My son is finishing out 6th grade this year (2012/2013) and we have had a wonderful year there. His teachers were great in parent/teacher communications, proactive with us when things were not going well with him in studies or other areas of concern. The campus is newer, beautiful and completely indoors (it's in Oregon, it rains A LOT so indoor for us is good.) and I feel my son is as safe as he can be there. Bullying has not been an issue for my son this year, and he has not witnessed any bully situations between others students either. They did an excellent job with the transition into middle school with the incoming 6th graders and I think the way they were able to transition them in made it a much friendlier environment and less intimidating as well. The 6th graders were not fully integrated with the 7th and 8th graders and so the age/height difference and constantly interacting with them in the halls/lunches etc. The separate lunch times for each grade, and early release for the 6th graders (by like 5 or 10 minutes to give them a head start) really help my son not fear the other kids as much.
We have seen a great deal of change this year (07-08) at Madison. The presence of the principal (Mr. Gaultney) in the halls and outside during dismissal has improved the students' behavior tremendously. Also, our daughter has not viewed any non-instructional videos/movies this year, as opposed to 24+ full-length films which had little or nothing to do with the curriculum. We hope we continue to see improvement as the school year progresses.
We no longer have faith or confidence in Principal Pollard. In a time of National awareness of the damaging effects of bullying and also the extreme importance of school safety, we the people demand change.