I have got to say, I graduated from SHS a year ago and I don't believe that the academics are lacking in the least. There are other schools that are way worse off than Solon is and really Solon isn't bad at all. It is true that they could stand to update the books in the classroom, but the students are given the option to take AP classes as well as college level classes in their junior and senior years. Yes, it is true that a big focus is the sports but the music department actually has participation from about 1/3 of the school, and the arts program overall is growing every year. I think Solon was actually a fantastic place to be.
Solon High School itself is great- the AP kids can take class at the community college, there is an incredible Fine Arts department, and they have some truly outstanding teachers. The problem with Solon is the town. The PARENTS are sports obsessed, and they have crowned the athletic director emperor of the school. Nothing happens in this school if it interferes with his agenda. We built a multi-million dollar football stadium for a town of about 2000 people! And the middle school still puts buckets out in the hallway every time it rains...This place has seriously messed up priorities.
This school is somewhat athletically focused as others mention, but going to college on an athletic scholarship, I appreciate that it can be just as important as the academic element at times. There is a great sense of community here. The town is generally financially well off so the kids often wear nicer clothes and drive nicer cars than some high schools. My daughter had plenty of AP options with Kirkwood and the U of I nearby and entered college a full semester ahead with AP credits. I am really scared of a new grading system that I hear rumors about that does not have A through F grading. Some things just work and A through F grading does, it prepares for college, any other style won't be an advantage to college-bound students.
The location of this school and size are perfect. The administration, teachers and students strive to be the best. The students have a wide variety of classes and extracurriculars to choose from. All extracurriculars are valued and excel. A great school!
Solon High School does not give 'A' students an opportunity to excel. There are not enough AP classes or electives. The school is centered around sports and not scholastic achievement.
It is interesting to read the aforementioned comments regarding academic success at Solon High School. Solon consistently outscores (ITED composites) competing schools in the area and offers its students many opportunities for higher learning. With the option of Advanced Placement courses at the high school, as well as classes to be taken at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood(CC), students are able to adequately foster their intellectual needs. Those who choose not to identify with these programs are also able to foster their education through Solon's outstanding teaching staff. It is apparent that the opportunities for success are well defined. Solon also offers an excellent environment with its extra-curricular activities. Not only are the sporting programs top-notch, the fine-arts programs also compete/function at an amazing level as compared to similar districts. It is easy to say that these programs 'show/prove themselves.' SHS is quality at the highest level!
The solon elementary school is really good, but the quality of education gradually goes down as you get older. In junior high, some of the teachers are excellent, but others don't seem to be interested in teaching. They seem to prefer to coach the school sports teams which seem to be the focus of the school district. Being a motivated student at the school district, I experienced myself as being considered an overachiever. I was very disappointed in the ELP programs. Though they say that they offer a program, it turned out to be run mostly by parents of other ELP students. Certainly, students weren't encouraged to challenge themselves. Upon entering highschool, students are discouraged from taking more advanced classes that most highschools encourage. In some cases, students and parents had to fight with the school district to take the correct level math class. However, the music program is excellent.
I used to teach at Solon High School, but left the district because of many difficulties. The academics were being watered down, the discipline was eroding, and the new administration was difficult to talk to. I was so discouraged; I felt as if a formerly excellent district had become obsessed with public relations and getting good press coverage. Many teachers left for the same reason. Teachers were not encouraged to engage in professional debate; the educational philosophy was handed down from the superintendent. I switched to another district and now teach in a school approximately 6 times the size of Solon High School. The contrast could not be starker - teachers are encouraged to ask questions, the students are expected to master difficult material and there are high standards of discipline. I went from feeling like a harrassed puppet on a string to a competent and valued professional.
Solon is a small school with no virtually no diversity in it's student population or staff. The school administration say they want input in from community but, they ignore all constructive suggestions as to improving the education in the district. The students who aspire to do more and want alternative challenges are really discouraged from seeking them. The counseling staff, principal and many teachers hide from the students because they cannot communicate on the student's intellectual level. It is such a shame, the student population in this district could be the leaders of our world tommorrow and are taught at this school to be underachievers. This is a great school for average to below average students. They will be the above average students in this system. The really smart kids underachieve due to absolute pure boredom in this system of busywork and lack of intellect.
I am actually I student at the high school and I don't know who wrote the above article but they made our high school sound like it has more problems then it really does. While some of it may be true it is not to that extent. We have some really, really great teachers and the arts and music programs are really growing. While sports may be a large part of our community it is not everything and we have several other activities and clubs available for students to join. One of the really nice things about our high school is that it is new and has a lot of great things!
In my humble opinion: The gifted program is a joke. There is no support for it from the administration. Sports is everything. There is very little support for the arts. The superintendent is a micromanager whom few like. He plans everything with his cronies behind the backs of the community. He gives zero respect to women. He wants to be buddies with everyone, so the teachers have no accountability. The students are wonderful, but the parents won't speak up publically for justice. The high school principal lays low and keeps his job. Books are antiquated, although the wireless HS building is new! Too bad they forgot electrical outlets for the laptops at student desks.
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