My 2 kids have both had a great experience at the Healey School. The teachers are fantastic. The school-wide focus on project-based learning has served both of my kids really well. The school's partnership with Tufts University has also been a real bonus. Both kids have had Tufts student teachers in their classrooms (2 teachers in one class what a treat!). The STOMP Engineering program is a hit. The parent involvement at Healey is high. It's a really wonderful community. Thumbs up.
Leadership at this school is a joke and has been so for quite some time. The Healey somehow seems to attract career-minded "leaders" who seem more focused on padding their experience then vanishing after a few years.
No different is its current principal. She appears very detached from the diverse student population, which comes from many different backgrounds. Whispers in the hallways say that the principal goes out of her way to avoid talking with children by cowering in her office or avoiding a question. That's not leadership.
Ask her a question at a PTA meeting. She has rehearsed "answers". You'll quickly see that her responses, coated in jargon, seem to say nothing at all.
And progress hasn't happened quite as it was promised in her introduction. There's no "innovation". Students still aren't being challenged. The children appear to be an afterthought to a bunch of adults.
So, then the question remains as to why "leaders" chose to take on a principal position for a very diverse and sometimes fragile community such as Healey. After all, "principal' probably looks great on a resume.
And, if this principal chooses to bail in a few year's time like the other "leaders" on their way to "better" job descriptions, the Healey will be placed in another bad position, no closer to "excellence" than it was before. Everyone- the children, the staff and the parents- at the Healey deserve so much more than that.
Our son went to the Healey for four years during a period of significant turmoil. The school administration eliminated the Choice Magnet Program while he was there, forcing a "unification" of the magnet school with the neighborhood school. While the goal was noble, the implementation was very sudden and awkward, and many good parents pulled their kids out of the school. At the same time, the principal changed essentially every year. In the end, I think the place has settled down somewhat. I appreciated the diversity and the building itself, which is very nice. But educationally my kid was not challenged to his full potential.
The Healey School has the most dedicated and active parent populations in the CIty, which has helped the school tremendously despite a lack of consistent leadership over the past 10 years. While many teachers and families have left over the last few years, those who have remained are a tight-knit community.
The Healey School is a diverse urban school that values the arts, community involvement, and off-site learning. Grades 4-8 participate in offsite, overnight learning, including Nature's Classroom and educational experiences in New York CIty and Washington, D.C.
I am very excited about the core values that the school is updating the curriculum to embody: expecting excellence from oneself, reading comprehension, arts integrated into learning, thematic project based learning, and service projects. As a community, we want our children to be prepared to be good citizens and leaders in today's world. There is a lot available on the school website which is very transparent the curricular and learning environment goals. The unification process to combine different "schools within a school" into an integrated Healey has been exciting and productive opportunity for teachers, administration, students and parents voices to be heard. I think this school is poised to become a real star in our community.
I visited the afterschool programs with Groundworks Somerville and saw the Healey students excited to paint, draw, play basketball, do homework and socialize in a huge bright cafeteria. Very nice group of youth, diverse, smart and quick. The wall mural was designed by the youth and features countrys produce and portraits