I am a parent. At first I thought the school was too big and the students would get lost in the system. I have come full circle. The teachers are caring and really enjoy the students and are willing to help them in every way. The academics are amazing and these students go on to some of the finest universities in the country. They do well there, because they earned every point at Douglas. They worked very hard for every A and B. They aren't pampered, so they are ready for the real world. Mrs. Bloom tells the students the truth about the admission process. It is competitive. Douglas is over-crowded so sometimes the administration can appear overwhelmed but if you treat them with respect they will treat you with respect. They put up with a lot.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High is an amazing school. Not only does it send a number of kids to top schools in the country and state, it provides a nurturing environment, great academics and a wonderful social life. I'm a senior in the school right now, and I am taking five AP classes. The personal attention you receive is incredible, teachers really *do* care. Anyone who has the determination to succeed, can do it here at MSD - as opposed to other schools where there is more unhealthy competition. Of course, MSD IS competitive in every way, but there is no unhealthy competitive feel like schools of Pine Crest, and magnet schools (where they really do burn out kids for no reason!). People tend to help each other here rather than step over you. Come to MSD, and you'll have an amazing four years of your life. :)
I'm a senior at the schools and I must say that it is excellent. Although some may not think so, it is completely obvious when you look at the other schools in the area. Douglas has the broadest selection of AP courses and courses in general, and has very strong academic clubs. My teachers have all been good (especially the AP teachers, who devote a great amount of energy towards preparing us for college and helping us out academically), and despite what people say me and my friends always manage to find a seat in the cafeteria without a problem, even if we get there around 5 minutes into lunch (although usually there are only 4 or 5 of us, a large group may be trouble). Sometimes I eat outside just for a change of scenery, and the school is not as dirty as some claim (especially for an open-air school).
My son will be graduating in May 2009, and he has had a wonderful fours years at this school. Stoneman Douglas High offers some of the most rigourous AP classes in math and science, whereas students at other schools do not get the opportunity to take these college level classes. The teachers are wonderful, and for the most part, truly love their job.
I am a current student at douglas and I love it. The extracurriculars are outstanding. As far as comments on the dirtiness, this is inevitable since the school is open-air. The cafeteria is big enough, but some kids, like me, find it too cold and consequently outside. I wouldn't know about how 'average joes' are treated considering I'm an AP student, but I do think MSD is a great school, and I feel very accepted here.
I graduated from MSD in 2004. Like any teenager going through high school, I had my ups and downs. The classes I took were challenging and the teachers were all very helpful. I agree that the guidance department could be fixed... my guidance counselor told me I would never make it in a 4 year university, yet here I am, about to graduate from FSU, and move on to grad school. I didn't feel athletes were teated any differently then then rest of the students. Students who spoke out more were liked more, only because teachers were able to get to know them better. The teachers worked with you to make sure that you understood what was going on in class; 'A's were not just given out unless you deserved them. High school is a difficlt time for most people, but I thought that my time at MSD was terrific.
I disagree with what some of the parents say. Yes, it is true that if you're in a sports program, you tend to get preferential treatment. But isn't that the way with the real world as well, with our professional athletes getting ten times the salary as a teacher? Additionally, while I agree that the English department is lacking, the math department in my experience was excellent, and challenged kids from every level, not just 'the AP students.'
I just graduated in 2007 and while I will admit that the school has its faults, I never felt unsafe or pressured into doing illicit activities like some parents have commented. The guidance department could be improved, as I basically had to do all of my college planning by myself, with the exception of Mrs. Bloom, who was very helpful throughout the entire year. Yes, sports are favored as well as those students who do well in AP classes, but it's expected because those students bring the school recognition and money. It does not mean that the 'average Joes' are ignored. All in all, I had a positive experience at this school and while it was easy to get 'A's' I still felt well prepared for college.
I am now finding out first hand that the information I heard before my child attended MSD is true. If you dont get good grades, you struggle in class, or are not in sports, you might as well be invisible. My experience with guidance was very scary, ESE seemed to dissapear, and communication seems to be one sided. It appears some teachers expect you to teach yourself. So to all of those other parents who posted comments I am backing you up. If you are not an AP student, this school obviously does not want you there.
Right now I am a high school senior currently attending MSD. I have to say it has been one of the best experiences for me, and all the problems that the parents are talking about are not necessarily true. The cafeteria has plenty of room, if anything, too much. For the people who sit outside, it is because they choose to do so, there used to be way to many people until Coral Glades was opened. The teachers are the school are amazing, and the strict (aka hard teachers) are indeed hard, but believe me when i tell you, the harder the teacher, the more you get out of the education you want to receive. I am the 'avg joe' you speak of, and I have not had a problem in this school, I am maintaining A's and B's with no problem, and have gotten into some very good Colleges.
MSD is adequate. My child recently transferred from a local private school where he struggled and now is doing quite well. Most of his teachers are fine, but one can barely speak the language and my child has difficulty understanding class work. My child's courses were not all available to him so he has to repeat a class he already has credit for. The teachers are adequately responsive; no comparison to private school, however. Some of his friends are in non-honors classes and report severe discipline issues, ie. throwing chairs at each other during class. The school seems overcrowded; perhaps I'm accustomed to different standards. Academics are fine; not horribly challenging-- but adequate. My son will definitely find it easier to attain better grades.
My oldest child just graduated from Douglas, class of 2007 and my youngest is an incoming freshman. The administration sets a very positive tone for the staff and students. Academicaly I believe that the school is outstanding.Outside extra activities are so plenriful. I must say that all of the hallways are filthy, appears that it has not been done since the end of last school year. In addition, there are definitely not enough seats in the cafeteria.If you can't get there quickly you consequently have no seat. You are then forced to find an empty outside bench, or just walk around.That issue does need to be addressed.
I am proud to be an alum of this great school. Overcrowding is not the fault of the school, rather the school district. The faculty and staff do all they can and they ddo a great job!
I don't know which Stoneman Douglas parents/students are talking about, but in my opinion, NOT the Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland! My daughter has attended Stoneman for two years. The school is horrible! Administration is apathetic (unless maybe if your child is in AP classes). Overcrowding and portables are numerous. Bathrooms are smelly and dirty. I also witnessed trash on the school grounds. The school is overdue for a face lift. Currently, it is what I call 'jail house' gray. This might encourage kids to take more pride in their school. No one seems to really care.
I am not actually a parent, but I am actually an alumni of MSD. I graduated back in June of 2004. I took AP classes and was involved in several clubs. This school prepared me academically for college and I will be graduating this June a year early and will be attending Nova on Scholarship for law school. My sister graduated this past June from Douglas and my brother is currently a sophomore, they both did equally as well in Douglas. My sister was really in to drama and was in all the school plays and my bro is in all gifted classes. This school offers many different classes, so it has some kind of class that interests everyone.
I did not realize how good this school was until we moved! Class selection is broad. Teachers are excellent. The curriculum is strong and well prepares students for AP exams. High expectations of teachers are exceeded!
To much emphasis on FCAT and being number one. Overcrowded. For an upscale town, the kids have to go to class in trailers. No discipline in the classrooms. If your child is not an AP student, don't send them here. If you don't want your child to get into ilicit activities, don't send them here. Just because the school is 'A' rated doesn't make it A good school.
Focus too much on hitting numbers, not on actual learning. Emphasis on having kids take AP courses so school scores high on ratings reports.
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