This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Tucson Hebrew Academy5
Posted June 09, 2014
- a parent
After briefly attending public school and being unsatisfied with the standardized testing approach, we entered THA. I have been thrilled with every aspect of this school. My child loves attending THA. He has had an excellent academic and social experience. My son is highly gifted in math, and has been challenged but not stressed by his teachers. Class size is amazing, and the whole school feels like one big family. There is a lot of music and PE twice a week. The lunch food is delicious - my son loves it!
This is our first year at THA and my children just love it. The teachers are all wonderful and we love the small class sizes. They are getting a quality education and plan to keep them there for many years to come.
The low ratings of the last few reviews posted here concern me, because while those parents' concerns and stories are legitimate, overall, I sense that most students at THA are having a very POSITIVE time and most parents are really quite happy with the education and experience their children are receiving. THA offers some wonderfully unique things -- an intimate, small class size and small school environment in Lower and Middle, and strong secular and Jewish education. The student body is diverse, drawing from all walks of Jewish life. Overall, the teachers are excellent and enthusiastic. Parents should consider THA if they're not getting what they need from other schools -- they may be pleasantly surprised.
My experience is this school cares more about funding than the actual student body, unless you are a large donor. The parents are very clique focused, and there is a strong message to fall in line. Heavily academic, which is not a bad thing, but not for everyone. Great cafeteria and nice holiday celebrations. Our experience is that they just did not care about our child's personal growth, more about keeping up appearances. Vote of No Confidence for head of lower grade.
The school has fantastic teachers but unfortunately the administration and board of directors are uneducated about bullying which has resulted in a lack of proactive and serious measures to combat it when it does occur. The school needs a serious overhaul of it's bullying "policy" and perhaps some changes in leadership including the Board of Directors.
I have both recent experience with this school as well as over a decade experience. My stepdaughter attended from first grade through 6th. After transferring to another school out of state, she had to a hours and hours of tutoring, even for Hebrew. Additionally, my youngest daughters transferred to this school from another private Hebrew day school in another state. My kids were advanced in all areas and the teachers admitted that they were more advanced. I was very concerned but valued the religious aspects of the school. I regret that decision. I pray that my children can catch up. Also, why cannot I not find the AIMS scores for this school? I ask when my kids attended last fall but never received them. The other school printed copies and provided to all parents as well as the public- of course, that school was in the top 1% of the state. Bet money, THA does rank so well.
I have had no issues at all with bullying, and was surprised to hear about it. By daughter has never felt more safe and supported. Perhaps because we came from public school to private, we do not view the conflicts we see as "bullying,' by comparison. We therefore reacted with less concern. I think our reactions have a huge impact. We used to overreact. Now, we trust our daughter's skills, and have therefore instilled more confidence in my daughter to handle her own conflicts, rather than perhaps imposing our own fears upon her, and creating more of a problem than actually existed. All I can say is that it gets easier as they get older to trust they can handle the complexities of social interactions and development, and don't need us so much anymore.
This is my first year as a THA parent and over all the school has exceeded every expectation I had. One thing that sticks out is the emphasis on individual achievement expected on each child. Coming from a public school this was a blessing to see. I would not hesitate recommending THA to my friends, co-workers or anyone looking for a great educational experience.
I taught in the public school system for 30 years and became very disillusioned with the low priority placed on children. We moved our son to THA last year and have been so pleased with his education. He is challenged and nutured.
We have been very pleased with the education our 3rd and 6th grade daughters have been receiving at THA. With the small class sizes, I feel that the teachers really get to know our kids and give them extra attention when it is needed. The discussions that we have at the dinner table with our daughters show us how much they are learning at school. They are not just memorizing information to be spit back out for tests, but are learning to think, analyze information, have healthy discussions, and become confident individuals. Being encouraged to respectfully express their opinions during class, learning and discussing the core Jewish values, having the opportunity to participate in a vibrant student government program and the variety of performances that students take a part in throughout the school year, are helping THA and THA parents to create future leaders.