I am going into 7th grade this year. I attend High Tech Middle, and it is the best school in the world. Our teachers are the best in the world. The drama class is advanced and amazing. We learn everything from blocking to being in our own school play. If you are thinking of putting your child here. Go for it. You will see your child bump up his grades if they were bad before. This school makes you pay attention in class by adding fun to everything. It's hard not to get an "A". I assure you that when summer comes next year your child will sure miss school. I sure do. We get a time at the end of the day called "X-Block" where we get to choose out of many activities including Lego's, tutoring, skateboarding, plays, movie time, football, soccer, baseball, tech class, guitar, drums and even yearbook staff, etc.. We get an hour of any fun X-Block class in the school a day. We get the privilege to go to liberty station on short days to get what we want. During lunch we have a park to eat at, the food court, or the big school area. At the end of the year we go on a really fun trip to celebrate the end of the year. We went to soak city. And we are 1 of the few schools that has 1 week camp.
This school is absolutley amazing, I am a student going into 7th grade, and the staff are all young, energetic and creative. No one is grumpy or mean. I had Mrs. Strong and Mr. Shaddox. Mrs. Charlie was my art teacher and she was fantastic she made you want to do your best with fun activities. Mrs. DeAnna was also amazing, as my drama teacher. She was funny and entertaining. I look forward to 7th grade. I was actually sad to leave my school on the last day.
I think its a great school. Honestly I think they do push kids and reading the comments from a few years back they seem to have made some adjustments from what I see. My daughter has always been an upper level student and very proactive in her classes and this school so far has given her the right challenges. Her match teacher recognized that she is advanced beyond the rest of the class and does push her with more advanced work after she completes and shows her knowledge for the standard lesson. I do agree this school probably isn't for everyone but I feel it is a great school for my daughter and will be getting my 2 younger ones in there for middle school. The school also offers softball in which my daughter is a travel ball player so that also is a positive that there is great academics as well as sports. For the people complaining about no football at the high school for their son..I believe if a sport isn't offered you can attend a different school for that sport? At least in high school we had a kid on my basketball team play who came from a charter school.
We found the teachers really cared about how the kids did, how they grew and matured and whether they were happy there. The director (MsGriswold) was fantastic. Our kid learned some valuable lessons on how to talk to others, plan projects, meet deadlines and present information during a meeting. Made good friends and did not get exposed to some of the nastier bits of middle school. However, I do not feel the work was rigorous. It required very little effort to get As and too much time during projects painting and hotglueing stuff. Also because the school draws from all over San Diego the students enter the school with very varying abilities so my kid spent many math classes staring out of the window or teaching other kids. We decided to move to a regular public high school. It was a shock to the system to get plenty of homework and a much more rigorous schedule. My student is less bored in class now and has to work much harder to get good grades. I don't much care for the public school system but our kid is learning to work there. If you have a motivated student they will do well, but school does not push kids who don't push themselves.
Regarding the comment below...I'm sorry your child was expelled from High Tech. My child is now in his 2nd year of attendance at High Tech Middle. I am a very involved parent and I have not seen nor heard any of the unfortunate events you describe. My child had good test scores, not perfect, and no one at the school seemed focused on that. In fact, HTM does not believe that students should be ranked by a standardized test, nor should one student be given praise for scoring high while other students are looked down on for scoring low. HTM's project-based learning meets every child where they are; it challenges those who are ahead academically, and strengthens those who need extra help. Also, my child was hit by another student and HTM immediately did an investigation. The child's parents were called and the child received a 1-day suspension. I find it hard to believe your child was harassed. this way and HTM knew about it. HTM does not have any police presence, no officer who roams the halls keeping order. The school stays safe because of their strict policies regarding behavior. Most public schools cannot boast of such order without security presence.
I m a parent of an 8th grader who attends HTMCV. This is a beautiful new building sitting in the outskirts of Chula overlooking big open spaces of the Otay Valley. All young, beautiful and enthusiastic teachers, safe environment for the kids but that s where the positive ends. I ended up pulling my 5th grader out of the HT elementary. He was having a hard time adjusting to the no text books, no homework and no real math mentality. He hated the school & didn t understand why at their age they had to sit around the carpet and have the teacher read & act out third grade reading level books to them. Not much really changes with the upper grades. HT Staff does not discuss academic performance; my questions to them have gone unanswered. Town hall meetings are about the beautiful school & how lucky we are to have our kids there rather than school performance. Most parents will not question the school because they get caught up in the hype. The ones who are finding out the many faults of the HT schools system are the ones paying attention, questioning their kids and doing quite a bit of research. I ll be pulling out my 8th grader next year as well.
An amazing school with a modern perspective on education. Young energetic staff and faculty with an emphasis on real world project based learning. Two primary elements to consider: 99% of HTH students who apply to and are admitted to college after graduation 100% of HTH students complete the A-G Requirements for entrance into the CSU and UC systems, something only 34% of all CA high school students accomplish. These are the "gatekeeper' courses that, once completed, give students an opportunity for a quality, public college education. In closing, this educational institution not only boasts and unmatched success rate for prepairing our youth for College, but more importantly has developed a system that has made the elementary to middle school transition seamless and free of the "typical" pit-falls found in this most critical stage of childhood development. I am very impressed with what we have been so lucky to be a part of!
