This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Sunset Mesa Schools5
Posted December 25, 2014
- a parent
We have a large family so, when making a school decision for our children, the decision weighed heavily upon us because we were deciding for several children with various talents and learning styles. We did very thorough research, visited dozens of schools, spent time in classrooms and spoke with current parents, teachers and students at a variety of schools around the city. When we found Sunset Mesa, we knew we'd found "our" school. We currently have three children enrolled in the school and next year we will have four. Our children are loved, treasured and feel safe. The other students are intelligent, kind and come from supportive families. The teachers are approachable and nurturing. Class size is smaller than you'll find almost anywhere. And, most importantly to us, it is emphasized that just as important as their education is the development of kids' social skills, behavior and positive attitudes. Paying private school tuition for several children is not something that fits easily into our budget. However, like many of the other families at the school, we have made education our priority and we feel like every dollar that we spend on Sunset Mesa tuition is well spent.
This school encourages and rewards parents to post all these positive comments. I would suggest you check out the school yourself. Notice the grounds are not well kept. Many of the teachers are not certified. Ask about ages. The kids are often held back a year, in pre-first or preschool so they are a year older and thus test better. My kids went to school here, I must tell you I spent a great deal of time re-teaching the course work at home because they were so busy with their musicals. It seemed like most the kids had private tutors to keep up with the work that wasn't taught well. They teach by memorizing! There are many good schools in Albuquerque, this one is not worth the money!
We have kids in elementary and preschool and could not be more pleased with the quality of the academic instruction here. We are maybe even more pleased with the "positive discipline" that both campuses practice and which we have adopted in our home. Our kids are very different from one another, but Sunset Mesa has worked to find ways to reach them both. They are both happy to go to school, empowered and confident as a result of all they have learned, and keenly aware of what it means to be a part of a community. We absolutely love Sunset Mesa. Nonetheless, because we are not wealthy, we tried an Albuquerque public school -- one very highly rated on this site -- for a little over a semester. We came away from that experience absolutely convinced that Sunset Mesa is worth every (sometimes scraped together!) penny.
Wow, wow!! We love Sunset Mesa, from the director, office staff, to teachers, parents and students. In 2013 we joined SSM and what a fantastic experience! After a long move from Michigan we worried about finding the right school for our 4 year old boy and sunset has provided us not only with an excellent place where our son goes to obtain academic achievement but a school where we feel like family. every day my sons jumps out of bed asking if it is school day and I don't blame him, for feeling this way. SSM is a place where he goes to learn not only through textbooks but also real hands on experiences. I cannot believe how much he has achieved in the last few months. Is absolutely amazing to see how everyone takes the time to know you and your kids, you are not just a number but a specific individual. Here everyone is given detailed attention, from the quiet one to the rowdy one. I feel they work with every family to bring each child to their potential. This is a school with academic success, social interaction and excellent expectations. Discipline is followed by responsiveness,supervision and age appropriate problem solving. Thanks SSM, looking forward to the next 5 years.
My son is a senior in high school this year. He currently attends a fabulous, local private school. As we prepare for college plans I have been thinking about the wonderful academic opportunities he has had. This all started at Sunset Mesa where we nervously enrolled him for preschool. From the beginning, Sunset Mesa was remarkable. The preschool teachers were kind, well-trained, structured, and fun! We then moved to the other campus to enjoy kindergarten through fifth grade. Again, the teachers were excellent, the opportunities were endless and the friends my son made at Sunset Mesa are still his best friends today. They all come from wonderful families who agreed that the investment of small class sizes, like minded-students, and an enriching curriculum were worth it. The owners of this school are incredibly kind and generous. THANK YOU Sunset Mesa for giving my son a solid academic foundation, confidence, and for instilling a love for learning. We will always be thankful to you.
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!!