This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Takoma Park Middle School3
Posted November 13, 2014
- a parent
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.
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!!!
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.
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 :/
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!
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.
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.
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!