I am thankful for amazing curricula, teachers who are passionate about their subject matter...so passionate they want to share this passion with their students...and I am thankful for the arts at DSMS -- especially the dance department, the art department and the symphonic band. Finally, I am thankful for the emphasis each member of faculty and staff place on respect -- for themselves, for others -- and how they provide sturdy role models for the DSMS students. Thank you, Thank you...a grateful grandmother and grandfather
not thrilled about my child having 8 teachers many of whom throw homework on the website last minute the night before. not thrilled about about the culture of zero diversity and acceptance nor lack of staff support of a kind and accepting culture. not thrilled about lack of interesting clubs for my children to join (outside of basic spanish and math and science). and not thrilled about teachers and staff with the school and the district being related or connected in a subjective way that doesn't benefit students. its all about test scores here.
If you look at the test scores you see a trend up in 7th and 8th- a sign the school is doing a great job improving skills each year. There were at least 120 kids inducted into NJHS this year, most 6th graders. The teachers care, they hold kids accountable for late and missing work and don't give much slack, which I appreciate. The band program is second to none. It is run by some of the most dedicated, overworked directors I have ever seen running from the high school to the middle school and working together on an aligned music program. They are so involved as a teaching team that I feel like my kids don't have one band teacher, but several and they all know every single kid in grades 6-12. Dripping is growing, and change might be hard for our small town. But this school is dealing with growth without skipping a beat and the district as a whole is absolutely dedicated to providing an excellent education to children of the community.
Good things- DSMS has pretty good teachers who teach as well as they possibly can. You have a pretty good choice of electives and all are sucessful. Lots of oppertunities and above average test scores. Bad things-A big problem is over crowding. With 3 elementry schools in the district you would think they would be planning a new middle school soon, but they are not. Teachers are being laid off so the classes will grow even bigger. Hallways are very crowded and uncomfortable. You have a lot of cussing and innapropriate remarks around every corner. The teachers really are tired and just turn a blind eye to it. There have been incidents with drugs, but it has only been with a small group of people who don't seem to be pressuring people outside of their group.
DS oldtimers run this district to it's detriment. Teachers do not care anymore. The kids that act out the loudest, get the most attention. I have seen on numerous occasions where the students that want to learn have to sit out in the hallway to limit their distractions from the classroom. Drugs are pretty rampent in this district. The administration and staff seems to turn a blind eye. Also, bullying, which is supposed to have a zero tolerance (as well as drugs) is blown over. This district needs a serious wake-up call. DSISD can not decid if they want to be a one-horse town or continue with the growth for the betterment of the community. I know numerous parents who have taken their children out of the district to homeschool. All you have to do is to look at the turnover rate with teachers and you will know the story.
They are a proactive school. Planning in middle school for high school and even for college. The staff communicates through their websites or email quickly. The parents are very involved which is rare at the middle school level. They work to make the learning experience fun and active- experimenting with lessons rather than just learning.