September 14, 2015
Although Hebron Avenue has all the outward signs of a good school, I believe it is lacking in the most important area - concern for the children's overall well-being. Obedience and performance are valued above all else, often at the cost of curiosity, creativity, and ingenuity. Everything is about controlling the kids. Even in art, the youngest kids are systematically instructed to prepare and plan projects for weeks before any of the lovely supplies are put into their hands. They are learning dependency, passivity, and a narrow definition of success. The staff and teachers are rigid in their perspectives and uninterested in engaging with parents about the students as long as the student is performing well at school. In one instance, our attempts to discuss our kindergartener's after-school sobbing and sudden bed wetting/night terrors (while simultaneously learning to read within one month and excelling academically) were met with defensiveness by the teacher, who insisted that as a professional she must follow the "curriculum" and doing so requires a full six hours of dedication with minimal time for physical activity and age appropriate play. Further, she noted that curiculum concerns must be addressed to the principal so that conversation stopped before it even began...without any expression of concern for what was happening to our child. A follow up with the principal proved unhelpful since the school's belief is that a full-day of kindergarten was instituted to provide more time for 5 year olds to play. I responded that her own teacher felt very little play or physical release was possible given the requirements. She merely replied that I am the only parent to complain. If they are shaming, condescending, and unwavering to a parent who doesn't simply go along, how must they be with the children? My child's alarming behavior suddenly made sense.
Everyone has their own perspective on education, and mine is that children should be nurtured to be life-long learners, good citizens, and whole people. I have experienced schools in other states who did this beautifully while obtaining high test scores. Hebron Avenue forgot somewhere along the line that it is about the children, not the teachers' egos or test results.
- submitted by a community member