My sons are still friends with those he made at this school. Although the school is lacking in some ways, the overall goal is to educate. The IB program turns out kids that are competent and poised to interact as leaders in our community and nation. I think it is the best education that Leon County has to offer. The teachers are dedicated, talented, and offer more support to students than is required of teachers in more affluent schools in the county. The diversity at Rickards gave my sons the opportunity to have friends with similar academic goals and ability as they. These friends are of many cultures, including African-American, Indian, Chinese, Nigerian, Egyptian, Native American, Philipino, Korean, and more. What a wonderful opportunity to go to school with children that are different from him, rather than to go to a school with a homogeneous population. It provides a very global experience. I am very glad that my children went to Rickards.
I absolutely hated my first experience with this school! Absolutely hated it! The very mention of this school gives me a headache. I should have listened when my son begged me to enroll him in another school for his freshman year. Now to withdraw him I'm having the hardest time. Ugh! Really? To withdraw? Ugh! Thanks alot for a very unpleasant experience for my son AND for me! And you wonder why you have three star's?
It's just like every other school people talk bad about this school but just like the other high schoolshere in tallahassee they have over 150+ graduate every year so they must be doing something right. You can't talk bad about a school until you have experienced it. People just give Rickards a bad name because of what people say. They do the same things that go on at other high schools. It's name is just worser, because they are on the southside of town. Now isn't that something to think about.
I am a parent of a 9th grader who loves the school. His teachers are so good he doesn't want to miss school even when he is sick. The new principal has brough trememdous energy and enthusiasm to Rickards. The IB program is particularly impressive and graduates some the of the brightest students around. For example, the Mu Alpha Theta team (Math team) is one of the best in the country. Great math teachers including Ms. Funk, Mr. Fraser and Mr. Kiser among others.
This is the worst school I have ever seen. The only good thing is the IB Program, and it definately not worth sending your child there. The general students are irresponsible, and they are rude and ignorant. In my opinion they should move the IB Program to a school like Leon or Lincoln or Chiles. I walked onto the campus and immediatly felt unsafe. I don't even think the cameras work. There is barely any disipline, and none of the students there actually care about an education. Rickards is the reason I put my childrebn in private schools.
With a new principal at Rickards, things have really turned around. As many of the posts below have described, the IB program at Rickards is fantastic, but was not valued by the previous administration. The new administration not only values IB but sees that it is the most important part of the school--the new principal is also very caring and involved.
The IB program is keeping Rickards from being a perpetul 'F' school. It's a great program that is both challenging and rewarding. As a former student, I would highly recommend to students that are willing to work a little extra in high school. Even with the challenging curriculum, I had plenty of time for extracurricular activities. I played a sport for 4 years and was also in the National Honor Society. As high as I rate the IB program, the opposite is true of the rest of the school. I completely disagree with the poster that said the administration works hard. It is very apparent that [the principal] would rather not have the IB program at Rickards, and makes decisions regarding the program accordingly. The parental involvement is practically nonexistent outside of IB parents.
If I could rate only the IB Program, this school would have 5 stars! The IB Program is a definate plus for this school. I am in agreeance with previous input here, if it were not for this magnet program the school would fail. The Administration shows a lack of concern from the learning environment to the extracurricular (including sports) The online grading system is great, but the teachers are slack in updating. It would be nice to have a principal that cared for the students, that would make all the difference in the world!!
As a long time parent and supporter of Rickards High School, I can attest to the dedication of the Principal and his staff. They work long and hard hours to make sure that the students and parents have what they need to be successful. There is not a harder working group of people anywhere in our district. The students appreciate the extra help with homework assignments, class projects and as a parent I appreciate having access to information that I need to insure my child's success. Rickards does not receive the positive support that it deserves from the local media, but those of us on the inside know what is really going on and what makes this school as successful as it has been. Our band has been invited to perform in the Orange Bowl in 01/08 and the academic and athletic programs stand shoulder to shoulder with any other school.