This school is truly the worst school experience our family has ever had. There are some great teachers here, BUT the administration, board members and attitudes are elitist, judgemental, out of touch and dismissive. This may sound like a biased review, but it is not. It is an educated review. We had our currently bright and successful daughter enrolled there and left in horror less than a year later. Communication is abysmal. The majority of serious complaints are dismissed as "not being onboard with our program". Over the years I continue to hear horror stories of the damage that this school environment inflicts upon otherwise bright and driven children. I personally know of several professional successful families who left this school and were left trying to repair their children's subsequent apprehension about school for years after. When we moved out of state to an excellent school district, we found that the neighborhood public schools FAR exceeded the education, support and results of this private school. Imagine they are a self-hyped monopoly in a district that struggles with funding, because that is what they are. That makes the board and admin elitist. Unfounded. Beware.
Sunset Mesa is a stellar school. I have had two daughters graduate from SMS and my third child is now in 2nd grade at SMS, this is his 6th year attending. He tested in the top 4% Nationally on his standardized tests last year thanks to the top notch teachers and staff at Sunset Mesa. I have had the blessing of two of my three children getting the gift of time and having the opportunity of attending pre-first grade. A true bonus that most schools don't offer. The teachers are amazing and the school community is one I am proud to be apart off. SMS offers many enrichment classes; my son's favorite is Spanish. I give Sunset Mesa two thumbs up and would highly recommend the school to others in the community. The best elementary school in the state by far! The owners love and care about each and every student. Class sizes are small and each student is given individualized attention.
Success in private middle school placement varies significantly year-to-year. High teacher turnover rate. In attentive administration that can be erratic in decision making. If you need to see an administrator, be sure to make an appointment as they may not be present. Overall, teachers work hard to educate the children. Rumor is that tuition is negotiable.
My son graduated from the sunset mesa program last year. This year he is a sixth grader at Albuquerque Academy. He was a first draft choice for Academy and I was told his scores were excellent. He was placed in advanced classes across the board and into 7th grade math at the beginning of term and then later tested for 8th grade math. Academy's first report card was the type of card every parent wishes for their child, and it made me so grateful to Sunset Mesa School. SMS equipped him with all the tools he needed to succeed in a challenging academic enviorment, from strong math skills and writing a proper paper to knowing how to work effectively in a group including time management skills. My son is a regular kid... he has my genes, so I know he didn't inherit a tremendous intelligence, but he has developed a strong love of reading, science, math and learning. All of which I attribute to SMS. While he was there I knew it was a great school, but now that he's moved on I can see that they went above and beyond my expectations. I strongly recommend Sunset mesa School for any child!!
I have been a parent for 6 years at SMS. I currently have 3 children attending the school, from preschool on up. I am continually impressed by the teachers dedication to their students. The principal and administration have strong leadership qualities. My children are well-cared for and are always being challenged academically by the pace and curriculum of the school. I am sure that my children are receiving a strong foundation for the future.
This is the best elementary and preschool. It has outstanding teachers, small class sizes and the our kids love going to school. Our kids have scored in the 95% of National standardized tests each year. I know they are better prepared to handle any academic or social challenges because of the dedication on the part of the teachers and staff at this school.
Sunset Mesa is a great school. Wonderful students, faculty, staff and families. My daughter received the best education available in Albuquerque, period. The best time spent from pre-school through 5th grade. I was shocked to see any negative comments at all for this school. All of them must be written by one disgruntled person or someone just out to slam this school for warped reasons. I would not give those comments a second thought. Anyone interested in providing their child the best possible education in ABQ should just go and see for themselves. Seeing is believing. And their success record stands for itself.
My child did not have a positive experience at this school. The factors that I've attributed to this were, in part, the very cold and highhanded administration, teachers who behave as if they have to pander to the "elite" parents to the detriment of the others, mostly entitled kids, and subpar faciltiies. I was paying for my child to receive a top notch education that would meet her individual needs. I did not receive this. I am glad that my family is done with this school. If I had to do it all over again, I'd look at the competition, including the other private or parochial schools, or even my local public school. On another note, I am saddened, but not surprised, that an earlier parent reviewer made the statement that all of the "negative complaints are unfounded, most likely (made by) parents who had kids with learning or behavior issues." Wow! These reviews are made by individuals who speak of their INDIVIDUAL experiences! How can someone claim that another's personal experiences are unfounded. This attitude prevailed for our duration at this school. Buyer beware!
I came across this website by accident, but I thought I'd leave my observations for prospective parents. First, kids who push, hit, kick, bite, etc, are asked to leave, sometimes very abruptly. And, usually the parents are understandably very upset about it and I imagine that the staff looks pretty cold and callus in their eyes. Second, the school is academically challenging and if your child can't keep up, or is disruptive to the class, they may be asked to leave. But usually, you'll see this coming after being called in for endless meetings with the staff. I've seen some parents call it quits just to avoid the meetings. Remember that a lot of the parents are PhD scientists and engineers at the labs or doctors, lawyers, etc. and some of the teachers are naturally a bit intimidated by this and it can make them seem a little cold but they warm up pretty quick if you take the initiative to talk to them. The public schools in the area have superior facilities, but have nearly twice the student to teacher ratio. And no child falls through the cracks here, unlike in some public schools. I'm happy with my choice.
I think Sunset Mesa is a great school. As a fifth grade student, I feel like school's my second home. So, it's great to have a friendly environment with great academics. The only bad things I have to say about my school is that there's some favoritism going on. Sure that's great for the kids who are the favorites, but for kids like me, it's really not fair to not get the part you wanted in the school play, or something like that, just because you're not a favorite.
