My husband and I are so disapointed and suprised at our terrible experience at HES. The whole reason we moved to Helena was because we had heard nothing but wonderful things about the growing school system. To explain this futher, when we moved to Helena we weren't even pregnant with our now six year old....we planned many years in advance!
We bent over backwards for the school and did everything that we could to help them with our spirited son, but after all is said and done, we are homeschooling him. Our six year old made it 20 days in Kindergarten before he was suspended for not being able to follow directions. Yes, our six year old was suspended...a most ridiculous notion. It was evident that his very green teacher was incapable of dealing with him and he spent little time in the classroom or with his peers. We refused to let our son be a "test subject" for this brand new teacher, but HES would not move him to another room with an experienced teacher. I can't believe that they let this happen. HES failed our son and we are unsure if we can trust public school ever again.
It has been 11 weeks since we removed our son from Kindergarden at HES. In what little time has passed, our son is currently studying 1st grade and he is reading at a 2nd grade level. If that doesn't speak volumes to how little his "teacher" was actually teaching, then I don't know what does.
Not every child learns in the same way. True educators know this and do everything in their power to help every single child succeed. I pray that what happened to us and to our son never happens to another child at HES. He is missing out on so much because of how they handled things and my heart hurts for him.
I was unsure, uncertain, and nervous going into my oldest's first year of Kindergarten. Registration was chaotic despite them trying to organize it but I was very very happy as the school year began and progressed. I could not have asked for a better teacher and a better kindergarten year! From what I hear most of the kindergarten teachers are amazing. I cannot speak for them or any of the teachers at other grade levels, but ours was absolutely amazing and my daughter also loved all of the teachers and coaches who taught the specials. Some of the staff are intimidating and sometimes almost confrontational or cold at times, but for the most part we tried to understand and let it roll off. While I see that those moments could be needed with parents I do think at times their approach could be different. All said they are very safe and care greatly about the kids.
I really do not know of any other parent personally that would rate this school a "5"; so I assume the faculty reviewed here as well. As stated below, the horrible traffic problem cannot be rightfully blamed on HES; however for those of us that take our children to school in the mornings, well, just pray for no trains on the tracks because your child will get a tardy. The office personnel is indeed unfriendly, as is a number of faculty. The common core curriculum that they teach, again not by their own fault; however some of the mandatory assignments you will find uncomfortable. An example is concentrating more on "mother earth" and the environment than mathematics or science. The school that our child attended last year was a much better elementary school all together. They do offer after school care and they do look out for the kids and take care of them. They are a bit friendlier than the faculty, except for the lady that is in charge of signing your child out. She is very unfriendly and has no problem criticizing you if you have the wrong "school" colors on, or how you might look that day etc. I understand the kids in after school avoid her because the consider her "mean".
HES is the BEST!! Words cannot begin to describe what a blessing the Teachers, Faculty, Counselors, Specialty Teachers (Art, Computer, Music, Library), even the Cafeteria & Janitorial staff, have been during my son's 1st year of school. Now he's registered for 1st grade & we have full confidence that this year will be just as wonderful as last year!! Thank You HES(: