Meridian Middle School Reviews
Whether it be common classes or extra classes, MMS has it all! My children and the other students and their families @ MMS campus are not willing to move away from the school when they have to get different housing in the Valley. The special needs support, school nurse support, initiatives to read (added 25 SSR to school schedule and even have Math teachers only reading and their students only reading during those minutes each day), music/art options, etc., etc. My kids @ MMS have been excited to participate in reading (which was hated by my son and now you can't get him to put a book down to eat dinner or go to bed), as well as their amazing Orchestra, consumer science, history, science, English, writing, and math teachers are all so ready to encourage, support, challenge and befriend my children and/or their friends in the classroom, on the field, and from home (or before, during, lunch, or after school hours for tutoring).
Sports, garden club, tutoring, music (before or after school groups usually band/orchestra). Also keeps a game room open during break and lunch for kids to play chess (tournament style), and parents help students put together pieces of old games with missing items into a full game set @ school. The staff also has created a Pride store where the kids earn tickets for being good from their teachers in order to purchase items (such as candy, erasers, etc.) @ lunch on Fridays. The school also has a human rights group who helps volunteer in the community and assists staff with anti-bullying initiative. I was super impressed a few years ago when Ms. Lisa Austin, MMS principal, hosted Nick Vujicic, a man born w/o limbs who helped the kids know how important it is to love themselves. It was amazing (only school in area able to host him while the community had multiple days of his speaking).
Every teacher I've worked with is always prepared to engage my children each day in learning, in particular their science, Orchestra, art, Life skills, English, and history teachers. Most of their Math teachers have been excellent too, but with the change over to the Common Core Curriculum, and lack of honors math as an academic option in 7th & 8th grader my daughter was not given enough one-on-one or group instruction to help her succeed. She loved her 6th and especially her 7th grade math teachers, but her 8th grade math teacher (who usually taught Honors Math in 8th grade) was lacking in academic training skills between her and her students who wanted to learn. I've been super impressed though by how much each teacher puts into giving my children and other students the opportunities to succeed in presenting their own findings (such as Science or English classes throughout our 6th-8th grade experiences). In particular, MMS has started having their 8th grade students do two major PACE projects each year (District mandatory Science, and school mandatory English research project on a career, training, schooling, cost of training/schooling, etc.). I hope that MMS will continue to open their classrooms to utilizing Junior Achievement of Idaho training (such as budgeting, career planning, savings plans, etc., etc.) into their daily curriculum from now on.
Being a part of one of the biggest population areas in Idaho, Meridian Middle School is central to the free-way entrance, right across the street from the main Meridian Library where kids love to congregate after school and play games (Wii, X-box), or work in groups on learning how to make their own videos, etc. Meridian Middle School has an excellent academic, anti-bullying, pro-reading, music, sports, etc., etc., initiatives in place that just get better each year. I'm a certified Idaho secondary education teacher who substitutes a couple days a week in our local schools as well as has volunteered with Junior Achievement of Idaho in West Ada School District classrooms or also volunteered to help author grants for teachers or schools in our district (in particular grants for MMS and Chief Joseph Middle School). Although, MMS is a public school they have a stricter dress code than other schools which has helped a lot with the bullying, or disruptive students in their classrooms over the 4 years my children have attended school there. One of the grants I helped write was for classroom tablets, I-pads for science and math teachers to use in order to supplement student learning and participation in class. Now they have been granted tablets from Verizon for all students this school year (2016-17 while my son is attending MMS) which are bigger than an I-pad with many uses (such as, Power Point, Word usage, etc.
Coming from the view of a part-time substitute teacher who volunteers at in school classrooms on campus (in particular the 7th grade math class my daughter attended in order to learn how Common Core Math was taught); I know from first-hand experience that the school principal, administrative staff, counselors, school nurse, secretaries, teachers, custodians, etc., are super willing and able to assist students one-on-one and in a group setting with academic, social skills, and real life events daily. These adults and students are working on making the learning environment fun, technologically advanced, as well as challenging all at the same time. Their art, music, p.e. and extra curricular programs are top notch in the state and school district. As well as, the PTSO isn't always manned with people able to volunteer but they get enough to handle running a student and parent manned concession stand throughout football, volleyball, wrestling, and basketball seasons in order to help classes (such as music/science) or sports teams to buy equipment or uniforms to make life easier on the families involved!
I really enjoyed the options for extra-curricular classes/activities offered at Meridian Middle School. It was big enough to offer a variety of sports, music, academic and areas to serve and learn together in a non-threatening environment. Students and teachers were all aware of how to make learning fun and challenging for everyone all at the same time. We had the whole gamut of learning styles--special needs to honors classes.