My child has attended Carmalt since kindergarten & we have been extremely pleased with the education she has received. The school is run effectively & efficiently. I'm thankful that public schools like this are available here in Pittsburgh. I'm also grateful that issues are dealt with and not swept under the rug & there is constant communication from leadership. Dr. Och is a great, hands on principle who knows her students and CARES. I have and will continue to reccomend Carmalt to other Pittsburgh parents looking for a magnet school.
This school is possibly one of the worst in the Pittsburgh Public school district. When I say this, I am NOT over exaggerating. The principal is, like another parent said, accusatory, insane, and abusive. She uses her authority to take control of the kids in a manner that penalizes all kids for what a few kids do. Take it from me, I attended this school for 9 years until I graduated to high school. Dr. Och is a nutjob who abuses her power as principal to intimidate the teachers into doing what she wants, including the social worker, who has lacked doing her job ever since I have been there. Instead, she spends her time bullying children as the principal advises her to do. Many parents say this school is wonderful, but do they truly know what is transpiring behind closed doors? I'm a straight A honor student and was treated so terribly by this principal and her staff. Don't let the name of the school fool you. I didn't learn any science or technology until entering high school. Long story short, don't try and send your kid to Carmalt. Take it from a student who spent 9 years of their life in this school.
My son went here for kindergarten, we were excited as he is very interested in and advanced at science and technology. The choice of kindergarten teachers was dismal, he did well even though his teacher was apathetic, yelled at kids for being, um, kids and was stuck in the dark ages of education. She was waiting to retire. The leadership here, or should I say lack thereof, has obviously impacted the morale and efforts of teachers and students. The rules are extremely authoritative and all the kids seemed to pay for a few who acted out. The principal is a wack job, to say the least. She is extremely condescending, disrespectful and accusatory in situations that don't warrant any over reaction. I switched my son to Brookline, as at least 3 other mothers of kindergartners did for first grade. Frankly, he learned science and technology on a level that should have been fit for Carmalt. And the principal there is amazing. Approachable, present and normal. If you are thinking of Carmalt, just talk to Dr. Oche to see what you think and you will see what I mean.
ANY PARENT OF A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, I ENCOURAGE YOU NEVER SEND YOUR CHILD HERE OR TRY! I had spoken to the principal there about registering my 4 yr. old for kindergarten. He is autistic. Once the principal heard that he was autistic she said her class was full. Whispering, she told me that their test scores were low and that Concord Elem. was much better. Today my son's teacher got a call from her with her screaming at her saying, "How dare you refer a special ed student to our school, I have worked to hard to get this school where it needs to be!" His teacher had to tell her she had her hands full with students to get her off the phone. So she tried to persuade me not to register him there. Please pass this along! I will be doing all I can to stop this discrimination!!!
The principal Dr. Och is the sweetest most caring person I've seen within the pittsburgh public school district to date. My daughter ended up leaving this school however due to a few problems. It seemed to me that the kids were a bit out of control there, the class size was too big for her to learn to her potential. She also had problems with some of the older kids cursing and being mean to her. I was ecstatic when my daughter got accepted but it didn't work out for us. I must say that I don't think it was a lack of effort, just a situation that got to big to handle. The teachers seemed a bit overwhelmed as well.
Carmalt is a wonderful school. My children absolutely love it. Their curriculum is excellent for not only average students but also fits the needs of excelled children. Great school in a great location!