September 13, 2015
I attended New Hope for 2 years (7th and 8th grade) before making it clear to my parents that I wanted to go elsewhere for high school, even though 8th grade was considered part of the upper school here. My parents had told me they thought New Hope would be very good for me, a graduate of a Montessori school I had attended since Pre-K years. Well, I soon discovered it wasn't what we had hoped it would be. In 7th grade I struggled to make friends within my small class, causing me to become shy and not very outgoing. I made one real friend that year that has stuck with me until now, even though we both go to different high schools. 8th grade year wasn't any better, if anything it was even worse. Many of my classmates were able to make friends with the upperclassmen, who let me say, could be very rowdy and foul. I thought I was making friends, only to discover I wasn't, students were 'using' me because they felt bad I was basically alone. I got picked on, gossiped about, and for a short period of time right before the end of the year, I realized I had formed anxiety and slight depression. I pushed through, trying to keep up with the average academic skills I was being taught, nothing too hard for me since I had learned half of the 8th grade curriculum in 5th grade.Most of the teachers were very kind and understanding, there was just one that was new, coming from teaching at a bad public school, that was very rude and didn't care at times. Honestly, my friend and I would joke around about how they need to knock the building down and rebuild it. There is no air conditioning, except in a few classrooms and the office, which makes it very hard to focus at the beginning and end of the year, when it starts getting hot. The principal and head of the dance program are rather desperate for money, the dance teacher begs you to join her dance/drama program and the principal focuses more on keeping teachers and students from leaving the school than she does on providing a better facility/curriculum. Some of the teachers didn't even notice I was having a downward spiral emotionally, and didn't notice I was practically being bullied. The school looks good on the website, but don't fall for it. I am now at a larger Christian high school where I am succeeding academically and socially, only in the first few weeks of school, which I am very grateful for.
- submitted by a student