This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
High Tech High International School5
Posted January 22, 2013
- a community member
I am a HTHI alumni and I have nothing but amazing things to say about the education I received. I transfered from a traditional public high school to HTHI. As a result of the education I received I was accepted into highly competitive colleges and am excelling at the university I chose to attend. My grades did go up after I transfered but not because the classes were easier but because the teachers brought such passion and excitement to whatever we were learning that for the first time I had an incentive to learn. That being said, HTHi is not for everyone. If you are looking for a school with amazing sports or where your child will take tons of AP classes than this isn't the right school for you. For me HTHI was exactly what I needed and I have seen so many passionate, brilliant, successful students come out of this school.
Dear nervous parents, I hope my review of this school will help you truly understand more about this school and what it means to me. I will address a few points of criticism 1) HTHI curriculum; HTHI is not about the content you learn but rather the critical thinking process. It is true that I did not learn as much content as some of my friends at traditional school but I was given a better foundation for learning which has helped me succeed. Knowledge and wisdom is not about how much factual evidence you know, honestly anyone can get that from google these days. It is all about your ability to problem solve and think critically. 2) POL's are an amazing way to improve public speaking and I contribute this practice to my ability to excel in job interviews. 3) I could rant all day about AP classes. All they do is gives incoming freshman a "get out of jail free card", college courses should be taken in college, it is not that same in high school. Finally, this school is not for everyone. If you are eager to learn and are bored by traditional schools this is the place for you!! If you are not interested in education or learning, then traditional schools will be just fine.
Having just completed my bachelors at a UC** I feel that I can fairly evaluate how HTHI contributed to my complete education. First let me start by saying that the entire HTH system is just another private-public capital venture. The classes are all designed with windows on the outside so that students can be observed by constantly touring contributors. POL (presentations of learning) are claimed to help students with public speaking skills, but in reality this is just another method used by the school to attract more investors. My biggest complaint was that the school attracts students with the promise of project based learning. They offer great project based courses for freshman and sophomores but by the last two years projects are almost non-existent. By this time it is impossible to transfer out of the school because their credit system. Also their high college acceptance rates are due to the fact that they make the entire senior class apply for community college. Finally, let me say that the school did not prepare me for college at all. It took me two years to adjust, as I went from Cs and Bs to straight As by my 3rd and 4th year. (My math suffered horribly from HTHI)
I am a recent graduate of High Tech High International and have now transitioned to competitive, private university in Boston. HTHI provided me with the best high school education I could have ever asked for. I was hesitant to attend HTHI as I wanted the "traditional high school experience." Yet, choosing HTHI was one of the best decisions of my life. The curriculum is practical and applicable in the real world. I find myself excelling above many of my college friends (who went to highly ranked private, AP, and IB high schools) in communication skills, online research, and critical thinking. Contrary to other opinions, AP is not necessary to succeed in college, and I feel just as prepared as my friends who took upwards of 10 AP classes. However, what truly makes HTHI an amazing place is the faculty. The passion they have for their students and for teaching is inexpressible. While many of them are younger than the "traditional" teacher, they are innovative and creative, and always ask for student feedback. They do not let students fall through the cracks. No school is perfect, but HTHI prepares kids for more than standardized tests, it prepares them to succeed in college and beyond.
This is great for a student's personal development and self-esteem or if the student aspires to take liberal arts degree but not for science-related couses. The schoool is great with low student-teacher ratio and personalization. However, it does not prepare students for a good quality university education. Students get high grades with little effort. No books are used in the class and the teachers are not very experienced. If you want your student to get good SAT scores, it is mandatory to supplement her high school education with an SAT prep class. My child was accepted in a great top-ranked school in California, but now she is struggling due to her insufficient high school education preparatory for a quality university. HTHI does not even have AP classes. My student feels so inadequately-prepared compared to her peers in the current university she is attending now.
Very good teaching but very limited things to do like football. If you want your child to learn I say go for it but if your child is the type for sports I prefer for you to go to a normal public school.
I am a parent of a sophmore attending HTHI. I am also giving this school a mixed review. my son has never been happier, he loves school although he has never been adverse to school. he never has homework his grades have not been great since attending hthi and so i am not blaming the school, however some policies this school has leaves me wondering. example: language taken every other semester (huh) he will never learn manderin having a semester between languages, what a waste of time. no books...he is not a great note taker and neither was i but i got through university with my books. teacher follow through, update assignments online or their calendar for parents to monitor homework that have children like mine. also student confrences, waste of time. i come to see staff so we can formulate plan. staff not interested horse to water and all that.
HTHI is an interesting school and I have a mixed review on it. To its credit the school remains small in order to be the most effective in helping students learn. Most of the 'teaching teams' know their students well and work to improve their skills. There are some outstanding teachers here; unfortunately staff turnover is high. Be aware that when your child attends a 'project based learning' school, you sacrifice many basics that are taught in general ed schools. The staff here is very young, as is the principal who leads them. There is a lot to be said for age and experience and that is clearly missing. I disagree that the leadership here is strong. I feel especially disheartened when I see the rave student reviews replete with spelling errors and poor punctuation.