When I came to Deal in 6th grade I was very excited. I had heard amazing things about Deal, but I am glad I have been able to have my own experience. Deal is a very big school but it's not a problem since we are split up into "teams" (named after a country throughout the globe) and each "team" could almost be their own grades. The kids only circulate teachers within their "team." The teachers are very good and encouraging throughout your education at Deal. Deal is an IB school since it's suppose to be international. But there are perks about being an IB school, such as, the grading. The grading is extremely harsh and hard. Their grading system goes 1-8. Eight is 100%, but a seven is already a 92%! (Which is an -A!) Plus, one Thursday each month we have IB lessons and activities. They are very boring and pointless. Another bad thing at Deal is the language. Almost all the kids at Deal cuss. More of the boys seem to be into that kind of thing though, but to me it's annoying and pointless. Many boys are also very inappropriate as well. They make inappropriate gestures and noises. Usually teachers take care of them. Plus the dress code is annoying, especially for girls, but whatever.
My daughter moved to Alice Deal this year. We have nothing but very positive things to say about Deal. It is a big school but it is incredibly efficiently organized and well run. My daughter was not thrilled about going to school in 5th grade but loves her new school, her teachers and all her classes. For the first time she is excited about science and math, she loves geography and raves about the projects she does in English class. The academics are rigorous and the curriculum is both interesting and challenging. They follow the IB Diploma which so we have seen a lot more practical hands on projects than we are used to. Science is all lab work and real experiments. Geography is connected to current world affairs. In English, students are writing their own books! Teachers are very responsive to any questions and the communication is great. We get weekly updates and we know what is going on at all times. We also like the fact that it has a lot to offer in terms of after school programs so there is something for every student from arts to sports. We are thrilled with the school and so is my child.
Deal is a great fit for our daughter. She is in her second year there, and is thriving. The academics are good - she is challenged but not overwhelmed. And there are many opportunities for extra help, either during recess or after school. Almost all of her teachers have been helpful and responsive to email inquiries. There are loads of after school activities to choose from, and a great social network. All that being said, it is not perfect, and is not necessarily a good fit for every child. Not all teachers are great - she has a new teacher this year that we're not thrilled with - but that's the case at just about every school based on conversations I've had with other parents. Overall, an excellent school that I would recommend to others. I highly suggest going on the tours and the open houses that are offered to get a better feel for the place. And go to one of their public events - a play or a concert - to get an even better feel for the student body.
This school is a zoo! Completely overenrolled, class sizes are gigantic and it is slowly but surely slipping. Parents feel like it is the only public middle school option so it is an overcrowded scary beast.
Good Academics. Poor communication between parents and teachers and administrators. So much homework my son in 6 th grade and was always A student and still is but in pre algebra and Spanish one with hard teacher. Tons and tons of homework projects quizzes and tests and sometimes on same days. Has no time for anything else. He is always stressed out and has learned to balance it with doing what he can during weekends but he loses out on family time. Has no time to himself. I can't get ahold through email, writing a letter and my son taking it to teacher, trying to call just to find out why a grade is what it is when he had an excused absence but just got the email today saying it was excused from 3 weeks ago. My son is scared to be absence even when he has to go to an appt. They do go on field trips a lot but if the teacher teaches more than just your grade. You can be counted as an unexcused absence. I have learned to watch for that because it can bring a high A down to a low A. Plus the grades are in decimals like for example 89.9 is an 89 B+ no rounding I have seen on any of my son's grades at all this year of 2013-2014.
This middle school is the best in the city. It is very diverse and educational wise, it is outstanding. It is close to Tenleytown so the students can hang out after school. It also has a bus stop just across the street. The principal is currently working to add a bus shelter so students do not need to wait in the rain. We are adding a new expansion, and it should be done by next year if all goes well (I personally do not think it will be completed in time). We have many laptop and iPad carts, and four desktops in each classroom. At recess students can choose to either go outside or go to the library, except if they didn't do their homework or want to study, which in that case they can go up to ZAP (zeroes are not permitted). If the student was late to school, they will have to serve lunch detention. Deal has tons of extracurricular activities and sports for after school. On Thursdays, we have shorter class periods so that we have time for an activity at the end of the day (they vary depending on the week). Deal allows sixth graders to choose a language to take for their next three years from Chinese, French, and Spanish.
DO NOT PUT YOUR KIDS IN A SCHOOL THAT YOU KNOW WILL NOT CHALLENGE THEM BECAUSE IT IS A CONVENIENCE FOR YOU. The school offers language courses in either Spanish, French or Chinese that a student will take for all three years and in 8th grade will travel to the country of that language. Deal offers many opportunities for its students. In conclusion, Deal is an amazing, diverse, challenging, and interesting community for every type of student. Despite its flaws and annoying dwellers, I have to say is the best school in DC. Your child will be upset about being late or missing a day at school. *** In 7th and 8th grade, make sure you stay on top of your childs progress. Make sure they get their work in on time, completed, understand their work, get to school everyday, on-time, and have great respectful relationships with their teachers, participate in class and maintain a good reputation because all of these factors add up to your child being excepted into a good high school such as School Without Walls.
I am a parent of an 8th grader and our daughter also attended 7th grade for about 1/2 of the school term. My husband and I both feel that Deal does a really great job in organizing the students and keeping them in a discipline but very respectful environment. The educators and especially Principal Albright all do a fine job in not only running a tight ship but also in being very nurturing, kind, and caring toward the students at Deal. This is especially visible in how comfortable the students are with chatting and even confiding in their educators. We enjoy having Mrs. McFarland as our daughter's counselor because she indeeds has her finger on the pulse of the age group at Deal. She works with the teenagers in a way that positively impacts the student's young lives. We are very happy that our school provides so much for our family!
Most teachers and staff are well educated and encourage me to try my very hardest. The teachers give a reasonable amount of homework. Alice Deal offers many after school clubs. The reason I did not give my middle school a higher rating is because, at sometimes this school can have it's negatives. Being a girl at Alice Deal be prepared to face the wrath of Dress Code. For girls, you cannot show any type of bra strap or cleavage. Which is harder than you think! If your bra strap is accidentally shown on your shoulder you have to change in your gym uniform or one from the lost and found! Same with cleavage, lately they told us we are going on our annual field trip to King's Dominion!!! But they bombed on the girls a day before that you are not allowed to wear bikinis. This did not bother me that much... But the reason did. It is because they do not want to see our skin and stomach, yet the boys are wearing swim trunks which shows their skin and their stomach.... Also, Deal has just received trailers for the expansion, yet the bathrooms do not have a place to dispose of female napkins, you have to walk outside to throw it away. Overall, education wise this is a good school!