We love MPA. Cons: old building, it's too small, too. I have no current complaints about the staff, I'm sad the current director us leaving. The biggest problem I see is the parents. They are all quite demanding of the staff's time and attention, making it harder to focus on the kids. There is also not a fast enough learning pace, but I fear this is due to state laws. Every parent wants their kid accelerated, I do, too. I'm not thrilled that my kids aren't differentiated more. The pros: there is nowhere else where my quirky kids feel loved and accepted. There is nowhere else my kids have true peers. Even when my child was grade skipped in our home district, his asynchronous development was noticeable. At MPA my kids are just like everyone else. At our home district my kids were "problem" kids, and I was getting calls multiple times a week. In the two years at MPA not a single issue requiring my presence at the school. The grade level curriculum is more advanced than same grade curriculum at other schools. A perfect school: more subject acceleration, a bigger building, and employment of a parent-school liaison to deal with the high maintenance parents.
THIS school is not being run in a effective manner. The building is old and falling apart. They keep saying the are looking at new building but you can never get an answer as to the plan for that. The director is almost never there and she stinks at communications. The WHOLE School is SO unorganized not to mention there safety is REALLY lacking. Of course the School is going to have high test score all the students are gifted so the ranking does not give you an idea of the school as a whole. They have a HUGE teacher turn over. Don't let the tuition free fool you either you have to pay $500 a year and every other day they are asking for money and if you can't volunteer 45 hours a year they want more money also. I think the worst part is most parents don't even notice the problems with the school they over look it because they are just happy their child is gifted and in a "Gifted School" I can't even tell you what my child's work is like because nothing gets sent home no matter how many times I ask I never get a answer for anything I just get blown off! My daughter will be back next year and we are already looking for another school.
Menlo Park Academy is a school for gifted children. My child is "labeled" twice exceptional because she also has a learning difference. Menlo Park is very open minded about my child's individual learning styles and needs. My child had an IEP, but it was later changed to a 504. The staff does a great job accommodating my child and and following the plan. My child goes to a reading interventionist who does such a great job that my child loves going. Sometimes I wish the paperwork process was faster, but that's just a problem everywhere.
This is our first year at MPA and so far it has exceeded our expectations. Each classroom is it's own specialized environment created by its students. There is a very specific curriculum that each grade level follows however creativity and inquisitive personalities are very much encouraged here. Since the students share many of the same interests and traits, a comradery is seen among them. Menlo Park offers an amazing environment for a gifted child to thrive in. The teachers and directors understand their students emotional and academic needs which enables them to succeed at their highest level. Most of the parents are also very involved in volunteering in areas that are needed so the school can continue to thrive for many years to come.
My son has attended Menlo for 2 years, starting with kindergarten. His first year was frought with issues, including the aggressive behavior (bullying) by other boys. The school was dismissive of the bullying events, and seemed clueless and completely ill-prepared to deal with the behavioral/social/emotional issues of its students; which by the way are all FAR more present in the "gifted" subset of children. We ended first grade with my "gifted" son not performing at grade level! I believe this was the result of the school doing a fine job with curriculum acceleration, but being incapable of addressing indiviual learning styles that may differ from the "stereotypical" gifted kid. As result, our family is spending our summer trying to catch-up and plan to change schools in the fall. My take on the school is that it is a great "concept" but is lacking some of the fundamentals that are necessary to insure its success. They need better policies and support services to address the unique behavioral and emotional needs of these gifted kids...the teachers are not equipped to handle difficult children on their own, nor should they be expected to.
This is a great school concept...great community, curriculum and, for the most part, great teachers. I do, however, have great concerns about the survival of this school as the school board is completely inept and refuses to acknowledge their short comings and utilize their resources....very very reactive, not at all proactive, which is not a good ingredient for a successful long-term run.
This school is constantly firing good, hard working teachers. 'The board' votes on which teachers stay. A school cannot run like this!
My daughter has attended three different public schools & shadowed at various private schools, & has never found an environment as nurturing, stimulating, & challenging as that provided by this school. At Menlo, she is exposed to: 1). lively classroom discussions that always inspire further inquiry at home, 2). monthly field trips, 3).a multitude of independent research projects, 4). and a Singapore math program that has rigorously prepared her (a 10 yr. old) to perform at an 8th grade level. Despite the academic rigor, she can still manage to gush about one "amazing" and "fun" day after another. Yes, the teachers are that impassioned & inspiring and the curriculum is that creative. There are many strong reasons why this school has such a long waiting list & why so many parents will make the sacrifice & commute 2 hrs./day so that their children can attend. My daughter sees the school now as her extended family. Here, she is not afraid to be a nerd, because every individual talent & eccentricity is celebrated and supported with great sensitivity--from the mildly gifted to the one 1st grader, who in a flash of flying fingers, could easily bust any adult at solving the Rubyk's Cube.
Am thrilled with this school for my gifted child and can't wait for the new school year to start. We are all truly lucky to have such a gem in the area. Awesome teachers, great peers for the kids, and NO TUITION! Can't go wrong.
We love this school. We currently have two children enrolled here. We have been very pleased with the teacher interaction and challenging work. The school offers extras such as Spanish, Chineese, Violin, Lego Clubs, Young Authors and Science Fair. You can't go wrong here!
My child LOVES this school. He was bored and hated school before we found Menlo Park. My husband & I are thrilled to have found an option that both fits his needs and where he feels like he belongs (the Excellent rating doesn't hurt)!
I strongly recommend that parents explore public school options before enrolling in this school. Discipline is not handled in a consistent manner. Home-school communication could be better. The best thing about this school is that students with similar abilities are grouped together and they seem to have more social opportunities with peers at their level than typical public schools.
I was so excited to find this option for my gifted child. It is the best kept secret around. There is no tuition charge, and the students are provided with small classrooms and individual, customized instruction.
There is always teacher turnover at Charter schools, as they don't have the budget other public schools have, however the curriculum structure and parent involvement more than makeup for occasional turnover. I have been here for 2 years, and have never had a teacher leave. This school is far more challenging at an elementary level than any other public school in our area.
This is an excellent school option for gifted students, especially younger ones as most public schools in the area don't offer any differentiation options for them. The principal is passionate about the students, and the teachers are committed to offering a fun, creative, and challenging curriculum.
Excellent. Excellent principal, teachers, parent involvement. Safe, nurturing environement.
The academic programs at Lorain Academy are excellent. The curriculum for the students places a challenge that allow the students to go beyond their potential. From grades k-7, the students are taught by experienced educators that allow the gifted students to explore, and collaborate with each other. The students at Lorain Academy for gifted students have a music class, a basketball team, and they often participate in extracurricular activities throughout the year. The students are involved in musicals, talent shows, and projects that benefit the community such as gathering canned goods for families in need. The school also has family game night, skate night, and other gathering throughout the year. One of the strengths of Lorain Academy is parent involvement. Parents are encouraged to volunteer during school hours in the classroom, centers, lunch, recess, and in the school office. Parents are also encouraged to be a part of LAGS PTO.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
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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