As a recently graduated student of Henry Ford Academy, I can agree that it is a decent school in its own right. If your child enjoys math, science and technology, this is probably an excellent school to consider. However, if your child is more interested in English or the arts, HFA is not your best option. This is the problem I encountered during my four years there. Extracurricular activities do exist, but again, they are geared towards the more technologically inclined. Generally speaking, the teaching staff is more than qualified, but several excellent teachers have departed from the Academy in recent years (such as Julie Erdman, Amanda Maher and Karen Galley). Graduating from HFA, I feel like I never had the opportunity to fully experience high school. If you are considering HFA as an option, REALLY consider it. There are more flaws within the school than people realize.
Not as a parent, but as a former teacher, I can say that HFA is innovative in curriculum and design. I believe HFA is at the cutting edge of educational reform. The original idea, was that teachers would work there for a few years, then return to the public schools to inspire others. I'm doing just that. The administration and teachers truly care about each and every child. The teachers are a creative bunch, and work above and beyond the call of duty. Parents are involved. I disagree with a prior comment, there ARE plenty of extracurricular activities, but no, there isn't a football team. The focus is where it should be, on academics, but there are other opportunities (athletics, arts, etc). Yes, the polo shirts aren't cheap, but I'm sure you'd be spending just as much, if not more, on school clothes, anyways.
Henryford Academy is a good school. The academic program is great and very challenging and they are on of the few schools left that have a arts program. If your child really wants to learn, and learn in a college prep enviroment, this is the school to go to. As far as the parent involvement goes, I haven't been involved as much as I would like because I have been ill, but the opportunity to be involved is there. I have a ninth grader and a tenth grader. Neither on of them did well in the ninth grade, but it's because they lack discipline when it comes to studying. In Detroit public schools, they had all year to bring there marks up, so they got use to waiting till the last minute to apply themselves. They have to work hard all year at HFA. They have a good language program also.
I do not recommend this school to any parent. The school is very unorganized, unstable, and has no structure. I do not approve of the uniform policy because they are very expensive just for a shirt i pay 36 dollars. I have email the teachers several times and have not got a respond from any of them. There are no extracurricular activites what so ever. Also the parents are not involved on what goes on in the school. There are numerous animals surrounding the school my child as been chased by geese. Overall i think the school needs a big improvement!
I am well pleased with the real life and scholastic education my child is receiving at HFA. The focus on four classes per quarter allows the students to immerse themselves in the subjects and they are led to see the subject matter in the real world. The teachers have been terrific also. Very good about answering questions and concerns for the parent and good also about cheering and urging the student on. There are more extracarricular activities all the time. The benefits of having the campus in The Henry Ford cannot be matched anywhere.And the campus is probably safer than any 'normal' high school based on the fact that it is part of The Henry Ford.
The teachers at HFA are very hit or miss. There are teachers that have rather uneducational classes, but at the same time there are teachers like Jim Schenck, Robert LeClerc, Karen Galley, Mike DeSana, etc... that are fantastic teachers. My only real gripe about the school is the office staff, whom are extremely hard to communicate with and rarely if ever return phone calls. Aside from it all, Henry Ford Academy harbors an outstanding community structure, and is an amazing experience for your child. Consider it.
I want to take this time to thank the staff at HFA for a job well done. I am very much satisfied with the school. The staff works with my child and have brought her a long way. My daughter is a senior this year, she did her practicum at Murphy MS with special education students, she has decided to teach special ed. In the fall of 2004, she will be attending Eastern University. She has been on the cheerleading team since the ninth grade. I believe if I had not took the steps to get her into this school I would have lost Courtney. Henry Ford Academy promoted her zest for life, enthusiasm and allowed her to be herself. As a result her self-esteem is way up there. My advice to parents, take a chance on a good thing, I did, and it worked for me and my daughter.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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