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MacDowell Montessori School5
Posted October 10, 2014
- a teacher
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.
Recently, I made a 1 star review on my school regarding last semester which in my eyes was terrible. But this year ive noticed alot of good changes. Although the school still has a few heavy flaws like the schedule which consists of having 3-4 hours of study hall but 30 minutes to sometimes longer than a hour classes. We only have english and math 2-3 times a week because of the wasted time of study hall which is often not usefull. And another heavy flaw is they drop homework on student like CRAZY, the first day of school consisted of packets of homework in every subject. I may sound like a teen who's just too last to do homework but im seriously just trying to provide the best information for parents looking into this school.
Some of these teachers lie. Five teachers at the high school left and my teacher told me three or four more left from upstairs. History art English math special ed teachers. all gone. More teachers are talking about leaving. They aren t retiring. They went to other schools.
The former teacher clearly embellished the numbers off staff who left. They stated that 10 staff members left when it was really only 5 out of 30. That includes a retirement and someone who moved out of state. I also strongly suspect that this disgruntled former teacher wrote several recent 1 star posts posing as students and parents. I love this school and wouldn't work anywhere else.
This school is not at all a good school. I was luckily able to leave for my last year of middle school and this year I am going to a different school. This school is not clean, it's unsafe, smells bad very often and the education isn't all that great. If you want to bring your child to this school, do not. I repeat, do not! It's terrible.
I was one of the ten staff members that left MacDowell. I, like some others, left because of concerns regarding the safety of staff and students, continued poor academic achievement, and a serious lack of leadership in regards to communication, follow-through, professionalism and vision by the current principal. There used to be a solid staff at the school (at all levels). Now some of the highly qualified staff have left due to the disruption of having a principal whose skill-set does not meet the many demands of principal position. Staff members have documented their concerns to the MPS School Board and to MPS administrators. Due process is a lengthy process. Serious changes need to occur in that building to make sure students are receiving the very best MPS has to offer. If you have concerns regarding this administration (or any staff member) please contact MPS Central Office or your School Board representative. Previous negative comments by other community members in this forum document what I have personally seen and/or have reported.
I'd give Macdowell a 0 if I could. I dreaded everyday of this school and sadly, I have to return for my last year of middle school. As a student I can tell you that the review before mine is point on accurate. I would not recommend Macdowell to anyone that is serious about their child's education as well as their safety.
I agree with the person who posted regarding the staff yelling at students. I have heard the screaming of the after school "camp" director from OUTSIDE of the building. We pulled our son out of the school. The camp program is nothing but movies in the library. The woman who runs it will be the first tell you that the program is not Montessori and according to her, no one can make her DO Montessori. The older kids swear constantly and the security do nothing but hangout with the kids at the front desk. Seriously. Why would you need three security guards all sitting behind the front desk?Why don't they say anything when the kids are yelling profanity down the halls. It's true about the principal always being on her cell phone! We wanted quality and compassion - MacDowell didn't have that.