This is my oldest's fourth year at Henderson Mill and my youngest's first. I was generally pleased with the school for our first couple of years, but have grown to love it even more since I have come to understand all of the various considerations.
A. Daily PE is HUGE. In addition to recess, the kids are pushed to exercise by a terrific coach, which helps immensely with their ability to concentrate the rest of the day.
B. STEM education is taken seriously: students are competing in robotics competitions, learning aquaponics, producing daily news in a video studio, releasing small fry (baby fish), engaging with a variety of technologies, and experimenting with materials in creating at all levels.
C. The full-time art and music teachers are fantastic. They are working with the full-time science teacher on cross-disciplinary STEAM projects, which not only better engage the students, but also show them how various interests can be integrated to make learning fun. I am constantly blown away by the art created by the students and am delighted to have chorus, band, and a strings orchestra available to my children.
D. My children have been lucky not to struggle with reading, so I have not had much interaction with the literacy instruction, but I have not heard complaints. Two academic coaches provide assistance and the Fountas & Pinnell leveling system is the gold standard.
E. The administration is responsive. When a parent expressed confusion about the Common Core "new math", the principal responded by hosting a Math Night, at which teachers at each grade level explained what students are doing, taught ways that parents can assist their children, and, perhaps most importantly, answered parents' questions. If, as mentioned in a prior review, a teacher does not respond to parents, the administration is open and helpful in resolving issues. Most of the teachers are wonderful and great communicators; a few are not.
F. Diversity! I love that this school has such a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures represented. Children learn so much from being exposed to friends with experiences different from their own. I believe everyone benefits from the value placed on and provided by every individual.
I was hesitant about sending my gifted child to a public school and seriously investigated private schools instead. I am very glad that I have my child at Henderson Mill. In addition to being the first elementary school in Georgia with STEM certification, Henderson Mill has a VERY strong Discovery (gifted) program. The school doesn't just pay lip service to its STEM program. The children have constant and ongoing emphasis on Sciences and Mathematics. The new principle is outstanding. He is very hands on when it comes to the education of the children within his school, going so far as to "race" the kids in mathmatics on a weekly basis. In addition, the gifted program is strongly emphasized and is a pull-out program. My gifted child is encouraged to excel both in the Discovery class and in the homeroom class. I would highly recommend that if you want a great, learning environment for your child, Henderson Mill is an excellent choice.
Overall I think it's a good school but could use some improvements. I agree with a previous review that states that the school is not parent friendly. I have been emailing my son's 5th grade teacher for about a month now, requesting a conference and about homework. I have yet to get a response from her. I do not like that. I prefer to be involved in my child's schooling and not answering my emails or returning phone calls is not a good thing to me. We will be moving to Henry County in the next few weeks. Hopefully the new school will be better.
My son has been at HMES since kindergarten. He is in 2nd grade now. This school Is awesome. Friendly environment. My son could read perfectly in kindergarten. Thanks to his wonderful teachers. I LOVE this school and recommend it 100%
With the help from Henderson Mill my daughter has excelled in learning to read, write and speak. She is in a special needs classroom and the teachers treat them with respect and take the time to adjust their teaching skills to help the children understand. They communicate on a regular bases to discuss whats working or NOT with my child, they included me in all around decision and help me understand why they came to a certain decision. They are professional at all times and they care for the well being of ALL children not just mine and in today's time that mean allot to ANY parent. The doctors did not think my daughter would speak and she is reading, writing and talking do to the help of the teachers. As a parent of a special needs child you have your moments when you melt down! But the teachers help build you back up and let you know your not in this fight alone and they help you along the way. Over and beyond is a under statement of the staff members and with all the things going on in the world this schools makes the world a better place and the safety of your child is never in question. I appreciate everything the schools does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HMES is a wonderful school. The teachers are fabulous and the new principal is very caring and involved (as was the previous principal). The parents are the icing on the cake. Parents are involved and make this school a community!
HMES is a wonderful school, based in the neighborhood, with a great community and active parent involvement. The school was the first K-5 school in GA to become state STEM certified (Science Technology Engineering and Math). It has very dedicated teachers, a diverse population, and committed parents who organize night events, fund field trips, etc The school has PE everyday (rare in metro Atlanta), art, music, a dedicated science teacher, and all the special education teachers needed. You will not be disappointed if you send your children there. It also offers an active after school program with free activities, as well as other ones for a small fee. In 5th grade, students can choose band and/or orchestra. The gifted program is also a strength of the school. I love the discovery teacher who tries to expand the students' abilities and horizons even more. The biggest strength I see, is that teachers work together, teachers and parents also work together, and all the children benefit. A very good sign too, is that staff and teachers usually ask for their own children to come to this school!!
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, art and music instruction and PE, a high expectation for student performance, a great gifted program, and many opportunities for parent involvement.