Our son just finished pr-k at Harvest Hills. Our son's teachers (1 teacher & 1 teacher' assistant in the class) were horrendous. I've never seen people who outwardly appear to hate children decide to become teachers. Neither ofteacher teachers were warm or affectionate towards the children. Towards the beginning of the school year I watched my son walk into class (we were a few minutes late), and he was looked at and ignored as he stood in the middle of the room unsure of what to do next. The teacher then yelled at the students (who were not being loud or unruly, but rather sitting in their chairs talking and coloring) the way a police officer would yell to order someone to the ground. My biggest complaint is the security of the building. The doors by pre-k have been unlocked and propped open during EVERY visit to the school. I went to pick up my son from school a few weeks ago and the teacher told me, in a very unconcerned tone, that he had not come to school that day - which I knew to be false. After searching the school and asking other students, he was found on the playground. He had been unsupervised on the playground for who knows how long.
I cant say enough great things about this school. The teachers and all staff are amazing!! I now have four kids in this school and i wouldnt have them anywhere else. I saw one of the comments that there was "gang activity" This is NOT TOLDERATED there. No school can help if they have a couple of bad apples, but they do deal with them immediately. No violence is tolerated, any student involved is suspended with out question. I have two sons that are ADD/ADHD and borderline "Bi-Polar", While they do not have "Special" classes that i am aware of, the teachers bend over backwards to help in the aid of their learning and are sensitive to the extra needs, time and patience needed for these students. We love Harvest Hills Elem.
Okay, I am amending my review. My son's been in Harvest Hills nearly a month now and has seen gang activity. He was told the gang always 'recriuts new students.' He's seen violent fights on the playground. In his old school, he had to turn in monthly book reports, and had homework every night. At Harvest Hills, the kids are WAY behind him--fourth graders struggling to understand addition--and there is no homework and no book reports. Additionally, we live in an apartment complex that is 'technically' within a half mile of school--but we live another half mile inside the complex. We walk 25 minutes to school, 25 minutes back in the morning, then another 25 there and 25 back in the evening. It's not the time and exercise I mind--it's the TWENTY DEGREE MORNINGS WITH A TODDLER IN A STROLLER. My son arrives at school already exhausted and freezing, cramping from breakfast.
Harvest Hills Elementary has exceeded all of my expectations. Our son's pre-school and kindergarten teachers were wonderful! They were more than just good educators, they were good people. They were the reason that Alex looked forward to school every day. And I just can't praise his principal, Dr. Ann Caine, enough. She's down to earth and thoroughly involved with the student body whom she obviously cares deeply about. The faculty loves her. The parents love her. And, most importantly, the kids love her. She has earned the genuine respect of her students and faculty because she treats everyone of them with genuine respect -- a far cry from the kind of principals that I grew up with. My wife and I feel very fortunate to have our children attending a school like Harvest Hills. In a state with notoriously bad public education, this school is an oasis of quality.