I'm not sure what curriculum the commenters went through or had their children go through, but our child is gifted and the school was very flexible in accelerating the course work and accommodating our child's abilities. Their is also a huge amount of help for those who need extra support. The general quality of the teaching and administration is excellent, none better in Maine. Weak spots are the integrated math curriculum which should be returned to algebra-geometry-trig, and the lack of willingness to let kids fail when they are failing. College and the workworld don't always provide the safety net provided here. The overall experience as a way to grow up beats the pressure cooker at large suburban schools near large cities by a large margin.
I am excelling at a top-tier college right now, and I owe it all to Yarmouth High School. Yarmouth has an undoubtedly challenging curriculum, but the work is worth it. The teachers were warm and brilliant, classmates friendly and accepting, and classes demanding yet fun. Students share a more liberal perspective, and there's more socio-economic diversity than there is in Cape Elizabeth or Falmouth, which adds to an appreciative and accepting student body (even while there is so little racial diversity). Students, despite the "Yarmouth bubble" of middle-class wealth, are engaged in community service not only at the local level but at the national and global level as well. There is definitely a progressive/unique vibe at Yarmouth, represented by the open-minded and creative students.
I am a parent who moved to Yarmouth from another school system. My child has been in a public urban school, and then was in private school. Yarmouth High School has been a vast improvement over both, and my daughter loves it. My daughter is an above average student, she is appropriately challenged, has some extraordinarily good teachers. I would say much of the work she brings home encourages the development of her own view. I do agree that what makes this school "great" is the affluent, highly educated parents of students in Yarmouth, and this limits diversity and gives the school a lift that other communities don't have. And not every teacher is extraordinary, there are a couple of "average" teachers whose style don't match my daughter's. But overall, I find the staff to be responsive, committed, and experienced.
I don't think you need to be student to assess whether a school promotes creativity over conformity. In fact, I think parents are in a better position to assess this. Original thinking is neither promoted nor recognized, there is stifling uniformity of political belief, and a lack intellectual excitement at the school. Perhaps it suffers in my eyes because I'm comparing it to the parochial school I attended. But, after carefully guiding my children through 12 years each in the Yarmouth School System, its intellectually conservative and rewards for conformity are apparent. But, I urge you to investigate for yourself.
'Second, the school does not promote creative thinking, placing an emphasis on conformity and memorization' Personally, I believe you have to be a student to be qualified to make that kind of statement. As a senior at this school, I completely and utterly disagree. Throughout my four years at YHS, there has been an emphasis on freedom of expression and the medium in which we use to get our thinking across. Just recently, I completed a project in which the teacher gave us nine different, creative ways to complete it. Creativity is what this school excels at. Disregarding the social aspect, non-conformity is celebrated and encouraged in the classroom. Yes, of course there is memorization, just as you might memorize multiplication tables as a kid! Every school you go to would have some element of memorization for some assignments in some different classes. But in no means is there an 'emphasis'.
The principal reason for the success of Yarmouth students, is not the school itself but the parents. Parental involvement is very crucial and its location in an affluent area speaks to that, which explains why Cape, Yarmouth, Falmouth and Cheverus students are the most highly achieving in Maine. The December 18th poster pretty much nailed it when they said the school favors flashy technology over above academics, and the Integrated Math program is a major problem for anyone considering sending their children to YHS.
I am a past graduate of Yarmouth High School and have to say it was one the best experiences. I had great teachers that foster growth (both personally and academically). It is a very accepting school and that cherishes diversity even if there is not much to be seen. They promote clubs, sports and health. In addition they put much of their resources in to helping students succeed. I could recommend this school to any parent.
I agree with the december 18 person- YHS is really not as great as other people keep saying. A lot of the students are really not motivated past getting a Bs, which makes school seem like a big waste of time for people who are trying to like school. It's a public school. You get what you pay for.
You'll find a lot of defensive parents/students who disagree, but this school really holds athletics and flashy technology above academics. Nevertheless, this is overall a good program for the average or below average student (special education teachers are definitely not lacking). For the high-achieving student, this may work, but many may be discouraged by their classmates' general lack of motivation/contributions to class. More likely than not one will find a good number of 'scholars' searching for games to play online while their less-than-desirable teacher tells mind-numbing anecdotes about their extended family- or joins their students on the world wide web.
I have had three children graduate from Yarmouth High School. In 1999 97% of our child's graduating class went on to college, in 2006 94% and in 2007 93%. This speaks well of the parental involvement, teacher involvement and overall community attitude towards education in general. My oldest has graduated college and my next two are in college. Both have told me that they are well ahead of their classmates because of the education that they received in the Yarmouth School System. As a parent I cannot speak highly enough of the education that my children have received. Parent involvement in all school functions that I attended over the years was always a full parking lot event. Sports, art and music exposure were another large part of our childrens total educational experience. Plus, they needed sixty hours of community service to graduate. A very well rounded, top notch education.
Yarmouth High school Is a great school with some of the best teachers around good after school programes and lots of things to do.
I'm a former student of Yarmouth High School, and the close relationships I fostered with my teachers, the numerous opportunities I had for extracurriculars, and rigorous academic schedule made my high school experience one that not only prepared me well, it also sticks out when in comparison to many others. We may have only one music teacher, but he gets it done. I was lucky enough to play three varsity sports and sing in the chamber choir and participate in theater, and thanks to the support from the school, I felt able to do all of this, most importantly, for fun. I don't know what the comment about 'all private schools in Maine place 99% of their students in college' has to do with Yarmouth High School, since it is a public school. It's easy to understand how one could mistake Yarmouth for a private school: it's just that good!
June 2005 review is a perfect example of the athletic parent who gains from this administration's love of sports. We do have a football team now and no improvement to the Math curriculum. This parent is unaware that all string players are excluded from the music program. They have one teacher in the high school for band, jazz band, chorus, chamber choir, music theory, guitar, and piano classes. Most teachers teach a much simpler load. Also the #297 ranking was based on the number of students taking AP tests divided by the number of students in the school. All AP students are required to take the test and it is a small school. The ranking means Nothing. All private schools here in Maine get 99% of their students in college. This parent needs to get the facts not just say things are bull.
Yarmouth High School is an amazing school. It has great teachers and it is a very positive working enviroment. The students are kind and eager to learn. It is a safe campus and one that many parents would be proud to send their children to.
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