This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Southern Hills Middle School5
Posted August 20, 2013
- a community member
I went to Southern Hills for 3 years and there is absolutely no way that Mr. Gillach (the principal) is a pervert. We did not get suspended for having candy and we were not shuffled through the hallways with our heads down. No, ignorant parent, Southern Hills is an excellent school. I think the reason it's so good is because it's not as academically challenging as say Summit, but there are lots of higher level classes offered. Even if you aren't the school loving type, you will find the teachers to be great and lots of friends.
Great School. The parents that complain about how the school is run might not be teaching them respect and discipline at home. That's not the school's job- it's YOURS, so don't complain when you get a call from the principal. For god sakes, teach your kids some manners before sending them off to school! Good academically. Creative teachers who focus on projects vs. just memorize and take tests. Right amount of homework. Flexible if family needs/wants to travel. Very respectful of the kids. Safe. Plenty of volunteer opportunities for parents. Plenty of after-school activities.
The administration is cruel to the children and parents that do not fit into the designated conservative mold. There are some great teachers here. But the adminstration is a blight, a sickness, a seething travesty against all that is fair, forward thinking, and good.
I have a child entering 7th grade at Southern Hills. GOOD: The culture of the school is one of strong accountability. The principal knows every kid and sets very clear boundaries for what behavior is acceptable. I have no idea what the other reviewer was talking about regarding the principal being a pervert. I have never witnessed or heard anything of the sort and I guarantee I would have yanked my kid out of this school if it were the case. This school provides a safe environment for kids to learn compared to other Boulder middle schools. Good accelerated language arts teachers - especially 6th grade accelerated L.A. - fantastic. Caring, involved counselors and excellent communication between the administraton and parents. BAD: My 6th grader twiddled their thumbs in 7th grade Math - new teacher who was inexperienced and overall useless. Science was a big disappointment as well considering the resources Boulder has in the scientific community. I hear 7th grade science teacher is excellent... New orchestra teacher this year - not near enough challenge for advanced kids so a big disappointment. French class was a total joke. Not enough diversity - socioeconomically or otherwise.
I forgot to add that my 6th grader was allowed to snack in just about every class had and we unfortunately had a horrible tardy record but my child never was suspended or expelled or even threatened as such. I mean to the tune of more than a dozen tardies all year. Therefore, beware of the 1 star review below - it's a bunch of bull. I actually felt my child's teachers were too lenient on letting my child eat in class because I thought maybe it was a distraction. I forgot to add that I wish this school did a better job preparing kids for final exams. If you're going to give a final exam might as well make it a learning process and this school does not do a good job at this. However, overall, I am thankful my child is at this school and not our neighborhood school, Manhattan, where I hear kids make out in the hallways among other things. I'm no prude but 12 year olds making out? Really?
This school is probably one of the worst schools ever built. The children have no freedoms or privileges, and the staff is constantly trying to indoctrinate the student population. The student are on a very tight leash getting suspended or expelled for eating candy or even being a few seconds late to a class once or twice. The principal is a psychotic narcissistic power hungry pervert who not only shuffles the students through the halls with there heads down, assisted by his counterpart assistant principal, he ogles the female population and "accidentally" runs into them from behind and from the front fondling them as he passes (my daughter being a victim). This schools academics are too demanding and highly unrealistic for a student to reach. Last time i checked only 3 students had even one A in the grade. THIS SCHOOL IS HIGHLY UN-RECOMMENDED.
Some glaring flaws in administration are compensated for by a great group of kids. Lunches are made fresh daily and are healthy, but the program must support itself to continue. Facilities are below standard and make all school functions a nuisance (i.e. not enough seating or parking, poor heating/cooling, horrible sound system for the school play). Infinite campus isn't used regularly by many of the teachers, email system fails often, real communication with the principal is discouraged since he doesn't take criticism well (I haven't tried because he responded publicly and argumentatively to criticism he received privately from others-not me-concerning problems with the daily homework email). They took up books before final exams were finished and called students individually to turn in locks while final exams were being given. Luckily my son got to finish his science exam just before his name was called. Others had to leave and come back and lost time to take the test. Staff convenience trumps education. Classes aren't as challenging as the 7-rated school my son attended in Tennessee.
My friend and I attend and have been attending Southern Hills for the past three years. Now, as high school looms around the corner, we are thankful for the responsibility and study skills SHMS has taught us. The atmosphere is great, and the courses are just right: challenging but not too hard. The teachers are most creative and fun in 6th, and really welcome and embrace new students.