Excellent principal and counseling staff. However, the social environment is very difficult. There's so much bullying going on that we are pulling our daughter out and sending her to a private school. It's too bad we can't use the public schools considering the amount of property taxes we pay but I no longer feel like Kirkland Middle school is a safe environment for my child.
KMS has been a great school for my kids. I have had 3 kids go through and they have had a uniformly excellent experience, both academically and socially. I think that the principal is very good at both attracting high quality teachers and retaining them. The staff is very caring and committed to educating and supporting all of the children, whether they are at the high or low end of academic success. A lot of effort and thought is put into creating a safe, supportive environment. I have high academic expectations for my children and for the schools they attend, and I have been very satisfied with their experience at KMS/KJH.
I would not recommend sending any child to this school, not only did my child suffer a major academic decline in the time there, my child was bullied at school, on the bus and even during extra curricular sporting events. The bullying was so intense my spouse and I witnessed it at an after school game and were in utter shock at the flagrancy of the kids. When I say bullying what I mean is constant verbal abuse, physical threats along with several students taking turns shoving students in a circle, physically being kicked out of seats on a bus along with several other things that are far too hurtful as a parent to go on about. After several attempts with the school counselor and vice-principal to address the situation head on, we were completely let down by the schools nonchalant attitude and lack of willingness to execute their "zero tolerance bullying policy". Not to mention the fact that every student signs the same code of conduct that comes in the handbook at the beginning of every year that clearly states students must not physically harm other students. I believe faculty mishandled this severely, actually creating more of a problem than before. Academics were weak at best.
Both my kids went here as a junior high... it was great. While not every moment is perfect (remember, this is junior high!) the teachers and staff were magnificent. Very caring, always willing to help. The PTA was a quiet group but very supportive and really helped in the communication between school and home.
We have had great success at the Middle School. Both my kids were in and are currently in the honors programs. I love the high expectations placed on the kids. It's a great, safe and enriched program... We looked at private schools around the area, and my kids were on pace, and sometimes ahead..
1. Very unwelcoming to a new parent. Low parent/teacher interaction. SO much so, I'm pulling my child winter break. For Kirkland, It's an embarrassment. 2. SOFTBALL-If you want your child to play softball beware the coach plays his daughter most games (because she is good. but can you imagine how the children feel?!) and half the team benchsits. VERY disappointing.
KJH is not for the academically advanced student. To make their advanced classes larger, they include many marginal students. This policy is nice for the marginal students; but, it slows the progress of the advanced students. I had both a boy and a girl attend KJH. Both were advanced. Both graduated with cumulative 4.0s. He was treated with respect and his achievements were cheered. She was berated and her achievements were denigrated. She is well-liked by her peers. But for many life-long friendships, we would have removed her from this school.
I was at Kirkland junior high for the full three years, and I absolutely loved it. Most of the teachers are nice, and care about if you understand what you're supposed to be learning. There is tons of school spirit there, and the teachers try to relate to teenage problems as much as they can. I really enjoyed my years there as a Panther.