This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
International School At Mesa Del Sol1
Posted September 04, 2014
- a teacher
I also worked at TIS, and I have to agree with the other staff member. There are a lot of problems that seem unresolvable. The biggest problem is the administration's inability to take responsibility for the situation. Instead, they blame everyone else for their inability to be effective leaders. Many teachers left mid-year during the 2013-2014 school year, and many more left at the end of the year. It is true that there was no support on discipline issues and there were few resources available to teachers. Students were allowed to misbehave without consequence while teachers were often blamed for their misbehavior. The lack of discipline makes instruction very difficult, and many students are not making expected academic gains as indicated on the school's report card, which is issued by the state of New Mexico. (http://webapp2.ped.state.nm.us/SchoolData/docs/1314/SchoolGrading/School%20Listing_2014-07-24.pdf) Parents should be skeptical of the glowing reviews posted about this school. Contact (www.ped.state.nm.us) if you would like honest and accurate information on this or any other school in New Mexico - data doesn't lie.
I am writing this as a former parent. TIS is a great idea that can't seem to get off the ground. While they hire outstanding teachers, few stay. The reality is: you either love this school or you don't. There does not seem to be much middle ground. So if you love it, work hard to make it a better place for students. If you don't love it, move on - that's what I did. There are a lot of great schools out there with a lot more resources to support your children and their teachers. And most schools in the metro area have a much better report card grade.
I am impressed with this school. They have worked very hard to find the appropriate challenges for my children, and welcome feedback. Just today, the principal sought out my oldest's opinion on her academics, and they had a long conversation together. I am pretty sure I never said two words to the principal I grew up with for 7 years. Middle school has seen a recent turnover in teaching staff which has been a bit difficult, but each day is better than the last and I would like to keep my middle school child at this school for next year. Any of the staff who has been through the IB training is excellent (this is all / almost all of the elementary staff)! The parent advisory counsel is welcoming to new parents, and can always use more support. I have worked in over 20 schools in this area and this is where I choose to send my children.
TIS is a GREAT school! My daughter is starting her 3rd year here and Ive seen this school grow and evolve. No school is perfect. All new schools go through initial changes and this school is no different, though it still remains a wonderful option to educate your children in ABQ. We chose it for the IB curriculum and have no regrets. IB educates the global citizen, and TIS takes this seriously. Compared to other alternatives, even in other states, TIS is a gem. I know, Ive looked! The only thing missing is more students and more awareness in the community of how great this school is! Excellent teachers, small classes, dedicated parents and a friendly atmosphere. Please consider this school for your child's education.
It's a place where creativity and thoughtful critical learning is fostered. It strives to be a private school education for a public school tuition. It has the feel of open classroom schools I attended in my youth and have been blessed as an adult as a result. We need more kids that think about why things are the way they are, keeping the good and striving to change the bad when they reach their goals.
This "little school out on the mesa" has a lot going on. Yes it may have had some challenges last year BUT with new leadership, returning staff and a few new teachers this school is rocking! Fresh paint, fences and support staff we are excited about the new year.
The worst school I have ever worked for! The leadership was terrible until March when three new administrators were hired. But by then the damage was already done. Nine staff members left in the course of the year because of little teacher support from the administration and zero consequences given to students for their behavior. The middle school is in a terrible position with zero resources. They should have never opened the middle school portion especially since the elementary side doesn't even have a solid reading program in place. When I was there, I had to buy anything I wanted to use in my classroom out of my own pocket. Yes, that usually comes with any teaching position, but do teachers ever have to buy curriculum for students to learn? Only at this school have I encountered this! Many other charter schools are able to run their schools efficiently and well with the money they receive from the state and sales of things like t-shirts, polo shirts, school merchandise, etc. When you are constantly being told by administration that there is no money, one has to wonder where it all goes. I would not recommend this school to any parent or teacher!
While I do agree with the buildings being portable and the parking not organized I believe my child is getting a great education. I love the teaching methods and I know first hand that this school's curriculum is head and shoulders above regular APS schools. The Head of School Dr. Sean Joyce is an amazing leader he just doesn't have the funds or people to market as he could. The lunch this year is horrible for the price but you can pack your child's lunch. There is always a trade off for things and I'm grateful to have found this school. We drive 60 miles a day for this private school education. Good and bad with everything just see past the outside and have a tour and talk to some of the kids. You will be amazed. My daughter only has 13 kids in her kinder class. unheard of anywhere else. Other schools usually have an unqualified "EA" Just as a warm body to manage and babysit the kids. I love this school. We are hoping to be in a permanent building by 2015 per the charter.
My daughter has been attending TISNM for 3 years now, and the quality of the experience has seriously deteriorated over that time. While we love the IB program and the teachers are okay, the school is run in a haphazard, incompetent manner. The school has been on a "temporary" site built solely of run-down portable buildings for 5 years. They don't aggressively market the school to the community. The nutritional value of the lunches is down to public-school quality. And the parking/pickup situation is criminally unsafe this year; I'm surprised no one has been hit or killed. The board and principal have managed to squander a great opportunity.