This school has been a wonderfully warm and supportive place for my highly motivated and high achieving child. We moved to this district for Souhegan and I will not move away until both my kids have graduated, despite a long commute to work and other exciting job opportunities. I'd rather have my kids at Souhegan than the pressure cooker public schools we were looking at in Massachusetts. We had tolerate a few not so great years at the elementary and middle schools in the district before getting to Souhegan but now that we are here I am very pleased.
I have been an educator for 25 years. When my daughter was born, we moved to Amherst specifically for the high school. Souhegan is a member of the coalition of essential schools and we wanted our children to learn in an environment built on teaching students to "use their minds well" and "demonstrate mastery".
For accurate information on the school philosophy you might visit http://essentialschools.org/common-principles/.
I would also say that if you are considering Amherst as a community, please know that the vast majority of our residents are thoughtful partners with the schools in the education of our children. The teachers and administrators in all of our buildings work tirelessly to support our children. I have worked in MANY schools throughout my career and know from experience that the learning environment created by the staff and administration at Souhegan High School is exactly what our children need to thrive and succeed.
The school has an active community council which includes community members, parents and students. The students work to represent the voices of their peers in decision making. They create a check and balance system to ensure fairness within the community. Another feature of the school is the advisory system. Small groups of students meet with an adult advisor daily to review academic performance, build a sense of team and discuss issues related to honesty, integrity and fairness. This school is intentional about fostering community and citizenship.
For parents who are new to the area, I just wanted to inform you about how incredibly terrible this school is. The education provided at this school is so bad it defies belief. 1. The students are incredibly unmotivated due to the layed back atmosphere. 2. There is a large drug influence here. 3. There is also very little done to prepare these kids for college in terms of studying habits, writing skills, etc. 4. The teachers are hard to reach and often will not stay after school to help the kids (with the exception of the AP program which is actually reasonably good) 5. The courses available are lacking, for instance in a day and age where computers are so important, you would think they would have at least one computer programming class. These are just some of the things that are bad about this school. I am glad I took my kid out and transferred him to a private school. He is much happier their and has a much better environment. Please, do not send your kids here if you care about them at all!