Howard is a real world school with outstanding students and faculty. Yes, just like the real world there are some bad apples who don't care about achieving, but they are the minority. What Howard offers is above and beyond any other school I've seen. Cool, artistic kids, and really progressive teachers. The kids at the school are going places! Wouldn't want my child anywhere else.
Teachers are good. Mrs. Raab and Mr. Penfield are outstanding. Dr. Cartwright (past principal) will be truly missed. Over the past year or so, I've seen some very negative changes in the school, mostly with the student body. The children are rude and misbehaved. Their parents seem to be uninvolved. I'm worried about the future for this school.
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