My son is a 6th grader at HPMS. The school seems well-run and the teachers are enthusiastic.. My son and his friends never talk about any school behavior issues. My son has met a bunch of likeable new kids. There are opportunities to do advanced work as the 6th graders take 6th, 7th, or 8th grade math. There are many after-school activities. The 6th graders play on the sports teams. My complaint is about the grading policy featuring optional homework. The homework assignments are not included in the quarterly grades and the entire quarter grade is based on a relatively small number of projects or quizzes. This is not idea for my kid by the end of the first quarter he figured out that there was relatively little to be gained gradewise for doing each assignment and now it is a hassle to get him to do all the work regularly when it isn't part of the grade. I understand the whole formative vs. summative thing (the homeworks provide feedback but aren't part of the grade) where the quarterly grade is determined by a fairly small number of projects or quizzes. I d like there to be a greater incentive to complete each day s assignment.
I am a student in the immersion program at Highland Park Junior High and I have had a great experience. Not only am I able to continue Spanish Immersion (which starts in Kindergarten at Adams) but I can also learn chinese! The sports and clubs are great, since you can do one at the junior high or at the high school if they don't offer it at the junior high (they are next door to each other). The clubs include Lego League, Debate Team, Ballroom Dance, Chinese Dance, Drama, Math Team, and others. Although it does start at 7:30 A.M., that turns into a benefit because you can do sports and after-school activities and still have plenty of time at home for homework.
I had thought I'd put my son in a good school. He was and still is interested in learning chinese. What I didn't know was that the staff did not show any respect towards students. I happened to be withdrawing my son from school because we were moving. My son is a good kid, yet he was talked to like he wasn't! Students weren't allowed to speak their minds; even though they are correct. The biggest mistake I've made is to think this school was a good school. I will never put any of my other children in this school.