I feel honored and privledged to have my daughter at HTM. She is doing wonderful in this unique environment. The teachers have the cool factor which seems to keep the kids more focused and more eager to learn. I do see some kids who fool around and are disruptive - makes me sick when you see all the bright young children who would LOVE an opportunity to go here. All in all we are very very happy!
My child has learned so much from attending this school. How to stand up in front of peers, teachers and parents and run a meeting, plan resources, answer questions, practice leadership roles, how to plan a project from start to finish. The projects are interesting and generally engage the students. You can tell that all the staff really care about the kids. This is evident in how willing they are to meet with parents and work with 1-on-1 with kids. The small school model really helps kids get to know one another and not get lost in the crowd. It also means that they tend to get along better. I do not think the academics are strong. In part because of the wonderfully diverse student population that has come from all different elementary schools. My kid has been able to complete the work and get good grades without much effort
I wanted to put my son into HTM and did some extensive research, took tours and talked to staff. I asked if they had any programs for gifted children at the elementary level. I was told no, all of their students are smart (!) and most of the teachers were GATE certified. A few yrs ago I noticed a lot of them were but when checking out the Middle School I was suprised to find that many teachers do not even possess a credential! Maybe this is why their math program is so poor. I also noticed the test scores have consistently gone down. I think this school was once great but now just average.
We now have two children working their way through the HTH, HTM system and both really enjoy school. Teacher's keep it challenging and interesting. Project based learning makes the kids own their work more than standardized text books. I have never seen a friendlier environment for all students. Kids all appear to get along. Administration doesn't allow troublemaker's to stay so learning environment is enhanced. We have a third child heading their way in two years. Good job HTH, HTM. Chuck Fortin
I'm a parent w/4 yrs at HTM. I agree with 1/9/07. My kids learned how to get more out of their education by focusing on areas that interested them, but they had to be nudged into this. If your student is less interested in working, and won't do anything unless parents force them, you might be frustrated with this model but your kid will end up more independent after spending time in this school. Not working isn't an option, your kid won't be forgotten or seen as a lost cause. All of the kids I have known like going to school here. There isn't academic competition so the kids don't know who is #1 in grades. Teachers are not middle aged, most are under 35, but they are enthusiastic, dedicated & hard working.
Not enough efficient learning. To much painting and making to learn a small detail. No broad picture or exposure to a variety of topics. There are no textbooks even to provide even the most basic instruction. The internet is used extensively, but the internet is not reviewed at all in most cases. In two years my kids have not learned any history. zero. To my surprise, they actually have learned some math and science. I owe this mostly to the fact that their math/science teachers both years were 'fresh' from schools that had to pay attention to the California Stds and had therefore not lounged fully into the laidback lazy 'project based' excuse for not teaching any of the expected standards. No gym. The kids seem nice and the class sizes are small. I am teaching them at home,now too. I give 'average' since most public schools now seem worse.
I am somewhat puzzled at the parent's review for 1/07. When mentioning 'not enough hard work'; I wonder if the parent understands the concept of a project based curriculum. My 7th grader has never worked harder; and she has always been a straight-A student. A's take much more work at HTM! for those parents unfamiliar with a project based curriculum; I would strongly suggest Ron Berger's 2003 book: An Ethic of Excellence. In response to the concern regarding the median age of the faculty, I too was (at first!) somewhat surprised. But after more than 2 years now, I embrace the youthful spirit, energy, and dedication of every faculty member I've met. It is their enthusiasm that truly seems to connect with these formative personalities. As for extracurricular activities, the supplemental 6 to 6 program just keeps getting better! This is an incredible school!
As a Parent I have had two children attend this school. It was okay, but there didnt seem to be alot of really hard work happinging. Many of the teachers are in there 20's and dont have alot of experience. the school was a nice change from pubic school but didnt really help my children advance. And there is no good activities.
This is a very innovative school with a very different way of teaching. Your child will learn skills not often obtained until college. The curriculum is mainly project-based; there are no text books, and most of the homework involves researching the internet and other resources, and putting together presentations to give in front of the class. The kids learn public speaking skills very early. It is true that because they don t track students, they tend to teach math at the lowest common level. However, this has been changing lately because of complaints from parents, and additional in-depth units are now given to more advanced students if requested.
Strong academics in a less than traditional format. Not for every child, but mine seems to love it!
Initally I had very high hopes for high tech middle based on data for high tech high and overall it is probably been more positive than negative experience. The small school size was the biggest plus, but with the addition of the media arts(and next year the international) that feeling is lost and it has become another large school-just a little more spread out. The humanities block works well just as it does in other middle schools but as for the intergrated math-science block, it has been a disaster for math advancement and many are lagging in that area as a result. The scores for the high tech family of schools has been dropping probably as a result. Better than most out there, but we will be looking at other options for high school.
This school teaches skills few others do--how to work with diverse groups of kids, how to gain leadership skills, and how to take initiative and 'own' your own learning. However, it's overrated when it comes to academics--my student has vey little homework and requires outside supplemental math education to remain challenged. While this would concern me more in a high school, I feel that my child is learning to be inwardly motivated and accountable for his own learning. I recommend this school highly, but to parents who insist that their (probably already advanced) child is optimally challenged, I'd recommend you look at San Diego's private schools instead--such as The Bishop's School, Francis Parker, Warren-Walker, Santa Fe Christian or La Jolla Country Day. Or, 'choice' into the La Jolla High or Torrey Pines High district.
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