Whoever mentioned that Dr. Cartwright is a "visionary" in an earlier review was absolutely correct. He is a visionary and he holds high expectations for the kids at Howard. The programs are amazing-visual and performing arts. Also the academics are great. It is not a perfect school, but it is one of the best public schools I've seen in Orlando. I truly believe that if every school in OCPS had leadership that values our children and their success as much as Dr. Cartwright and his staff do, OCPS would be #1 in the country. This school succeeds because of the dedicated teachers and staff that work very hard every day to create a wonderful student experience. It is a great place.
Coming from a private school environment, sending out two middle school girls to a public school was a bit scary. But the administration, faculity, programs, and magnet have not disappointed us and have exceeded our expectations. I would highly recommend this school especially if your child loves the fine arts.
HMS Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts has been a godsend to my daughter. She is competitive academically, but at the time she was entering 6th grade, the only real choice we had for her was a middle years IB program. She attended and did very well, but there were no real arts programs for her to enjoy, and singing, dancing, and theatre are her passions. Academics can bring some accolades, but when the arts are enriched for a student in such a comprehensive and nurturing way, like they are at HMS, a student like my daughter will really thrive. Now, instead of dreading every school day, she bounds out of bed, anxious to see what the day will bring, what new song she will learn, what new dance step she will master, or what role she will earn in a musical. Through HMS connections, she has also thrived in outside musical activities such as Florida Opera Theatre and as a finalist in Orange County's Top Talent competition. There just isn't any opportunity in OCPS that compares to the administrators, atmosphere, instructional staff, and peers at HMS. They are priceless and I am eternally grateful for their presence in our lives.Looking forward to my 6th grader enjoying HMS too.
Howard Middle School is an exceptional school thanks to their administration & faculty staff! Not to mention the great group of children that attend Howard! My daughter was previously in a different school last year for 6th grade. She was in the IB program and did well but I felt like the opportunities at Howard were so great that we transferred her to attend 8th grade in a school she loves!
I had both of my children in private school for 8 years when my son was looking for a more engaging curriculum. We toured HMS and were so impressed by the Performing Arts Magnet and other electives, as well as the amazing principal and truly caring teachers, that we moved him midweek, mid school year! We were worried about such an abrupt move, but didn't not want to lose any time enrolling in the fabulous electives. We have never looked back. My son was welcomed immediately and wakes up early each day excited to attend middle school! We are Wow-ed by the administration and faculty. The trips to NYC, the Aviation Academy and Atlanta thrill even my well-traveled son. With only a few months left at HMS, we treasure our last year and half here and sad that it ends at 8th grade. In two words - AMAZING experience!
I currently go to Howard Middle, and it is amazing. The choir and theater electives hae improved my acting and single skills by a lot. Thanks to the Music Theory and Composition course, I can now play the piano and write my own music(which we are currently doing). As for the core classes I never expected to be able to skip a grade in math, but now I take 7th grade advanced math. All of my other classes are advanced and the teachers are top notch. I love that in class we can do experiments and games but be able to learn all at the same time. I will be very sad to leave Howard Middle, everyone took me in and treated me with love. Parents, I may not know much about transportation and such, bht I know my mother goes out of her way to make sure I grt to school on time and thats because Howard Middle is the best school and you'll never find another one like it.
Love Howard, We are in our second Year and Are very Pleased! I would recommend this program to any Middle school Student that wants to get more out of school. The Arts Rock and Academics are top notch! Bob Jones
This school is amazing in so many ways. The way all the teachers and staff care for the students. The way the students care for each other. My daughter wishes every day that this would convert to a high school so she didn't have to leave. It has exceptional programs and continuously trying to find more opportunities for the students to grow not only within their walls but within the community as well!
Howard Middle School offers opportunities like no other. Students are pushed to excel in not only their academics, but if they have a love for the arts the combination of curriculum available far exceeds what they would find anywhere else. The Faculty and Staff care way more than making the grade, it is their goal ago make sure my daughter actually understands what she is learning and why it is important. Dr. Cartwright works tirelessly to make sure all our Students have every opportunity available to them, the school has flourished under his leadership. We also have so many dedicated parents that I can't overlook their contributions and how instrumental they have been in the success of the programs at HMS. If your child has the chance to attend Howard,it is something you should seriously consider.
The principal, teachers and staff are amazing!! The incredible amount of electives (over 30) to choose from were the big selling point for us two years ago. The wonderful opportunities (like trips to NYC) and the academics are second to none. We love HMS and are thankful to be a part of the VPA Magnet Program.
Wonderful teachers and staff. Perfect for a student who loves art, music and drama. Strong academics and teachers are always available to students and parents.
I am extremely proud that my daughter is attending Howard Middle School's Magnet program. The staff and teachers follow in the footsteps of one very DEDICATED principle.
Howard Middle School staff and school culture is one that is very accepting of all students and expects students to perform to their fullest ability, academically, socially/emotionally, and artistically. I am proud that my son attended this school rather than his zoned school. It really helped him move forward in his musical and artistic abilities. I LOVE the principal. He takes time to get to know every student and works with the families to ensure the students are successful. He is a true leader.
Great School! And an amazing Principal!!! The preforming arts teachers and classes make school so much more fun for our students.
This school has it's problems like any, but overall, I'm going to miss it. Howard cared about me. I had a room where I could go anytime if I needed a more quiet place. I was in Aviation club. I was a Teacher Assistant. There are the kids who aren't good, yes, but every school has that. When I arrived to the school, I was a level 1 in Math (I arrived in 7th grade). When I took FCAT in 7th grade, I rose all the way up to a 3. I got a 2 in Reading, but when I took 8th grade FCAT Reading FCAT, I went back up to a 3. I also got a 4 on Writing. Overall, I'm gonna miss this school as I go to Boone. Parents, if you're moving into Orlando, this is for sure the school zone to move in. They make the learning fun while challenging.
I can tell how much the teachers love the kids and work very hard to make sure we learn all that we can learn.
Howard Middle is a school where every child has a chance to learn and excel. They offer classes and programs that don't seem to be available at other schools and the students are receiving so many benefits from those programs. The teachers and staff have proven that the students are important to them and the students appreciate that fact. It's a wonderful place to be.
It is a place where teachers care and students learn. We build relationships that last a lifetime.
The most amzing and diverse group of students, teachers, staff, parents and community members makes this one of the most successful urban schools in Florida!
Howard Middle is an awesome school where all children are challenged to succeed!
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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