This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Tewksbury Memorial High School1
Posted May 18, 2013
- a student
This school is awful. As a graduate, I barely slipped by for four years because my teachers focused on nothing but the smarter kids. Even when I asked for extra help, usually in math before a big test, they'd always cancel or postpone it, and in turn I'd do bad on the test. The guidance counselors were friendly and helpful to me and always willing to talk, but I'm sure things have changed since 2007. At the time, there were threats made every couple of months and dozens of fights every week, anywhere from small shouting to actual fists flying. I was not prepared for college after graduation, and I withdrew from my courses after a week because I was too overwhelmed. And now the town thinks that by building a new school, it'll mask the 35:1 teacher to student ratio, or the fact that the books are outdated and the teachers only care about gifted students. But in reality, the new school will just look nice and the education from TMHS won't change. And if you want your child to play a sport, I suggest they choose wisely because the whole athletic side of TMHS is a hierarchy with the students. Go to the Tech and get a real education for your kids, you'll thank me later.
Not every teacher, student, or principal is perfect, but TMHS does a good job at challenging everyone. The various clubs and sports provided gives everyone the opportunity to do something of their interest. This high school is truly underestimated.
As a former student I have to agree that the students who are not doing well are left for dead. Oh they'll let you know you're not going to make it to the next year but they don't do much to try to help. There is very little intervention. In fact, I intervened myself and asked my mom to work with the school to find out if I had a learning disability. The school made no effort to find out what was going on. The Tewksbury school system also does not recognize gifted or accelerated children until the high school level where students may take AP courses. If your child is a phenomenal reader or excels in math they do not have anything in place to accommodate them. I came from a school system that physically moved children from their classroom to a higher or lower grade level classroom in order to provide that student with the opportunity to function at their level. There is little passion from the teachers unless you're academically astounding. This is coming from a former student found to be capable of any and all of the material the school offered but who ultimately did poorly.
Alright, to the reviewers who have said the school is alright, you are not seeing what goes on there at all, as you are blinded by the fact that the teachers are only helping the students who excel in school. Those students who are not very skilled in school are being ignored and thrown aside. The teachers are only enthusiastic about those students who are already working hard and know the material. Unfortunately, they are not following through with their roles for helping students learn, which is why I will no longer be attending this high school after this coming school year. I plan to enroll in a different school, as I value my education too much to stay there.
As a student, I can say that TMHS has some ups. While it is very well-known that the classes are oversized, the building is falling apart, and the fees are increasing, going to TMHS is, if anything, helpful in terms of college admissions. To counter what one other reviewer said, my guidance counselor has been extremely helpful. Considering the number of forms and letters associated with applying to 10 schools, my guidance counselor made my work so much easier, completing things right away, and meeting with me whenever I showed up at his office, even without an appointment. A huge asset to TMHS is its teachers. The teachers are phenomenal. At least of my teachers, they are very intelligent, have their own flairs, and write great recommendations. For those concerned about college admissions, the biggest duties lie with the student, not the guidance counselors and teachers.
To those who say 'If you want your child to go to college, don't send them to TMHS' all I have to say is you're wrong. My daughter is graduating this year and was accepted at every college she applied to from BC to UMass. This year's graduates have been accepted to Tufts, Dartmouth, BC, Princeton, Holy Cross, BU, Amherst, and New York University as well as UMass, UNH, and UVM. If your kid wants an education, he or she will get one and will go to college. Yes, we need a new high school. And yes, we could use more teachers, but that's true of most school systems these days. Vote to fund the schools and get involved with your kids education. What can you do other than complain to make a difference?