There are typically 10 classes per grade, but since TPES is a focus school, class sizes are small (20). Also the number of students for grade, makes it possible to offer differentiated math and reading that goes above and beyond other public schools in the county. Finally, the primary STEM magnet program also provides additional enrichment opportunities.
I am very happy with TPES. My son has ADHD and Aspergers - but he is happy and thriving at this school. He gets support from special educators, but spends most of his time in his regular class - where he has friends and is doing very well academically. I especially want to commend the principal for always going the extra mile to do the best for our son, even when MCPS bureaucracy made this difficult.
I have two kids at TPES. We travel a great distance for my son to go to school for the "magnet" program. If my older son didn't love TPES so much and the teachers, administrators and support staff were not so incredibly dedicated, we would not do the commute. The magnet program has lost a lot of funding, but there are still a lot of high achievers, who push each other. It is challenging for teachers to provide instruction for such a wide spectrum of ability, but I know that my kids are still getting a superior education while studying among a diverse population. There is much more to an education than learning the material presented. I want my children to learn how to work within a population which is diverse in almost every way. At TPES each student is unique and recognized for who they are, not just a number. They are more encouraged to perform than pressured to conform.
My son attended kindergarten and first grade at TPES. We left due a cross-country move and couldn't be sorrier to leave. My son's teachers have been nothing short of outstanding. He has thrived at TPES and is sad to leave. I have spent years working inside schools and have never been as impressed with a school as I have been with TPES. I repeat, TPES, is hands-down the best school I have seen in terms of its operations, administration, teaching, coordination among teachers (both within and across grade-levels), attention to all of the students' needs (academic, emotional, and sometimes even financial), including attention to its higher and highest academic achievers. TPES really does teach to the whole child with every child, and it is not a small school. TPES also has a population of what some school administrators might refer to as a high-maintenance parent population. If there are any complaints about principal leadership, in my opinion, it is largely based on the principal sometimes failing to accommodate parent desires as she tried to balance ongoing major changes in the school (2 big moves and an influx of students due to boundary changes) as she kept all students in mind.
This past year TPES had larger classes and a dedicated science teacher. The teaching staff was excellent. Our daughter had the same sub for the 1st 4 months of the school year and thrived. Other parents we spoke with were also pleased with the education their children were receiving. However, most of us agree that there were problems with the principal.
I am disappointed with TPES. I had heard such great things about the school prior to enrolling our daughter, who is in 1st grade this year. The front desk staff is not very friendly, they do not let you walk your child into their classroom EVER, and they give you nasty notes or question you rudely if you need to take your child out for any reason. Forget about bringing a younger sibling into the school for a birthday treat - no sibs allowed. My daughter had a sub more than half the year this year, and her teacher had a great excuse for being away and seems like a good teacher, but it did our daughter no favors. She is in the Magnet program, but I have seen no evidence of anything extra or interesting coming from that - this year it seems to be meaningless.
i am very pleaesed with the school. The secretary lives across the street and knows almost if not every student by name. The classes are small. Our second grader was below level in reading but still in a class setting that encouraged him and gave him the confidence he needed to become an awersome reader. The staff is very involved with the students and the parents are also very involved.