I have mixed feelings about the school. There are a few excellent and dedicated teachers in math, performing arts and previously in English. Science is weak, and English is extremely weak. Seems to be a safe environment and the principal is very energetic.
An excellent school - a private school quality in a public school. This is my 2nd child to attend this school and there have been many improvements over the last few years. It is a safe, caring and nurturing environment (in as much nurturing as middle school years can be!) The student body seems to be very tolerant of other cultures. The school is run well by experienced administrators and faculty. We have found very caring and hard working teachers. The orchestra and band programs are phenomenal with new leadership; they encourage outreach and class trips to go see Yo Yo Ma in Chicago! Middle school years are hard on the child because they are trying to figure out where they fit in the world but this is an excellent school (and an excellent school district in general!) to help them along their journey.
My kids attended MacDonald from 2004-2008. The positives: the team teaching concept seems to be fairly effective (1/2 the grade shares 4 core subject teachers, the other 1/2 shares the other 4 core subject teachers.) Language teaching is fairly strong (French, Spanish). Music program has been uneven due to transitions between teachers, but now I hear it is solid and strong. The building facility itself is perfect for the 7th and 8th grades. No overcrowding anywhere.
My daughter goes there and loves it. In 7th grade, there were no problems. She admired her teachers and did well. Now as an 8th grader, she still is doing well. The school is beautiful now that it has been refurbished.
Some teachers are great, and others are extremely bad. The extremely bad include teachers in English and Natural Science who disrespect and mistreat students and/or quite indifferent to their achievements. I wish my kids would not have gone there. And the principal lacks total leadership. Disappointing
I sent two daughters through this school between 2003-2006. I must say, it was the worst school experience in either of their lives! Middle school is hard enough socially, so when you add in incompetent leadership and inconsistently enforced standards, it's downright maddening. Some teachers and counselors were very committed, and others were downright callous and uncaring. If I had known then what I know now, I would have never sent my daughters to this school. And I will not be sending my youngest child there.
Academics varie a lot in MMS depending on each individual teacher. The elective courses offer a scarce variety, and there is no longer gym or sports! It offer 2 foreign languages for the 2 years, which I find it great preparation for HS. Actually the foreign language instruction is the best asset in this school.
As, class of 08, ! just recently left Macdomald Middle School. In seventh grade, the school had teams for the two grades. But as the school's budget wasd declining, the following year, it became a junior high. It was a change for 2003-2004 eight graders to get used to, but we adjusted. And those same people had to go through the construction years, which was over in the eight grade. The school was beautiful...new bathrooms with automatic toliets and sinks, marble floors and a bigger library were some of the changes that we enoyed. In the end, I really enjoyed going to this school; I couldn't imagine going to another.
Don't look for a simple phone call from McDonald staff to inform parents that their child is failing course work in just about every marking period for 3/4 of the school year. After finally hearing of this, 'I' kept in daily contact via phone calls, e-mails, school website and daily progress reports. Some teachers went up and beyond to help, others acted as if it was a burden. McDonald 7th and 8th grades seem to be a year ahead for each. My children found themselves doing Lansing School District 8th grade work while in McDonald 7th grade classes. Some McDonald teachers will leave your children feeling as if they don't belong if they don't understand the work. Look to pay a hefty participation fee from the city itself if you child wants to play any sport other than McDonald soccer or track.
Unfortunately, the quality of this school has decreased significantly in the past couple of years. There is little discipline and my child describes the hallways as chaotic and the language that is considered acceptable by the staff as crude. If I had known two years ago what I know now about the school I would never have sent my child there.