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Shane Blackshear
512-550-8765

Kealing Middle School7

Austin, TX | Travis County

April 7, 2014


My son recently completed Kealing and loved this school. He learned skills to study and work at a high level. The teachers are amazing and go out of their way for the students. They create interesting material and challenging projects for their classes. Although it is not a good fit for everyone. The homework amount and level of intensity was a bit much at times. Daily and weekends. Good fit for the academically minded student who likes challenges and loves to study and learn. Our other child chose to go to Fulmore Magnet, a more well-rounded experience (not just academics), which has also been a good experience.

Submitted by a parent

December 22, 2013


I agree with the 8th grade blond girl, 5 hour HW is a tale. For my 6th grade son, Social study (World culture) has the most HWs, then Algebra, both are interesting and both teachers are great. My son does the homework slower after school since he was checking youtube, pokemen, games...... So he spent average of 3 hours in stead of 2 hours if he can focus.

Submitted by a parent

November 13, 2013


I currently go to Kealing and I love it. With a little organization and focus, you can basically get anywhere in this school. If you love a challenge and if you love learning, you will definitely love this school.

October 27, 2013


I am a current 8th grader at Kealing. My time at Kealing has been stressful, I won't lie. I think that the benefits outway the cons. I know a big question for people considering Kealing is the HW load. I am taking AP Geometry this year, and I average about 2-3 hours of HW a night. In 6th grade it was much less. Tales of 5 hours a night are tales of kids playing video games and Facebook on their computer when parents aren't watching. As for grades, I have gotten an 89 in Algebra and above that for everything else. I know people who fall both above and below me in terms of grades. My teachers are great, and are very willing to help me out. Office Hours are a must, everyone goes to them so there is no need to worry about teasing, etc. My only negative feeling towards the school is that there are many Asian stereotypes at play i.e. Asians are the smartest, etc. As a blonde girl, this is frustrating and a little humiliating. Also, there are definite tensions between STAR and Magnet students. I do have friends in STAR, but I was bullied last year in Gym and have felt intimidated in classes with both programs.

May 7, 2013


I am a Kealing graduate, went to LBJ Science Academy, then UT-Austin for engineering, then Harvard/MIT for a MD/PhD. I can only say that Kealing started it all for me. I was challenged, disciplined, and engaged to learn more and do better. Kealing prepared me for LBJ by allowing me to take advanced math classes and the science electives to this day were some of my favourites. I think the academic rigor and creative classes really set apart and self-designed a curriculum that excited me. Also, something that is very important and not to be overlooked... At the time, the neighborhood was pretty rough, (gang-related?) fights everyday and we had to wear our backpacks in front of us during lunch so our graphing calculators wouldn't get stolen. Some parents may think that this is a dangerous situation that they would never want their kids to encounter. It was an invaluable part of growing up and helped me learn the so called "street smarts" and a good dose of reality. And as a physician, people from multiple diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic levels have said that they can relate to me more since I understand their background. Thank you Kealing + LBJ. A winning combination.

May 6, 2013


Kealing was definitely the right choice for me. I never had a challenge back in elementary school, and going into Kealing was just what I needed for my level. There's always a challenge waiting around the corner to get you, and only you can decide whether or not you will fight back and conquer the beast. If you feel like school is too easy for you, then come to Kealing if you're willing to fight back.

April 25, 2013


A lot can change in the 20 or so years since I was a student at Kealing but it sounds like the work load and academic standards have not. As a 34 year old graduate of an Ivy league university, law school and MBA school, and Kealing, I can honestly say Kealing was the hardest, most challenging and stressful academic experience of my life. I would agree that the work load was probably "developmentally inappropriate" as I clearly remember working 5-7 hours a night, and these two years being among the most stressful of my life. However, in highschool honors classes there was a huge difference between students who went to Kealing vs Murchison and others. Also, the discipline and study skills I learned at Kealing carried me through highschool and ultimately the rest of my life. I never again want to work that hard consistently, but when the need emerges, I know how to turn on the focus needed for this kind of endurance. Ultimately this experience shaped who I am for the better, though it definitely came at a price. I know my success later in life started at Kealing.

April 16, 2013


I work at Kealing MS in the Magnet Program. Our program is worthwhile for most students and families who join, since it really is a microcosm of life-in-general, with a few added supports and a few unique hurdles of its own. The pros? Students prone to "check out" in normal public school because they feel they're way ahead of the game almost certainly won't do so in this program. Between the accelerated curriculum, the robust extracurricular clubs/sports, and the wide variety of elective opportunities, a kid has no room to be bored. In addition, teachers have enough autonomy to create/modify curriculum to the accelerated needs of the students. Students create poetry, plant gardens, build musical instruments, study the stars, and much more. The cons? Sometimes the curriculum is heaped too high for the child's/family's time to manage. Sometimes the teacher doesn't fully understand the student's unique needs or family situation. Sometimes a student feels overwhelmed or misunderstood. But the best part? IT'S JUST MIDDLE SCHOOL. All its absurdities and stressors perfectly foreshadow those found in later life, but in a safer environment with some more room for mistakes. And learning.