We have had 3 children in this school, and been involved with it for 5 years, preschool and elementary. All the complaints I am reading are unfounded, most likely by parents whose kids had behavior or learning issues. One of our kids struggled academically coming here from a public school, and was offered tutoring by an outside source and his teacher. With the exception of one teacher, I felt my kids were very loved by their teachers. We are a family that struggles to keep our kids in private schools financially and feel no discrimination, and the school even helped us through a period of unemployment so that we wouldn't have to pull our kids. It is a closed campus, but all you have to do is ask and you can meet with anyone there and get involved. Most parents are wonderful, even to us "poor" parents. Kids will be asked to leave if they have behavior issues or can't handle the rigorous academics and I wonder if the parents here who are complaining are parents of those kids. I appreciate the fact that there are no serious behavior issues at this school due to that policy. My kids are very safe and loved at this school and thriving academically.
It is unfortunate to read some of the negative comments here. My experience at Sunset Mesa has been outstanding. The faculty and staff have always been extremely open and supportive to me and my "non-Anglo" children. Academically, you could not ask for more. Sunset Mesa students continually place in the top 1% nationally on standardized tests. That speaks volumes about the quality of education. My children are in the best care at this school.
This school has good teachers, but a cold and callus administration. IT is highly religious, and do not seem to be able to tolerate non-anglo intact families. Diversity is lacking, as is empathy and genuine care for children's well being. They kicked my child out in the middle of the year without a reasonable explanation other than that he "needed to change within the next few days". How lacking is their understanding of children that they expect them to "change" in a few days? This is a school that is highly prejudiced and ignorant about the needs of children. I would not recommend wasting your time nor money here. I am regretful for having trusted them to care for my child.
We moved to Albuquerque for just 1 year, and one of the highlights of living there was having our children attend Sunset Mesa Schools. Our boys attend PreK and PreSchool, and they loved every moment of it. I cannot praise this school enough. They welcomed our children to their wonderfully nurturing environment, they taught them with genuine care for their needs. The boys had fun every day, with an exellent outdoor play area. I recommend this school to anyone who is looking for a solid start to their child's education and social development, you won't do better!
My family's experience couldn't be more polar opposite from the previous review. My child is entering her 3rd year in the PreSchool Montesorri, and is THRIVING!! Her teachers are truly talented and skilled in the curriuclum and early childhood needs. Their warm approach and individual attention has helped my daughter find success in reading, art, music, math, and social development. On the weekends my daughter plays school with me and can't wait to go back. To me that is testimony of her love of learning and her admiration for her teachers.We LOVE Suneste Mesa.
My child is currently enrolled at Sunset Mesa in the Preschool. I am having the same negative issues as some of the parents who have shared their concerns on this site. I came across this website as I was searching for a new preschool for my child. I too have issues with the staff being cold and unwelcoming. I also feel that sending my child to this school is more of a popularity contest with the parents than an actual school. In my experience, my child's teacher will not speak to me unless we are in a parent teacher meeting, but I see her speaking every morning to a select group of parents. It is not important to have a friendship with my child's teacher, but her conduct comes across as rude and uninterested. A simple "hello" in the morning would do. My concern is that my child gets this treatment at school by the teacher and staff as well. The staff as a whole seems very clickish and unwelcoming. Academically, I am not impressed. I feel that, after doing some research, there are several other schools in Albuquerque that are far better then Sunset Mesa. My child is very unhappy here and does not want to go to school in the morning. We are pulling our child.
After reading the reviews of this school, I am convinced that the good reviews are from staff members. The montessori pre-school staff in my experience were cold, mean and did not teach the correct montessori curriculum. My child would cry everyday when I left and became very withdrawn and would come home saying the most cruel things. My child was bullied by other children and when I TRIED to speak with the teacher, I was brushed off. The teachers were not interested with my concerns as a parent and acted bothered when I tried to bring the bullying up. The environment as a whole is cold and unwelcoming. After removing my child from Sunset Mesa a positive change in behavior was noticeable. I had a horrible experience at Sunset Mesa. If you are considering this school, I would advise observing a class for at least a week to get a feel. But BEWARE!
You will not find a more supportive administration and professional teachers, combined with nice, respectful children, anywhere in Albuquerque. The school lives by its word, and the children earn confidence by meeting high (but attainable) expectations. The parent community is outstanding as well. The parents support the school's values, and expect appropriate behavior from their children. And, we greatly appreciate that the parent community is comprised of people who are genuine, hard-working, and down-to-earth, not elitist, who treat each other with respect as well. The children thrive on the structure and the values imported by all. Our children LOVE their school, and we all feel a sense of pride to be part of Sunset Mesa.
As a parent of children who have experienced preschool and elementary grades, I can recommend both highly! The preschool was filled with compassionate, encouraging teachers. My youngest received an incredible amount of support to ensure that he was ready for kindergarten. We received lots of feedback to make sure we( parents/teachers) were working together to get him ready! We still go back to the preschool and say hi to our friends there. I was afraid the north campus wouldn't be able to compare with south but it has been extraordinary as well. All children have such unique strengths and weaknesses and the staff recognizes and supports these. The principal is knowledgeable about community resources and aps resources available to Albuquerque kids. This school has the academics and community spirit one would expect of an excellent private school. They also know when they don't have resources for a child's needs and help parents access those resources. I am a better parent because of this school and my children will definitely be better people from the experiences there.
We have had two children that started at this school in the 3yr old class. This school is superb in every aspect. The children have a wonderful experience, academics are without equal, proper behavior is taught and expected, and the results are not matched by anyone within the city of Albuquerque. You overlook this school at your own risk.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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