This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Murchison Middle School4
Posted October 29, 2014
- a teacher
@disgruntled parent. I completely understand your situation with bad teacher aides or special education programs that you feel are inadequate. I would suggest talking with an administrator about this, we have a great administrative team who will listen attentively to your concerns and do whatever they CAN do about it. With regard to your comments on the teachers. While it may be said that SOME teachers are not up to date on their websites/email communication, there is no need to throw ALL teachers under the proverbial bus. Just as in life, there are some good and some bad. Making broad generalizations are dangerous. Murchison has some VERY dedicated and nurturing teachers who have very current websites and who respond to parents quickly. I am one of them. In the 3 years your child was here, did they NEVER have a good quality teacher? I would seriously doubt that claim. Murchison offers 5 languages, we are an IB world school ,we offer advanced classes, AVID program and we have MANY great teachers and administrators. As one who has worked here for a long time, I would not lying to say it is ONE OF THE BEST middle schools in Austin.
Teachers don't care one bit about students. Your child has a disability? GOOD LUCK!!! They offer, almost pander, programs and teachers aides that will be on call to help your student. They are not attentive, nor do they advise, but rather sit in the room checking their phone. Teachers will say "Email me anytime, I am quick to respond!" Days later, zero communication. ZERO. Good luck figuring out what homework there is, when it is due, etc., as the info on the school website is never updated and you must wait till grades are entered 2 weeks later to see what projects haven't been completed. AHHH, just enough time to get a students grade way past failing! Very clever! Also, good luck figuring out how to login to check the grades as they give the information to do so to the students and not the parents. *plays sad trombone here* This school is poorly managed with all sorts of broken systems in place and I am sure the teachers are a reflection of that. You should run -- not walk -- to another school where teachers don't just go through the motions, but make an effort to teach and not leave your child behind.
There are many diverse activities at the school for everyone. The school was a little behind in technology, but its picked up quite a bit this last year. 2013/2014 was the first year of the Robotics Program and the team went to the World Championships. The kids have the opportunity to get a great education in a public setting. In the 3 years that my child was there, it went through some growing pains but in the end came out better.
This school has lot of cursing and bullying going on.The school management is bad and overreacts most of the time and fabricates to put blames on others and is there to please the parents only.Most students have no respect for teachers and most get away because the school management doesn't care and will do anything to get the school going.had a very bad experience in Murchison middle school.
My daughter is in 6th grade at MMS this year and thriving. Two of her 4 core classes are Advanced level, and she comes home several times a week talking about how much she LOVES school, and exceited about learning. She raves about her math class! It hels that she's always liked school, even when she struggled with some learning delays, but this year is exceptional, thanks to excellent teachers. She tried to get into the Kealing Magnet School program, but now we're so glad that didn't work out. A best friend did and is losing her love of learning under the constant deluge of heavy homework loads. My daughter is learning just as fast and her hunger to learn is being expanded at MMS. I'm very pleased with the school so far.
This school was a terrible experience for me. NEVER enroll in such an atrocity of micromanagement and disiplinary corruption such as this military state of a school. The special education program there goes out of its way to single the student out as autistic or challenged; by having a teacher follow the student to every single class. They believe in punishment over education, and will send you to In School Suspension for anything from dropping a pencil to talking to your friends. If you value yourself as a person, your children and their future, STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL. It is a horrifying and traumatic experience and the utmost inane system of management I have ever dealt with in my life. As a high-schooler I realize how much of what they did was never a necessity, nor was it actually teaching anybody anything. Listen, this school is the breeding ground for bullying and intolerance. Don't believe what they say about "no place for hate", we were forced to sign those things in eighth grade just to win the title. Get away from this abomonation and just pick a different school. Do not torture your children with such an environment, spare them the pain, spare them the agony...
I m not sure if the definition of 'Advisory' has changed over the years, I (perhaps mistakenly) thought it was created to encourage social connections through the creation of a small group that meets throughout the year. To me, this seems important esp. for a school with a large student population. It would be easy to feel lost in the crowd. It would be simple to say, let s just focus only on academics. Students at this age have a strong desire to fit-in and want to feel that they belong (not just tolerated.) I would support the idea of continuing to encourage a campus climate that reflects the world, not just our neighborhood, closest friends, or even demographics in advanced classes. As suggested by the parent below, I don t think the idea of separating 'at risk' students from others in Advisory would be the best idea. If given the chance, I think all students can benefit from getting to someone that they may not have otherwise gotten the chance to relate to. I think MMS does a great job considering its current challenges (budget, testing, crowded spaces). I personally would consider MMS one of the best middle schools in the city.
This is our only experience in a public middle school; our other sons went to a private middle school. Overall, the work load has been less in comparison, but I think our child got a good education. He took the "advanced" classes and has done well. Things that should change are all the "mini-tests" given. This takes so much time away from instruction/discussion time. Also, advisory is 40 minutes of the week and it just benefits a few. I'd rather see an "elective period" for "high risk" students instead of subjecting all students to advisory twice a week. Strengths: Principal. I have had several encounters with her and am please with the outcomes. She is not driven by donations and looks after the best interest of the students most times. Teachers: they have always responded to my e-mails and my son's teachers do enjoy their jobs and students. Weaknesses: bully policy interpretation. My son (and am learning of many other boys) was suspended in the 6th grade for pushing a friend of his, who fell into another kid. I thought this was an overreaction by the vice principal. Counselors: replace them. I haven't found any value; use their salaries on more teachers.