East is the most challenging public high school in the state. The stress level is unbelievable and most people say they put forth more effort here than they ever had to in college. If you don't take honors and AP classes, then you are looked down upon by peers, teachers and the administration. Very rarely do students take more then 1 standard class a year. It is very uncommon for a student to graduate with less then 5 AP credits. The rigor is unbelievable and most students are up all hours of the nigh doing work. Teachers are excellent and are reachable almost all hours of the day and night. If you aren't willing to put forth the effort of a rigorous college student, then this is not the school for you. As for the social aspect, Chapel Hill is a primarily wealthy town college town. So the preppy attitude is expected. With that the party atmosphere is not small. The school is very safe with 1 police officer, 3 security guards, and a key card system. If you want to put forth the effort, and used to the demanding social and educational atmosphere, then east is a great school for you.
As a parent with a child who graduated in 2007 and a child who is a current senior, I can say this school has dropped significantly in quality. Test scores may be as good as ever but the principal and counselors are terrible. Getting the principal to return a call, let alone set up a face t o face meeting is nearly impossible. The athletic director plays favorites among teams. He let the high profile football (who quit after 2 years) devastate some of the other teams such as wrestling because the football coach bullied the kids into playing ONLY football. My son's counselor doesn't seem to care and gets very defensive when you ask questions. My older son a true relationship with his counselor. She checked in with him. Knew what he was involved in and was a great asset during junior in preparing for college. My current son's counselor will write him a college recommendation without even even knowing him. On a positive note - their are some outstanding dedicated teachers and my son has been lucky enough to have a few of these. The ones that not only share their knowledge but instill passion for curiosity.
East Chapel Hill High School is nationally recognized in the highest designation as "Honor School of Excellence" with at least 90% of students at or above grade level. The majority of students take the SAT entrance exams and the schools average scores have been nationally recognized for high achievement for decades. Our family moved to so our then elementary age child go eventually go to high school here. He recently graduated And is now in college at the school of his choice. ECHHS is an excellent school with excellent teachers and Guidance Counselors who go the extra mile to get help your child.
Mostly wonderful teachers, extremely challenging. My son has worked harder at East than I ever had to work during college or graduate school. For him it has been great - he needs the challenge. Stress levels can be high however - it depends on the personality of the student. East has many councilors, all of whom are great resources for the college application process.
East is misunderstood as a school that is "highly rigorous." I have two students there who are both excellent top of their class students, and both have been miserable and generally unsupported during their time at East. The problem is that the school is so large, with very little security or discipline, and tremendous pressure on the teachers by the administration to rank high on testing that everyone is stressed out. Teachers and administrators take ages to get back to parents, if they do at all. Concerns are met with hostility. Creativity and critical thinking are not valued. This school creates automatons who score highly on tests - not future leaders of America. In short, I do not credit my kids' success academically to the academic rigors of East CHHS.
This is an excellent school. Teachers expect you to work very hard and by junior year you need to take about 5 AP's to maintain a competitive edge. However, I would say that while it is extremely stressful to maintain that course load and do a lot of extracurriculars, this is truly what real life is all about. There is a lot of competition and especially for people looking into ivy leagues, you ought to strive for academic excellence at all times. East isn't for everyone (especially not for those who like to slack off more often than not) but if you work very hard and strive for excellence you will find your niche. The teachers here aren't always understanding about the stress students are having but many do understand and are sympathetic to your concerns.
We have had a student at East for 2 years and as parents have noticed: *Excellent, dedicated teachers who (besides knowing their subject matter): - Integrate real world facts with academic instruction - Provide cooperative group experience *and* individual projects - Use the internet creatively and professionally - Organize extracurricular field trips - Assess learning outcomes intelligently - Help students learn to take responsibility *Fellow students encourage one another to study but have fun together, too *International and multicultural student body *Students are comfortable conversing with adults as beings of the same species *Availability of challenging academics for those so inclined *Phenomenal drama dept. *Music program, student newspaper and numerous clubs *Sports ethos supporting young women athletes as much as its young men *Nurture and challenge as appropriate. East provides a good foundation for college where students must be self-directed to take initiative and ownership of their own lives. It is a big school built upon the hearts of many caring individuals.
[Enter your review here] My two children are currently at East, They enjoy the school life a lot. It is a wonderful high school from every aspects.
This school is full of amazing teachers and has perhaps hundreds of groups for whatever you like--clubs especially are in abundance. Teachers are very involved, and there are many great teachers, not so many bad ones, and though I have run into some, I doubt it's a major problem. I do have to note that the competition at this school is very high. If you do not take AP classes your sophomore year, your class rank suffers dramatically, and extracurriculars come in the triples, often each of them asking your total dedication. You will find yourself staying up past midnight if you take your stuff seriously. But this school is highly enjoyable to go to; everyone finds their niche, bursts out, and has the freedom to enjoy whatever they want to. I will be sorry to leave.
