My oldest child attended kindergarten and Middleton and we had the best experience. She was in all-day kindergarten, which probably made the difference in being exposed to more learning opportunities. During the year she learned how to read, handle difficult math questions and solve problems. Socially she became more confident thanks to a strong, loud teacher. The opportunities for music class and computer lab are great.. We were so glad to have our daughter attend the school, even if just for a year.
I had an all together different experience with the kindergarten program at Middleton. While my daughter did attend 2 years of preschool prior to attending Middleton I realize that this is a luxury some can not afford. I believe the teacher did a wonderful job of integrating teaching socialization to those that had not been in classroom environment before while also nurturing those that had. Our child's class size was what I expected from a community that people flock to for the best rated schools. Our daughter came out of kindergarten reading, writing well and feeling confident in her abilities. I have yet to meet anyone working in this school who does not give 110% to their job.
As the school year ends we are very disappointed with the 1/2 day kinder program. We have heard 1st grade gets better so we are hoping for a better teacher and academic program next year. We will be sending our younger child to private kindergarten.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with the posting about kindergarten. The 1/2 day program is less rigorous than the preschool my child attended. The teacher/student ratio is very high in that class. In general, teachers and admin do very little to support kids who are ahead. Parent suggestions that will provide extra enrichment for a child, at no cost, are shut down because they don't meet "policy." It is extremely frustrating to watch an advanced child make little progress because the school won't provide ideas, enrichment, support, or suggestions to help that child succeed. Among the positives; wonderful music teacher, librarian, PE and technology programs. The facilities are newer and well thought out. Great parent involvement and community support for the school. Some classroom teachers are top notch and really care about their students.
If you have kindergarten age children I would strongly recommend paying the $350/month for full day kindergarten. It seemed silly to me that our neighbors were doing this, even the ones with one parent staying home. After a short time at Middleton we see why, the 1/2 day program is similar to a play group only with almost 30 children and one teacher compared to the 12:1 ratio our kids had in preschool. The full day kids have a smaller group and a full time aid combined with a great, energetic teacher which is providing them with so much more of an actual school experience than the 1/2 day kids.
Parents at this school are very involved and work with their kids at home. Most kids come to this school knowing what they need to both academically and socially. The teachers I have experienced here seem to do the minimum knowing parents will pick up the slack. My child's teacher talks about her large class sizes and need for help constantly.
I noticed the only reviews posted are from 2006. Since a new elementary school has been built in our area, class sizes have dropped dramatically. That was my only concern back when my son attended Middleton. My daughter starts kindergarten next year and I'm very please with the new class sizes.
After hearing a lot of horror stories about public schools, we were concerned about what to expect for our kindergartner. We have been nothing less than ecstatic with the quality of his teachers and the principal. Luckily, this is a high income community, so there is a lot of stay-at-home moms who volunteer in the classroom every day. Without that kind of involvement, the teachers would be working day and night to keep up. There are very strict rules for behavior and the school employs a 'golden horseshoe' program that rewards kids for good behavior. We wouldn't move out of this school district for anything.
Having moved to Sherwood from out of state, I have a fairly objective view of schools in this area. The one parent's comments about: a) classroom sizes are large and b) parent needs to be involved with the teacher to ensure your child's personal learning style is comprehended are true for any school in this area including Tigard/West Lynn/ Lake Oswego. Schools have not kept up with the growth. These are not unique to Middleton. I believe parents should be involved no matter what school you go to. Pluses for Middleton: +The teachers we have been involved with as parents are very good and dedicated, with creative ways of reaching the kids. Large classes are a challenge for any teacher, but I am impressed with the creative approaches that keep the kids engaged. +Teachers have been sensitive to different learning styles, and have processes in place to allow for individual levels and styles.
Middleton boasts the highest academic testing scores in the area. While this is certainly an accomplishment, the focus of the school, like most Oregon Public Schools, is standardized testing. There are very large class sizes at Middleton; higher than State averages and the individualized attention given to students falls painfully short. The school's primary goals seem to be high test scores and fundraising. Parents whose chidren attend here need to be consistently involved and in touch with teachers, communicating their child's educational needs/abilities and should pay extra attention to not only what their children learn but how they learn. Otherwise your child will be lost in the world of standardized median learning.