We moved to the city from Anne Arundel County. After having numerous people read me the riot act for pulling my kids (ages 6,9,12) out of such a "good" school system to move them into what they percieve as a terrible one..I admit, I was apprehensive. However, I must say that we have been absolutely impressed with my daughters teachers and the administration. The principle is thoughtful, engaged with the students, and driven to make this school a great school! Student safety is a priority and my kids have never felt unsafe. The school has numerous partnerships in the community, including a local urban gardening program. The school garden and greenhouse are wonderful, as they take time to engage the students in growing their own food. The academics are more challenging than what we had in AA county which was very surprising to me. Common Core is utilized and I am a fan of critical thinking required. I would like to see a greater parent presence and involvement. I also miss the financial resources that were present in AA County, but am impressed with the commitment of the teachers and staff to provide extra curriculars for the students out of their own free time.
My daughter is a student here and she loves school. I originally intended to send her to a private school, but due to budget changes we decided to give Hamilton a try. It has been the single best decision that I've made for her. The PTO is involved with the regular decision making of the administration and I feel as if we can make a difference in her life and the lives of your children. Parent involvement is key, if you do not like Hamilton, I'd question if you regularly attend PTO meetings, you will see Dr. Drummond at each one, and if she can't respond to your email, I assure you twice a month, we have her undivided attention. Yes parenting involves more than dropping your children off or picking them up on time, imagine that. My daughter is in elementary school and with the direction of Ms Naughten, Ms Robinson, or Ms Scott, your little ones will receive quality instruction.
My son is in the ingenuity project and the teachers are terrific, the program challenging and interesting. The school is clean, the classrooms are nice although it is freezing in the basement and first floor and roasting hot on the upper floors. I dislike the principal very much. Dr. Drummond is out of touch with her students, does not return emails or phone calls and does not appear involved in the students lives in anyway. She is not friendly nor warm or inviting. I have never ever seen the two assistant principals at any time at school. This is a huge contrast to our previous school Hampstead Hill Academy and I miss Mr. Hornbeck and the administration of that school. If it were not for ingenuity I would not have sent my child to school there because of Dr. Drummond. The teachers I have met are very nice, some not effective educators but nice people who care about the children and their jobs. Our son is excited about returning to school for the first year of his life this year but it is only because of the amazing teachers of the ingenuity program.
I think , no I know it is a Great School. When you Look at the test data students from 236 score at or the same rate on MSA as schools in Howard County. We can not continue to blame the leadership for school climate when some patents have not done the job needed at home. We must challenge our children to do the best they can every day. We must also tell our children anything less than 85 is not good enough. Lets ask ourselves if we will give 15 hours a year per family to help with school climate. What can you/we do to develope a class (workshops) to ensure our children follow all school rules. I will just state for the record as patents of 236 we must fight for our children to attend a school that is not filled to the rim. I have seen the increase of outside zone students as the main reason for school climate decline. I am not talking about theather and science programs. We have a great school lets tell our children that we will not settle for anything less!!
I was happy when our test scores came out this year. Somehow the school maintained decent performance. However, the culture continues to worry me. Once respectful children are now disruptive and the staff student relationship seems very weak. The leadership does not seem enthused about the school and great programs like the choir are gone. Thankfully some great teachers (like Ms. Kocis, Mr. Hartman, and Ms. Jackson remain) City Schools needs to do something about this former gem. The new principal needs some help.
I do agree with the person that said this school has gone down hill... I am trying to give teh new principal a chance to get comfortable but she does not seem to have any control over not only the kids but the teachers as well... there are some teachers that still seem enthusiatic to be there but there are some that don't seem as eager to reach the children and I don't feel as though the new principal has the authority to change that... hopefully its just a matter of her getting more used to being at this school... we'll see!
I have to completely disagree with the previous review. It's as if we are talking about two different schools. We have been with Hamilton since my son was in kindergarten, and he is now in 6th while my daughter is in 2nd. I have been on the PTA board since we started, as well as numerous committees over the years. I see a new principal forging friendly and professional relationships with students, teachers, staff and parents. I see dedicated and effective teachers who care about what is best for the students and who feel respected and appreciated by their principal. I also stick around after drop off and help during after school activities as well as volunteer on a regular basis and, if anything, I am seeing a better overall climate this year than ever before. If you are a parent considering sending your kids to Hamilton, please come and visit. Meet the principal and take a tour of our wonderful school so you can see for yourself what I am talking about. Also, the PTA hosts coffee for parents in the Parent Resource Room every Tuesday morning at drop off, so please join us!