My son is in Kindergarten at Hampden/Elementary. We are incredibly happy with our school. The teachers and staff are knowledgeable and incredibly caring. The teacher turn-over rate at the school is very low, which I think is a great sign that the teachers enjoy their jobs. Our son's classroom teacher has been there for over 15 years! The school has a great sense of community. Parents are very involved. The surrounding Hampden community is also involved and invested in the school. The school academics are challenging. The teachers and school are very aware that all students learn differently and there are lots of individually-tailored plug-in and pull-out enrichment both for students who need extra help and for students who need more challenging work. We are very excited to be part of this school community for many years to come!
I currently have my daughter in preschool at Hampden. Her teachers are nurturing and kind, the administration is always welcoming, even the custodial staff is involved and wonderful with the kids. It is very much a community driven school and parental involvement plays a huge role. We've been so lucky to have such a great city school.
Each teacher has the choice of whether or not to assign homework. Last year my son was given homework each day, but it was an appropriate amount (not too intensive) and this year he does not have homework. Both approaches have worked well for him.
I have two children at this school (2nd grade and kindergarten). They have both been offered opportunities for gifted and advanced learning and come home happy and brimming with knowledge every day. They enjoy recess, art, and reading time in the gorgeous new library. My husband and I both have advanced degrees and we are completely happy with the challenging curriculum at Hampden and the excellent quality of the teaching.
There are two Kindergarten classes. One of the teachers does not assign homework, but instead gives parents a list of things that the children are working on during the week. The other teacher, who my son has, does assign homework. It's very minimal and I have found it to be helpful.