For a smaller school Solon HS has a lot going for it. Academics has gotten better over the years and there is a high percentage of experienced, quality teachers. Solon HS features several outstanding programs and participation is encouraged. This includes sports, fine arts, and other clubs. Being near several colleges and a big 10 university is a plus. Job opportunities, internships and other good programs are available nearby. Solon has many small town aspects and some people moving there for the athletic opportunities, but there are plenty of things to recommend.
I moved to Solon for the wireless high school, believing that administrators, teachers and students would be competitive nationally in global media. After volunteering for 2 years 3-4 times per week, I placed my child in a local school that took its orchestra to the Julliard in NYC and which had its choral group accepted for a Carnegie Hall performance. That school focused on our children competing nationally and internationally. Students competed from local through state levels with goals of national recognition, which my child achieved. First job out of college was with a nationally known entity that recognized quality. Second job is the dream-come-true job at $102,000 doing what was desired since 7th grade. None of this would have happened through academia in Solon. Sports and coaches run the administrators. An "ELP" program does nothing. No partnering with engineers for national STEM work, no mentoring from world famous Writer's Workshop folks, no art although artists abound in this area, no eyes on ivy league schools. Teach to the tests! No field trips to museums, theater, dance, Hoover Museum, History Center, NYC. Go to community colleges, stay near home, get jobs, repeat
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!
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.