard nothing from the teacher. In sixth grade, the teacher should notify the parents. Not all teachers are good about responding to emails, and policies are not well communicated. The administration is not as receptive to feedback as they should be, perhaps because overall they do a good job educating their students. However, there is room for improvement, especially in the areas mentioned above, and in the language arts classes. Students are not taught to write effectively.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 15, 2010

My child is fortunate to be in the magnet program at Takoma Park Middle. His experience has been fantastic, from the very first day. The quality of the teaching and organization of the magnet program is absolutely incredible. Prior to his transfer to Takoma Park, my child was attending an academically centered private school. We have found the teaching at Takoma Park to be equal or better than what we experienced in the private school environment. The extra curricular activities are also very good, well managed and expansive for the students. This school is a 5 in my book!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 17, 2010

gives a great transition from elementary to high school; perfect stepping stone; well-grounded


Posted April 14, 2009

this school is the best! clean, excellent education. great teachers! the first day i walked in as a 6th grader two years ago, i felt so welcomed and relaxed. not like in other schools. i wish i never transferred, especially at the end of 8th grade. trust and believe me, if ur student goes to this school or will be goin to this skool, they might complain that they dnt like it, but you know what? the day they leave they'll be wanting to go back. everyone and anyone will garanteed this to u! i miss it here soooo much!
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 5, 2008

Principal leadership - 1 Teacher Quality - 4 (most are excellent, but there are a few who should probably not be teaching in middle school) Extracurricular - 4 Parent Involvement - 3 Safety and Discipline - 1 (Fights are all too common and there is inadequate supervision to prevent them. When there is aggression,often the victim and the aggressors receive the same punishment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 16, 2007

Extracurricular activities are very nice, however, there are many less than perfect teachers, and some of the administrators aren't that great at fair discipline.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 9, 2006

Takoma Park Middle School is a rigorous, but highly integrated and diverse middle school. It is an example of the great education a public school can provide when there is community support and concerned parents and sufficient resources to get quality facilities and staff. I could afford to put my daughter in an 'elite' private school, but I cannot imagine she would get a better education than what she is getting at TPMS. Before TPMS my daughter attended Southern Middle School near Annapolis Maryland. This was a far less diverse school (ethnically, racially) in a rich rural area. However the difference in quality of education is stark, especially in math. My daughter was far behind the math level of the TPMS students when she transferred in the middle of 6th grade. Through extensive work and a lot of emphasis on homework, my daughter has now caught up, and is a B math student.
—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.

303 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
89%

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
92%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 83% in 2014.

251 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
92%

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
95%
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.

323 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
88%

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
88%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2014.

325 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
90%

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
94%
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.

304 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
83%

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
88%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2014.

307 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
91%

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
>=95%
Science

The state average for Science was 69% in 2014.

304 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
82%

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
85%
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
White 32% 42%
Black 28% 35%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 20% 6%
Hispanic 14% 12%
Two or more races 6% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 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 25%N/A42%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students School psychologist
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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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

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

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • School psychologist
School leaders can update this 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 »

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 psychologist
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School leaders can update this information here.

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Parent involvement
  • Join PTO/PTA
School leaders can update this information here.

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7611 Piney Branch Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 650-6444

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