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.
I have a son in Kindergarten at Hampden EMS #55 and I am pleasantly surprised by how wonderful his experience has been so far. He loves school, his teacher, and his classmates. Before deciding to send him to Kindergarten at Hampden #55, my husband and I looked at many charter schools and even a private school in the area. Now that he's over half way through the school year, I have no doubt that we made the right decision to send him here. The parents that are involved in the school through the PTO and Friends of Hampden 55 have made wonderful improvements. I love that we have such a tight-knit community, and that my son's friends live in our neighborhood now. The school is diverse racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically, which I feel is important in developing character and building empathy.
If you haven't toured the school, you should. The new library funded by the Weinberg Foundation is incredible, and Hampden now has a full-time librarian. Overall, teacher turnover is very low at Hampden, which is also a relief for me as a parent.
Some things that I feel the school needs to work on are developing after-school programs and/or clubs, and having an onsite after-school program. After-school care is currently offered at the Hampden Family Center or the Roosevelt Rec Center, both of which I've heard good things about, but would prefer if the program was offered at the school.
Hampden is a great city school. The principal is visible throughout the building, and this is very necessary considering the fact that it is a elementary and middle school. The hallways are calm, and that is huge for a city school. I am not sure what they are doing to keep these kids focused on learning, but it is working.
Hampden has been my home for many years. My coworkers are the hardest working people I know. They love their students and want nothing but the best for them. Hampden sets high expectations for their students and pushes them to prepare them for the future. Anyone who works/attends/or has a student who attends Hampden is very lucky!
My daughter had a wonderfull experience at this school she went from headstart to 8th grade. The teachers are very knowledgeable and are willing to help your child with every aspect. My other daughter is in 4th grade and I never had a horrible experience since my children have been in this school. I would give this school 1000 stars if I could. I would highly recommend this school to anyone.
I was reading some of the other comments, and while I do agree this school has a lot of issues and is a terrible school...I don't think that because children come from broken families with step siblings or half siblings is a bad thing or effects their learning. its called REALITY! I totally disagree with the parent that made that comment and actually think it is very rude and closed minded... on another note, my daughter went there for 2 years. the kids were WONDERFUL and she actually had grown up with them. it is a close neighborhood in Hampden, but that school is terrible. 4 year olds should not be going to school with 13 year olds. and the teaching staff is horrible along with the administrative staff. my child didn't learn anything there. not to mention the amount of homework they are given in pre-k and kind. 1-2 hours of homework for 4,5, and 6 year old children is ridiculous! and they had NO RECESS! the principal told us to send our child to school in dark colored pants incase she had an accident no one would see... yes we moved and the new school is AMAZING. she has learned more in 6 months in county school than 2 years at 55 school.
I orginally moved from Cockeysville into the Roland Park school district with the belief that my youngest could get a great public school education there, and my oldest was graduating high school, but because of new age requirements my daughter had to stay in Pre-K a 2nd yr. So after having my child attend Hampden for Pre-K, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the wonderful teaching environment and the small intimate school setting versus Roland Park's much larger student population (not to mention when I went with all my documentation to transfer my daughter the office staff at Roland Park was very rude unhelpful and uninviting). Hampden is also an Elem/Middle school which I love the idea of her not having to begin middle school in a new environment as a 6th grader. So I made the decision to let my child continue her education at Hampden and I believe it was the BEST DECISION EVER! Her teachers are very interested in her education, go above and beyond to make sure she is successful, and her test scores are above grade level. As a very well educated parent who also attended BCPS and graduated from Baltimore City College believe me when I say this school is a HIDDEN GEM!
The teachers and staff at Hampden are skilled and clearly care a great deal about their students. My children like to go to school and are supported in every possible way. I highly recommend it. Definitely one of the best schools is the city!
Before we moved to the area a year ago, we were wary of Baltimore public schools, but wanted to give Hampden a try after reading such glowing reviews online. Big mistake. We are not only sending our child to private school next year, we are leaving the entire city of Baltimore specifically in search of a better school AND better neighborhood. The teachers and administrators at Hampden do try and definitely give it their all, but the unfortunate reality is that so many of these children from this school come from EXTREMELY unstable, lower-income homes with a lot of chaos in their young lives. My child's classmates have parents who are in and out of prison constantly, addiction issues, multiple stepsiblings and half-siblings in their broken homes, unsteady employment issues, etc. Children routinely appear and disappear from classrooms as they get shuffled to their "other parent's" homes. What is really sad is that some of these kids are extremely bright and capable children. I just hope to God that they can overcome their extremely chaotic home lives as they grow up.