Lets face it, if you want good solid peer to peer relationships and a child who is challenged by school and learns - this is your school. There is a high emphasis on MATH, SCIENCE and MUSIC. Your child will do well if that is their interest, if not, this isn't a good match. I have one at the school now and I am becoming involved with more of the school's operations as a parent and i find it to need support from parents. It is going through growing pains but in a positive way. There is no grade inflation like other schools in SOwashco (many suspect and mentioned here). If you're kid needs football and marching band and the like, they won't get it at MSA, rather the emphasis is on activities that are academic like the Fighting Calculators that do robotics competitions. But the school's MCA scores DON'T lie. Check out the MCA testing web site at the Mn Dept of Ed and they are of course at the top for scores. So bottom line, ask yourself what's your college bound goal for your child? What can they handle? What is their academic priority? If the priority is athletics or activities, best go to Woodbury/Lake Jr Highs or Woodbury/Eastridge Sr. so your child can focus on that.
I go to school at MSA (and am leaving this year) and completely unsatisfied and I'll tell you why you should never send you child here. The teachers don't help, the average homework load for sixth grade is 2-3 hours a night ,and is worth too many points. I have been up at 12 pm still trying to finish homework. I have been depressed after i joined this school and i want to warn you that this school is NOT worth it.
Pros: MSA is a wonderful school. The small class sizes are very helpful. The teachers care about your success and you can always email, call, or even come after school if you don't understand the homework. There are wonderful electives to chose from, with the variety increasing as you get in higher grades. Stealing and bullying are very uncommon in this school. Nobody will criticize you If you are smart it also has an awesome track and field program. Cons: MSA doesn't offer as many sports as other public schools may have. Also, one can't come into MSA hating school or being lazy. You get a fair amount of homework, and to get As and Bs you have to actually want to learn, especially when you get into higher grades.
Lets be honest. This School isn't really that great. I attended in middle school, and I hated it. I have since switched to the far better/larger and dare I say more affluent East Ridge High School. The teachers are horrible except for a select few. The good teachers however is not enough to outweigh the terrible athletics, and terrible communication. If I were a parent, I would never send my child to this school.
Both my children have gone to this school. I am not impressed with the kids school year starting a week late because the new building was not "done". Also the day before school started they changed the lunches without emailing the parents. Very low communication levels. Not impressed with this school.
MSA was truly an amazing experience for me. It was an opportunity that you do not want to miss out on. I made such great friends here, and there were wonderful teachers. I have lots of interests in astronomy, and last year I worked with one of the teachers to start an astronomy club. It was very fun, and we even went on a field trip. (Plus hard classes) Another thing I loved about MSA was the sense of pride and family. Even though I didn't know some of the older kids or even some of the teachers, I felt so proud when I told people I went to the Minnesota Math and Science Academy. I recently moved half way across the country because my dad got a job in a different state, so obviously I can no longer attend this school. I loved it so much, and I had so many great friends. Actually, one of my friends told me that the new principal is trying to make the school bigger, add more classrooms and other things. MSA was so perfect the way it was--it is one of the top performing school. But we do need a gym :) I'm writing this review partly to say thanks to this amazing school. I will never have an experience quite like this one, and it was with a heavy heart I said good bye. GO MSA DRAGONS! I
Personally, I went here and I couldn't stand it. The teachers were nice and I had some good friends, but I hated the school itself. I quit after 8 weeks and went back to my public junior high school and was much happier not going to MSA. I failed every class except Spanish. We went to camp for 3 days too and that was not a fun experience. I don't think MSA should be encouraged
I hate parents who complain when their children fail. It is not the schools fault--it is the child's. They don't do their homework. I did my homework every night, but barely studied for tests. I made it on the A honor roll!! Seriously great school!!
As a graduate of Math and Science Academy, and now a teacher myself (in a different state), this school was an extremely important part of my life and education. This school pushes you extremely hard and forces you to spend countless hours working on homework and studying. Because of this school, the transition between high-school and college was extremely easy. I was already used to talking to my instructors outside of class if I needed additional help and felt comfortable asking questions. This school made me realize I need to work hard and not settle for anything less than my very best work. Granted this school is not for everyone, it is wonderful for those who love the extra work or need a little "nerdy" haven to learn and grow.
As a student of MSA, I love it here. A lot of people complain "the teachers don't care," but if you ask the teachers for help after school, they do help. And although it is hard, isn't that why your going here? To be challenged? This school is great and the teachers push you to be great. This school's 10th and 11th grade, in 2010-2011, have the best test scores in the state of Minnesota. A diploma from here is very valuable. The lego robotics team does very well, and although we don't have a lot of sports, we do have some, like basketball and baseball. This school is a blue ribbon school from 2009. Go MSA Dragons!
