Eastside High School is located in what some people may call unsafe, but throughout my four years here, I've never experienced anything to make me feel like I'm in harms way. Being in both the I.B program and then switching to become a hybrid(AP/IB classes and regular honors classes), I've experienced it all and yes some teachers display favoritism, however for the most part, if you're a willing student they will give you all the chances to succeed. You may find in some classes some kids who don't care, or who are disruptive but most teachers can handle those students and those situations. The school is somewhat segregated but to say the mainstream and I.B program don't interact is ridiculous, especially if you're in clubs or play sports. You will meet people from all sides of the spectrum but there will always be cliques and groups of kids who aren't fond of a certain type, but you will see that at every school. Overall if you put yourself out there and you can manage your time between school and a social life, your high school experience will be great.
I find IB puts a lot of pressure on kids who partake in this academy but I guess thats why they've got the program to challenge kids so depending on a persons perspective you can argue if IB is good or no. BUT thats NOT why i gave EHS 2 Stars. This school, yeah Im not gonna lie, isn't safest one in Gainesville b/c of past incidents but what I don't like is it's rasicm and prejudice. They LITERALLY divide the school in 1/2. IB kids and non-IB. Its unfair that kids who aren't in IB don't get same opportunities as students who aren't in an academy in other HS. The school separates themselves into groups based on race/religion/ethnicity. People in IB are told NOT to talk to anyone & EVERYONE that doesn't take part in IB. Smh, I am multi-racial & wasn't born in USA so maybe it is a "foreign thing" but telling people not to communicate with another race is just plain wrong and ignorant. One thing I liked though was it opened my eyes that racism and segregation STILL EXISTS. "Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong" LEARN. LIVE. LOVE.
As in any school, the faculty is uneven, but some of them are outstanding. The principal is enthusiastic and a tireless cheerleader for his Rams. The graduation rate of mainstream students has increased under his leadership. Two of my children graduated with IB diplomas. IB is an excellent choice for bright, academically motivated students. To be top in the class may take an inordinate amount of time, but it is possible to be an A/B student with a normal advanced HS level of effort. Most of the students do get involved in some of the many extracurricular activities, especially soccer. I think the emphasis on independent thought and critical thought creates students who can evaluate information in a mature way. I liked the level of abstract reasoning my kids developed there. I liked the Theory of Knowledge activities, which were interdisciplinary and interesting. To improve: some teachers forget the boundaries between student and adult, and share too much personal information. A few are scathing towards conservative political and social viewpoints. I can not address the experience of mainstream students.
Eastside High School has the reputation of being such an amazing school because of all the wonderful test scores it gets. However, I believe that these scores are a result of the people that go there, mainly people who dont have much else to do with their lives. When examining the student body, not many IB students do much except for perhaps one club. Eastside is notorious for its lack of a social community. The kids dont really have social lives beyond a couple so-so friends. Really your child could succeed in any other school just as well, and at other schools, maybe actually having fun is an option
Eastside High School in Gainesville, FL: I disliked how this school is extremely segregated between the IB program and the 'major program.' Students in the 2 programs rarely interact at all and are quite racially and economically segregated as well. It was discouraging to see this. From what I understand, teachers in the IB and major programs also don't have much collaboration or interaction. Overall, a negative, tense environment.
I am an IB graduate from a few years back. While the program was challenging, grades often in no way reflect you performance. Many teachers pick favorites, have little care for their students, and assign grades based on how much they like that person, not their academic ability. Very little outside help, and in some cases teachers can be disrespectful, not understanding, and often even cruel. Students form tight knit cliques and are obnoxious, often treat those that cannot afford nice things less then human. That goes towards some IB students but also the mainstream crowd, which they often poke fun off, often joking that if you don't wear a collared shirt in this school, you are nobody. Children also very socially stunted and have absolutely no social skills. If you don't wan your child being made fun of in college, don't let them go to this school, even for IB.
I attended Eastside as a NON IB student. If you aren't in IB you can expect low level classes with a bunch of kids that don't care about school. Don't get me wrong, there ARE students that try but the majority of the main stream students could care less about education. Most of the teachers spent their time yelling at direspectful students and sending them out of the classroom. I hadto take all Honors classes to get even a decent education. Just remember, this school's Ib programmight help your kids but the atmosphere sucks.
As a Mother of a first year student in the IB program and Administrator of a top performing private school in GNV, I am very pleased with the smooth transition that my daughter made from a small (27 students - grades 6-8) classroom environment to a public high school with over 1,400 students. The teachers have been very nurturing and easy to communicate with when needed; the principal is very involved and supportive of all the students activities and day to day school life. I have been to the school numerous times at night for meetings and events and have never felt that there was any danger. The IB program offers a global perspective and is highly challenging. The students who have graduated from the school I work at and who have gone through the IB program have thrived and have been very successful students and graduates.
Be very careful when selecting this school's IB program. Although they accept most of students, teachers are not prepared or willing to extend themselves to all students. Many teachers are unable to return work to the students in a timely manner, often taking well over one month to return graded work. Some teachers regularly demonstrate anger and unprofessonalism in the classroom by the use of profanity and degrading the class performance. Expectations are very high for students, yet low for the faculty. The curriculum is inflexible even for electives, parent involvement is discouraged, and volunteering is difficult. There is a lot to do to improve this program. Request data for decision-making purposes--AP pass rates by teacher, IB pass rates by teacher, the number of students who leave the program by year, what classes are allowed as electives, and an understanding of the "hybred" program.
My son is starting his 3rd year at Eastside in the IB program. Despite the fact that the school is located in a very poor neighborhood, my son has felt completely safe there and when visiting the school I have always found it to be secure with not one person wandering around between classes. With the exception of only one teacher, my son and I have found the faculty to be outstanding. I have also had occasion to deal with teachers outside of IB and find them to be just as dedicated and competent. I think very highly of the principal. He is tough but very personable and has ALWAYS been present and visible before and after school and at school functions. My only suggestion for improvement is to offer more electives (which I guess is a budget issue) and to have more regular on-going communication between teachers and parents.