All three of my children are proud public school students. Two have graduated from Heights and are doing well. They are devoted alum who will tell you unequivocally that they loved the place. I'll be honest, I'm white and I've had my worries about sending my kids to these schools, but none of these fears has ever been realized. My children have worked hard and surrounded themselves with likewise friends, black and white, and, in that respect, the whole experience has been more or less the same as it would have been anywhere else. THAT is the reality. It isn't gangs. It isn't crime. It's high school. The really great thing is that not only have my children had great academic training they have learned a lot about the world that majority white schools will never be able to teach. In my opinion this is an educational opportunity that should not be passed up. I dream of a school that is racially balanced like the overall population of our city, but unfortunately, for reasons I can't explain, many people won't let themselves believe in that dream. Too bad for all of us.
When I read some of the negative comments here, I wonder what kind of high school these people went to. Was it perfect? Mine wasn't, nor is Heights. But I got a very good education and so is my daughter. Gang fights? Hardly. Do you even know what a gang fight is? There are fights sometimes and there are discipline problems, but there are no "gang fights," and no "guns in the school"--as many people in the area think. A kid had a gun in the parking lot, he was not a student, and security immediately identified the problem and got him off the school property. Anyway, my daughter feels safe there and has loved most of her classes. I guess if you never had a class you didn't think was good in high school, then Heights is not for your kids. If you want reality, and great teachers overall, it is. I am white and I also know that a lot of whites stay away from Heights because it is mostly black (people have actually said this to me); well, that is racist. Too bad for you and your kids.
The education quality in the school is decent, with a strong AP intiative, however because of the interdepartment/small school politics very little is ever achieved. The current security initiative is a joke and the security has ridiculous amounts of oversight, just as an example, a friend of mine entered the school in the morning and was hassled as to where his id was, however no mention was made of the large canister of liquid nitrogen he was carrying. It's incidents like these that make school policies commonly lauded as jokes in the school.
I am a sophomore at Heights and I can say from personal experience that it is not a conductive learning environment. The small schools were supposed to help gear students towards a career, but they are horribly mismanaged. I am a Legacy student, who chose legacy based on the math, science, and engineering aspects of the school. However when I started at a freshman, I was placed in "The Impact of Science on World History" a combined world history and physical science class, physical science being the 8th grade standard that I had taken the year before. I was them placed in algebra 2 even though my recommended class was honors algebra 2. I was told that neither of these could be fixed because my combined class was a set legacy class and legacy did not offer honors classes. They did however offer a honors "option" where you do slightly more work without learning anything different in order for it to appear as an honors course on your transcripts. When I tried to transfer out of legacy I was bullied into staying by staff members. The overall learning environment is loud and distracting. Fights and riots break out over nothing and staff do nothing to control it. Horrible school.
My daughter will be a junior this year and my son will be a freshman. AP US History was a rigorous class. The teacher assigned a lot of essays and worked with my daughter to improve her writing. She earned a 4/5 on the AP exam, so I'm confident that the instruction was very strong. The music program is first rate, and reflects our community's passion for the arts. There were 16 AFS students in the Renaissance School last year representing countries from Europe, Asia, and Africa. We have met some wonderful families through Heights Soccer, Baseball, Lacrosse, Golf, Hockey, Cheerleading, and Singers. There are many high quality opportunities available at Heights if you are willing to work hard and take initiative. The workforce is competitive. Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and China (with the USA) will be the six most dominant economies by 2050. My kids are gaining a competitive edge by learning to work, learn, and live with people who have different perspectives and cultures than their own. If students run out of academic opportunities at Heights, they are eligible to take courses at CSU, JCU, Case, and CCC for college credit.
We moved out of Cleveland Hts before my kids had to attend here. My step-son attended CHUH High and it was horrible. We weren't informed that he wasn't showing up at school until his report card came - NO ONE attempted to let us know. Great. The whole 3 years he was enrolled, he floated through without doing any homework - they just kept passing him to the next level. His father pulled him out & had him do his last year with an online school. He couldn't pass unless he did the work. Duh. Communication with parents was non-existent. Administration was gruff and disgruntled. What dress code? Pants below knees on boys, and very inappropriately dressed girls, horrible language, all with no words from staff. Gang fights in the hallways & at sporting events were not uncommon (check the news). No respect or sense. The "Small Schools" initiative sounded like a good idea, but it was horribly mis-managed, very disorganized, confusing, a big failure. We made sure to move away before our other kids would be subjected to this poor excuse for a school.
The ratings of 5 of 5 stars in 2009 & 2010 are completely ridiculous. Have to be administration or some of the rare few people that had a good experience here during this time. Bad bad BAD school. I can't think of anything good to say. Well, the elementary school - Gearity - wasn't too bad, but the district is closing that school, so no.
This has to be one of the worst, poorly run high schools I have ever encountered. I say this nOt only as a parent of 2 children who attend, but also as a graduate. The security guards are a joke at best, way too friendly with students, poor communication skills, often off chatting amongst each other, there does not seem to be any dress code in place, boys pants are down to their knees, girls are in everything from night clothes to evening wear. The language in the halls in the presence of school administrators is a disgrace and never corrected. Both my children have managed to maintain high GPA's I accredit to my husband and I being very involved parents, incredibly terrific, focused children, and a few great teachers. I am overjoyed that this is my youngest child's last year. I would highly recommend home schooling before enrolling a child here
I graduated from here a few years ago and can honestly say I loved Heights. I really miss the experience, the people I met there, and the excellent education I received there. Heights is a rough school, but what you take away from it can completely change you. I transferred here after attending catholic schools in the city, and found my education experience much more satisfying. What you get out of Heights is up to you; the opportunities are there for you to take or leave, I was prepared for college and the 'real world' after I graduated because Heights showed me a sense of reality that the world isn't a lilly-white paradise. I can honestly say this school changed me for the better.