I have to admit that I had huge concerns about sending my child to Rippon MS. The reports that I had gotten from rumors shared by the parents of then elementary schoolers, had me looking into a private school to send my child to--because I did want my child to get beat up. However, my husband suggested we give Rippon MS a try.
My child was a 6th grader in the Math and Science program during the 2014-2015 school year and will be there for the 7th grade school year. My concerns regarding any school are always the same: safety/security, cleanliness, and academics. I want my child to feel as if Rippon MS is a safe environment to learn in. I liked the fact that Rippon MS separated the 6th graders from the 7th and 8th graders. Most of my child's classes were all in one hall and with other children in the same grade--that were a part of the Math and Science program. So my child attended classes with kids that wanted to learn, were at the same academic level, and who were more accepting of geeks. As far as cleanliness, I have not had too much of a problem with public school facilities. I often find them cleaner than private school facilities. Academically, I can honestly say that my child was challenged. The courses were taught at a rigorous pace at times, and computer skills proved to be essential for writing papers, preparing presentations, and creating videos. I was a little disappointed with the science fair projects produced by the 6th and 7th graders; I've seen elementary school science boards look better. Being a school hosting a Math and Science program, I really expected better. However, Rippon MS did go on to take first place overall for the regional science fair (the kid likely cleaned up his board before the regionals). The front office staff was very responsive to my questions or concerns and so were the majority of the teachers. Out of about 8 teachers that my child had only one would not return any of my emails or calls. I also appreciate the extra effort that some of the teachers took to come in early to assist some of the students that needed that extra help before the SOL. I'm still unsure about the Principals; thus far I haven't found them to be people-persons. Overall our experience this year has been positive with minor hiccups.
My son has been at this school for three years and I have nothing but positive things to say about the Administration, Teachers, and staff at this school. My son does not handle change well and the move from elementary school to middle school was extremely hard for him. I asked the guidance counselor for help and they couldn't do enough to help him adjust. I see the Principal at all the events I've attended at the school from choral concerts to track meets and science fairs. I see the Vice Principal at many of these events as well. I have found the teachers to be encouraging and engaging. They believe in the students and what they can accomplish. My son will be finishing 8th grade with three high school credits thanks to their excellent Math/Science program. He'll have two math credits and a foreign language credit. My oldest is a senior now and applying to colleges and I assure you in this competitive world, starting high school with three course credits completed is a great advantage.
The Principal and Assistant principals are not performing professional as leaders. I have not seen the Principal on any concerts. The Assistant Principal seems to be busy with his own problems and not focussed on children at the concert. He stayed at the corner and did not approach any student and parent to express appreciation of what kids were doing on the stage. I would not recognize him as an administrator if my son told me that this is not a janitor holding the keys to the building. Shame. He did not approach any student for encouragement. I did not see him talking to the music director either. Shame
Rippon Middle School is a great school because of its special programs. I get that the school has bad students but if you apply to the specialty program then they would not be with bad student. ( i am in the program)
We New to the school and only have bin there for 4 weeks .to the teachers I have to say ,they all very friendly and helpful ,to the front desk ,I agree to some people here ,that they not very nice ,they do what they have to do, but not in a very friendly way.the school building it self ,could use some updates and remodeling.overall I think the school is ok.