I don't think that is the school culture. It is difficult to do that with few competitive activities. It is a school that is about academics in math and science. they pride themselves on being nerdy. Not sure i think persistence and grit are on the docket. There are a few extracurricular activities that do this however.
I am not sure its the job of a school to develop these values in a student - Frankly great schools the question is odd. Schools should team material and develop cognitive skills. Parents should worry about values.
Some of the teachers are very liberal. Why would anyone teach climate change in a Spanish course. With how controversial it is. I thought it was poor judgement. Also, while student opinions are encouraged - often times the prevailing winds of change seem to dominate discussions. My son was frustrated as an "outsider" in class discourse.
Updated review change 5 to 3 stars. After a few more years - IMHO the school is starting to decline. The staff think that they have higher standards than other schools but frankly, other schools improving sci and math curriculum (STEM movement) meaning greater choices in electives (size). Eastridge has more engineering/MSA is limited due to its size/funding. A key math teacher left a few years ago who was a leader. Now there is an overlord in charge of the math curriculum. The Highschool teacher my son experienced teaching Algebra grades kids on how organized they are. They get daily Fs if homework has one thing off or they didn't correct. She is inflexible. I don't think it adds value. Her goal isn't to help math learning rather its to enure grade every nuanced homework item. There are a few great teachers at MSA but I always wait for the announcement that they are leaving. Some activities there are good and they have sent people to state tournaments. The robotics team was a regional champ this year but overall you will only get clubs. The activities function hasn't been effectively developed or even with a new full time director. Volunteer parents make that work. Now a better coach (track) is leaving. I would disagree with the parents on here that are saying there is support. Yes like any school there are teachers that are supportive - but in math there is only one teacher available for 10th grade math (algebra III) so if a kid doesn't fit well - there is NO other option and that leaves little choice Small schools create that situation. This charter school model has a board with parents and teachers. Be aware that this means teachers help make the decisions. Thats OK except when you have its teacher run there is a risk for no accountability and therein lies the MSA problem - who is making sure that the teachers are accountable? I am not sure. The new executive director didn't improve it but he's only had a year. Seems like a nice guy but I wouldn't know. I've only talked to him once as an active parent. The previous one communicated more. Where this school's future is headed? I don't know. But for some people that have to make a choice to move their kid from acrappy highschool they are at, i get it. Move your kid to MSA, you will be glad you did. But if you can get your kid to Eastridge or Woodbury - its probably best for them.
I helped to select the new Director and that position needs to be tough. Some families blame the staff for the lack of support the parents provide at home. The small classroom size, teachers that make themselves available via in person, telephone and on-line. Parents have various sources of information some chose not to take advantage of them and then act surprised. Receiving no property tax levy they are forced to dependent upon fund raising. They are adding more sports like they just got into girls volleyball in 2014. If your child is not disciplined they may not do well here but if they are they will probably do well. Bullying is not tolerated and with a small student population it would be almost impossible. The teachers care about the students and lobby for the students to do the most they are capable of. In the two plus years my daughters are thriving there. I was initially concerned due to my newness but I have appreciated it. Students that can not deal with the discipline of doing homework and being prepared or want a heavy duty atheletics program tend to leave around the 9th grade level for public schools. There is a waiting list of students of various grades trying to get into the school. It is too bad the charter schools are not able to secure the kind of money public schools get via property taxes to really level the playing field. I believe that my family supports providing the best life opportunities for our children to provide every benefit for them to be successful in life beyond our home.
I rate this school at a 5. I will respond to some of the negative critics that have responded before me. To the fact that they have 2-3 hours of homework is misconceived. Each class has, at the most, 30 minutes of work to finish. If you have an issue or are confused with the homework, you can email or call the teachers and they can assist you. When people get mad at getting bad grades, I just see lack of effort. In order to succeed at this school, you'll need to put effort into your schoolwork. I think that is perfect for preparing for college. This school is not for those who won't apply themselves. It's not rigorous, but it requires effort. I love the small classroom atmosphere and I feel able to learn. I plan to go to this school through high school, and I'm sure you or your child should too.