Submitted by a teacher

April 11, 2013


I am a current 7th grader, and I know that this school is tough. The academics are rigorous and the amount of homework I have can be a lot. But I feel like I'm learning so much more than I did at my normal public school. The courses are absolutely amazing! The math and science courses offered are really advanced and I'm learning more than I ever thought I would in middle school. I really do love Kealing Middle School. I would recommend it to anyone that wants more of a challenge than a regular public school can offer.

December 22, 2012


Alrighty hate to be this one person, but Kealing is one of the best schools ever. Current Student in eighth grade so I've been through what your kids have been through. I couldn't have written this without Kealing. It has taught me many outlets of expressing myself, writing being one of those. I work on homework, on the bus, and at school during classes. If i sit down and focus I'm done in 45 minutes what apparently takes kids 4 years. It's not cause I'm better than others, it's because I focus. It takes kids doing "homework" on computers like 10x longer cause they multi task. Also this load of homework in Seveth grade. Been there done that. So easy. All you had to do was focus. I did Algebra and German as well. The teachers there are the best. They support critical thinking. In the end we don't follow district guidelines until we have to. We learn sometimes really useful things. Sometimes though we don't learn anything, because we think to much on a journal entry and debate. Overall Kealing in my opinion is one of the best schools for intellectual knowledge and for your kid to learn more. By that I mean interacting. I have scraped friends made new ones. Easy and a good thing too.

December 9, 2012


Parents beware--the magnet program challenges the kids, however, the negative reviews on this site are right. The homework load is outrageous. My kid frequently has over 5 hours of work each night--no breaks, works continuously , even at the dinner table. After school sports and clubs had to be dropped to keep up.The load is so great that parents started complaining on the listserve. They reported stressed out kids, lots of tears and frustration. Administrators conducted a survey confirming the problem. 1 in 3 parents said they considered removing their kids from the school. Teachers have unrealistic expectations and can be a tad sadistic. In group projects one member of the group usually does not do their part so the others are up late picking up the slack. The new principal seems to want to change things but it's wait and see. A.teacher at a very prestigious private high school once told me not to worry about getting my child into the best schools until high school where it would really matter most. I wish I had listened and kept my student in our home school & then attempted to get into LASA which I hear has a wonderful, positive learning environment. We will not be back.

Submitted by a parent

October 24, 2012


The classes are extremely engaging, but the amount of work loaded on these kids is developmentally inappropriate. I have a post graduate degree in Education, and wanted my son to attend this school to be challenged; instead he is beginning to feel like he can't make the grade. I am trying to ascertain if the strong academics partnered with my child's plummeting self-esteem outweigh the "regular" curriculum of our neighborhood school where my child's self-esteem would remain intact. This school is not for everyone, and just because your child is bright/gifted does not mean this is the right learning environment for them. Is Kealing a good school? Yes, it is a good school. Is it for everyone? No, absolutely not.What would make Kealing a great school? Have a more inclusive accelerated curriculum that engages and encourages all students learning styles. Also, keep in mind an accelerated curriculum does not mean you must teach the students as if they are in college, challenge them , push them, but keep your teaching practices and expectations in line with the developmentally appropriate guidelines for the tweens and early teens you are charged with educating.

Submitted by a parent

August 8, 2012


Is Kealing Magnet harder? Yes. Is it better? Not sure. Some instruction seemed unnecessarily difficult. On the other hand, students do learn self-discipline. Is there more opportunity? Definitely lots of electives and after school activities. Are the kids great? Yes. Are teachers really engaged? Not in our experience. This one really surprised us. In fact, our student felt anonymous among Kealing Magnet teachers and considered returning to our former AISD middle school for its excellent teacher-student relationships.

Submitted by a parent

March 1, 2012


I'm a 7th grade magnet student at Kealing Middle School, and overall I would have to say Kealing is a great school. It's great for any child who is looking for a challenge, yes there's a lot of homework (it decreases as the year progress) but it is a great experience and a great advantage in their future. Kealing makes sure you are ready for life coming ahead and will make high school and college a breeze if you are successful. Don't freak if your child's grades than normal, it's normal the curriculum's are harder and challenging but overall it's a great school and highly recommend it for any bright child looking for a challenge!

February 19, 2012


I cannot speak to the quality of the regular/CAP program, but as far as the Magnet School I can't say enough great things. My kid was utterly bored the last year of elementary school and Kealing completely woke her up. Yes, its tough, but all the kids in her group are completely supportive and devoted to making it. The classes are interesting and challenging. You MUST stay on top of the homework every day or you will sink, guaranteed, but if you can set the right rules for getting it done, its super worth it, and my kid takes a perverse pride in knowing she's in the toughest school in the city. The orchestra is amazing, the electives fun, the core classes challenging. Our kid immediately made new friends who were also eager to learn. I am so impressed by the level of smarts at this school. There are downsides: friends are scattered all over town and hard to see after school. The cafeteria is dysfunctional so plan on taking lunch. Really, my kid never had time to eat after going through the line, so we gave up. But overall, Amazing school. Demanding but brilliant.

Submitted by a parent

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