pros: there is no violence, no gang issues, the kids wear uniforms so there is no inappropriate clothing, and they do teach a very world-wide view, with all subjects being interconnected. There are also some very great teachers there. cons: the math program is a joke (I highly recommend investigating Everyday Math prior to sending ones children there). They are completely unresponsive to criticism and are more than willing for families to leave, since they know (as of now, at least) there are plenty of people waiting to take their spot (there is a long waitlist, there is also high turnover). They allow no parents in the classes outside of 3 one-hour "party" times a year-this, in the head of primary's own words, is "so parents don't gossip about other kids" which I think is a very dim view to take of parents at her school, and pretty indicative of her opinion about parents in general. They have a very high percentage of new teachers every year, since many teachers leave after their first year. In our 3 years there with 3 kids all 3 years, only 2 of the 9 teachers who taught them weren't new. And there are startlingly, noticeably few Hispanic or African-American students.
Have you seen the wait list to get in?!! We can reassure you that this is where the highly educated and in-demand teachers are. They are able to teach children what they learned in school, not just how to take "The Test. " There is a wonderful community of parents and volunteers working with the teaching staff to support the students. The staff is motivated, approachable, happy, positive, respectful and excited about the IB curriculum. Meridian is not your typical school. They teach more than the basics. Think of the entire school as an "AP" class. It is very hands on with a lot of parent involvement. We are very happy with the school and can't wait to see it continue to 12th grade.
Both of my children attend Meridian. We are thrilled with the education they are getting. The IB curriculum is very rigorous, yet allows for tons of creativity! They are truly being challenged to think about big issues from a global perspective, thus broadening their world view. What a great skill to take forward into life, understanding and respecting different perspectives!
Meridian is a great school. Both my kids attend Meridian. The Secondary teachers are as good as they come. They are so dedicated to the students and their success. It is a great place to send your kids. The curriculum is challenging and the kids work hard for their grades. If your child is not challenged or bored where they are now, this is where they should be. All classes in secondary are simular to AP classes since it is an IB school. The courses are hard but they learn alot. Homework most nights and catching up on the weekend for one of my children. Both my kids love it at Meridian and are thriving.
My children have been attending this school from when it first opened. We came from an excellent school with excellent teachers in RRISD (TAG program), but I was looking for a school with the International Baccalaureate Curriculum. I love the community at Meridian. Parents are engaged and teachers are extremely dedicated. Even though this school is in its infancy, it managed to achieve PYP Authorization in a record 2 years. They are awaiting their DP status and the school's goal is to be an IB continuum K-12. (Currently only 4 schools int he state of Texas are IB continuum schools. RRISD for example offers the program but leaves out years 9 and 10. I also love that we do not spend the 3rd nine weeks prepping for the STAAR. The students also take the Stanford Achievement test. If you want to school where your child is going to be taught how to think and inquire about further learning, then this is the school for you. If you want a school that is going to give you handouts and rote learning, then look elsewhere. You do have to engaged as a parent. I find my kids are challenged and that teachers are VERY DEDICATED and KNOWLEDGEABLE. I also like the smaller community.
The leaders have done an amazing job on focusing on IB and simply getting such a large school launched and running. The teachers we have had have been super nice although overwhelmed and too busy "learning IB" to focus on individual needs. Lastly, the parents are invested in their children's education - they had to apply and then commit to driving each day, etc - it is invaluable to be a part of such a community. However, we pulled our children out after two years for the following reasons: 1. Large gaps in curriculum, especially in science 2. Absolutely no interest in TAG/differentiation - which left our kids bored and eventually lazy 3. A prevailing, "If you don't like it, leave" message/attitude which felt both condescending and dismissive. This is from administration. 4. No school on Wed afternoons to accommodate IB faculty development - which adds up in lost academic time We felt as if we had "lost ground" with both children who had been excelling previously and we don't have the luxury of spending more time to see if the school would catch up in its gaps (which I believe they eventually will; they have a committed leadership and parent community).
