We chose Heights nearly a decade ago based on size, location, diversity, and the leadership. It was a Blue Ribbon school. Sadly, we've seen it decline over the years, and we've watched many good teachers and families jump ship. Some of what is wrong is happening, rapidly, at all urban public schools and is a result of abysmal state and national education policies and funding. But some of it is just the leadership/poor communication at this school. Over the years, we've said goodbye to all of what makes school fun/memorable for small children - library book battle, 4th grade talent show, 2nd grade farmers market, birthday/holiday celebrations, etc. Teachers explain - too much work, too little time. But now they've trimmed to the bone by cutting AM snack for the youngest children and reducing recess to almost nothing (in fact, it IS nothing on hot days). The transitions are too many and too rapid - adults are often heard barking orders, now via microphones. Children that need to use the bathroom must first assess "Is it an emergency?" The stress level is just too high. Has felt more like a jail than a school during our recent visits. Look elsewhere. The Spanish immersion is a great concept, but it's not worth it when poor scheduling leaves no time to eat or play or pee.
This is one of the only schools that I was able to find that teaches Spanish to preschoolers and in AZ that is priceless! My son started preschool and throughout the whole process it has been really smooth and easy to work with the school. They really care about the kids.
I enrolled my son in Madison Heights after we moved from the East coast and this school has been great. The teachers and principal really care about the students, the parents get involved and they really made my son feel welcome.
As a former teacher and now a parent, I am fairly critical of educational environments. Our top priorities were to find a socioeconomically & racially diverse, child-centered environment with a strong sense of community, happy teachers, & opportunities for academic challenge. We could not be more pleased with Madison Heights. In addition to everything we wanted, we got a dual language program (new this year in 1st grade). Madison Heights is specializing in foreign languages and is a magnet for the highly gifted program for the district. Our son is happy to go to school, engaged in his learning, adores his teachers, and has made lots of friends. He spends half of his instructional day in English and half in Spanish. He enjoys the after school program, which provides a nice variety of academic and recreational activities (and is affordable). The community is small - less than 500 students - so the administrators know all of the kids and families. Teacher turnover is minimal, & the teachers we have met seem to genuinely enjoy children. Staff are responsive and pleasant. Expectations are clear, communication is good, and we are very happy.
I honestly can't say anything negative about my daughter's experience at Heights! She has been attending for the last 3 years and loves the Spanish Immersion program, extracurricular activities, teachers, etc. Her quality of education far surpasses that of my son who was not a student at Heights, parent involvement is amazing, and she has made amazing friends and memories.
Madison Heights for K-4 is excellent! The principal is outstanding and the teachers really care for the wellbeing of our child. The pre-school program is absolutely unacceptable. They cannot keep a teacher for more than a few months and the director of the program does not receive feedback well. We would definitely have not put our 3 year old in the program. However, our 7 year old is doing great in the K-4 side of the school. The pre-school and MAC programs need a complete overhaul...be wary.
My boys (Kinder and 2nd grade) love Heights. It is a beautiful school with a very caring principal and we have had nothing but high quality and committed teachers. There is no pressure to volunteer but it is most appreciated when you do. My experience has been that communication (I always email) with teachers has been great. While I recognize nothing is perfect, with realistic expectations there is not much more I could ask for in a public school.