From the outside, this school appears to have a healthy learning enviroment. I was looking forward to sending my son here, because of the individual attention, wide course selection, and "diverse" community the school supposedly has to offer. Unfortunately, the school isn't all it appears to be. Although the course offerings are rigorous as we expected, the school social environment is extremely rough, with pressure to be smart, macho, and athletic. The students are really judgmental about grades and socioeconomic status, and the "diverse" environment is even somewhat racist. The administration is in denial.
Be careful of sending your child here unless you really feel they will "fit in the box". Horace Mann does not want to work with families if their child does not conform to their high expectations, and in the early years sends tons of kids for therapy, psychologists, and services so they can get up to snuff. Children are pushed to be ahead academically and little focus on the social emotional well being of the children.
This school is not good if you get one b plus you get kicked out .dont go
First of all, you don't have to be super smart to go here; I think the intelligence factor is mythologized by parents who are willing to tutor their kids in every subject until they bring home the A's. My child attended the high school and had some teachers who were decent and others who were downright weird. Overall we found it to be a rather impersonal place fraught with internal politics.
My son attends Middle School. It is true that this is a mini-college school. He s learning Mandarin, studying Latin, Honors Math...and lots of classes he selected. It is not an easy school at all and it is not all about the wonderful teachers but the students. We can visit all classes once a year and a good filter to feel you don t belong to it are the students. They are SO smart! If someone is complaining is just because they don t belong to HM... very few do. It s a place where being a nerd is cool so it s not a place for everyone. I feel very proud my kids excel at HM... parents are very involved with activities but don t interfere with their kids academics. If your kid needs a tutor to pass his classes this is not the school...just for the really smart & committed.
I have had to opportunity to view the school as an alum and as a parent. Horace Mann is one of the best high schools in the country. It possesses the facilities of a college and offers the course selection of one as well. With an average class size of 14-15 there is plenty of opportunity for close teacher/student interaction and it is easy for a student to get extra help from a teacher. The administration is very accomdating if a student has an issue or an illness. The faculty is first rate. With average home work of 2-3 hrs a night, the acedmics are challenging and the school can be a real pressure cooker. There is also an early awareness of the college process even as early as 9th grade.
This high school is like a mini-college. All of the students end up at top universities, and love their experience at HM. Not to mention that the student body at HM is amazingly talented, intelligent, ambitious, and driven. There are tons of facilities- a pool, 2 gyms, fitness room, several computer labs, 2-floor library, 2 theaters, and a big cafeteria. Every classroom is equipped with a computer, projector, and some have smart boards. Tons of the teachers have PhDs, and all of them are really great. They are extremely helpful and actually want their students to succeed. I love this school, and I'll never forget all that I've learned from here.
This is a most engaging school with teachers and administrators who are really interested in the kids and their well-being, not just the school's cumulative glory. The children are engaged and excited to learn. The opportunities for them are numerous and exceptional. They foster simple values such as kindness and respect in a practical way. It's not just lip service.
My kids go to the middle school in 09/10. The Middle school teachers seem very mediocre and unimpressive. They are supposed to use the moodle which is a hi tech academic curriculum and syllabus system designed to help the self motivated. But not one teacher has this working correctly, on-time or with quality content. Too many teachers are uninvolved, uninspiring, and frankly overrated. Some of them are downright bad. I did hear that the high school has better teachers. I wish the school would institute a reverse performance review-by the students and parents of their teachers.
Designed for the gifted set, this top notch facility provides every challenge a growing mind could want. The stress level is overrated, most often by those who could not rise to the challenge. The educators are driven, yet supportive abd understanding. The 'Escalade' parent set takes some getting used to, but the educational experience is unmatched. If your child is accepted, this is the place to send hium/her.