All three of my kids have gone to ECCHS (one yet to graduate), so I have a clear view of the current landscape. For any motivated student, ECCHS is a great school. The curriculum is very challenging -- my kids put in as much work in high school as I ever did in college. There are plenty of extracurricular opportunities. Some posts here speak of drug/alcohol -- perhaps (like any large high school) but I never once saw that element interfere in any way with the social adjustment and happiness of the achievers Both my graduates got into top-rated colleges, and have very positive memories of their high school experience. There's a new principal coming this year (the longtime and much beloved principal has retired) so we'll see how that goes.
My son graduated with honors from a very fine university. I feel he was very well prepared by the faculty at East Chapel Hill High School. When he comes home on breaks, he still has many friends in town who he enjoys visiting with. Many of his friends have been successful at universities around the country as well as North Carolina. ECHHS is very rigorous. There are many opportunities for participation in sports, music, and other activities. The campus is beautiful. There has been an ongoing drug and alcohol problem in Chapel Hill that parents should be aware of. Probably not too different from what is going on in other parts of the country these days, unfortunately. There are some effective community initiatives directed at solving these problems.
I don't see why these reviews are so negative in reference to safety and discipline. As a student at East, I can proudly say that I have a social life, have never done drugs, and have never had alcohol. In addition, none of my friends have done any of those things. I'm aware of other people who do smoke and drink, but what high school doesn't have those people? Discipline may be a bit more of a problem (I have nothing to compare it to), but it's not like there's fights breaking out in the halls or anything. I've always felt quite safe at East, even before they implemented the key card system. Instead of focusing on safety, potential students should be worrying more about whether they have what it takes to succeed at this highly competitive (and slightly stressful) school.
I graduated in '07, and I'm currently a student at Wellesley College. I know that I would not have gotten accepted to Wellesley had it not been for the teachers, counselors and other faculty members at East who helped me strive for my best and excepted nothing less. I feel like most all the teachers are extremely qualified, many graduated from prestigious colleges and a good number hold multiple degrees. I think that all academic departments are equally vigorous and enlightening. ECHHS has put plenty of its resources and time in all areas of extracirricular activities---athletics, clubs, arts, music. I am proud to say that I am an ECHHS graduate.
I am a recent graduate from this school and I have to say its a pretty good school. The teachers are pretty good and classes arent too long. There are so many sports teams that we dont have enough space for them all and the music and art departments are both very good. Be aware that the school is very challenging. And as far as safety goes they just implemented a key card system to get into any door.
In all honesty, the reviews on here are horribly incorrect in my opinion but I'll try to straighten some facts. I'm currently a Senior in the top 5% of the class, and I must say, this school is very challenging and competitive. Having moved here halfway through my high school years, I have a basis for comparison. The principal is very dedicated, no question about it, he does a very good job in trying to connect with students, and he has weekly contact with parents and students through his Sunday calls. The teachers are excellent, especially the honors and AP ones. Students that come to this school has to be prepared for a very rigorous workload and it is not a school for the unmotivated and academically unsound student. Counselors are extremely helpful also. The school IS not accessible to 'anyone', there is a keycard system.
My son graduated from East Chapel Hill High. His academic preparation was excellent. He is doing very well at in a highly competitive program at a fine university. Availability of extracurricular activities was excellent. I am very impressed with the principal and counseling staff. Many concerned and involved parents. Very fine group of friends, interesting, caring and creative kids.
There are alot of art oppertunities, but students are all struggling to do well at this school.
I attended East for four years, and I enjoyed my time there. I thought the teachers were very good, although I think they were teaching a group of motivated students, which obviously helps the classroom atmosphere. There is quite a bit of pressure from parents to do well on AP and SAT tests, and to take a hard schedule of courses. However, students from East come out incredibly well-prepared for college. I have heard from several admissions officers, including one at Duke, that kids from East are more prepared for college than most kids from prep and private schools. Yes, the four years at East were stressful... but I am very confident that I will succeed in college. As for the drinking/drug problem: I know alcohol was abused, especially at parties, but I didn't find drugs to be a problem. The truth is, there are drugs and alcohol at every school.
I'm not a parent, but I am a student at East and totally disagree with the ratings, especially with the teacher quality and discipline. I as a student have seen hardly any parent involvment and absolutely no what-so-ever discipline in our school system. Don't get me wrong, the students at East are very nice and respectful but the teachers and staff do not discipline us at all and it is a very, very challenging school to succeed in as I have found out the first three years of school there.
As a student at East Chapel Hill I can say that the school is very challenging academically. There is a major drug and alcohol abuse at the school that the Principal and administration pretends doesn't exist. AP and honors credits are the main goals of students. This puts an enormous amount of pressure of students to suceed. Also many parents strongly encourage their child to suceed at desire them to attend top schools like the ivy's. Almost all of the teachers highly knowledgble and are able to convey lessons in a variety of ways. Many extracurricular activities are abundant with many clubs and sports teams. Many teachers do put a strong political spin on the academic lessons, many which lean far to the left.
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