We moved into the area from out of state about 1 year ago and specifically chose Eastern Middle School out of many high quality schools in the area. We have found outstanding teachers but also teachers that give the students material to read and don't even 'teach'. Our child is in 'Challenge' classes and we haven't found that she is being challenged, unless you consider more homework as high quality education. The school espouses developmentally appropriate instruction for the 7/8 student body, but I don't see a lot of that happening. The 'electives' look great on paper but the kids don't seem to enjoy these classes (except foreign language). Our child has made many friends, but that might be attributed to her personality and zeal for sports. Overall, I think my child is getting a good education, but it has not be the high quality that I was looking for.
My daughter had special needs and they have a wonderful Support program that really made a difference for her. Her grades went from D's and E's to A's,B's and C's. Her self esteem has soared. She loves her school. She is moving to the high school section this year and they counsel the parents and the kids on the transition. It really helped when it came to picking her classes.