I recently graduated from Okeeheelee Middle School, and honestly, I was more than happy to leave. I don't think the principal is involved enough with the students. Unless you are being suspended, don't expect any attention from him. The teachers are decent, and violence in the school really isn't very bad. There are very few fights, and I never felt as if I were in danger. I once filed a complaint about one of my teachers, and the guidance office put my name on it, and showed it to the teacher, who then confronted me about it. That was very wrong. We don't even have lockers! We are required to carry clear or mesh backpacks for 'safety.' Okeeheelee is not a great school.
Given the limited resources to teachers by the school and district, teachers contribute extra money from their pockets to increase the chance for student success in the classroom. Many teachers in the school take additional time and effort to make students feel part of the community at Okeeheelee.
This year I will have my 3 sons attending the school. I just hope that this year is better than it was 2 years ago when my eldest attended the school.
My son goes to OMS since 2003. OMS is a school where the students, their education and their well being come first. The teachers are highly skilled and work hard to bring out the best in each student. The principal is kind, strict but fair and knows each student by name. OMS is the first school to have a bilingual program, where classes are offered in English as well as in Spanish. The school has an effective reading program that has helped student increase their scores in the FCAT. I do recommend this school for all it has to offer.
Academic Programs ~ POOR My son attended this school for 6th grade and his Reading FCAT scores actually dropped! His Math FCAT stayed about the same. I was shocked to actually see a level 3 score on his FCAT results when he has scored 4's & 5's in Elementary School. I am still not quite sure with what knowledge he left OMS with. There are a few good teachers, but they do not make up for the poor level of education provided by their curriculum. The advanced classes do not offer much depth or challenge. However, OMS has an excellent band program with an outstanding band director, Ms. Shearon. She is a unique find in this school. After School Sports are fair. The teachers and staff involved do try and the students seem to enjoy the after school sports. Parent involvement - Fair. Communication is poor.
I like Dr. Samore's attitude towards not putting up with any nonsense from the students. I feel that my child is safe there.
I graduated from this school, class of '04, and it wasn't really that good of a school. The gifted program, however, is pretty good and can get you into a prestigious school like Suncoast. There needs to be more varied activities, though.
I think this is a good school but as far as some of the teachers goes, there is a problem. I've contacted this school 3 different times in a two week span. I left 3 different messages for a teacher to contact me in regards to my son. I never received a phone call. Not one phone call. It wasn't until I threatended to contact the principal before she contacted me. I was unable to go to the school being that I live in the Tampa Bay area. My son lives with his father and in WPB but I still try to stay on top of things with the school. I am very upset in regards to the matter. I hope it never happenes again.
This school presently lacks communication efforts by teachers. As a parent, I have made many attempts to get in touch with my child's teachers via voicemail. In most occasions, I have to call the counseling office and have them leave messages. Students are not allowed lockers and must still use plastic or mesh backpacks. I also feel that more parents need to be involved and attend PTSO meetings and let their voices be heard.
As a parent, it has been my experience that parental involvement at the school is not only not encouraged, it is discouraged. In my opinion, overall morale at the school is very low.
Okeeheelee middle school is a very diverse school, there are many different cultures attending this school. In my opinion I think this is very good. However I also think that Okeeheelee has taken some drastic security measures like making all students wear only white, blue and gray colors, long pants, mesh or clear backpacks, and banning lockers. I think these security measures arent needed because of the safety of the school.
I have a much different experience at this school with the ESE department. My child is an ESE student here and receives the fullest support and attention from the ESE office and staff. With their assistance and support he has being able to take advanced classes, reached the highest grades in the FCAT and enjoyed his schooling at this school. It is important that an excellent and comprehensive parent-student-ESE coordinator team and working relationship be developed and cultivated and the parent is well informed about the educational rights and responsibilities of an ESE student. An ESE student requires and needs a good parent-ESE coodinator team. The number of ESE student at this school is very high and the ESE staff is limited. The parent of the ESE student can assist the ESE coordinator for a more efficient resolution of any problems that comes up. It is difficult to get an appoinment, but with patience and kind persistence the ESE staff will see and meet with each parent or child that needs to. I agree that the backpack with the heavy load of books is too much and I am concerned about the significant orthopedic and muscular effect and damage that this is causing in these young children and what effect all this weight is having in the their bodies. I think that this needs to be look at carefully by medical professionals before this causes medical damages to these children. I don't think that this is a good policy and I recommed and suggest that needs to be stop or change.
Guidance doesn't return calls, neither does ESE people. Gangs and fights are out of control and the school is not safe. Students must have clear back packs and are not allowed to use lockers. What's with that? Students are hurt by older students even with teacher supervision. It is done behind their backs when they are not looking. Records are lost with confidential information with no explanation. I paid $1500.00 for an evaluation and it is also lost with a confidential 504K plan.
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