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.
My son's new to the HS this year and we couldn't be happier. So I wanted to address a few of the negative comments below. 1-That teachers are not helpful-we see the exact opposite. They continually tell us that if my son needs help, they are more than happy to meet with him before school. In addition, my son constantly tells me how helpful his teachers are...if you only ask. So we can only guess that the student below wasn't comfortable asking. 2-That the schools so cheap the kids had to buy their own customs for the play-what I just learned is that Charter schools are not funded like public schools (e.g., they don't get the levee monies, etc.) So they don't have the funds like other public schools...they're more like a private school but we don't pay tuition. So fundraising is critical and parent involvement is desired. Plus, now that they have their own stage versus working w/Ashland (who supplied costumes), they're starting from scratch. But w/parent help, we'll address that-baby steps. 3-A lot of homework-Sure, no kid likes homework, but it's important for kids to work thorough things on their own without a teacher to fall back on. This get's them better prepared for college.
I'm A student in the Middle School program, and I hate it. I was forced to go this year. There is way to much homework, and to many test. On average I have 2 test a week, and 2 hours of homework a night. I think that the teachers do an OK job at teaching. They are cheapskate, they have a theater program that the kids have to pay to rent the lights, and their own costumes. They have very dumb rules too. I hope that no kids are forced to go like I was. This school is honestly terrible. There are more bullies then public schools do. I hate this school so much!
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