Homework is not overwhelming for the most part. And, it is usually creative and engaging. To give some examples, they've had to create a fictitious country and write about how the landforms affect the lives of the people, do a powerpoint on a product they have created to solve a problem they have encountered ....
My son is in 6th grade. I am really impressed with this school. He is learning science by doing hands on experiments. They get a lot of creative assignments - including in social studies! The art teacher is very passionate and talented, and she is able to bring out the best in the kids. The management (principal, parent coordinator) all display compassion and kindness.
Overall this school has been great. The science education is strong and kids are really given a solid foundation for understanding scientific concepts. My son writes a lot--not sure if he is being given lots of feedback on his writing, but lots of writing is a good thing. There is not that much homework, which is fine. I don't believe in busy work. The teachers are all dedicated and hard working. I gave a 4 because this school is very homogenous--upper east side wasps and jewish families seem to make up 95% of the population. The kids are all nice, but this is New York, and it is a bit disconcerting. Kids benefit from great academic experiences and friendships with kids from different backgrounds. That is not happening here.
I am impressed with the academic excellence . However, the attention to total learning , after school and student collaboration is even better . For example my granddaugther and her team did an incredable job on a paper using a computer video and graphics .
We have been very happy with Salk. It's the kind of school where everyone can find their niche, find friends and somehow fit in. It's cool to be smart and it's not one big fashion show. Many families have a lot of money, but you would never know it, because the vibe is so laidback and down to earth. It just seems like a healthy environment for tweens and young teens. I think the education they are receiving is very good, and the teachers are all smart and hardworking. I do wish they would let the parents know how their children are doing before the parent/teacher conferences and report cards. Most assignments are not returned with grades! Otherwise we don't have any complaints.
One notable thing about Salk is how happy and well-adjusted the kids that attend it are! My son is very happy here. The h/w load is manageable (although, probably like other middle schools, there tends to be ALOT of work all at once right before the end of the marking periods), teachers seem very motivated. The reason for 4 stars is my very negative experience trying to get an issue resolved last year - it took 6 weeks of phone calls and emails before it was addressed (the parent coord. never responded and the admin. in charge of the school did not act until I had to go outside of school to get help) - very disappointing. Heard from several other parents who had similar experience . Perhaps this will improve now that the principal is back from the sabbatical? The guid. counselor, on the other hand, is excellent - professional and proactive!
Not all of us can pop into meetings during the business day on one day's notice. I did email the principal to ask. Again, a school where teachers speak with improper grammar, making the mistake just corrected in the lesson, math teachers routinely make arithmetic errors and children are screaming daily is not wonderful.
Excellent school. We have nothing but positive things to report from our 7th grade daughters experience. I believe if the parent below (April 17) would have attended the meeting where the principal discussed her sabbatical she would have a better understanding of the timing of her leave. This was a meeting open to all families. We love Salk!