I have two children at this school, both very different, and the school has served both well. I disagree about serving bright and above average kids. While SSES was not good at this, HKMS has done a great job for my extremely bright child and he has thrived there. The school expects a lot from the kids, but helps them with the organizational and other tools that they need. I have two complaints. The first is writing. They are too focused on how the kids score in the writing assessments, and in my opinion those assessments are not good measures of writing ability, nor does teaching kids to score highly on writing assessments teach them how to write. My second complaint is parent interaction. Parents are given access to PowerSchool so that they can track how kids are doing on assignments, but it is like pulling teeth to get thoughtful feedback from teachers to parents on their kids. There are no parent/teacher conferences and no process for alerting parents about academic or other issues that have come up, unless the parents take the initiative.
This is a fantastic school. My children have attended and did very well both academically as well as in terms of personal growth. The teachers and staff are excellent. Unfortunately, as typically is the case, it's mostly those who are unhappy that write these reviews, and they won't be happy elsewhere either...This school prepares children very well for high school.
I am an 8th grade student at HKMS this year, and everything you say about HKMS, with my experience there, is completely wrong. We have gained excellent teachers and programs throughout the years that have helped us excel from the very beginning (6th grade). Recess is not a problem, we have gym, for which we go outside all the time. We now have bus cameras that enable the staff to see anything going on that may or may not be bullying. In my experience at HKMS, I have not seen any bullying, the students work together in a peaceful environment that may sometimes give us a chance to goof around, and thats okay. As you can see from our national ranking of a Blue Ribbon School, it all pays off in the end.
If I could give this school zero stars, I would. How can anybody do well with no recess, and no study hall? There is absolutely no down time for a student to relax for even 10 minutes. How many adults can go through a day without stepping outside for even 5 minutes to clear their head? They are kept inside all day in what appears to be a Habitrail. Although there are a few great teachers, the teachers are overall not inspiring, It is lead by a new Principal who is cutting her teeth on the poor students who feel nothing but picked on by the staff. The academics are not challenging and although it is a 'blue ribbon' school, I attribute the good test scores solely to the excellent Primary School (Samuel Staples). The school's policies are officious, and nonsensical. It seem that they have a fear of having the student gather and relax and prefer to patrol and prevent rather than to allow students to make decisions for themselves. What you are left with is a group of children that don't know how to control themselves. The school looks like a prison, and is run like a prison.
Very disappointed in the school. The students are treated like prisoners. No recess, they must wait for 15 minutes at lunch to go on the food line, and gobble their food up while the teachers patrolling the cafeteria intermittently yell at them for their transgressions. The school sets itself up for behavior problems and doesn't allow kids to be independent thinkers. Expect to have your child sent to the vice principal at least a few times a year. It is a great place to go if you like your child to constantly walk on eggshells and feel like he/she is 'bad'. It also does not cater to gifted or high-aptitude children. If you are a mediocre or bad student, you've got it made. If your child has a high aptitude in subjects, he/she will be bored (and act out even more). If you have a little robot- this is an ideal school to send him/her to. We are applying to private school. I wish I had known more about this school before I sent my child here. My interactions with the teachers, the Principal, and Vice Principal have left me feeling like my kid definitely does not belong in this cold, constrained, uncreative atmosphere.
Helen Keller Middle School is a 2011 national Blue Ribbon School, awarded by the U.S. Dept. of Education! Way to go, students, faculty and staff!
Or experience has been that the schools "zero tolerance for bullying" policy is weak and ineffective. Check out the other review for an example of student achievement.
I love our school! its awsome! the ppl r so nice! and we (could cut down on hw, mrs parker!) have a great time everyday!
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Join GreatSchools to participate in the parent community and other discussions on our site.
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Helen Keller Middle School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!