We have been at the school for 6 years. My son is in third grade and and my daughter is in her last year of preschool. Our whole experience has been wonderful. My son really enjoys learning, and it shows. My daughter learns amazing things on a daily basis. One important thing to me is that the administration always has an open door to discuss any issues that arise. They work to ensure the student is taken care of.
We have been very happy with Sunset Mesa. We have been at this school since preschool and now we are in the upper grades. Seeing it first hand, I can attest that the curriculum is accelerated compared to APS. The teachers know the strengths and weaknesses of each child in their classroom and know how to pair students for maximum benefit for all in small work groups. There is not a 'gifted and talented' program but so what. If a subject is too easy for my son, he will be given accelerated work as an extra assignment. Students leaving Sunset Mesa are well-mannered, (will look you in the eye and shake your hand while introducing themselves), respectful, and completely prepared when they graduate. Administration is supportive and has an open door policy. My concerns, which have been few, have always been addressed.
I have been very happy with the teachers in pre-school and kindergarten. When I compare what my daughter is learning to what my friends kids are learning in public school my choice is reaffirmed. My only complaint is with the administration. Their unwillingness to modernize there communication efforts I find appalling for a school that charges so much. Not only is there no online bulletin board for students, parents and teachers, but there aren't even email addresses listed on the website. They technology is here and part of our lives and our childrens' lives. Note: I have spoken to different admission officers for private schools and they all recommended I keep her in this school.
I am only rating the preschool. My child (5y) has learned so much after attending here for the past year. He can read well, knows his numbers, has learned and taught me exciting facts and been able to discover his creative side. The teachers are excellent, preschool facilities are top notch. The discipline is such that you know your child is safe. However, I do sense some aloofness within the school which is why i only gave 4 stars.
My family has been disappointed with this school. The curriculum used is exactly the same as my daughter's old public school, and we find the 'enrichments' to be sub par. Art has consisted largely of preparing for a single large staged event, helping with stage scenery. Music has consisted largely of preparing for a single large staged event as well. Spanish and computer are favorites of the family though, and we are pleased here. Teacher turnover truly is a problem; the school has had to resort to several 'shared' positions (two part-time teachers to fill one slot). The school was very welcoming during the initial interview process, saying there was 'just one slot left' in the grade...not true at all. When we actually began attending, we no longer found the staff so welcoming. The student/teacher ratio is not much different than public --- overall, save your money for the college
We're proud to have our children at Sunset Mesa. It won the National Dept. of Education's Blue Ribbon of Excellence a few months ago. It was one of 50 private schools in the country, and the only school in NM, that received the award for academic excellence. The curriculum is rigorous, but the children love, love, love their teachers and we love how well behaved the students are from grade to grade. The teachers don't have to waste valuable teaching time because of bad behaving kids, an issue prevalent in so many schools unfortunately.
My son is in the 2-day/week preschool program, and even after only 1 month of attending Sunset Mesa, my husband and I already can see that he is flourishing there. He comes home each day after school and is able to tell us at least 2 new things that he learned in school that day. His teacher is wonderful and takes a special interest in all her students, and is very accessible to the parents. The facilities are truly wonderful and are designed to meet the needs of toddler children. By the way, the parents who say that the elementary school is 'one big portable building' are incorrect. It is a permanent building with metal siding.
Below par for the exorbitant price. Snooty attitude especially from administration and a finance- focussed principal.
There are some great teachers, but the yearly turnover exemplifies that the administration is a mess. The owners are clueless about the principal's inability or unwillingness to work with teachers to make the school worth the hefty price tag for elementary school. Go visit your public school--the facilities will be better, the curriculum will be the same--even the books, the playgrounds at public schools are better. At Sunset Mesa, there is little opportunity to be involved as a parent, but at public schools, you can help in so many ways--the schools actually want parents involved. Parents want a private school where the curriculum and facilities are better than public. SMS does not deliver and the owners seem to think that this acceptable. It is not. Take your money elsewhere!
This school has gone downhill fast. It used to be a pretty good school. Lackluster teachers, confused administration.
I have two children at SMS, one in the preschool program and one in the first grade. We have had excellent teachers thus far. One of my children is exceptionally difficult to engage and the teachers and principle have worked with my child diligently to encourage success. I have had a wonderful experience at SMS. It's expensive, true, but not more than many other schools of its caliber.
Beautiful facility, but the education in preschool level is just average. There is a coolness among staff. The school is very expensive for what you get.
My child goes to SMS and has for 2 years. This is the best school I have seen. I am a Social Worker and I interview hundreds of children. I have never seen an elementary school in Albuquerque, New Mexico that compares to Sunset Mesa. The teachers give 110% and the administration goes beyond the call of duty. They bend over backwards to help the student and the family. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who wants their child to excel. The classes are small and the discipline philosophy is amazing. It empowers the children, not degrading them. They take each family and student as an individual and will do what they can to help. It is worth every penny I pay. They take safety very seriously also.
My children have gone to SMS for many years. Initially, I really adored the school. If your child is gifted or struggling, forget it. They will not accommodate your child. If your child has any learning issues such as ADD, etc., really forget it. Their answer to any educational concern is a referral to an outside tutor or outside help. While there are a few great teachers, there are plenty who will not lift a finger beyond doing the minimum work possible and the administration seems fine with such conduct. The bottom line is if your child has any special needs they will not help you. If your child fits into their narrow band of expectations of school performance, then you are fine. That's not acceptable for $10,000/year.
Sunset Mesa school is a private school in Albuquerque, NM. We are very happy with the level of commitment the school shows to constantly evaluate each child and keep them up to par with their curriculum. It has a very caring staff. They offer lots of fine arts programs including Spanish, Art, Computers, Library and Sports. They have a parent program that helps parents feel connected to the school and keeps communication lines open. The only problems we have encounted with this school is the northern campus has limited parking which can be a major pain. Also, the playground areas are all sand and kind of worn out.
I've been very pleased with Sunset Mesa. The main reason is that the school does such a great job educating the children. A high percentage of 5th graders are accepted to private middle schools, many of which are hard to get into. By the way, the buildings have metal siding - they are not portables.
Very expensive and did not feel we received a fair education for the money spent. Teachers were caring but curriculum nothing exceptional. The entire school is a portable building.
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