I absolutely loved this school when I went there. Now a sophomore, I often compare teachers I have currently to the caring teachers I had at Harllee, and wish I had the opportunity to participate in as many activities as I did there. The TSA club was spectacular, as was my art class taught by Mrs. Lazar. I was definitely prepared for high school, actually I often found that I was over-prepared. As for Harllee Middle School, I completely and utterly give it a five star rating.
Harllee was a frustrating, extremely disappointing experience. In fact, I just received a letter from our School District offering my son a "scholarship" to transfer out of zone because Harllee received a GRADE F by the state. My son has ADHD & Harllee teachers allowed him to sit all day, every day & do nothing. Since they could not motivate him to participate in class, I offered to have him do all his classwork at home, to which they agreed. However, getting them to consistently provide assignments was a nightmare, even after he was approved for the 504 plan that legally bound them to provide me a weekly assignment list. They "say" they encourage parental involvement, but not true. I am able to get my son to work at home, so I know it is possible; yet, they were either unwilling or unable to accomplish that end in an entire year. My son failed 7th grade because Harllee failed him, but thanks to Florida Virtual School, he completed & passed his failed courses. We accepted the scholarship offer & he will be attending a school with an 8 out of 10 rating. We are hopeful now.
Teachers have a lot of heart at Harllee. Many poor students, struggling learners, and uninvolved parents are a challenge. However, Harllee staff members really care about the kids. Boys and Girls club is on site after school and staffed with many school employees for a safe and fun environment. AVID and LEAD programs are competitive with any other middle school in the district.
The school has a very good tech program. The Technology Student Association club at this school is among the top rated in the country. The things heard in the news are not as bad as they may seem. I suggest giving the school a chance.