Having been a MV student for 13 years, from K-12, I would recommend the school, with some cautions. Among the school's flaws are its high teacher turnover rate, overcontrolling nature, and focus on either extreme of the student grade spectrum. A number of the teachers are fresh from college, beginning their first job, and move on to a better-paying school in a few years. This is difficult for students. Many policies seem pointlessly controlling, and sometimes new stupid rules pop up--No spiralbound notebooks! You all must own an umbrella!--but are soon forgotten. Students with neither consistently high or low grades, but somewhere in between, may feel neglected. But the teachers are largely excellent, and the high school uses the IB Program (research it, but I recommend it) which brings a semi-external curriculum to 11th and 12th grade. Sincere care for the students helps MV shine, as well as its confidence in (obsession with?) striving to be great. Visit the school and talk with both students and teachers, if you can, to see if MV is right for you. It's not for everyone. But it is well worth its price of admission. Since it's free. If you can get past the wait list. (Good luck.)
This is an excellent K-12 school. I have one that just graduated and one in grade school. The high expectations really produce results. I love the uniforms, code of ethics, and discipline. Kids don't fall through the cracks here, and are do not move on without mastery of the grade material. At the high school level, the International Baccalaureate program for the advanced student is unbelievable. My child was so ready for college after that experience. Sure there are things I don't like, some mentioned here, but the alternative is the district school. This is what every school system should be.
I have 2 kids currently at MVRCS and I am very happy about it- My now 3rd grader moved from a Malden public school after her brother got accepted and I am GLAD I did not hold her back-No transition problems both socially or academically-she fit right in made friends right away and she excelled academically. She loves MVRCS and she is greatful to be going there-she says she was not challenged enough at her old school and it was boring....My now 1st greater entered K at MVRCS and I cannot believe how much he learned so far :-)
It's not what I thought it would be. The "World Class Education" is not for every child. Don't ever question the school because they don't like it and will retaliate against your child. They may have awards and such from Newsweek and good MCAS scores, but they are only average in their SAT scores.
The curriculum at Mystic Valley is second to none. Their reading program (direct instruction) is highly recommended and is actually one of the few programs out there that is both explicit and systematic enough to greatly benefit those with dyslexia (see Overcoming Dyslexia, Sally Shaywitz), Both Reading and Math are grouped by ability, so you don't have huge disparity between students. The math program (Saxon) builds upon itself and is always revisiting what children have already learned to reinforce their knowledge. (So you don't study it for the test and forget it). The teachers are caring and go above and beyond what you would find in a public school system. Anyt who may not have licenses are working towards them and they do have ongoing training (unlike what another post wrote). It may not be right for every student (long hours, uniform policy, longer school year) but is great for most.
Not impressed. This school may be better than other options for these communities, but is lacking on many issues. Many of the teachers are not certified and receive limited guidance. As with many charter schools, this school is not the place to send a child who has any diverse learning needs (i.e. special ed of any sort). They are not able to offer the services that the public schools do, and what they do offer is questionable at best. While many children appear to do well there, parents need to be sure the child is working at the right grade level.
My son is in the 3rd grade at MVRCS, having entered in Kindergarten. He is my only child at a charter school, the other 2 are in Catholic high school and Public Middle school. There is no comparison- MVRCS is the best choice! When my son was accepted at MVRCS I was not familiar with the school and sent him to Kindergarten mainly because they offered free all day Kindergarten. My other 2 were offered places at MVRCS, which I turned down because I didn't want to uproot them from the schools they were familiar with. Huge error! When 1 child is accepted here, that is your 1 and only chance to move any other children to the school. When I realized what a fantastic opportunity this school was, my other children were denied admission. My own fault, I know, but I wish that my other 2 could be here too.