We started out excited about sending out 7th grader to this school. Unfortunately, it was a less than positive experience. Academically she fell behind and we needed tutors to get her into a good 8th grade school. The social experience is that of kids that are beyond their years, and very distracting. When I tried to talk to the advisor about issues related to my daughters academic performance, I was met with a very disinterested teacher. There were a few good teachers, but the majority were not interested in the students as individuals at all. While the discipline is strict because it has to be with all those kids, at times I thought it was rather unfair as well. The vice principal is fantastic, above and beyond, but he cannot make up for the other shortcomings in the school. Unfortunately, the crowding of the school is a big part of the problem, so unless the state provides more funding for more space and teachers, I don't see how it can improve.
I have to say we started out with high hopes for this school and been rather disappointed. The academics are at best mediocre. But the major issue is that some (not all) of the teachers are not interested in the kids at all. The vice principal is excellent, but unfortunately he can't make up for the other problems the school has. I am not re-enrolling my child next year.
I love Tappan! All of the teachers a supportive and encouraging to students. The students are pretty nice and ready to learn. The activities are amazing! There is a wide variety of sports to choose from including soccer, volleyball,basketball,track, etc. There is a suitable and creative environment for students to learn in and is also a great place to meet new people and try new things. Overall Tappan is an amazing school!
My daughter had a horrible experience at this school and left after 6th grade. A great deal of bullying and physical contact (hitting, fighting,shoving) are the norm here. I have witnessed teachers turning a blind eye to this behavior. No one is even trying to pretend that there is any teaching or learning going on at this school.
Tappan has many dedicated teachers and counselors. Band is incredible. Many parents are disappointed as there has been a recent change in leadership that was instituted without community input (Interim Principal made permanent). Students say that she is neither engaged with the students nor visible in the hallways. This has caused many families to leave the public schools for middle school. Hopefully AAPS administration will look at leadership more closely before assigning people who do not have the skills nor training.
Overall, Tappan is a good school. There are really great teachers and not so great teachers. If you have a motivated, disciplined student, they can do well and have a great academic experience. The counselors are also wonderful and really try to smooth the transitions between elementary school to middle school and middle school to high school. I haven't had any experience with the principal, so I can't really comment. The only negative point I would make would be in regard to the physical education program. Specifically, one teacher in that program. Both of my children disliked him intensely. I have heard this repeated by many other parents and students. If your child is not a "jock" then they will definitely be second-class citizens in his gym class. He makes rude comments to children, divides team sports into jocks and non-jocks, and basically projects an unwelcoming and demeaning environment for those not into team sports. It's a shame that Tappan can't provide a better physical education experience.
My daughter barely passed. The teachers did try to keep up with emails etc but the school is very large and it was hard to keep up with all the students. Papers were lost and I had to resign even basic forms several times. The school is very pretty but my daughter felt bullied and lost most of the time. For our family it was not a good experience.