This 4-8th grade school has just won the MN School of Excellence Award, along with Lake Harriet Lower Campus. It has a new administrative team that is bringing new energy and ideas to the school. It is one of only 2 schools in MPS with a STEM teacher, let alone one that provides hands on STEM curriculum for all grade levels. Lake Harriet Upper has students every year going to state in spelling, math, robotics and history day competitions. It has a strong community support that provides some of the extra curricular opportunities for students. Great staff and a very close community where people really know and care about students.
I take issue with an earlier post stating GT kids get most of the attention at LH. Since big staff turnover commencing about 04, where prior, GT kids did seem to be on a limited track for being pulled out for enrichment (mostly arts in Kindergarten & first few early grades), enrichment outside the classroom in MPS and SPPS in general, all but halted in favor of enrichment WITHIN the classroom (not effective) and mass move toward No Child Left Behind teaching to the the test (cognitive, static, rote ). Kids have graduated not getting GT services since lower campus except for self-directed accelerated math. GT is not just advantaged children, it is a way of processing material (enhanced tactile, creative or kinetic experiences) and some emotional components as well. Without differentiation, everyone across the learning spectrum suffers including teachers and their ability to deal. Having had more than one at LH for many years, the school has spiraled downward. Much of its praise is residual from an earlier time. LH lost its authentic child centered focus hitting rock bottom in about 09. My oldest in middle school experienced little to none! Submitted by a parent
Lake Harriet has excellent teachers, impressive parent- administration cooperation and solid administrators. My children are getting a very good education in an environment with a strong sense of community with thoughtful priorities placed on learning.
This school is over-rated! The administration is disorganized, distant and seems burned out. There is no sense of joy inside the halls of this school, and no real sense of community either. An earlier reviewer nailed it by calling the atmosphere of LHCS dysfunctional and cold. While there are a handful of good teachers, most seem to be going through the motions, and some seem to actually dislike children! Bullying and discrimination seem to be embedded in the culture of this school. It takes a lot more than high test scores to make a good school!
This is a high quality school. The teachers are excellent. It sets high standards and helps kids meet them.
It has a negative feel to it, and it is a dis-functional environment. Especially for 6th, 7th, 8th grades. Especially hard on boys. Boys are often treated like criminals. Some of the teachers are ok- but stresssed. And, some teachers are just awful. I really felt like there were a few teachers that absolutely hated the students and other staff. The principal's approach to everything is stuck in 1950. She has created an angry, screwed up environment. The school has gotten worse in the last 8 years. I agree with the other comments concerning favoritism to certain kids, depending on who their parents are. There is a small group of parents that have way too much power.
LHCS has a group of very involved parents but I am not sure this is good for the students or the district at large. The principal needs to be reminded that this is a public school. I have personally witnessed teachers letting certain children get away with things based on who their parents are. Bullying and bragging is a real problem at LHCS.
I think the learning is wonderful and the kindness is amazing. I found the school to meet all of my requirements because it went above and beyond in every way.
Great school. The quality of the academics is top-notch. My child was very adequately prepared for a rigorous load of honors and AP classes at Southwest High School by attending Lake Harriet.
We left this school with bad memories. I felt many of the staff acted like the school was only meant for certain kinds of families. Even the principal said the school was not a good match for us - despite our tax dollars! Heaven forbid if a average child takes away from a 'gifted' child's education. My son scored above 95% in math and reading but was never seen as intelligent because we didn't fit into the elitist culture. Much of the 'parent involvement' is really fraternizing with teachers. Despite a lot of token gestures there is very little cultural competency at this school. I feel my son's current school has a better curriculum and better teachers.
Lake Harriet's high test scores appear to be more a result of involved parents than anything else. The school is overcrowded, impersonal, and badly managed. There are some caring people at this school but many teachers appear to be counting the days until retirement. Often decisions are made to accommodate the staff rather than the students. I look forward to the 2010-2011 school year when there may actually be racial diversity. Maybe the school changes will provide Lake Harriet s complacent staff with some of the challenges other Minneapolis schools face every day.
Lake Harriet is a school that the parents really love and support. It has high standards for kids learning. The student body is diverse. The teachers are fantastic and dedicated to student learning.
Lake Harriet really prepares children for High School and beyond. The teachers are great, and I'm proud to support them!
We've had three students at Lake Harriet for the past 10 years, and sadly have seen the school slide. Budget cuts and change in leadership have lead to low moral in staff. We've lost many wonderful teachers. Bullying is a problem. Very little extra curricular. Perhaps the new principal can bring back the luster, but it may be hard with her now less than stellar staff.
Lake Harriet is absolutely slipping. Coming from a personal source I know how Lake Harriet really is. Some teachers are very inpatient and do not help the children at all. Also they do not let children express there selves and the extra curricular could use some work. I give LHCS one star.
Sending Ann Wade to Pratt was good for Pratt (Tuttle/Pratt test scores and school advocacy fell deep under past Principal Ellen Murphy) but question the benefit of the switch for Harriet especially in light of economy and MPS budget cuts. Murphy basically waiting to retire and passive aggressive style. Harriet needs to stay alert for resources. I worry about economy on the middle school which can lack in comparison to Harriet K-6.
Amazing school, the teachers are amazing the students are very well behaved.
Don't be fooled by the neighborhood buzz -- Lake Harriet Community School is slipping. I have three children there, and the changes from when my oldest to youngest attended are dramatic and disheartening. They have lost many excellent educators who have been replaced with in some cases, barely adequate teachers. They've lost many extra curricular programs. The middle school is perhaps the weakest program. No choice, no accelerated or advanced coursework. One of my kids had the same social studies and language arts teacher for all three years. They still boast high test scores -- but that's residual. Unless they change soon, you'll start to see them drop.
LHCS has a very active parent community and a great group of kids. The only challenge to the school is dealing with funding cuts from the state.
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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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