My family and I love HMES! It is like a family to us. The teachers, the Principal, the guidance counselors, the custodians - everyone makes you feel like part of the family at HMES. The population is diverse which really represents the real world and exposes our children to all types of cultures. My children have been successful at Henderson Middle and Lakeside because of the preparation they received at Henderson Mill. Go visit! You'll be glad you did.
This flurry of recent reviews all posted on the same day is quite interesting. Just before the Open House too. I feel compelled to speak. I would not recommend this school at all. I have had 3 children attend for varying amounts of time several years apart. Each time I thought surely it must be better now. But alas it is not. I ended up pulling each one out even though I certainly wanted the neighborhood school to work. I had high hopes for the new principal and while he is nice and friendly nothing has really changed on the classroom level. The academics are not rigorous unless you define rigorous as lots of meaningless homework. Lots of projects and worksheets to be done at home. Hours of busy work. The school loves to give kids awards to make students and parents proud. The thinking is along the lines of "if my child received an award then the school must be great." Many of the top students do end up leaving for other programs - magnet schools, charter schools and private schools. Putting the gloss of STEM over everything has not changed this school. There are many students who need lots of extra help. The classroom sizes are too big and the teachers can't handle the large range of abilities inevitably neglecting the higher achievers. The Discovery program makes the parents feel good but doesn't do much for the students academically. The school may be diverse but it is also very divisive broken down into the haves and have nots. It is really sad to watch this. You should investigate and think very carefully before enrolling your child here. Don't be taken in by the hype. Go visit on your own not during the open house or a formal tour. Sit in on a class. Make an informed decision.
HMES is a fantastic school! My husband and I looked at every possible option, even touring several private schools because we thought that was the only way to give our child a high-quality education. We were absolutely incorrect in limiting our options to private schools for success. After meeting with the principal, Mr. Green, we were completely sold on the school, and we have never second guessed that decision. Here are the reasons we love HMES:
Academics - The academics at HMES are rigorous and challenging, but appropriate to each child's level of learning. If your child is struggling to read, the reading specialists will provide intensive support to get the child on reading level. If your child is gifted and reading well above their level, the teachers provide age- appropriate books and support on their level.
Leadership - The positive learning environment starts from the top. The principal is an outstanding leader who constantly looks for new ways to improve the school. He participates in a weekly math competition with the students to help them with math fact fluency. He knows the name of the students and is continuously monitoring each child's individual academic progress.
Staff - The teachers are fun, innovative, and engaging educators who take learning to new levels that are relevant to the children and make an impression on them.
STE(A)M - The STE(A)M program is incorporated into everything. STEM offers a great project-based approach to learning, and students participate in weekly "Connections" classes in Art, Music, Science, Library (media center), and most importantly they have PE daily. The arts teachers weave art subjects into STEM learning.
Community - HMES offers lots of Friday night family-friendly events that allow the children and their families to feel part of a community working toward similar goals.
Communication - The school has fantastic communication with frequent updates via letters, email, text, Facebook, Remind, and Twitter.
If you are on the fence, please don't be scared away by the Title I status. This wonderfully diverse population of students and teachers will offer your child a great deal of balance in recognizing that the world is a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, and that there is much to be learned from others.
HMES is a great school. When we first looked at schools, we were hesitant to explore public school education, but have been absolutely delighted with our choice to attend HMES. Positives for us are the great teaching staff, wonderful leadership from the principal, well-kept facilities, innovation in the classroom, weekly art and music instruction and PE every day, a high expectation for student performance, real-world diversity, a great gifted program, a strong foundation and many opportunities for parent involvement. Unlike some other schools, HMES doesn't hand-pick students, so ratings and test scores are reflective of a school that works to educate each and every child regardless of background, experience, reading level, or special needs. We were going to make a decision about schools based on computer data and other people's uninformed opinions. Thank goodness we chose to take a tour and see for ourselves what it's really like. We have loved it here.