This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ballston Spa Senior High School2
Posted June 22, 2014
- a parent
Good academic programs, but hard to stay on a good path with tvery poor guidance. Most of the guidece counselors dont know how to do their job. Some years classes alternate and get dropped every other year. The counselors dont tell the students, they have to find out by themselves. The counselors are only put together students schedules, and some how some students schedules get messed up every year and they are forced to take classes they dont want. The administration is also very poor within this school. Their way of handling issues is with suspension. I dont have a problem with that, but if kids are getting suspended for playing games on computers, thats ridiculous. Colleges see the suspension and it looks bad, sometimes they dont look for the reason. They see it, and move on to their next applicant. They need to find other forms of discipline for small problems.
I have been in this district for several years now. The school runs every Common Core pilot program that NYSED throws at it. Politicians & NYSED Commissioner John King walks the halls here too. The High school is running the pilot program for the Common Core English/Math in the Early College / H.S. Smart Tec program in the 11th/12th grades and intends to start the program in 9th grade in 2015. They have a robust technology dept by the means of RttT funding that this school district always seems to "win" from NYSED and the Governor. The High School environment is very rough with a wide range of kids that are bullied. The Demographics of this district is the high rate of kids that live in the poverty to others that live in relative wealth. Many of the kids that come from good families are "sucked in" by many bad influences that permeate the middle and high school. I will say that the high school principal is not warm and is not liked by parents, kids and the H.S. Staff. The teachers and counselors are great, but the leadership lacks and does not listen to the concerns of parents.
BSHS is a great school. We have more programs than most area schools. We are the only IB World school in the Suburban Council. Most of the teachers here are really good. The administration and guidance department are excellent. I am proud to be a Scottie.
This school is not perfect, no high school in America is. Well, not yet anyway. Sure, it does have great acedemic and technolgy programs that if offers, and it does also have the new International Bacchelorate which is the only one in the suburban council! But like i said, it's not perfect. It may not have the best sports teams, which could be improved, but what I'm more focused on is the attitude the students, like me also, have about this school. A lot of them are throwing away their education because of the management of this school. It is very overpopulated and that probelm needs to be fixed. It just needs "polishing up" they need to fix the dress code a little bit, seriously, it's like a strip club...especially the older kids. They also need to have a bit more of an eye on the "punks" as I call them, not only will this reduce potential future criminal rates, but it will give them a better view of the school. They also need a "Bully Box." Kids write down who's bully them and how on a paper and put it into a box in a secluded place like guidance or something. I may only be a freshman, but like I said, it's not bad, just has room for improvement. Notice...3 stars. I am..."The Z"
No school in a several county area offers more choice. The curricular options at BSHS are unparalleled: the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (BSpa is the only school in the suburban council with it), TEC-Smart (through which students come close to earning an associate's degree by the age of 18), both a biomedical strand and a technology strand through Project Lead the Way, more electives than most schools twice its size, ... Our children benefit greatly from the supportive teachers, counselors, and administrators. We chose this district and never have regretted the decision. -would move here again!
I'm not going to argue that this school doesn't have good (even excellent) programs and opportunities, because it does. I am however going to argue about the limited staff support for children that need it and I do have a serious issue with the amount of bullying that goes on. It is a VERY difficult school to acclimate a child into from a different district having little or NO assitance in doing so and credits do not transfer as they should. In addition, I think the limited parental support is obvious because it shows with the behavioral issues with many of the students. Blame the school? On a certain level yes I do. The dress code not being inforced simply digusts me every day that I drop my children off. If you don't want your children exposed to a strip club, then enroll them elsewhere because it is absolutley rediculous! We moved to this district based on specific criteria, test scores, awards, ect... I now know that there are hidden issues within every school, even the perfect ones. I am glad we opted NOT to purchase a home here and we will be looking into other districts (or private schools) very soon as a result. It is a shame that you can't go by everything you read.
This High School is poor. It is not diverse in its ethnicity or its approach towards it. The administration is rude and very unprofessional. The teachers are great, just don t let your child get into any kind of problem there big or small because your child will carry that label with them for the whole duration of their high school years. This school is bias and in my opinion the NY State Board of Education should take a better look at it. The school is over populated, they suspend students left and right. Their way of taking care of the population. Students have to be academically postive as well. That s not the case here with BSHS, Trust ME! If your child falls behind they will help at first, after that they want to swing the door open and try persuading ideas about GED and we will help you get into college courses, right in front of your child. Your child that already feels that they cant succeed now feels they wont! They don t want their scores to be low NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT hitting two birds with one stone (over populated, test scores)! I am not the only parent that feel this way! My other children will not attend Ballston Spa HS.
Ballston Spa is a nice school, nice kids and the teachers are hard working and dedicated. The principal is not very fair, and she isn't visible enough. She plays favorites with students and with teachers, which isn't very professional. The entire admin. needs to reevalute their discipline procedures, and help teachers more with strategies on some of the tougher kids. Other than that, it is a good place to work. I do believe that the students are receiving a good education, and preparation for college.