This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Catalina High Magnet School2
Posted December 10, 2012
- a parent
This school has been a failing school under No Child Left Behind for several years, and a review of the schools scores shows that the scores are dropping every year. In addition, while many of the teachers do a very good job, I have found several to be unwilling to communicate with me regarding the curriculum or what teaching methods they are using.
Catalina is a great school! It's the largest (size) high school in Arizona, the second biggest (1,500 students) and the 2nd oldest (built 1957) high school in Tucson. The school has many great magnet programs such as an Aviation program if you want to be a pilot, Allied Health if you want to be a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc. (you can be an intern @ UMC senior year), an Air Force/ROTC program, Terra Firma Honors Program for Gifted Students, FBLA program (Future Business Leaders of America) and the school with the most options for sports (Basketball, Volleyball, Golf, Football, Tennis, Swimming, etc.) Also, if you want to get out of P.E, you can take Lifeguard Training (which helps if you're in Allied Health)
I went to Catalina High School from 1994 to 1995. It was terrifying. There are warring factions of gangs here from the Western Hills and Vista 36th St. barrios. When I was a student here I saw brutal fights, beatings, and there were even two shootings. My mother preferred that I drop out than continue to go to this school. Granted, this was a long time ago, but it says something that it wasn't a "magnet school" back then, and it is a well known fact that the only reason they make a school a magnet school is to attract students that would otherwise not want to go there. They need to kick all of the bad kids out if they are dangerous and have no interest in learning. Why should the good kids suffer?
Like every other school, Catalina has gone through changes.. In my opinion they are moving in the right direction, new Principle is trying to build stronger classrooms, family and community partnership. They have great security and are constantly trying to improve their facility maintenance and safety standards. In addition the academic and career related studies offered at Catalina are awesome but need to be profiled more. The diversity of students is amazing, especially for as few problems as they have. My issue's with the school is the unbending policy of some Teachers in Core Subjects to fail students, no matter how much support that student has or does not have at home, many of the teachers fail to use or update Agave or send progress reports home (other than what is required); Additionally, the curriculm requirements and academic progression for graduation are confussing...
Catalina is a very excellent school. The enviorment is wonderful for a student's learning. No riots, excellent security, The programs and basically everything else about this school live up to expectations!
There is a serious lack of discipline with the students. Written school and district rules are broken regularly. Administrators seem unwilling to stop such behavior due to their overwhelming belief that all students should be given 'second chances'. Teachers who try to enforce a productive learning environment are unable to do so with no administrative support. In such an environment the only students who do well are those who have intrinsic motivation or parents who are paying very close attention.