Lamar has very much in recent times diluted its academics in recent times. When my oldest son was there 9 years ago it was fairly solid academically. When my second son was there 5 years ago it was clear Lamar was going going in the wrong direction. Now my youngest child is definitely not being prepared for high school. She is in 8th grade but is being taught at a 5-6th grade level, even though she is in the 'advanced' courses. It is a real shame. Not clear where the blame lies or how to fix it.
I am surprised at some of the reviews I have read about children not being challenged enough at Lamar! Both of my kids are in Pre-AP and I feel they are definitely being challenged! Sometimes more than they want to be! Also, my previously shy children have blossomed at Lamar, participating in extra-curricular activities I never thought they would be interested in! Lamar has a great e-mail communication system. I know about upcoming activities before my kids do! Since my son and daughter have been at Lamar for awhile, they were used to the previous principal, so the jury is still out about the new principal.
The new principal, Eleanor Duncan, is fabulous! All students are important to her. She is at everything and gives 150%.
If your child is one who needs to be challenged academically & becomes bored easily when he/she is not, then this is not the school for you. My son is a very creative child who is also quite gifted in the areas of math & science. He was not challenged enough at this school & subsequently became a discipline problem. The staff & administration at Lamar chalked it up to him being an adolescent boy & doled out what they saw as fit punishment, rather than looking at the possibility that my gifted & talented child was simply bored & not challenged enough. Since pulling him out of Lamar & finding a school more suited to his personality he is back to his old self, making good grades & participating in extra curricular activities.
My son has only been there for 1/2 the year, but so far so good. More than I expected from traditional school with a few teachers that are awesome, too many that need to retire.
I went to Lamar for one year, in sixth grade. I found that they gave a lot of busy work, and often I was bored in class. Sports are a big part of Lamar and since many of its students feed into McCallum High School, their fine arts programs are good. But if you are looking for more challenging acedemics, I reccommend you look somewhere else.
Lamar Middle School is the best kept secret in Austin. Most of the teachers are outstanding! I know that my child is prepared for High school because of teachers such as Teresa Castillo and Kathleen Alsobrook. Lamar gets an A+++ in my book.
Lamar is a great school. Parental involvement is high and that involvement reflects in the students. The students are always well-behaved, parents are kind and friendly and the staff is always willing to address concerns. The principal seems to have an open door policy and looks as though he enjoys his job. Thanks Lamar administration and staff for making the transition to middle school so easy.
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