In our blog series, “Why The Museum School Works for Us,” aimed at prospective TMS families, we introduce parents to families who chose The Museum School.
Ana and David Marshall applied to TMS in 2012 when their older child, Gabby, was entering kindergarten. Alex followed his big sister to TMS three years later. The Marshalls wanted a public school that would challenge their children and provide them with a well-rounded education. They didn’t want to have to drive across town to find that school. TMS is just 3.5 miles away, and it offered exactly what the Marshalls were looking for. Gabby is now in fourth grade, and Alex is in first.
David shares a little about his experience at TMS:
TMS: How did your children fit in when they started at The Museum School?
DM: This is the only school our kids have attended outside of preschool. Both kids adapted quickly.
TMS: Transportation is a challenge for many TMS families. How have you worked out transportation to and from school?
DM: I actually enjoy the time in the car with my kids. This has not been an issue for us.
TMS: Some prospective parents express concern with the volunteer hours expected of every TMS family. How have you gotten your volunteer hours?
DM: I think the volunteer hours are appropriate. It’s enough that you feel like you are involved and putting in your time as an investment, but it’s not overwhelming. The main way we have gotten hours is through chaperoning field trips and working in the classroom.
TMS: As TMS parents, did you feel welcome at the school? Have you been able to find your niche in the school community?
DM: I do feel welcome. We don’t live right in Avondale Estates, but we have made friends. And we are close to our neighbors in our Scottdale subdivision who have kids at the school. I believe part of this is about what a parent puts into the school. The more involved you are, the more chances you have to feel like the school is part of your own community.
TMS: What extracurricular activities have your kids participated in?
DM: Gabby played three seasons of soccer. She also took piano lessons and did some robotics after school. Alex hasn’t done any sports yet, but we plan to rectify that. We don’t want our kids too involved in after-school activities. I believe they are important, but not at the expense of free time.
TMS: What are some memorable experiences your family has had at TMS?
DM: I like how the kids get to see parents helping out. They not only get a kick out of it, but they realize that we are there to help and have an all-in-this-together feeling. We got to experience a lot of kindness and help from other parents when Gabby had a serious illness. People came to deliver food to us, and the kids got to see this.
TMS: What are your goals for your children, and how is TMS helping them achieve these goals?
DM: I want my kids to have a well-rounded education. I want them to understand the importance of science, and some of the field trips focus on that. Also, I think the teaching has been top notch. Bullying is not a subject that is ignored like it was when I was in school. I like that TMS is not lax about behavior issues. Kids are respectful of their classmates and teachers.
TMS: What else would you like prospective parents to know?
DM: Jump on board, and smile at how lucky you and your kids are at TMS! No school is perfect, but TMS does so many things right it is hard not to feel appreciative and satisfied with the experience our children are getting. I don’t ever want to take for granted what TMS offers to families like us. We realize this school was started by caring parents, and it takes the continued hard work of all parents for that to continue.
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