My daughter (a freshman) was a little nervous about attending this school but I must say, she is loving it. Yes, there are days that the homework is a bit much but she is handling it well. She made the JV Volleyball team and has joined a couple of clubs. It's definitely a well rounded school.
Honestly, while attending this school, I hated it with every fiber of my being; to this day, I can't say that the time I spent at THHS was great. This school caused me a lot of mental and physical anguish. Though, reflecting upon my high school years, I now see that Townsend really is out to do good and help students really get somewhere in life. Many people complain about the boot camp-like gym classes, but they train you to be very fit and healthy, which most other schools don't bother to accomplish. Also, THHS had such a caring and welcoming environment (concerning other students). Besides a few rare occurrences, I have never heard of bullying or fights. Everyone seemed to be, for the most part, one big family. While the teachers are a hit or miss, a lot of the good ones are exceptional. When this school says they're preparing you for college, they aren't kidding. After graduating, I can honestly say I'm glad I went to this school. Note to incoming or current students: yes, THHS may seem like an absolute horror, but do try to make the best of it. It's a great school for a reason; while they seem to care about their reputation A LOT, they do also have your future in mind.
For those of complaining about gym, I honestly have to say that while it might seem ridiculous or pointless, in the long run, the benefits outweigh the cons. Honestly, all health and gym classes are taught by excellent teachers. You literally get all tools necessary for living healthy and you can carry this on to college. As a freshmen I had trouble running a mere mile, a testimony to my inactivity. As a senior, I took a body sculpting class where I learned how to use weights and as a result I became fit. Even now running a mile is an easy feat, showing my cardiovascular fitness. Its good to know that the school will take care of your mind and body. What many adults pay for personal fitness trainers, we get the knowledge for free. As for the running outside in the cold, honestly, it isn't that bad and in retrospect, it probably helped strengthen me too.
Mixed feelings about this school. No doubt it is one of the best high schools in NYC. As a parent of a graduated students, I noticed that there are a lot of rooms for improvement. The main job that they need to do is to find out why a national ranked 33rd high school have such low percentage of students accepted by ivy caliber schools. For the past few years, the number of students accepted by ivy calibers were under 10%. Whereas in Stuy, it was about 25%. For a class of about 270 kids, only 4 got accepted to Cornell on an average. Jericho High School in Long Island, which has similar class size, have 20+ kids got into Cornell. Why? That's a big question that Townsend needs to find out! Below are pros and cons: Pros: 1. Push the kids to their limit leads to better prepared for college. 2. Great friendly atmosphere for learning and making good life time friends. Cons: 1. Too much running for gym. 2. College counselors were inexperience that leads to large amount of smart kids NOT getting into Ivy League colleges. 3. Teachers gave out lousy grades. All classes are honors but they don't weight the grades. This also leads to students denied by large amount of top selective colleges.
I don't have much complaints about the school except the heavy amount of homework. I really hate the gym teacher that my child has and their requirement. They made the kids run 2 miles within 2 weeks and in a certain amount of time. What were they thinking of? Are they training the kids to run in a marathon??? They would even take the kids out in the cold while the gym teachers stood there, dressing all nice and warm in their winter jacket and mocking the kids. They wouldn't even care if your child is sick. They would give you BS that it's good for the kids. Well let me tell you this, it wouldn't be good for the kids if they don't properly train them and threaten to fail them if they don't run. What's worse, that they would have a kid that has a heart failure and they will be getting law suits in no time. They should train them gradually and build up their strength. This is my point of view as a martial arts instructor.