My daughter attended kindergarten at Sam Hughes Elementary and loved it! I have had great communication with her teacher and principal throughout the year. We had a bullying incident early in the year, where a boy from another K class threatened my daughter and another boy by saying that he had "a knife in his pocket and would stab them". My daughter told the playground volunteer and the process started. By the end of the day, Principal Jordan had spoken with all children involved, explained to the boy the severity of his actions (without shaming), what actions will be taken now and later if needed, and made my daughter feel brave about standing up and helping herself and her friends. She also spoke to the parents of the involved kids and spoke to all classes about bullying. This principal kept herself available to my calls and emails over the next couple weeks , as needed. I am VERY pleased with her handling of the bullying issues that I have seen.
My two boys have attended Sam Hughes for just over a year. I am very pleased with the school so far. They are challenged academically and get to participate in enrichment classes such as chess, OMA and PE during the school day. Parent involvement is welcomed and the school has great class sizes with the addition of new teachers. My boys love going to school every day!
It's true that the class size has been out of control in the last year to two years. Bullying is somewhat common place even though TUSD supposedly has strict policies about this. The principal does not always address this immediately and some of the teachers are fairly bad about this. I heard that Mrs. Esparsa has been the BEST teacher there and it does kinda go downhill from there. I think the staff does their best and the PTA is pretty good about keeping the staff accountable. TUSD is strained for money and so the class sizes are going to be bigger. The principal could do a better job in addressing bullying. The OMA program in this school is excellent.
The class size is out of control. One teacher cannot properly teach 25+ Kinder or 1st grade children. The lack of money in TUSD is very evident. A great community and sweet old school that unfortunately needs A LOT of help to be up to par. Your kid will most likely be one of the masses here!
Over 30 kids in my daughter's first grade class and never any help with bullying by a larger boy in her class.The teacher told my daughter to toughen up when asked to help, the boy was twice her size and picked on her daily. Teacher seemed resentful and petty in her discipline methods. Lots of kids using addresses of grandparents to enroll and open enrollment kids so the neighborhood school feeling is not there, most neighborhood kids go to private schools. First grade play had 5 kid star in it and the rest were the chorus, in the words of my daughter "if I didn't show up, I wouldn't be missed"
I taught at Sam Hughes for several years. Your child WILL get a good education. Hughes has good to great teachers. The only problems with Sam Hughes are with parents and the administration. Most of the parents are wonderful, but some of the parents have selfish agendas. The principal(s) always give in to them. So, as long as you stay out of the Sam Hughes politics, the school will be a great choice for your child!
I rate this school above average for Tucson, but put against schools in states that actually care about education...well, I don't think it would rate so high. My daughter is going on to 4th grade and started in K at Sam Hughes. We live in the neighborhood. Mrs. Esparsa is by far the best teacher she's had yet. It's actually been a steady down-hill decline since. Huge classes, no teacher aides - I shutter to think what would happen if the parents didn't get involved. Fourth grade should be pretty awful as she's assigned to a teacher that should have retired 5 years ago. Sad.
I love this school! The new Principal somehow combines calmness and strength and is respectful of the school's strong history in the neighborhood while moving it forward. The PTA is made up of knowledgeable and passionate parents that include some of the states top education reform activists. Because of it's proximity to the university it has families from all over the world The school benefits from partnerships with the U of A in the arts and P.E. Oh, and Bambi in the front office is a dream - knows everything and is so kind and respectful to the students - as are all of the staff at Sam Hughes Elementary.
It's in a wonderful neighborhood, it has great parent teacher involvement, it's a beautiful, historic building and I attended way back in the early 70s
great involvement of faculty, kids, parents in the educational enterprise
Sam Hughes has had some ups and downs in the last 5 years that my boys have attended there. I agree with some parents that the last 2 years were pretty bad, especially for the 3rd and 4th grades. My sons 3rd grade teacher in 05/06, which I would complain to the principal all the time about, actually no longer works there; (my older son was with Mrs. Barry in 5th grade at this time and she is a really great teacher and person). I m pretty sure the principal had an earful from many other parents during this time, but she did take care of it. The school was also under construction during 06/07 to expand and provide more classrooms and it looks great; you can feel the tension and stress are gone. Things are back to normal now and overall I m very happy that my boys attended here.
