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Thomas Starr King Middle School8

Los Angeles, CA | Los Angeles County

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November 23, 2014


My sons are in the 7th grade GAT magnet school. I am not satisfied with this place. Thought it's a gifted arts and tech schools, the teachers are really trained in dealing with with gifted students and there is a lack of any real technology aspect unless pasting pictures into reports is considered technology. Additionally, due to lack of funding, there is no computer given to the students. They can use the library computers, etc. , but not a one to one program as was in place at my kids' elementary school. It's an acceptable neighborhood school, but the fantastic magnet school we had hoped it would be. Too bad for us. Hopefully some of the hard core changes will be made in the future and students will receive an exemplary education. Definately not the case now. Reading through the reviews, I notice a couple of negaticve reviews in the past which are not there....wonder why they have been deleted. I thought a couple were spot on.

Submitted by a parent

November 10, 2014


I grew up in the area and I remember when this school had a bad reputation. What a difference the past few years have made! 1. An API jump from the 600's to the mid 800's and rising in the span of a few short years is amazing. 2. The transition to an ALL magnet school (Film, Environmental, and Gifted) has really helped this school blossom. 3. Increased parent involvement with a very active group called the Friends of King. 4. Great teachers who really care about the students (my son is in the environmental studies program). 5. A pretty campus with a lovely vegetable garden smack in the middle of campus. 6.Excellent field trips 7. Great afterschool programs and extracurricular activities. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood in which all three public schools (elementary, middle, and high school) are excellent!

Submitted by a parent

November 10, 2014


There is so much to love about King. I love the trees and garden; I love that the 6th graders are on the hill, a bit separate from the bigger kids; All the teachers are intelligent and invested. A lot of the learning is project-based, clever and stimulating, and multi-disciplinary, too, where the different subjects & teachers feed into one big assignment. This is all GREAT -- in groups, individually...creative engagement that requires imagination and care. Love it! My only issue -- and it is a big one -- is the demolition of the accelerated math track. King has opted to no longer offer Algebra in 7th grade and Geometry in 8th grade. For kids in the GAT who could swing the advanced subject matter, the fact that the accelerated math path has been erased (in alleged compliance with the Common Core) is infuriating. Maybe with enough parent protest, they will reinstate what they formerly offered. On balance, I think TSK is an excellent, understanding middle school. I'm just disappointed by the loss of a true (not just "taught faster") accelerated math program, where mathematically-inclined kids who are ready for more challenge are being told to slow down, and 'wait.'

Submitted by a parent

November 3, 2014


This is our son's first year in the Environmental Studies Magnet program. He absolutely loves attending Thomas Starr King Middle School. As a parent, we are so grateful to have extremely dedicated teachers that really care about the students academic success. Our family is very happy to be a part of this school community. Thank you to everyone who works so hard to give our children the very best education.

Submitted by a parent

October 22, 2014


Our son is in the Arts and Tech Magnet in the 8th grade. He has been there all three years of middle school, and it has been a wonderful experience for him. The teachers, for the most part, are fantastic. Devoted, inspiring and setting the bar high for these kids. I feel our son has developed a real love of learning and being challenged to think outside the box. And we feel King has prepared him nicely for high school. We would highly recommend King to any family looking for a challenging education.

Submitted by a parent

October 20, 2014


My kids have had a lovely experience in the GAT magnet. Their teachers have ranged from pretty good to outstanding, with many in the "outstanding" category. The one blot was the 7th grade social studies teacher who is an odd character to say the least, but my kids did learn the content (and so did I along with them). BTW my kids LOVED the "militant" 7th grade English teacher referenced below and blossomed in her class. I think this program prepares kids well for academically challenging high school programs. A great option for a neighborhood middle school.

Submitted by a parent

October 17, 2014


Our son just started at TSK Gifted Arts/Tech "GAT" after a very poor academic experience at Larchmont Charter. So far, we are thrilled with with TSK, both the teachers and the program, but it has been only 2 months. I think this year will continue to be great, but when doing my research on the school, I did hear negative feedback on the teachers for 7th grade. So, I am concerned about next year. I heard that the science teacher is a creationist & a battle-ax to boot, so really hope she is put to pasture by the time my son is in 7th. I am writing this review both to praise the program in 6th and to remind the school admin they need to fix 7th!

Submitted by a parent

October 14, 2014


Thomas Starr King has been changing on the inside for years and now that it's 3 magnets and API scores increasing each year is a true testament to the work done before we started. Our daughter attends the Environmental magnet and just loves it. My hubby and are are part of the beautification committee "I Keep King Clean" and see a bright future for generations to come.

Submitted by a parent

October 13, 2014


Truth-be-told, I spent the better part of my son's elementary school years filled with dread/anxiety about sending him to this school. However, over the past several years things have changed tremendously, and I'm so happy we're here! TSK is now an all-magnet school, which means no more have's/have not's, and all the kids benefit from the same great opportunities. The collaboration between parents/administration/and teachers is pushing this school to new heights and it shows! My son is in the former "home school", which was transformed into the Film & Media magnet, and he is happy and thriving here. There are so many fabulous teachers who care about what they do and the kids they teach and welcome parent involvement. We came from one of the top-rated elementary schools in LAUSD, and as our neighborhood school, TSK is now completely worthy of the students that are filling it's halls. The only down-side is the lack of standard music/art education as part of the core curriculum, but unfortunately, this is a cultural condition, and not a fault of TSK.

Submitted by a parent

October 13, 2014


Growing and changing. This school is in an amazing process of becoming a true neighborhood and citywide gem. The teachers and families are committed to higher standards of academics and environment. With three magnets the school can accommodate varied interests and challenge levels. The kids have a ton of spirit and Lion pride.

Submitted by a parent

October 11, 2014


My son is in the 7th Grade Environmental Studies Magnet. We started in 6th and could be happier. The teachers are outstanding, the campus is warm and inviting with mature trees and gardens --feels large but not too large. There is daily PE, music, a great library and the community of kids and parent volunteers (Friends Of King) couldn't be more friendly. He has lots of new friends and said the other day how much he couldn't wait to go back to school because he's having so much fun learning! What more can you ask for? Truly a gem in the LAUSD magnet system.

Submitted by a parent

September 5, 2014


My son went through the the Arts and Tech program, it was challenging but overall a good fit for our family. Most teachers were personable, approachable, encouraging and engaging. Most classes were enriching and my son enjoyed producing videos and acting out historical skids at the Renaissance Faire. English class in 7th grade was the only negative experience for my son. Though young and energetic the teacher's approach was rigid, militant and simply missed the point of teaching the joy of learning. She failed to help my son when he was struggling, but focused on strict formalities at the cost of crushing his spirit. Overall the Arts and Tech magnet is a great program, however I wish leadership would support parents more when a problem with a teacher arises.

Submitted by a parent

June 18, 2014


Gifted Arts and Tech Magnet is an amazing program and unbelievable as it sounds, every single teacher is amazing, dedicated, approachable, engaging. The Admin is great, the counselor is terrific. It's a feel good, happy place from the top down to the kids, a really great environment.

Submitted by a parent

June 16, 2014


The Environmental Studies Magnet is the best! I just graduated and I miss everyone already! The ESM teachers are all great and I recommend it to everyone. I have learned so much - I am so happy my parents sent me to this program. The kids are nice, there is no bullying in the ESM, and the teachers are all warm and caring. I wish I didn't have to leave.

May 28, 2014


i hate this school its the worst whenever u have a problem they just make it worst

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Lynette Willliams
680 E. Colorado, #180
Pasadena, CA 91101
626-788-9288
323-256-1173
DRE# 00880613
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