A lot of these kids came to the school with these qualities, as it's an urban public school. MacDowell does a great job of harnessing the positive aspects of these qualities while softening out the edges that can sometimes come along with coming from a less than ideal background.
My daughter attends 3k here and we have been nothing but impressed by the kindness and professionalism of the staff. Our daughter has made significant academic gains - reading and writing as a 4 year old! Additionally, many parents volunteer and care deeply about all of the children at the school. Reading the negative reviews below - I agree that it appears that one person has written them all. Come and tour the school - see all the amazing things going on! We're proud to be a MPS and MacDowell family!
Don't get me wrong, MacDowell is an excellent school for our youth. It all goes downhill when the student reaches around the 7th grade and are in the adolescence section of the school. The students are bad, disrespectful, don't make smart decisions and just overall aren't that great. The elementary and upper elementary programs at MacDowell were/are great and I really enjoyed it a lot. Great teachers, nice and safe environment and really fun. Now, never did I state in my review that the staff was terrible. The staff are honestly what make the school great and I really like them. I've definitely learned a lot in the adolescence program, more than I have in the upper elementary. If you want to take your child here than by all means go ahead and do so but I recommend that you take them out and put them into a new middle school.
PS. this is for the review below me. : ~ )
I read the reviews and it sounds like one person writing them all the negative reviews...seriously do you think students are on here writing reviews! I have watched my child grow as a result of this school and teachers. In comparison to other kids her age she is above average...She started at 3 and was reading by 5...now at 6 she is adding and subtracting thousands places!!! The teachers are great and the vice principal is awesome! She also goes to camp and I have heard the camp director yelling at students...but with his reason. The whole thing about the school is being family and the whole village raising your child...So the camp director is like mom when mom is away...maybe she will be the reason your kids stay out of trouble...which is lacking in most mps schools. I feel good knowing someone will keep my child in check when I am not there. I think this is an awesome school!
I would like to address two concerns that a poster made. First, the test scores of ALL schools in the state significantly went down because the state increase the proficiency levels, so that accounts for much of the reduction in proficiency rates. Also, the state discontinued the WKCE after last year because it was not an accurate measure of student knowledge. Based on the 2013-2014 MAP scores, our Seniors had the highest reading scores in the district and the third highest math scores (only scoring behind King and Reagan).
The second point: In regards to the concern about the amount of work time, this is the first year that it was implemented. The structure is more like college. The instruction time functions as a lecture. The students come to the lecture space, and the teacher does a presentation about the concepts that the students are expected to master that week and assign the homework. The work rooms are not just a standard "study hall" that most of us remember. There are generally around 8-12 students in a workroom at a time and never more than 20. Also, there is a certified teacher in each of workroom who makes sure that the students are on-task and to provide individual or small group lessons when students need help. Since we implemented the new structure, student work completion has significantly increased and student discipline issues have become nearly non-existent. It's amazing how much student behavior changes when you shift from: "you must work on math now" to "you have math, English, and science work. What are you going to choose to work on right now?" I would suggest coming in to see it. I was really supportive of changing to this structure, and it has exceeded my expectations.
Wow- 3 to 4 hours of study hall while only having Math 2-3 times a week and English 2-3 times a week. That is ridiculous when you look at the significant decline in test scores. WKCE Reading scores reflect a proficient or better back in 2011 at 58% declining to a shocking 4% in 2014. WKCE Math scores reflect a proficient or better back in 2011 at 48% declining to a shocking 12% in 2014. Perhaps there should be some instruction in Reading and Math rather than 3-4 hours of study hall. Just a thought.