Children with special needs beware
there is a tendency for self containment
Children that are ADD/
ADHD and have EBD issues beware.
School officer is very authoritarian and treats children like criminals up to and including handcuffs and referrals to intake to the county. Very hands on and aggressive in order to "save face" with other students and prove who is in charge. Make sure you have an IEP for kids like this and involvement with PBIS show up to the meetings and advocate for your child
There is definitely more homework than elementary school, but usually it is appropriate other than when there are large projects. They usually give you an advance notice though and assignments are posted on Google classroom.
We were thankful my 6th grader got into this school since it's a lottery. We have been so happy with the teachers and have seen tremendous growth. We love the project based learning and focus on technology.
I went I this school in 7th grade and loved it! The access to technology is absolutely astonishing. The teachers were also very caring and kind. They help you through tough times and sometimes are more than just you're teacher. The connections you make between your teachers and your peers is amazing. If you noticed I also said 7th grade and not 8th or 6th. I came from different school where my friends went to another school so I was very nervous about meeting new people. Everyone accepted me and I'm not kidding when I say that everyone are friends. Furthermore, it is a tough school and you have loads of responsibility dumped on you. It will be a big change between elementary and this school versus other middle schools. I passed with flying colors with a 3.93 GPA which was very hard and yet I did not go to this school in 8th grade because of the stress of the projects and homework. But let me say that was the one of the worst choices. I changed to Madison middle school where my friends went from elementary. And the learning experience is totally different. It is almost as if I skipped back two grades. Some of the classes are actually what KA DID IN 6th and 7th grade.! Go to KA!
There are student-led conferences, so you don't get a lot of parent-teacher interaction, unless you make special arrangements to meet with the teacher. When the school year started, the conference was held in a classroom with a teacher in the room, but not joining in on the conference. For the second, my son brought conference information home and told us about what he was doing in school, and then we had to sign something. NO teacher interaction. One of my son's teachers even lets him hand in assignments late, at any time, and make any corrections to old, graded assignments, for a better grade. How is this making my child accountable for a deadline? Also, the school-parent communication could be better. He has no cell phone, so I call the school to get a message to my son. The two times I did, my son never got it. I understand our kids from ages 11-14 should be encouraged to have more responsibility and independence, but treating them like adults before their time is not the answer. For a school that boasts about it's technology, it's surprising that there is not a limited email system within the school were students could email just their teachers and parents.
Wow! Moved our oldest to KA when he was being written off by other teachers. 6th grade was very tough and took serious commitment on all our parts but he flurished and continues to soar high in his achievements. Our Daughter came from Odyssey, her lovely personality returned from being constantly tense, she is still challenged but now has an environment in which to flourish on all fronts. Teachers always available to help, spending one on one as often as needed even outside of class hours. Principal and other staff make this a great place for the kids and parents who want great things.
Switching to this school was a tough decision as it put my daughter in middle school a year early, but it turned out to be the best decision we've ever made! She LOVES it here, and was completely bored at her elementary school. She was getting a D in math in the previous year, not because she couldn't do the work but because she was bored. Here, with the interactive learning style, smaller classes and engaged teachers she's been getting an A+ in math all year!! The online component to math (v-math), the intense computer-based classes and the ability to take multiple fine arts courses really makes this a wonderful school experience. I highly recommend it as a great alternative to traditional middle schools.