I would give the school 2 1/2 stars if possible. As in, "pretty bad, but not hopeless." My child just began as a freshman this year. It's possible my assessment will change as time goes on, but my first impressions haven't been great. Your kid is just a number here. The teachers seem to barely know, or care about them. They make a big show of giving out email addresses and phone numbers at the beginning of term, but good luck getting them to reply to any parent email. My kid was having trouble in a class last term, and three emails went unanswered by the teacher. Same thing with a different teacher this term. Parents are clearly just an annoyance to be ignored here. Oh, and don't count on your kid getting a hot lunch they actually have time to eat. There are 2 half-hour lunch periods for the entire school of 1500 kids. Huge lines. My kid and his friends call them the "Soviet Bread Lines." We pack a lunch every day--if we didn't, our son would have like 5 minutes to eat, after standing in line for 25 minutes. Why they can only use the cafeteria for an hour a day is beyond me. Upside (yes, there is some positive stuff): good student culture. My son made a lot of new friends. The kids see themselves as united against an impersonal system, I'm guessing. A few good teachers who are shining lights in this bleak, factory-like institution. Most of the teachers, however, see their role as adversarial, spend a lot of time yelling at kids and making sure they know that learning takes a distant back seat to...well, not sure what. Getting through the hour? Ways to improve: make teachers more responsive to parents and students. Have at least some discussion classes that get kids engaged (my son spends almost every class just doing worksheets). And maybe the principal could come out of his office once in a while and talk to students--to me, this is one sign of a good school. The principal here seems to hide in his office all day--my son said he appears at lunch once in a great while, and is always talking to another adult, never to any student. All in all not what we were hoping for. But my son likes the social atmosphere a lot, and so we will try to stick it out until he's paroled--oops, I mean graduates--in three years. Seriously, though, I know it's a young school. I hope they will try to make some changes, so that by senior year we can look back on a good experience.
Skyline's curriculum is like someone's dog ate their education psychology textbook and threw it up and tried to write a mission statement from the puke. They have trimesters, block schedules, school-within-a-school, mastery grading, and magnet programs, none of which they do well. As an educator I always thought that in such an educated community where a high percentage of the kids go to four year colleges it is silly, if not dangerous, for them to highly specialize. Students from Ann Arbor have been getting into engineering at UM just fine without magnet programs. What they need is a program to help more students (poor students) get the broad education to get to four year colleges. As a parent of a special ed student I was appalled that I was told at an IEP meeting that my child couldn't pass a class, then I went home and put together a spreadsheet taking into account the 80% mastery weighting and sure enough, my child could have passed with a C with last project. They shouldn't have a system they don't understand and can't work with. The old principal was terrible. The new one is ineffective, particularly if your kid has special ed issues.
Skyline is a terrific school, and improving every year. It's a new school, and has only had a few graduating classes. But already it's turning out as many national merit scholarship semi-finalists as Huron (and both of these schools had as many as the three Plymouth Canton high schools combined for 2014). Skyline is on trimesters, so students receive 25% more credits per year than the other high schools. Skyline also has four magnet programs, schools-within-the-school, concentrating on engineering, communications, business, and medicine. Our two kids are very happy, taking great, advanced classes including performing in an excellent band program every day. Also, some of these reviews were probably under the previous principal. The district hired a dynamic new principal for Skyline last year.
Our daughter was in the first graduating class and I would say that the post from the other student would be similar to what she said to us. She is an exceptional student, but still struggled with some bad teachers. She also said that the few good teachers were the minority there. What was most frustrating to her was the politics that the teachers and administration would play. It only got worse with playing sports. Unfortunately due to AAPS being so big, once our children went to middle school, you just feel like a number.
Cold, confining environment. Bureaucratic administration. Terrible academics; the administration gets annoyed when you try to test out because they fear becoming a "focus school." A few good teachers, but they are the minority. Students are treated as a number.
skyline high is an excellent school the part I love about it is that there are 14 students per a classroom which means that the students get more one on one time with the teacher. Also the teachers are great as well as the students. The extracurriculum is amazing and my daughter just loves it.