The staff has been very helpful in helping my daughter transition from elementary. Despite the whole experience being overwhelming, we are finding that the staff is on top of everything and working to make her days go as smoothly as possible. I would agree that the leadership of KMS is outstanding.
I become more and more impressed with the teachers and the principal. Leadership is tremendous since Dr. Smith came. Teacher /Parent / student involvement is top notch and their reaching out to the community with movie night was wonderful. I love KMS more and more.
I think that Kempsville Middle School is great! I am on my third child attending there and quite frankly hate the thought that next school year will be our last there. My third child came into the school with some learning problems that were not very well atttended to in elementary school. Within the first 2 - 3 weeks of school I had conferences with all of his teachers and his counselor. We discused plans on how to help him succeed and the teachers cmae up with great ideas and they were backed by the counselor. After several months his grades were improving and this second year of middle school is proving to be even a bigger and better success. All of the teachers and the counselor and the principal have been helpful and supportive. I will not move from this area because of the Kempsville middle and High School.
There are many good teachers here, and I agree there are some who need to retire, but unfortunately that's everywhere. My main problem with KMS is lack of communication. They rely on the kids themselves as the only means of sending info home to the parents. They don't tell you something's wrong until it's too late to correct it. They don't offer assistance, you have to search for it, then beg for it. I understand a teacher's life is busy, but that's part of the job. My job is to cover the home life, their job is to cover the school life. If something happens at home, I let them know ASAP and directly (not through notes sent via my 13 year old). I expect the same in return. It's been like pulling teeth to get info on time. Other than lack of communication, it's a great school.
While there are some good teachers at this school, there are some that should find another profession. Sixth grade is such a transition for these 11 yr olds, and it is very hard to have teachers striving to fail them. There is no understanding or compassion. The children are allowed no excuses. KMS promotes 'no bullying', but the staff practices bullying on a daily basis. The busses are horrible. The hallways are a free-for-all for unsavory activity. If your child is accused of something and later found to be innocent, they will never get an apology from staff who accused and bullied them. It sometimes feels like they don't really care if your child does not succeed. There is not a place that they can go for support, guidance, and understanding. Middle school staff needs to remember what a difficult time in a child's life this is.
*While this school is fully accrediated, when you read the report it's not great news. African American boys are falling short; more of them fail SOL's than pass. I don't know if it's lack of interest by their parents, or just apathy toward this state test. *The principal is effective in discipline but has been hog tied by some parents who were vocal to the School Board and got their children out of trouble. This event caused the remaining students & parents to be confused and angry. *The teachers are on the whole a wonderful group of educators and care about each child working up to their potential. *The facility is quite old, but is up for renovation soon. *Be a pro-active parent in Middle School, it will only benefit your child. They need you at this age, more than any other time.