This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Heather Hills Elementary School5
Posted January 29, 2014
- a parent
I am 100% satisfied with HH ES. My daughter started attending in the second grade and is now a 3rd grader. The curriculum is rigorous and parent participation is high. The staff is very accessible even for a busy working mom - I can call and email them anytime. The principal Mrs. Hosch is also very available.
My daughter transferred to this school to begin second grade in 2009, It was the best decision ever. This school have firm but caring teachers. They do give lots of homework. The principal is firm with the kids, but it's needed. She is truly preparing them for college, yes I said college. She gives them electives like sign language, financial planning, step, destination imagination, and others to choose from. She makes them responsible for their own actions. I call her the female Joe Clark who wants nothing but the best for her students. The school is old but the up keep is wonderful. So many people ask me how they can get in. Well that's on the child, but if you get the opportunity to send your child her, you won't regret it.
As someone who substituted at the school I feel that there is not enough discipline. While students are changing classes they are running in the school screaming and horse playing. I am used to having children walk in a straight line and quietly as they are changing classes. I also felt that the class that I was teaching had poor writing skills. Ultimately it comes down to parent involvement and reinforcing what they learned at home.
We pulled our child from a very highly ranked elementary to attend an all-day tag, and I'm really glad we did. Yes, the students are grouped by Math scores, but the reading is also tailored to their level. If your child is in the highest math group but is not as strong in reading, lessons will be assigned accordingly. It's HHES's first year as an all TAG program, so they still have improvement opportunities. Communication between teachers and parents isn't where it should be; the reliance on agenda books was overwhelming; principal isn't phenomenal; uniform policy is strictly written but not as enforced (no logos on shoes? I search for no logos on shoes only to see Nikes everytime I'm there). But the tailored curriculum makes it worthwhile, and the "specials" courses (art, music, computer, languages) further add to the overall development of a well rounded child. I've also found that after expressing my concerns to the teachers, the majority of them were very responsive and willing to work with us. We take education very seriously in our home, and are very pleased with our decision to send our child to HHES.
I am *overwhelmingly* disappointed in this TAG-only school. I pulled my child from a great neighborhood school for the opportunity of "more" in a full-time TAG setting. What a mistake! My child is not challenged nearly enough, there is an abundance of theft and behavior problems at the school, one of the science teachers quit the week before the science fair (perhaps "can't take this *one more* day?") and the principal is only marginally approachable (although the office staff is wonderful). Assemblies are a dull roar of chaos and the teachers largely seem resigned to let this year slip by. Will we try next year?? not so sure... You should think *long and hard* if you are considering sending your child to this school. The transition to all-TAG has been brutal and the student body at large is obviously neither prepared for nor able to work at regular grade level (not to mention an accelerated program). The level of performance by many of child's classmates is dismal (needing remedial work in addition and subtraction) and there seems to be no articulated plan for improvement on too many fronts. This is *clearly* no longer the school that was raved about in previous years.
I'm so dissappointed with fourth grade... _all children are grouped into homerooms according to math ability (What happens if your child's ability level changes? Will his homeroom be changed? That means he goes with another class all day.) _accelerated math and spiral instruction instead of teaching for mastery (You may need to hire a math tutor, if your child doesn't grasp topics quickly.) _parents are not notified when children miss assignments (You need to check SchoolMax everyday.) _children change classrooms for most subjects and carry their backpacks from class to class (Instructional time is lost preparing to leave, exiting & entering, and taking supplies out for class once the child enters.) _the workload is challenging (-/+), not necessary challenging work _multiple tests and projects due around the same time
Heather Hills is a great place for a student...until 4th grade. I don't know what it is about the 4th grade-- but we are very disappointed. My child constantly tells me his teacher is on her cell phone too much, clips coupons, and talks in the hall with her BFF (another teacher) during class time. The worksheets are overwhelming-it is supposed to be a TAG class. Teachers seem bored and a little lax...for a TAG atmosphere
My daughter went to Kindergarten here and all of our family has gone here over the years. Great small community school, very quaint, excellent learning program. I was very impressed with the rate that my daughter learned new content and all the special activities the school performed in. I am very disappointed to hear that it is now becoming a TAG only school for 2nd - 5th grade. Now my daughter has to change schools next year.
Overall I would say my expierence at Heather Hills was very excellent. I had fun and I learned something!!! And that's basically what schools about any. Just a note to parents though, if your thinking about entering your child into a tagged school, you can erase the vision of working lab rats as most compare us to we aren't geeks, or nerds, and we dont get picked on because we are tagged! Its an expierence that i am glad to have gotten. Im sad that i am leaving this year, but I will never forget what this school has taught. Love you Heather Hills Going to miss it!!!!!!
Best public elementary school in PG County. It doesn't get any better than this in PG. I'm VERY thankful that my child received a lotter slot throught the TAG program and hope to have siblings transfer in at kindergarten.