This is a horrible school! Our son was there for 2 years and treated terribly. He went from being in the top of his class to almost failing. He is now at a different school and thriving. The teachers and staff are not helpful and do not care about the children. Do not send your children to this school. It is not about math and science. It is just about not having sports.
As a former student, and now a parent, I would never send my kids here. I was a good student, but not the BEST student. I was treated terribly by most of the teachers except for a select few. I ended up switching to a public school, and the teachers there were so much more friendly to even the worst students. I am now at a great university and receiving a full scholarship. It had nothing to do with what school I went to, it just had to do with my hard work. Also, the bullying there is almost worse than that at a public school. You wouldn't think it, but cliques and bullies are very prevalent. I think it is a hit or miss with your children's experience and for emotional and social learning is a horrible place. I can understand it is a great place for some kids, but it was not for me, and will NEVER be an option for my children.
My 2 children both experienced MSA for almost 4 years. One is still thriving there, the other is now in a public high school. To graduate from MSA, your child must be very self-motivated and an extremely hard worker. My MSA child is very self-driven, and my other child (who was successful at first, but began to fail across-the-board in 10th grade) is much less so. After help from very busy teachers proved insufficient, I transferred my struggling child to public high school in mid-10th grade, into the same classes. That child rocketed to an A- GPA and was infinitely happier. You could analyze that in many ways, but the bottom line for me is that MSA appears to be, at a minimum, an excellent start for success at another high-school. Just be sure to pay VERY close attention to the trend of your child's monthly grade sheets to determine if a transfer might benefit your child! MSA teachers and staff are very dedicated to challenging kids with college-level work at a young age, so its best to start your child in 6th or 7th grade so that they don't start too far behind. MSA is an exceptional college-prep school that is well worth your consideration.
The Math & Science Academy is truly for the gifted student. If you struggle or are not in the top percent of your class, they do not take the time for you. If you look at there starting enrollment in 6th grade and their graduating class, you will see that the numbers decrease dramatically. They do not seem to take the time with the students who need it but focus on those who can achieve the test scores that make their school look good. For the right student, this would be the right school, but for most students, it is not.
Math and Science is a school that works hard to help students reach their potential. My daughter struggle all true elementary. But always worked hard. This school took my daughter and did not lower the expectation for her but gave her all the tools and opportunities for her to achieve. My came to me one day last year cam to me with a big smile, and said: ' Mom I'm in the 'B' honor roll, for the first time in my life I feel smile'. Of course I kept my cool and told her I knew you can do it, but inside I melted. I know this was due to her attitude, but I give bid part of the credit to this school, because the odd were against her, but they never gave up on her. Thanks to Mr. Simon and staff that always focus on the good and not the weaknesses. Also today I can see her so motivated to keep this up and higher. She can see herself as to be able to achieve anything as long as you work hard.
My kids are amazing due to the fact that the teachers and staff at MSA are so terrific. We're so lucky!
I'm a recent graduate of MSA. It's true that this school is not for everyone. You have to be willing to work hard, but it definitely pays off. The teachers will help you if you ask for it. It is a challenging academic atmosphere, and the high dropout rate results from students who decide they don't want to put in the effort to pass calculus and physics. The small atmosphere allows for personal teaching and great interaction.
I am an alumna of MSA. I made it through all of high school in their program. After graduation from high school, I got a great scholarship for college. I just graduated from my undergraduate studies, where I made top grades at one of Americas most challenging universities. I got a good job less than two months after I started looking. I couldn't have done any of this without the fabulous education I received at MSA. The teachers and administrator at this school are so dedicated to the success of the students. I am writing this review mostly to say thanks.
This school is not for everyone. While it's true the academics are rigorous, the student better be prepared to tough it out alone because many of the teachers are just not helpful. The school claims that every teacher has a cell phone and will answer it after hours, but as my child progressed through the grades, the teachers became less and less responsive. We finally left the school and have found the local middle school much better suited to my child's needs. I would say it's worth a try if your child is not flourishing in a large school, but only about one-quarter to one-third of all students who start here in the sixth grade actually stay at the school through 12th grade. That's a pretty big drop out rate.
The Math & Science Academy (MSA) has rigorous academic standards - requiring Calculus and Physics to graduate. This small school environment is perfect for kids who would otherwise get lost in a big school. There is an excellent music program including band, choir, ensembles, Jazz band, etc. Each year the school puts on a play. Sports are growing at MSA. The Cross Country Boys and Girls teams have run for 4 years now. Parental involvement is high.
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