Students who present their school as better than the other because they have a pool or a observatory suggests a kind of bullying taking place. This is more about insecurity than about the school. However, it is also about guidance and advisement and someone supervising what will be presented. This behavior sent a message to 9th graders that also may be feeling insecure. I feel bullied because I have to swipe my license every time I go into the school. I feel violated. I also think there is another kind of bullying taking place. when students are entering a school day to take PSAT exams they are indirectly forced to take these exams. These are choices and not requirements. I feel bullied that i have to find something for my child to do during school time while choice exams are given during the time my child should be in school learning. since my child is in ninth grade, the almost direct order was to bring my child to school later. This is ethically wrong. To use language to hide a parents and child's right is POOR education and also bullies.
I have asked for awareness for my child in particular areas. I have been ignored or provided with information to appease me. The teachers that take the time out to have students go back into their tests and correct their work seem to be more successful with the learning experience. The teachers that know how to manage their time and that go back to tests and quizzes to cover what was not learned well also seem to have more success. The teachers that are not afraid of saying they made a mistake also seem to reach their students better then those otherwise. All of this has to do with learning differences. I would say the teachers are supportive of differences but maybe half really make sure what is needed to be learned is taught well enough or will try a different strategy. A lot of information and not learned is not better than less but learned information.
All of the above is a reflection of leadership. Read the old report cards. Where there is a need for improvement, it is not happening. The school also needs more balance in teacher and student population. I think the State of CT should return to busing students from out of town or the area to create balance. I also think there should be more recruitment of teachers from outside the local teaching institutions to allow for other strategies to be present. the geographic result is too tight.
There is some level of this but there is not enough. I think character is important. Students that say one thing and do another is a strong indicator of character. Character is also a result of insecurity. integrity, compassion and respect some with connection and inclusion and this is lacking. The open house was a big disappointment ans a red flag. Department chair persons should not be given the level of authority I am seeing because I have noticed poor habits that harm rather than allow students to benefit. There are teachers that show they are there to build character. I cannot say the same for administration.
Some are very effective while others are on an agenda and not able to reach a more diverse group. My child reported one teacher that everyone likes and the class is filled with dialogue and students are allowed to eat snacks. My child says the snacks are a good idea and also explained that everyone in the class is learning. They are all participating. This teacher reaches all. Students are more flexible and get along with each other and avoid cliques. This is also a large sized classroom. In another class the teacher is absent a lot. My child is good in the subject but is disappointed with the learning experience and says not learning enough. I think its better for teachers to include students in their subjects at what ever level the student enters and grade based on what the student has learned and not grade on what the student already knew before entering the class. This can have a poor result for all when in college. While one may not pursue, the other will find out not as great as he or she thought.
Homework is too often rote. Too often it requires use of a computer and I don't want my child to have more screen time. Sometimes teachers schedules are off and they end up giving a load of work. Homework is better if it is meaningful. If it can engage the student to enter the experience. Too much is too easy to send home. If a teacher makes a mistake in how the planning is managed, I don't think its effective teaching to then load students so they lose sleep and do not digest the information. Two out of five tend to do this. This is a result of administration and evaluation. Some teachers have a consistent schedule and others give very little homework while it is needed such as in math.
The school has a report card two years old that scores low with students feeling a connection with the school. This should be improved. There is a lack of encouragement to bring student musicians into the music program and athletes into the program.The rules differ for each student and discourages.The administration listens but does not act.I think the guidance center has too much work because most of the time there is no response. I AM looking at other schools and towns.This has been a big disappointment.The teachers I can speak of deserve good stars and some great.One teacher has difficulty in knowing how to bring all students into the learning experience.My child has a high average but this is not good enough since not feeling connected in the school and is not encouraged to use skills and strength that stand out and that can build teen esteem.Sometimes teachers have work requirements that are unreasonable and this is a result of the administration. I attended the open house. Students were guided in their presentations. These were not informative.One presentation was about what this school has and the other high school in town does not.I was disappointed because this is a reflection of the school environment/ethics and not what I wish for my child. Another student presented a magnet school of the arts as if this is the same at Foran. There are distinguishing differences and students and parents have a right to know in greater detail what is available.Parents are not aware that well known artists and musicians teach students at the school of the arts.The programs are rigorous and many of the students reach all-state and scholastic levels and travel overseas.The magnet program for aqua studies is a lot more than going out on a boat. Students who left the programs or who did not attend should be guided to present through research on what is offered to avoid bias. I read the presentations as a reflection of what the students are learning and being taught rather than what the outside programs offer.Early in the morning I would like to see staff and students not cut through the private condo drive way to cut off the people patiently waiting in line for similar end results before school starts. Some of these students are in clubs that describe them to be good citizens.I counted 45 "Foran" cars cutting through private property to serve one's own needs in 3 days.
This high school has an excellent music / band program. Students are encouraged to be independent and to strive. AP classes are not for everyone, so be on the lookout for falling grades. Parent oversight and advocacy is required.