This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Upper Arlington High School4
Posted May 20, 2014
- a community member
Upper Arlington is still a great school. However, it has become far to focused on the reputation and statistics of the school to the detriment of the students. While it boasts exceptional test scores and graduation rates, the academic facilites are now far outdated compared to the new Dublin and Olentangy schools. Also, there is a palpable disconnect between the new administration, the teachers, students and parents since the departure of Kip Greenhill.
My family and I moved to UA from out of state. My children graduated from UAHS and I'm retired from the school system. There are many positives and some negatives about UA and the high school. First, On the positive side, UA values education and offers a wide range of experiences for its students. The proximity to OSU is wonderful (although more students need to take advantage of that). My own children received a wonderful education here and were successful in college because of it. However, they graduated in the early 2000s. The negatives: the community is insular and non-welcoming to outsiders. Parents coddle their children to a degree that holds them back from taking personal responsibility. Teachers are no longer supported by administrators. The high school building is a serious negative; it needs to be updated to keep UA competitive with the newer suburbans schools. People whose families have lived here for generations find the building "charming" because it's just like they remember. They need to get out of UA more. Academics are slipping as parents and students demand less rigor. Watch out for Dublin Jerome - it's "the new UA."
I hate it here. Yes, there are a few teachers that are AMAZING... but the environment and the people are very judgmental. They like to pretend that UA is perfect, yet there are so many flaws in the system it's not even fuuny. For example,UAHS has been known to graduate people even when they have not met requirements, just so it's graduation rate doesn't get dinged. It's all about appearances here, don't trust what you see.
This is a challenging school with lots of opportunities. My adult child, several years into his career, found his HS education to be a great foundation for his out-of-state college and beyond. Even being in the arts, he weathered the recession much better than many of his colleagues.
The UA schools are one of the best school systems in the state. The schools are dedicated in children achieving the best grades that they could possibly get, and fulfilling the requirements of students moving on towards college. However, learning involves more than just grades and acceptance into a college. UA school's lack in area's of dedication to children who learn differently than most, & are considered normal, but need more time and attention in grasping certain subjects. When a child is starting to fail they pass them along anyway, as apposed to taking the time to help that child learn in a manner that he/she learns best in, so that the child has an understanding of what is being taught. Pushing a child into the next grade before they understand their material causes them to fall further behind, not only in academics but socially as well. The teachers here need to have a better understanding of teaching styles so that their students aren't just passing the standardized tests, but are actually enjoying their education and gaining knowledge at the same time. It's sad such a great community is more concerned about statistics than they are about the little people they educate!
Being a non-legacy is difficult. The athletic code is extremely lax. Coaches should not be hired who cannot even spell or use proper grammar and they should not be permitted to hire their cronies. There is a huge doping problem across all economic levels. Bullying is a problem by students, teachers and coaches. There are excellent teachers in the system but not enough to merit the pay they receive. For the record, my child is an athlete, volunteer and "A" student.
Most people who go here never plan on trying anything different, and that immensely alters perceptions about the real world. Some people want to understand what's out in the world, and others are content with what they already understand (Especially when there's not much more to understand than the ways of UA). I attended Upper Arlington thru grades K-12. Once I got to college I realized all the things that were so easy to take for granted. However, I was one of the few kids who went out of state for college -- everyone else went to private schools or close by, like Miami of Ohio or Ohio State. I tell them it seems like they don't want things to ever change, but they just tell me to appreciate Upper Arlington, and lacrosse.
I completely agree with the reviewer of October 7, 2011. I took my children out of the catholic system and put them into UAHS for the educational opportunities. I can't stress enough how great they are. But, as the October 7th reviewer said, unless you have lived in UA since it's incorporation, your child will struggle socially - especially with athletics. I find volunteering to be difficult as I have found that all of them know each other from when they went to school here and are not particularly friendly to newcomers (e.g., you go up and introduce yourself and they say hello and then walk over to their group of friends and do not include you in the conversation or give you any kind of pointers as to the task at hand.) I find it more rewarding to volunteer outside the UA district, and I now go to the inner city schools and help there. Come to UA for the IB and AP programs, the teachers, and the guidance staff. They know their stuff and will help your child get into a great college. I am on year 3 of my 10 year sentence in UA. They day they graduate is the day I put my house up for sale.