As of the 12th of November, my son will have been going to Kealing for a month. In this time he has endured vulgar and racial slurs from other students, has been slapped in the face on the bus, has had a photo taken of him while exposed during a restroom break and today was thrown down in the hallway between classes. I have been made aware that no other student has received any consequences for their actions (assaults) due to the fact that staff members apparently cannot seem to figure out which students are doing is things. My child's experience at this time has been entirely negative. As parents, we want to have a sense of security regarding our children when they go out that door each morning. At this time, I DO NOT feel that my son is in a safe environment at Kealing Middle School.
My son recently completed Kealing and loved this school. He learned skills to study and work at a high level. The teachers are amazing and go out of their way for the students. They create interesting material and challenging projects for their classes. Although it is not a good fit for everyone. The homework amount and level of intensity was a bit much at times. Daily and weekends. Good fit for the academically minded student who likes challenges and loves to study and learn. Our other child chose to go to Fulmore Magnet, a more well-rounded experience (not just academics), which has also been a good experience.
I agree with the 8th grade blond girl, 5 hour HW is a tale. For my 6th grade son, Social study (World culture) has the most HWs, then Algebra, both are interesting and both teachers are great. My son does the homework slower after school since he was checking youtube, pokemen, games...... So he spent average of 3 hours in stead of 2 hours if he can focus.
I currently go to Kealing and I love it. With a little organization and focus, you can basically get anywhere in this school. If you love a challenge and if you love learning, you will definitely love this school.
I am a current 8th grader at Kealing. My time at Kealing has been stressful, I won't lie. I think that the benefits outway the cons. I know a big question for people considering Kealing is the HW load. I am taking AP Geometry this year, and I average about 2-3 hours of HW a night. In 6th grade it was much less. Tales of 5 hours a night are tales of kids playing video games and Facebook on their computer when parents aren't watching. As for grades, I have gotten an 89 in Algebra and above that for everything else. I know people who fall both above and below me in terms of grades. My teachers are great, and are very willing to help me out. Office Hours are a must, everyone goes to them so there is no need to worry about teasing, etc. My only negative feeling towards the school is that there are many Asian stereotypes at play i.e. Asians are the smartest, etc. As a blonde girl, this is frustrating and a little humiliating. Also, there are definite tensions between STAR and Magnet students. I do have friends in STAR, but I was bullied last year in Gym and have felt intimidated in classes with both programs.
I am a Kealing graduate, went to LBJ Science Academy, then UT-Austin for engineering, then Harvard/MIT for a MD/PhD. I can only say that Kealing started it all for me. I was challenged, disciplined, and engaged to learn more and do better. Kealing prepared me for LBJ by allowing me to take advanced math classes and the science electives to this day were some of my favourites. I think the academic rigor and creative classes really set apart and self-designed a curriculum that excited me. Also, something that is very important and not to be overlooked... At the time, the neighborhood was pretty rough, (gang-related?) fights everyday and we had to wear our backpacks in front of us during lunch so our graphing calculators wouldn't get stolen. Some parents may think that this is a dangerous situation that they would never want their kids to encounter. It was an invaluable part of growing up and helped me learn the so called "street smarts" and a good dose of reality. And as a physician, people from multiple diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic levels have said that they can relate to me more since I understand their background. Thank you Kealing + LBJ. A winning combination.
Kealing was definitely the right choice for me. I never had a challenge back in elementary school, and going into Kealing was just what I needed for my level. There's always a challenge waiting around the corner to get you, and only you can decide whether or not you will fight back and conquer the beast. If you feel like school is too easy for you, then come to Kealing if you're willing to fight back.
A lot can change in the 20 or so years since I was a student at Kealing but it sounds like the work load and academic standards have not. As a 34 year old graduate of an Ivy league university, law school and MBA school, and Kealing, I can honestly say Kealing was the hardest, most challenging and stressful academic experience of my life. I would agree that the work load was probably "developmentally inappropriate" as I clearly remember working 5-7 hours a night, and these two years being among the most stressful of my life. However, in highschool honors classes there was a huge difference between students who went to Kealing vs Murchison and others. Also, the discipline and study skills I learned at Kealing carried me through highschool and ultimately the rest of my life. I never again want to work that hard consistently, but when the need emerges, I know how to turn on the focus needed for this kind of endurance. Ultimately this experience shaped who I am for the better, though it definitely came at a price. I know my success later in life started at Kealing.
I work at Kealing MS in the Magnet Program. Our program is worthwhile for most students and families who join, since it really is a microcosm of life-in-general, with a few added supports and a few unique hurdles of its own. The pros? Students prone to "check out" in normal public school because they feel they're way ahead of the game almost certainly won't do so in this program. Between the accelerated curriculum, the robust extracurricular clubs/sports, and the wide variety of elective opportunities, a kid has no room to be bored. In addition, teachers have enough autonomy to create/modify curriculum to the accelerated needs of the students. Students create poetry, plant gardens, build musical instruments, study the stars, and much more. The cons? Sometimes the curriculum is heaped too high for the child's/family's time to manage. Sometimes the teacher doesn't fully understand the student's unique needs or family situation. Sometimes a student feels overwhelmed or misunderstood. But the best part? IT'S JUST MIDDLE SCHOOL. All its absurdities and stressors perfectly foreshadow those found in later life, but in a safer environment with some more room for mistakes. And learning.