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GreatSchools Rating

Howard Middle School

Public | 6-8 | 971 students

Our school is best know for its Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program.

 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 14 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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36 reviews of this school


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Posted June 2, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 20, 2014

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!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 18, 2014

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!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 24, 2014

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.


Posted January 7, 2014

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
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 7, 2014

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!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 6, 2014

Great School! And an amazing Principal!!! The preforming arts teachers and classes make school so much more fun for our students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 18, 2012

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.


Posted October 26, 2009

I can tell how much the teachers love the kids and work very hard to make sure we learn all that we can learn.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 26, 2009

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2009

It is a place where teachers care and students learn. We build relationships that last a lifetime.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2009

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!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2009

Howard Middle is an awesome school where all children are challenged to succeed!
—Submitted by a parent


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.

About these ratings

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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 53% in 2014.

338 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
63%

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
42%

2011

 
 
48%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 60% in 2014.

335 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
69%

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
49%

2011

 
 
51%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 56% in 2014.

352 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
68%

2013

 
 
58%

2012

 
 
52%

2011

 
 
55%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 57% in 2014.

345 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
65%

2013

 
 
58%

2012

 
 
54%

2011

 
 
48%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 47% in 2014.

247 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
66%

2013

 
 
50%

2012

 
 
45%

2011

 
 
51%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 57% in 2014.

244 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
61%

2013

 
 
53%

2012

 
 
42%

2011

 
 
41%
Science

The state average for Science was 49% in 2014.

242 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
49%

2013

 
 
44%

2012

 
 
35%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2014.

241 students were tested at this school in 2014.

2014

 
 
56%

2013

 
 
76%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT 2.0) to test students in grades 3 through 10 in reading, 3 through 8 in math, in grades 5 and 8 in science, and in grades 4, 8, and 10 in writing. The FCAT 2.0 is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The FCAT 2.0 has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Writing

The state average for Writing was 78% in 2012.

183 students were tested at this school in 2012.

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
96%
Scale: % scoring at or above level 3

About the tests


In 2011-2012 Florida used the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to test students in grades 4, 8 and 10 in writing. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills needed to progress through school. The FCAT writing exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 6. The state considers a score of 3 or above as meeting state standards.

Source: Florida Department of Education

  • In 2011-2012, this school received a grade of "B".
  • In 2010-2011, this school received a grade of "B".
  • In 2009-2010, this school received a grade of "A".
  • In 2008-2009, this school received a grade of "A".

About the tests


Florida uses School Grades to measure the overall performance of a school each year on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Each school is assigned a letter grade (A-F) based on three criteria: the overall performance on the FCAT, the percentage of eligible students who took the test, and whether or not students made progress in reading and math. The School Grades are calculated by adding points earned from each of the performance criteria listed above.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Algebra I

The state average for Algebra I was 64% in 2013.

135 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 67% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 64% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Florida used the End-of-Course Assessments (EOC) to test students in Algebra 1, Biology 1 and Geometry. The EOC is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Florida. The Algebra 1 EOC has 5 achievement levels, with level 1 being the lowest and level 5 the highest. Florida considers scores of level 3 and higher to be on or above grade level. The goal is for all students to score at or above level 3.

Source: Florida Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
Black 36%
White 34%
Hispanic 25%
Two or more races 3%
Asian 2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 7%N/AN/A
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 0%N/AN/A
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Bachelor's degree 67%66%61%
Master's degree 31%N/A36%
Doctorate degree 2%1%1%
Other degree 0%N/A2%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2012-2013

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers 0%N/A5%
Source: FL Dept. of Education, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • NASA Explorer School (2006)
  • ARTS Achieve Model School Honorable Mention (2012)
  • AVID National Demonstration School (2009)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Drama club
  • Student newspaper
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
Clubs
  • Debate
  • National Honor Society
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 9:20 am
School end time
  • 4:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • MR. CARL CARTWRIGHT
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (407) 245-1785

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
  • Direct instruction
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Tutor(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
Transportation options
  • Accessible via public transportation
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Graphics
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Book/reading club
  • Debate
  • Drama club
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • Math club
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer time after school
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


7 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
250
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
350
Students typically come from these schools
Hillcrest Elementary School
Lake Como Elementary School
Dover Shores Elementary School

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Boone High School
Jones High School
Edgewater High School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

800 East Robinson Street
Orlando, FL 32801
Website: Click here
Phone: (407) 245-1780

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