This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Dupont Manual High School5
Posted February 03, 2015
- a parent
You will hear that you have skipped high school and gone straight to college level here and it is true. The kids here are here to learn or excel in their Art form. It is hard to get in but get your child on track now. Montessori or self directed learning programs will NOT prepare your child for this school. Lots of homework and Lots of opportunity.
Some teachers are excellent; others are lazy, i.e., no grades posted for more than 8 weeks of instruction. If a student is 18 and cuts school, there are NO consequences. I think the school is afraid that if they push the issue with the kids, the kids will drop out...and Manual's precious statistics will be hurt. As long as you make the school look good, everything is great. Kids who have problems are ignored. This is wrong. I'm a retired teacher, and I understand the demands on teachers' time. But for the most part, Manual does not live up to its reputation. I'm very disappointed.
Manual's status isn't unwarranted. In my experience what truly makes Manual different is the students. Each magnet is filled with with kids who are not only well rounded, but also outstanding at their specialty. For instance the 500 member, hardcore academic Math Science Technology Magnet has an average ACT score of 32 (This is insane - this is comparable to the average ACT score of students at ivy league institutions). The Youth Performing Arts School puts on entire shows including the lighting, choreography, prop design, everything that almost seem professional and sends musicians to Julliard on a regular basis. The communications magnet regularly produces a yearbook that wins national recognition as the BEST IN THE NATION. You could fill pages with superlative accomplishments like these. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that the motivation behind these initiatives comes from the students. I went to a private school before attending Manual and the difference between the two is both the best and worst thing about Manual - It is like the real world where you are responsible for making choices that ensure your success. You have to show initiative.
Whoever posted "Manual is a incredibly snobbish. If you miss one day of school, you will" I have a few bones to pick with you. The whole idea of this 'Manual hand chooses students..' Why shouldnt they? Of course a school should hand pick their students and Manual strives to choose THE BEST. We choose the best students that we believe can take the rigor of advanced classes and AP courses. It should be an honor to be in Manual. I am a MST student and as a sophomore, I take AP Physics and AP Chem. We have magnets so we can CHOOSE the best students to teach. In ways it does matter how you teach students and in some ways it doesnt (take statistics) and if you have students who just want to pass a grade, send them elsewhere. At Manual, we pride ourselves at being the best. The BEST we can be, through both natural selection and the rigors of teaching. The fact that you puul from a lottery or you feed from Barret has nothing to do with anything; I went to a Catholic K-8 school and I am still one of the tops of MST. It does matter that we pick students. To be the best you must have the best setting possible and I think that duPont Manual has the absolute best setting for gifted students.
This is by far the best school in Jefferson County. You are completely prepared for the rigor level of college. It teaches students to be responsible. I mean, the professors in college aren't going to constantly remind you about missing assignments or your failing grade, so the teachers here don't. But, you have to be prepared for a lot of hard work. If you can't stand the pressure in high school, imagine college! Another great thing is the diversity. Due to the different magnets, you will be in classes with people with varying interests and backgrounds. And, to address a previous review, if you start comparing Manual to Male, you can't just look at the state rankings. There is a reason Manual comes first, the difference is tremendous! Also the rivalry with Male is just a way to show our immense school spirit. We take pride in our school, unlike most other highs schools. The red/white block schedule gives you more time each meeting with your teacher. Plus, it gives you an extra day to do your homework. XD I 100% recommend applying, it is an amazing experience. :)
Manual is a incredibly snobbish. If you miss one day of school, you will be trying to catch up for WEEKS! And, the whole red/white day thing can be confusing. Especially since the students are always so busy, and piled with homework and projects. When i went there, I was on the honor roll with all a's and b's, but i was so stressed out all the time! i couldn't imagine 4 more years of that! Everyone was so....competitive and aggressive. The rivalry with male was...insane. I transferred to Male, actually. And it amazes me, Manual HAND PICKS ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS, and Male pulls from Barret, JCTMS, Johnson, and a lottery, and Male is #2 in the state. Male doesn't choose their students, THEY TEACH THEM. The point is,don't choose Manual. Choose Ballard, or Male, or Eastern, or Butler. Not Manual.
Manual is overrated. Some teachers there are fantastic educators who care deeply about the students. Others do not want to be bothered with a student who isn't off-the-charts brilliant in every subject. I found a couple of teachers to be downright complacent, even lazy. Administration is ineffective when it comes to ensuring the emotional safety of students subjected to harassment by other students. School counselors are completely overwhelmed with a 450:1 counselor/student ratio. (There are 4 counselors for approx. 1,800 students.) I don't know where the 18:1 student/teacher ratio came from, my kid was always in classes of at least 22+ students. My repeated, sustained efforts to engage teachers, school counselors, and administration in supporting my struggling child were exhausting and ultimately unfruitful. Sports coaches have little oversight. There is no process in place for parents to voice concerns about coaches without running the risk of getting their own kid benched or cut from a team. My child now attends another Blue Ribbon National School of Excellence (private) high school and is flourishing there, both academically and socially.
Not trying to be cocky, but Manual truly is, hands down, the best high school in JCPS. Teachers are blessed to have Intelligent and motivated students and students are blessed to have amazing and passionate teachers. Every student feels at home and enjoys their high school experience. At Manual, seniors don't ask one another 'hey are you going to college?' they ask, 'what college are you going to attend?' If you are a worried parent, do not hesitate to send your kids here; they will recieve a wonderful education.