My two boys attended Owyhee for half a year after we moved to Boise. Before you enroll, you should know something about the Harbor method and think about whether your child would thrive in that environment. One of mine did and the other didn't. They are both very well-behaved and didn't get into any trouble, but it is over the top strict. One of my boys is a militant rule follower, so he liked all the structure and all the praise he got for following the rules to a tee. My other son, though, is really creative, more of a free spirit type who has a lot of ideas and doesn't like to be told exactly what to do all the time. After he had been at Owyhee for a few months, my husband remarked that "the spark has just gone out of him." I know of someone else in the same situation. The teachers are all very hard working and want to help the kids, and the staff really tried to accommodate my older son because he needed harder assignments, but I don't think the Harbor Method works for all kids. They attend a different school now, and we're much happier. If you have a child who excels with structure, Owyhee may be right for you. If not, you might want to think twice about it.
The principle, teachers, and entire staff maintain high standards for themselves, and for the students. Misbehavior and bullying are not tolerated. The children have parents and teachers who are committed to helping them succeed. They always out perform the district, which always out performs the other nearby districts, as well as the state averages of course. The harbor method may not be every parents' cup of tea, but you can't argue with success.
This school is antiquated in its approach to classroom control and behavioral management. It methodizes control beyond what is healthy for children--especially in the arena of early childhood education. The Harbor method does not effectively teach problem solving and community mindedness. Instead, if a child is struggling with big emotions or frustration, the child is shamed and punished. This is our first and last year here. My child has never felt less safe in a learning environment than she does here. And she is a gifted, high achieving student. I had a child in kindergarten, 1st, and 3rd grade. I quickly removed my kindergartner and 1st grader upon learning some of the methodology used in the classroom. My kids often reported that their teachers were angry or looked angry or spoke mean to the class. I was hoping my 3rd grader would be okay while I looked for another option for her. My waiting has resulted in a lot of pain and sadness on the part of my student. Yes, she is spunky and will push the line. However, shaming her will never produce a happy result. Ever. If you have another choice in schools, take it.
Owyhee Elementary (Harbor School) was originally not our first choice for schools for my kindergartner, for we were put on a waiting list for a different school and didn't get in. However, now we are SO GLAD we ended up at Owyhee. The curriculum is outstanding and the school-teacher-parent communication has been excellent. My kindergartner is thriving and loves Owyhee, and so do I.
My daughter went to Calvary Chapel Boise for kindergarten and loved it, but could not afford their tuition with a new addition to our family. My child gets frustrated easily, and at Calvary, they were able to deal with her easily and they were able to work through her frustrations (acting out by ignoring the teacher). This school seems very intolerant of my child's "choosing to not participate". They state they don't have time to deal with her. The principal has already threatened to pull my daughter out of the school because she had to spend a whole hour with my kid yesterday. She has been in school now for 4 weeks. My child does not like this school. I have offered to come in whenever they want my daughter acts up, but they have only called me one day. Everyday I receive communication about my child's behavior from my teacher, and I see improvement to more positive behavior, but the principal is completely intolerant of any misbehavior. As a parent, I have participated in a meeting, am observing in the classroom, have grounded my child to her room, taken away 2 toys all night when she is bad, have offered to come in, but they don't care.
I have a fourth grader attending this Owyhee-Harbor and it is a great school. All students learn at an accelerated level, especially in math. Their curriculum is excellent and the teachers love teaching. They arrange students by ability groupings so that every child is challenged. It's amazing what the kids learn and they love school.
Let me start by saying, last year this school's kindergarten IRI scores ranked #1 in the Boise school district, and state. If you are looking for a great education for your child, I highly recommend checking out Owyhee Harbor. This is a Harbor method school. My child has never come home complaining about another child's behavior or his teachers rules. A harbor school has school wide expectations for all of the childrens behavior. The goal is to create a safe harbor for high academics. I love not having to worry about my child while he is gone. Around 60% of the children are open enrollment because their parents choose to drive them here.
We are imports to the Owyhee Harbor School! I don't think we could have made a better choice for our daughter as a start to her education. Not only is the learning outstanding at this school but she is known and cared for by the entire staff. She is safe and is learning values of caring and kindness by treating others well and accepting all of their differences. Their is structure and discipline consistent in the entire school which makes this school a safe learning environment for our children. We get all of this and it is a public school with great test scores! You can't get any better than that! We will continue to drive out of our school zone to take our daughter to this fabulous school. The students have many academic and sport programs at their hands as well. Can't say enough good about this school.
Owyhee is a Harbor school meaning the basis of the school is a 'safe harbor' for children to learn. My children have now attended this school for both years it has been a Harbor School and we couldn't be more pleased. The school is very structured, and class times are very disciplined, so children are not distracted by disruptive or disrespectful behavior. Expected behaviors are outlined from the beginning of the year and are held to throughout the school year. The principal and teachers work together with parents and students to set high, but achievable goals. My daughter began Kindergarten last year, and we have worked through their reading program with her. Now, in first grade, she is reading the fourth book in the Harry Potter series! Our son in fifth grade has continued to improve academically due to the excellent teachers and challenges he has had placed before him.