This school has many great attributes but overall is very poor in social and emotional help. The learning is a very good level for me, but the idea of the house system is stupid. In the house system they stick the same 120 or so kids in a pod for all three years, and there is very little communication with other pods. I am now finished with the school and am worried for next year. Not having opportunities to see the other kids in our school is a very large disadvantage for the students because going the the high school, I feel although I barely know the people I'm going to have classes with. And the guidance councilers are very biased(atleast mine were) they take the side with the lesser people it's just very annoying. Overall I'm scared for high school not academically, socially.
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 Our son, the happiest child around, became sullen, depressed and withdrawn.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.
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.