Its about right as far as homework, the teachers aren't always teaching in the areas they belong because the union makes the district use tenured teachers over the best teachers, but that's true every where.
Wonderful teachers and community. I see a review on this site complaining about a bullying incident that made the news. I saw that particular news report and it was one-sided (the other family was not there to defend themselves & there are 2 sides to every story). Regardless, staff and atmosphere are top notch. School district 196 has a wonderful reputation.
I personally did not have a fantastic experience with this school myself. It is filled with cliques and stuck up people. The minute you walk in the door on the first day you are given your placement on how popular and 'cool' you look to others. If you aren't involved in sports and athletics you are already practically shunned by half the school. Certain extremely popular people run the school and can even hold the teachers on a leash occasionally. The staff can be very good, but many of them care little about the student or their education. Some teachers alone can make your time there miserable. I am on my third year here and have already witnessed one fight and have heard of a couple more that have happened out of my watch. Though harassment (both physical and emotional) happens, 'bullying' itself is pretty rare, but that's usually as long as you (general you) accept the place you've been given compared to everyone else. 'Welcoming' and 'friendly' are not exactly the terms I'd use to describe the people here.
SHMS appears to have great resources available. My child just started attending this school last week and I was surprised to find in her school view account that she already has one tardy for getting to a math class late on the second day of class! She's still trying to adjust to the changes from elementary to middle school especially getting to different classes within a short notice. Newcomers beware.