Growing up moving, I attended a few different schools. Before I started Fenton ( where I attended my Junior and Senior years) I was attending Carman-Ainsworth. Coming from Carman where there are more students compared to teachers, a lot of diversity, and more poverty within the student body, I figured Fenton would be a great change, I was wrong! Upon enrolling my Junior year, I learned that I had already taken most of the courses Fenton offered while attending Carman, Fenton had very few electives. And as far as the required classes for Fenton, I had already learned all of the curriculum while at Carman! By the time I got to my Senior year at Fenton, the only classes left were Art and PE. As far as the teachers, I learned much more at Carman. Although teachers at Carman had a lot of students, they engaged each one to make sure we were learning. At Fenton, most teachers either sat back and didn't teach, or just flew through the information. Lastly, as far as the students there, everyone was extremely segregated into different groups, not welcoming at all. If you didn't grow up with them, they wouldn't talk to you. Very "stuck-up". I would rate this school poorly from my experience.
We had just moved to Fenton and had high hopes given they have an IB program. Unfortunately, we were extremely disappointed: the majority of teachers were apathetic, student fights a regular occurrence, less than challenging academics, and an ineffective administration. My son, a freshman at the time, was attacked by a student during band class and was beat with a metal marching band baton, sustaining a broken thumb. He was told he wouldn't have any consequences for his actions given his thumb. What were his actions: he pushed the boy off to run away. When asked what he should have done, I was told he should have used his voice. The teacher was in his office on his computer, not in class. My other son, who was at AGS MS, was bullied the first 6 weeks of school. The principal and counselor both knew what was going on. I begged them to keep my son safe. It continued until he cracked and fought back: 3 boys had cornered him in the hall. He was suspended 3 days for fighting. They knew he was being bullied and when they didn't protect him, he protected himself. My kids were singled out because they were new. We went to the Superintendent who did nothing so left the district.
Fenton has great class sizes, facilities and programs. The staff for the most part, are wonderful and engaging. One big drawback is that all AP classes have been eliminated in favor of the IB curriculum. In addition, most of the staff is not on board with the IB program & its costs. Colleges place more emphasis on AP than IB classes. Also, a parent should be aware that if your child is enrolled in the IB diploma program, there is a $200/class fee that is billed in October with just 10 days to pay the balance. For most in the IB diploma program, that would entail a $1200 fee. Since there are no AP courses, students are forced to enroll in this program in order for their college apps to state that they took the highest level of course work offered. In many other neighboring school districts with the IB program, these fees are absorbed by the district, but not in Fenton where you are told if you don't pay you will not have the courses on your transcript. Bottom line, if you are looking for an IB school, this may not be your best choice. Also, with the proliferation of other schools being certified as IB in the area, there will be many to choose from who are offering the program free.
I have traveled all over east of the Mississippi with my job, moving my daughter from School to School. This school is the best we have found. My Daughter has Asperger's syndrome which is a form of Autism so we are very cautious about where we place her. This school has been great. No schools have faculties that are 100% committed but this school has the highest percentage I have seen. The classes are reasonable size and the students are respective of the faculty for the most part. All schools have opportunity for improvement but this is the best we have seen.
We have lived in Fenton for 9 years and our children enjoy going to school and learning. The teachers are wonderful at keeping parents informed and alert us when our child is having any kind of problem.