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.