Meridian is a public Charter school that follows the International Baccalaureate Program. Meridian is the vehicle realized by several Williamson County families that worked together with the goal of offering an education that will bring a love of learning to the classroom for their children and yours. Meridian is a school of 'choice' offering an inquiry-based curriculum. This school is an amazing alternative to standard public school education, allowing each child the opportunity to learn in a way that is comfortable and challenging all at the same time. With only 770 students, K-10, it gives that small school feel with big school options. We have loved having our daughters attend the past 2 years and enjoy seeing the way the school continues to grow and adapt each year.
This is our second year at Meridian and our child, despite some behavioral issues, continues to thrive. We feel that the caring and perceptive teachers are there because they love learning and they love children. IB is challenging and isn't for everyone, but it's an amazing program that challenges kids to do their best.
Since education is not a one-size fits all, it is nice to have an option that is not a private school or a parochial school. Our family is happy to have our student at Meridian. While he started out a bit behind, after a full year, he was able to be to complete the assigned work and has since done well in middle school. It may not be a school for everyone as there are many conveniences that are lacking - like bus pick-up. But it is a charter school and I understand that they do not receive as much money as the regular public schools do. That's why they fundraise and have a strong volunteer program. I am not able to volunteer much time, and no one has ever hassled me about it. The elementary classes do expect parents to spend time with their child during the week doing homework - but they are given choices and a week to do it. So it does take parental involvement - but it's for my child, and I get to understand what he is doing in class. The school seems to be attracting teachers with experience, even experience with the International Baccalaureate program - so they are coming to Meridian. That speaks well of the school and the leadership and it's goals.
I pulled my children because 1) lack of a rigorous elementary education 2) too much money and time demanded from the parents in order to sustain attendence 3) At one point I was told that "they" ( other district public schools) don't teach things like spelling and grammar anymore- when I went to mine I discovered OH YES THEY DO Meridian just chooses not to 4) the grading system. The student receives a check mark if it looks like he worked on his homework - the answers can be wrong but checked write if it looks like they tried 4) their use of the Everyday Math program. Its a spiral curriculum that does not encourage mastery of skills, just exposer to them. Most parents hire private tutors to teach what the curriculum lacks. 5) I feel my children lost 2 years of quality learning in order to wear a uniform to school and chant IB learner characteristics.
We left an outstanding Round Rock school to attend Meridian and we could not be happier. I tell my friends that attending Meridian is like attending a private school for free ... although it is better than a private school because private schools (like regular public schools) are driven by the desire to score well on standardized tests. Meridian does not focus on the STAAR test. We do not do regular benchmarks and our kids don't do STAAR prep worksheets as part of regular instruction. Instruction is organized around large thematic units (central ideas) where kids spend time asking questions, thinking critically and creatively, problem solving individually and in groups, etc. In the end, the goal is to take some kind of action as a result of what was learned. My kids love school and they have had some of the most outstanding teachers I have ever encountered in my 17 years experience as an educator. Our extra-curricular and athletic programs are evolving at a healthy pace. The after school program is high quality. School lunches are more expensive than regular public school lunch but the food is freshly prepared by chefs at the Studio Kitchen; no processed / frozen foods.
This was our first year at Meridian and we absolutely love it! I really liked the public school my children were previously enrolled in but the difference between that school and Meridian is like night and day. Meridian has truly helped my children reach their full potential and the teachers and staff there could not be any more nurturing to my children. Changing schools was a hard decision for us but definitely the best one we have ever made.
Both my kids attend this school. We can not be any happier with the school staff, philosophy and the teaching methods. Being a new school with IB curriculum, they have been trying their best to hep the kids stay on the top and each teacher and other staff members care about the future of the kids. Unlike a lot of other schools, they don't prepare the kids to get higher scores to get better rating for school, but their orientation is towards making the kid succeed in all areas. The teachers are focused on bringing out the best in each kid by doing everything to help the kids learn the concepts effortlessly and in a creative way so they don't have to try hard to memorize the concepts learned. The after school program (called AAA enrichment) is the best after school program that my kids ever attended (they teach Chess, Yoga, international languages (Spanish, Hindi..etc) and so many other fun and creative activities). I am very happy to share that this school has very talented, caring, patient, creative, supportive staff whose goal is to give best possible education experience to kids. I can keep going but having to stop due to limitation on number of characters allowed
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