This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Milk (Harvey) Civil Rights Elementary School1
Posted August 26, 2014
- a parent
The administration of this school is close-minded, fearful/insecure about change, secretive of information and decision making and divisive at it's core pitting faculty against parents. The faculty view of parental/community involvement is to adopt faculty objectives which has no mechanism for the reflection of the parental objectives and also allows for no accountability. The before and after care programs are run by very well intended folks and again great hearts but the fact is that they fail to provide enrichment opportunities to the students. There is free play and some time focused on homework but nothing like clubs and activities that exist at other nearby schools (soccer, baseball, tennis, science, music, Spanish, chess). This is the sacrifice the administration is willing to make on behalf of the students in order that they not take the albeit sometimes difficult task of working with the parents in an open and accountable way so they raise the funds to provide these opportunities. My son has a couple years left so I remain hopeful it changes. "Hope will never be silent" by Harvey Milk.
Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy in San Francisco is an outstanding small elementary school. Because it is a small school, each child is known by name by all staff members. The school has a diversified enrollment reflecting the diversity of San Francisco. A public school is only as good as its teachers and at HMCRA the teachers are top notch! The emphasis on civil rights and the civil rights movement is a definite plus. In addition to getting a good grounding in the "three Rs," students are taught ethics, such as being kind and respectful of others and that they should be truthful and hard working. The before school and after school care is invaluable to working parents. Two of my grandchildren attend HMCRA and love going to school.
The Principal is great, the teachers are wonderful, and my daughter really loves the school. A few of the parents have been a little high strung over the years, but even they have to agree that the school is great for our kids. The scores keep exceeding all the growth expectations, and my own daughter is excelling with the support that she gets from the educators and administration.
My child is very happy first grader. The school has a lot of activities, movie night roller skate night, dancing etc etc. The teachers are amazing and the principal gives me a hug hello. What more could I want from a school. Nothing, this school is great!
My school has amazing teachers, faculty and families that are committed to creating the best learning environment for our children. We have a great Parent-Faculty community that work together building school spirit and honor our diverse families.
My daughter is a very happy 1st grader at Harvey Milk and as a mom who toured more than a dozen schools looking for kindergarten, I feel like we did really well in the San Francisco lottery. The school isn't perfect--you can read the comments below and get that. But it's a warm, inclusive community, and the teachers are great. I like the principal well enough--she treats me like a friend and though I can't speak to her leadership qualities, she tries, and I don't understand the awful comments about her. Anyway, I'm not a political person, I just want my child to be happy and get a good education. I feel good when I take her to school and I enjoy the other parents and participating in the school events. It's a friendly, funky place where the kids don't have to look a certain way and they dress in creative ways--and diversity is encouraged.
Teachers and staff really are great, but in all honesty the principal does not equally care about all students/parents. She does not unify the school, nor show leadership. The after school program is a good space for kids. Only positive experiences with our teachers, but horrible experiences trying to communicate with the principal. If rating the school independent of leadership, I'd give it four stars. Facilities, compared to many other schools, are small. No separate play area for Kinders/first graders.
I work at HM & it's a great school. Some of these posts are very disheartening. I love my school& the direction in which it's headed. This school is centered around student achievement so if the principal has empowered students and staff to become leaders of morning circle,what is the charge? I'm a dear friend of the secretary.Please be clear that she has never spoken an ill word of the admin at this school. Her leaving was an independent decision based on what was best for her.To infer that her choice is a "red flag "is extremely misleading and speaks to how a small minority of folks at this school inflate and misconstrue information just to support their experience. FYI, that's considered lying. Truth: we have moved to a fee based program. But not many schools in SF offer a free morning/afterschool program. Sfusd reapplied for the grant but our school was not selected to receive it. Truth:The information became available in June at an ice cream social and since that time the administration has worked hard to offer an affordable program and has since apologized. The untruthful gossip must stop. If you are unhappy please do what is best for you but don't throw dirt in the process.
I love the principal. She is amazing, truthful and is interactive with every student. She comes on hours that are not on her work day! I know there are some parents who expect to be treated like royalty, but our principal cares about creating a cohesive environment that includes both view points. The negative reviews you see, are by parents who don't go to this school anymore. We have an amazing staff, and principal! WE LOve our students! The after school program and before school program was based on a grant that a lot of schools lost based on free and reduced lunch status. Let us have a great year, roll up our sleeves and have a fabulous 2013/2014 school year!
I selected this school because I was referred by a staff member. After reviewing other schools demographics I realized that Harvey Milk closely met my needs as a diversified school. I have an incoming 1st grader who I teach how to celebrate and respect not only her differences, but that of others. The year before last I was indirectly in the know about what was going on at this school. I attended a community meeting as a guest and some of the parents there were very abrasive and had a downright abusive tone toward the principal, staff, and one another.I can only assume that the negative posts are from those same parents. I am coming to HMCRA to roll up my sleeves and help get the work done for the betterment of ALL children, including mine. If my child is happy then so am I. The focus has shifted due to a sense of entitlement. I heard that entitlement in a post written earlier about the contribution of increasing test scores due to middle class families. AND??? Equity is about making sure everyone has access to the same thing. A cohesive community should model that. This have and have not mentality is systemic yet I still long to be a part of this school because I seek change.