my children have attended this school since kindergarten and are now in 3rd and 4th grade. it has been a fantastic experience for each of them. the classrooms are small, the teachers are committed to individual learning styles (even with the challenges of state and federal testing), and the administration is ALWAYS there should you need them. i've heard of (two) specific cases of bullying that to my knowledge have been seriously addressed and treated with care. like any public school, a parent must remain in contact with the teachers of their children. this doesn't mean micromanaging them, but supporting them at home. as for extracurricular activities, a calendar is online for you to see how almost every day offers something for a diverse population of interests from girl scouts, to string band, to yoga, archery, martial arts, etc. we have been happy here and find the below reviews to be exceptions to the norm.
This is one of the worst schools to send your children to. Bullying is a HUGE issue at this school not only by other children but also the Administration. There is also an issue with abuse of power within Henniker Community School. Victims of bullying at HCS receive all the punishments that the bully should receive and it should be the other way around. When you speak up against the school for matters of bullying and how it's handled the school retaliates against you. I am a victim of this. The Principal and Vice Principal of this school has time and time again failed to acknowledge, report and otherwise handle the bullying that took place with my son.
HCS leaves children unchallenged. The administration does not take action with the increasing bulling issues. The school is not giving the students the ttools to succeed later in life. There is hardly any parent involvement. If you do approach the PTA/teachers with new ideas you are met with great resistance. After school programs are medicore for the size of the school
The school seems to foster the kids who embrace the typical good student, while the others straggle behind in mediocrity with little to challenge them. There is no foreign language offered for all students in 7th and 8th grade, when it is most important before entering high school, either.
I have had 2 kids go through HCS. Each of them has a different learning style. I feel that both of them have had opportunities and support from the teachers and staff. The facilities at the school are well-kept and they are working hard at keeping technology up-to-date. No Child Left Behind is a travisty and it impedes the creativity in teaching kids. Community support is key in seeing the school maintain quality programs. Seeing how kids in Henniker excell at the high school and enter top-notch colleges, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to send my children to a school that teaches self-respect, responsibility and strong basic skills.
My children have excelled here, not only in their grades, any nationally normed tests, or in their world view. I have enormous respect for the staff. It is a very well run public school in NH. Local property taxes pay for education in our state, so we are very fortunate to have a town that supports education. We have low student/teacher ratio, a full-time enrichment coordinator, language, arts, music, and a curriculum that integrates the arts. Parental involvement varies, all are welcome-some stay in the parking lot and talk amongst themselves and never come in, some spend hours volunteering, and some send their kids to school to get childcare, and breakfast and lunch--their only meals. (remember--we are a public school). My kids have learned the world is made up of many different kinds of folks. I am glad they are here. They are learning lots.
Henniker schools are just like any union run public school - failing at the most basic levels to prepare children to compete in the world. We worry a lot about bringing peanut butter in because a child might have an allergy and not at all that american children come in dead last when tested against the world's best and brightest. This failure is the NEA's and they do not care. The school has great teacher parking, new facilities, lots of worried (and misdirected by the union) parental involvement... And 16% are not reaching grade potential - the 'dumbed down' grade rating that means the whole system is a failure. The ratio is 11 to 1 and the avg cost per student/yr exceeds $13,000 - and for this we get the world's worst scores and results. There are no good public schools - sorry.
Henniker Community School is a good school that has the potential to be great. There is a good enrichment program that isn't fully utilized. The zero tolerance policy isn't working too well, but efforts are being made to improve the situation. The teachers are by and large well trained and responsive to suggestions, although there are a few who do not take constructive criticism very well. The parental involvement is great and the extracurricular activities are adequate. The music and art departments are well developed and kids are encouraged to excel in those areas. The test results for the elementary grades are somewhat worrying, but teachers in middle school grades seem to make up for any shortfall in the lower grades.