Well, we tried to enroll our second child in this school. We were told, "new principal", and that there was much improvement. It turned out to be the same fetid cesspool of no learning that it was 6 years ago. This time we will pull him out sooner.
We are beyond disappointed with CMS. We moved to this town for the "great school system." I'm not sure when that was but it's not great anymore. The elementary school is actually pretty good but the middle school is horrible. The school is like a cattle call, get them in, get them out. Many teacher's could care less about the students and do the bare minimum - they are strongly protected by the teacher's union. There are teachers who consistently finish their last class 15 minutes early so they can pack up and leave for the day with the students. Forget about getting extra help for your child after school, I've been told by one of the school administrators that the teachers don't need to stay after school because "it's not part of their contract." The school is regularly rated as "needs improvement" based on standardized tests. Having children in this school has been an incredibly painful experience for both my children an ourselves. Be prepared to step in and be your child's advocate it you want them to succeed.
How this school rates a 9 is beyond me. It either reflects on the inaccuracy of the data, or the insipid condition of most of our schools. Our son transitioned from the Lincoln St. school, which was wonderful, collaborative, and demanding. The middle school is abysmal. The principal tried to be a comedian, the class sizes huge, teachers overwhelmed. Our son, the happiest child around, became sullen, depressed and withdrawn. He was bullied, not challenged, and told us "I think I am falling behind". Despite the financial hardship, we switched him to a wonderful private middle school, where he has florished. This school is an abomination to the Seacoast. Better to start over. I would strongly advise all parents to discuss with the family whether to pull their kids out of this place. It is that bad.
I'm a student at CMS, and I agree with some things; yeah, kids can be judgmental here. But honestly, we're judged everywhere. It was the same in Manchester. It was the same in elementary school. It's the same if we walk into stores. We're teenagers; of course we're judged. But CMS is a great school, and I've met so many inspirational teachers here. There are lots of kids here. We have five towns that go to this school. It's a given that it will be crowded. But the teachers here are great. There are some teachers whose sole jobs are to help out struggling kids. And it does challenge students. I get A's, but I work for them. Parents are saying that it's a bad school. But are they themselves in the school, meeting friends, creating the basis of their lives, and learning new things every day? No. Take it from a student; CMS is a great school.
This is an excellent school! It has so many great opportunities for students.
I think that CMS is a decent school. We moved from Saugus, MA the summer before my son started middle school. I was worried about how he would handle the transition because he was very close to his friends - friends he had had since he was in kindergarten - but he did do well. Initially, I was surprised at the way the school 'enforced' organization and it was a struggle for my son the first year, but he is getting it now. I wish I had been better shown how to organize myself when I was younger. As far as turning in work on time - the bottom line is, in the long run, similar penalties can and do exist in the business world - an incomplete projects can mean the loss of accounts or at worst, loss of your job.
We were told that CMS ranks 9 out of 10.The best middle school in the Seacoast area. Maybe in test scores, as far as socially and emotionally CMS is a detriment to most children.Just ask the child who does not do well academically and is punished for it or the child who dresses differently and is automatically judged by how they look, not by the person they are.What about the child who is new and came from a different academic level background? They are not allowed the opportunity to catch up to where CMS is at, instead they are targeted as a trouble maker and ensured that they get into trouble.Where is the positive reinforcement or kind words?They do not exist at CMS.
Our family's experience with the CMS school system has been frustrating, at best. Communication to parents is generally non-existent. The child who is organizationally challenged is not assisted, but penalized through the punitive policy of docking grades for all late homework. Teachers use the Progress Reports as the first means to get parents involved. The school administration appears to be more interested in the business of the school. Clearly a policy that refuses lunch to a child the first day their funds have run out, or refuses a book replacement until it is paid, and discusses these with the child, not the parent, isn't working with the child's interest in mind. The leveled curriculum does not challenge the advanced children. The student-teacher ratio posted on this site, 1-13, is misleading. Most academic groupings have 5 teachers for ~120 children. The student homework website is weak. The administration champions mediocrity.
I think this school lost a lot of its already limited prestige by switching to heterogeneous classes. The school has a wonderful program for Special Ed. and other substandard students, but do nothing for those above grade levels. They have only just begun to consider implementing an elective honors program- but knowing this school, it will probably never happen. The teachers are very good, but they have very limited power. The administrators need to be more involved in the actual learning environment. Its also distressing to see the recent NWEA results that show about 1/3 of the students have made 0 growth. The after school activities and athletic programs are exceptional. Overall, for a public middle school, it is an 'ok' school... but I am happy that my children will be attending private schools.
This is a very good school. The only critisisms I would have, would be not having enough for the 'gifted' students. There is a great Special Ed. program and the aides are always wonderful; yet the classes are leveled and some of the higher level students have to condescend in order to be in class with other levels. The music program is wonderful; the chorus and band teachers are always willing to help. I must say though, there is not enough influence on visual arts, considering students are only given one quarter to learn such crafts. Luckily the teachers are very skillful. There needs to be less emphasis on reading and more on arts and writing. It depends on your team for how much parent involvement there is; that can be lots of oppurtunities for parents..or very little. As a school though; it is a good level.
Excellent energetic teachers work at CMS and demand good work from their students. The curriculum is the only problem as it needs to be tougher (especially in math). There is no leveling so all abilities from low to high are in every class. We see this as a disadvantage as the lower level do not get the help they need and the higher level is not challenged. There is still good teaching, respect and safety for the students. The music, theater, and Latin programs are awesome. Our older child completed all three years at CMS and the younger one is almost finished with all three years.
The school offers a great special education program, but does nothing for the 'gifted' students. Changing leveled classes to mixed level was a terrible mistake.
This school is horrible in recognizing and assisting children with add, adhd.
The school itself and the teachers are great, but for the Principal staff they leave ALOT to be desired. They are not there to help the kids at all, ONLY there for discipline and DO NOT listen to kids point of view, have their minds made up beforehand! In order to get respect you have to give it and listening is a good way to show respect, I am glad this is my child's last year in this school system!
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