I cannot say that I agree with a majority of the reviews. The communication from the school to the parents and the community is virtually non-existent, and it is not true, as one reviewer claimed, that all teachers use e-mail. I do agree with the the one reviewer that the autism program is not handled well at all. As he or she points out, the autism program is practically excluded from the school. The program is housed in a completely separate building, leading to minimal or no interaction with the rest of the school population. According to a friend, there have already been three different teachers in the Kindergarten Autism classroom this year. Also, I cannot speak to previous principals at the school as other reviewers have, but the current one is extremely unprofessional and seems to not care. Just the lack of communication from the school coupled with the staff's belief that they are going above and beyond when it comes to their jobs when they are clearly doing only the minimum has sent us looking for another school and considering a move.
We have had an average experience at Hickory. I do agree that the newest principal is an improvement. The PTA, in the past, has excluded the autism classes from fundraising. The excuse was that they weren't sure these kids were part of the school?! As parent of a child in the autism program, it is very disappointing. There has been a big turnover in my son's teachers. I hope that Hickory can one day embrace and understand the growing autism population at the school.
Great, friendly school with very welcoming and helpful staff. All teachers use e-mail to stay in touch. All-around positive experience!
My oldest son attended Hickory from K through 5th grade and loved every minute of it. I have found the teachers very easy to work with. I have two other sons who are attending Hickory and I wouldn't want them anywhere else. There has been a change in regards to the principal as of the 2008-2009 school year. She is a wonderful addition to the school and has made a huge difference. As far as the ages of the teachers, I find there is a nice mix. I wouldn't say most of the teachers are near retirement age at all. I also have found most of the discipline by the teachers to be appropriate. The system the school uses rewards good behavior. If a mistake is made the child is given the chance to modify their actions and to be rewarded for it. I find that very positive.
Hickory Elementary school is a wonderful school. I find that the staff members are open and friendly. The students seem to enjoy coming to school. There is a very involved PTA that is committed to supporting the programs at Hickory. There is a focus on learning (which is important since my child is there to learn) and plenty of opportunity to fun. I am relatively new to the area but have sent my children to other elementary schools which aren't nearly as nice. The building, itself is clean and properly maintained and there is a wonderful, new playground for all to enjoy. My overall experience has been quite positive.
My son just finished his 5th year at Hickory and is moving onto middle school now. I have nothing but good things to say about the teachers he has had throughout his years at Hickory. As for extra curricular activities, the PTA is always having bingos, Christmas parties, and other such activities. I have volunteered in his classroom for the past 2 years and have heard that there is a lot of parent involvement. My daughter just completed kindergarten and I can't say enough about her teacher. I have not had much involvement with the principal, so I cannot really say much about her. I know once the principal changed that Patriot program did stop, which I'm sad to see. Overall, my family has had a great experience at Hickory Elementary school
Hickory Elementary has been a disappointment to us right from the beginning. WE attended a another school in Harford County and have been continuously shocked by the lack of understanding, support and encouragement from the administrators. Most teachers have been great but stuck under a difficult, demanding administrator. We are one of the only school in Harford County not participating in the Patriot's Program, our kindergartener attends school all day, and is not allowed any snacks even though she has a late lunch. We have no extracurricular programs. The kids are not allowed to celebrate any holidays or events because it interferes in the educational process. They are kids. They need things to look forward to. The school is so focused on not discriminating against anyone that we have lost focus of tolerance in differences. It's sad to know that my younger children will not know a warm learning environment.
Although this school has many good points within the curriculum and provides many extracurricular programs, our overall experience at Hickory Elementary had been rather disturbing. The tactics used to correct children seem to carry forth a tone of intimidation and embarrassment, ultimately resulting in self-esteem and confidance issues with more sensitive children. Many of the current teachers are near or about retirement age, and as of recently, many parents have found through random conversation the primary means of dealing with problem children is to suggest a visit to the pediatrician. Reading between the lines, that suggests medicating children. In my neighborhood alone, 5 children have been referred for evaluation, all by teachers nearing retirement age. When asking for direction, the counselors and teachers offer very little assistance, communication with the school is very poor, and they choose to evaluate and review children without parental knowledge. Rather they review and inform the parent.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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