My daughter attended MAST for kindergarten. We have since moved out of the Philadelphia School District, so my review is based on her 1 year there. On a positive note, this school has fantastic facilities. They work really hard to fundraise, and make sure that the school is improving. When we went to tour the school, I was blown away by the 3D printing lab, robotics lab, media equipment, etc. If you have an older (high school) age student and are lucky enough to get a spot at MaST, go for it.
Unfortunately, I think they really missed the mark on early education. It seemed like academic achievement and test scores were the only concerns at this school. When my 5 year old daughter got her first report card, most of the areas showed a mark of unsatisfactory or needs improvement. I was extremely concerned, and brought this up at her conference. Her teacher assured me that she was doing fine, and those marks were based on where she should be by the end of the year, which makes perfect sense, if all you care about is showing a paper trail of academic improvement. I emailed my daughter's teacher a few times throughout the year to diplomatically express my concerns, and I never felt like she heard me or cared that I had concerns. On one occasion, I wrote a very carefully worded email expressing my disappointment at how much time the children spent inside, watching movies during recess in the winter. The response I got was very defensive, and nothing changed.
My daughter also had homework every night, except Friday. Usually the homework consisted of 3 worksheets, and took about 20-30 minutes if my daughter was focused. All in all, I didn't think much of her kindergarten experience. I don't think she got the support and encouragement that a young learner needs, nor the freedom to just act like a kid sometimes.
There is enough homework being given so that you can not be overloaded and at the same time not have enough that you don't learn. Some nights yes there is a lot of homework, but that is for the good of the students, because sometimes there is barely any homework. It depends on the day.
Mast is a great school, I have been going there since kindergarten, and I will be moving up this year. I love Mast, Mast has lots of clubs, and activities for after school. The teachers are great, and really help you do your best. The atmosphere in the school is friendly, with lots of caring teachers to help you out, and make you learn. If you go to Mast you will get a better education, than you do in a regular public school. Good Luck in the Lottery! :-)
My school is MaST Community Charter School. My daughter is currently at 1st grade, and she loves MaST School. We got lucky and get to school in kindergarten, wonderful teachers, Very good atmosphere, perfect education, lots of clubs for kids from K to 12 Grade. Cant ask for more, very appreciated for the work the school staff do for the kids.
It was a blessing to have this option for my son. He's been there since kindergarten and is now a junior. It has not only provided him with a great education, state of the art tools, but also a sense of community. Unfortunately, the public school system has gone downhill demanding other options for parents to give their kids a good education without killing their finances.