I'm not a parent at HM, I'm a student. I attend Middle School there and entered in kindergarten. So I want to point out some things that parents 'may have overlooked' (but when you're paying approx. $39,000, what could go wrong?) Some of the teachers at HM are spectacular (I can think of two) but most of the rest are ok-ish (or worse.) Some are not too strict, which is what I'd expect, but are somewhat flaky, and don't offer any discipline or rules at all (I recall one english class that I had, right before my lunch period, where we were allowed to walk in late, with chips, soda, and/or french fries. Then, we would proceed to eat in class, climb on the desks, and write on the whiteboard. ~BustopherJones
I graduated at the very top of the class, played multiple varsity sports etc., and went on to one of the best universities on the planet. I was shocked to learn how woefully underprepared I was for college by HM. HM will give you lots of homework and fancy facilities but will not teach you to think or problem solve.
Simply the best of the best. If your child is lucky enough to get accepted, it truly offers the best education money can buy.
Horace Mann's academics are rigorous. Hard working students thrive there. Students with a desire to succeed have the power to do so at Horace Mann because of the extremely attentive and talented faculty. The school also has fantastic extracurricular opportunities.
My daughter has attended Horace Mann School since she was in kindergarten. She is now in 7th grade. This school is excellent. She continues to excel and loves going to school every day. Horace Mann provides numerous extracurricular activities that supplement its program of study.
The best of the best. Pressure, yes. Pressure cooker, no. This is a school packed to the brim with self-motivated kids who take advantage of the opportunities available to them at an instution of such academic caliber. Teachers are inspiring and enthusiastic. Sure, there are duds, but overall, they are the best you can get. Beware of the materialistic tendencies of the student body, but remember, your child doesn't have to be one of them to fit in. Parents Association active and heard- very supportive. State of the art facilities including a fitness room, hi-tech private music practice rooms, photography lab, wireless internet, and 4+ computer labs. The only child left behind at HM is the one who shouldn't be there. Note: Sports teams are diverse, but this is no 'Friday-night football game with cheerleaders' crowd; it's more like the intellectual fireworks crew. An ideal environment for bright and driven students.
Myth #1 'It's a pressure cooker.' Intense, yes. Rigorous academics, yes. So many extracurriculars it's hard to choose (many kids don't.) The *kids* are intense, the pool of talent immense. Most kids are talented academically *and* in other areas. Most genuinely want to develop to the fullest. Courses move quickly,material's explored in depth, standards are high. Romance languages are weak. Science, math, history: outstanding. English: verytraditional. TONS of arts: music, drama, dance, visual, etc. Tons of teams, clubs populated with diversity of 'types': baseball players also sing in glee club. Kids given freedom in order to learn to handle it at college. Leadership is encouraged, service required, intelligence admired, even envied. Most kids genuinely supportive of each other. Parents can be too intense. Teachers are down-to-earth, concerned & accessible to kids & parents. Hard to believe we'll find a college that's comparable. Average kids will struggle.
Great school, if you are going to pick a private school in riverdale this is the one and only one. Don't even think of the other 2, if you can get into this school you can get into any private school in the metro area. My daughter loves it. Teachers are the greatest and care about the students. Classes are small and the students are as friendly as they come.
My daughter has attended HM since Middle School, and is now finishing freshman year. She was always a strong student, but I've watched her blossom beautifully, taking complete ownership of her education. This attitude was intentionally fostered by the school leadership and teachers, and my daughter has embraced it and is excelling. The workload is tremendous, but the kids are self-motivated and the intensity seems to come from their own healthy desire to excel. The school is committed to providing not only extraordinary academic and extracurricular resources and experiences, but diversity. As a family of Hispanic and African American background, the student body is among the most diverse I found--although more teachers of color would be a welcome sight. I've found HM a fabulous environment for my daughter. I highly recommend it.
Horace Mann offers its students a first-rate education at every level. Teachers are highly qualified and motivated. This excitement about learning is passed on to the students. There are, however, social issues at this school. There is little religious diversity, and the school is filled with cliques. The arts are beginning to become a priority at the school, and the splendid new buildings have contributed greatly to a general feeling of well-roundedness.
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