I am currently a student at IMS. I have always done very well grade wise and on standardized tests (which have too much weight put on them and are made VERY stressful), so I was just recently admitted into the gifted program. As soon as that happened, my experience improved significantly. I had classes more catered to my abilities, and I was suddenly given many new oportunities. I really should have been able to be a part of that great program a while ago, though. It's far too hard to get into. I have never gotten a B, and I amost always score in the 99th percentile on standardized tests, but it took NA seven years to realize that I belonged in the gifted program.
One thing about NA, IMS more specifically, but this is a district wide issue, is that any student in learning support is automatically treated as less than accelerated or average learners. You don't get as many opportunities, and teachers make it obvious that you're in the program, which can sometimes be humiliating, even though there's nothing wrong with it. This is a more personal issue for me because of one of my friends. She's no genius, but she performs moderately well (Bs&Cs) in a regular classroom for students in the middle of the scale academically. She is currently in learning support because of one low stadardized test score, and she can't get out. She is nearly getting straight As, but the school won't permit her to take regular classes. Also, she has told me that student in her class that actually belong there don't get the individual attion they need to succeed.
Another big issue I have with IMS is the teachers. Some move way too slowly, some are incredibly mean and unfair,and some don't even teach. This issue is cause by some regulation that makes it incredible difficult for a teacher to be fired after ten years of teaching. I'm not saying all teachers are bad, though. I currently have an amazing teacher who seems to do everything right.
But wait! There's more! There is a big issue with the salaries of the staff. The teachers a grossly overpaid, on the paraprofessionals are underpaid. The paras make about $500 dollars a week ($18,000 a year), and I have estimated the pay of a teacher who has worked at NA for over ten years to be more than $100,000 a year. Ridiculous.
I find it difficult to rate all aspects of this school in one review. The teachers my son had were exceptional for the most part. They really care about the students and definitely take pride and accountability in their work. They will go the extra distance and it makes the parent partnership seamless. My son really likes all of his teachers, and has found a wonderful teacher mentor. The office staff and guidance counselors are friendly and helpful. The vice principal, Mr. Swoger is the perfect compliment to principal Stark. He is able to forge relationships with students and communicate effectively with parents while she is more disciplinarian. This faculty cares about its students, and they try to reach out to each one. The academics are fantastic and requires the students to work hard to make good grades. The teachers have high expectations and students continually meet them. Socially, the school is trying very hard to create a nurturing environment for all students with diversity and anti bullying programs. However, it's not necessarily the most effective due to the homogeneity of the group. This goes beyond the school, and it's impossible to fault them because they really try.
I currently go to IMS. It has its good staff and its bad staff when it comes to education. but when it comes to the staff in terms of teaching, they could interact more. some teachers teach different, like one of mine treats us like babies and spends about a month on a chapter. the principal and vice principal pay almost no attention to you, and alot of people suspect that the teachers rig the student council elections for who will win.
This school is below awful when it comes to student teacher interaction. My sister was traumatized by the staff and has never fully recovered. Its a good school for an overachiever, but awful for special needs. If you or your child has special needs.. STAY AWAY!! I would recomend Carson Middle Scool because they have great special needs programs and a great staff.
I went to Ingomar and eventually to high school @ NA. I got a 1st class education and I wouldn't have traded it for anything or any other school, public or private. It wasn't at all perfect, but overall, they did things right @ NA. I always thought they should be a model for other schools to follow.
I have gone to IMS and absolutely love it! Every one there is so supportive and it is truly someplace special. I am now at the high school, and It is a very large district. There are so many advantages to this. We get to take classes almost never offered, have top of the line sports, and I wish everyone could go to such a great school
I have asked for help with my struggling, frustrated son for years and have received minimal, intermittent assistance. More needs to be done for the average student - I'm sick of the excuse that N.A. has so many 'above average' kids. Do we then just let the others fail because they need more help???