Sam Hughes is a much-loved, historical school close to the university. Although it has a diverse population, many of its parents are highly educated with high scholastic expectations. Sam Hughes has the highest percentage of gifted-identified students of all elementaries within TUSD and has just recently been named a GATE Focus School. Teachers and parents alike are dedicated to this school, heart and soul. NCLB and district mandates have made teachers' jobs increasingly difficult. This impacts creativity and out-of-the-box teaching, even among the most talented teachers. Sam Hughes offers chess, PE, Opening Minds through the Arts nationally-recognized arts programming, and more. Parent involvement is strong at the school, partly due to higher than average expectations for opportunities for their children. I have two children that have attended Sam Hughes (one currently) and I would strongly recommend it to all.
Sam Hughes is an excellent school with great heart! We have many enrichment opportunities. Each grade has chess,P.E.,and Music.In past years we have had many Artists-in-Residence for dance,art and creative drama. The teachers are very caring and many teachers tutor beyond school hours for free. I have worked at many schools in my career and Sam Hughes is the best!
I have taught at Sam Hughes for over 20 years. For most of those years our school has been excellent. Unfortunately, I no longer believe this to be true, and it has to do with increased class size, lack of teacher aides, a tremendous increase in the number of district assessments, and lack of teacher support from the principal. There is also an issue with discipline. We have had a few students with major discipline issues. These students have interrupted the learning of many children, and teachers were never given any support for dealing with these students. In my opinion, we need to get back to our ideal neighborhood school. We value the open-enrollment students, however, in recent years our principal has overloaded us by taking in too many open enrollment students. Now our classes are overcrowded! Teachers do their best, but their hands are tied in many ways!
I started my 2nd grade son at Sam Hughes this past fall, but on a whole I have been disappointed and not at all impressed-- the only thing my son really looks forward to is chess, and he enjoyed after-school German club until it was cancelled this spring when they couldn't find a teacher. The GATE program sounds good in theory, but the teacher has no control and seems to lack basic organizational skills and innovation in terms of projects. Some things teachers cannot control, like large class size, lack of aids, and lack of basic music and art classes, but my son's teacher has also been unwilling/unable to provide him with challenging work. He always reports that he is 'bored' and isn't learning anything-- sadly, I agree. My son excels because he is gifted, but not because this school does anything for him academically-- we won't be returning.
I am very disappointed, the principal is very hard to work with. The school wants to lump kids into gate or special ed. If your kid is sick a lot, it's retention or special classes. what happened to tutor or summer school? The denial about bullying is not good either. Sam Hughes could be a great school, but will not send my kid next year!
My son attended Sam Hughes last year and we pulled him out due to large class sizes, an inept teacher, and a prinicpal who was inflexible to helping change the situation. I would not recommend this school to anyone. Although the school has strong parental involvement and may be able to turn things around with some help from the school district.
Sam Hughes has the potential to be a great school. The staff is extremely dedicated. They have the desire to help each student excel. As a teacher at the school, I know that the success of each student is the number one goal of each staff member. Unfortunately, the teachers have their hands tied in many areas. We can not control the class size and we know that reduced class size affects the quality of learning. Another problem is that we, as teachers are not allowed to be as creative as we'd like to be. Due to the requirements of the district we have to follow certain guidelines that limit what we can do. We have no control over that.
Sam Hughes Elementary has great potential. It is a small, intimate school, where everyone knows your child and many of the teachers have been there for years and years. However, the classes are overcrowded, often with one teacher and no aide (not even a student teacher); in my experience, they teach to the masses and this leaves the more advanced students frustrated and even bored. We have a music/arts program that we have had to fight for and self-fund to some degree. We have PE, chess and to some teachers, this is enough and it interferes with the regular learning. Most parents agree that these extras are enhancements that encourage learning and speak to more than just the lowest denomentator.
The school has a community feel to it that our family has really been happy with. Another positive aspect is that the building itself is so beautiful. It is a place that I am sure my daughter looks forward to going to. One part of the school that I am not pleased with is the worksheet attitude of the teaching staff. My experience with the school so far is that there is not a lot of creativity going on with the lesson plans.
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