My second child is now almost done with her first semester at DHMS. Her experience has been nothing short of fabulous. The academics, the organizational skills and personal responsibility, and social and world awareness she's developing are truly invaluable. She's made so many new friends from different elementary schools and both she and I adore the vast majority of her teachers. As for the principal, I concur with other reviewers: Mrs. Taylor is as good as principals come - she is a rock star in the eyes of students and parents!
DHMS has exceeded my expectations and my son is clearly learning and happy there. He is in 7th grade. When he was mildly bullied at the beginning of 6th grade I informed his teachers. They responded in a way that was both effective and sensitive... and enrolled the bully in a sensitivity program. The "bully" came up to my son and gave him a sincere apology 10 days later, and the two have been good friends ever since. Amazing! Middle schoolers can and will be mean, but the school's response was stellar. I have been very impressed by the new principal Jackie Taylor and the team system has been great for my son. The "connections" classes (French, Music, etc) have also broadened his horizons. I think DHMS is an excellent middle school.
So far we have been very impressed with the new Principal, Ms. Taylor and what she has been doing for this school. She took over last year (2013) and already we see change in the air! As two Doctoral level parents, we strongly feel education the key to the future of our children and the foundation of, well, everything. I personally am on a mission to get more parents involved and really make this school great.
Druid Hills Middle (DHMS) has had several years of excellent principals and very active parent/PTO involvement, a proven formula for success. DHMS is one of the most diverse schools in the nation, offers IB pathway, and broad extracurricular offerings. The campus, a former high school, has ample athletic fields, one of the best cross country courses in the metro area. Counselors, special education are outstanding. While middle school years are rough at all schools, DHMS has something to offer each child, keep them busy, educate them, and hopefully have some fun along the way. Look out for the annual Ossabaw Island marine science trip at Skidaway/MAREX facility near Savannah each year.
My school is diverse. The teachers are nice. The trip to Ossabaw in 7th grade was awesome. The Beta Club trips are fun. In 8th grade there are opportunities to take some classes for high school credit.
Druid Hills Middle School serves an incredibly diverse population (demographically, educationally) with the limitations inherent in many of our nation's school districts (finances, politics, large central offices). One of my children is now at the high school and my other child is in 7th grade. They received an excellent education, academically challenging and grounded in the real world. Is everything perfect? Of course not. Its middle school so, inherently, it can never be perfect. There are some great teachers but no school has only great teachers (its as true here as it is at an Ivy League school). And, while I am cautious about over-relying on test results, I can see from the results for my children that they have learned much. Leadership is strong. Principal Taylor is in her second year, having spent a number of years as the AP both at the middle school and Druid Hills High School. She is also a parent so she is attuned to the constant challenges arising in middle school. At the end of the day, I judge a school by whether my children are happy, educationally challenged and well prepared for the world in which they live. On these criteria, DHMS does the job.
Druid Hills Middle has an excellent group of teachers who really go out of their way to make this school a better place. Although my children moved onward and upward several years ago, teachers who had them frequently ask about them by name when I meet them. The new principal, Jackie Taylor, has been an acknowledged leader in our feeder pattern for several years, and she is a real proponent for getting new parents involved. DHMS brings together kids from an astounding variety of social, ethnic, and racial backgrounds and does a good job of motivating all of the students.