My daughter started at Ashland High School in the middle of her sophomore year, and we were anticipating a difficult transition. We were delighted to find the faculty, staff, and students at Ashland High to be very warm, welcoming, and inclusive. AHS is run more like a college than most high schools; there is an open campus policy and classes have a mix of ages in them. The academics are terrific without being overly stressful. Teachers don't demand more homework than kids can handle. There are plentiful academic and elective courses to chooses from, as well as a wealth of extracurricular activities. We are very happy that we moved to Ashland, and AHS has contributed to that greatly.
Severe bullying issues that the school sweeps under the rug and refuses to deal with - even when police are involved. DRUGS are everywhere (all kinds of drugs) and most of the teachers lack enthusiasm. We have had a terrible experience and have decided to home school (although a big factor in making the decision to move here was for the "high quality schools" - this has not been our experience). Very disappointing.
When given the opportunity every teacher will tell you how overworked they are (they each have 180 students, as I have been told over and over again). They are burned out and overburdened -- many make it obvious that they cannot stand their jobs or teenagers.
There have been multiple suicides and suicide attempts. They have a magic way of working the numbers through alternative programs (Sege and home school, etc.) that make it look like their graduation rates are higher than they actually are.
Bullying is pervasive! There have been assaults, spreading of rumors, students being singled out hassled for years while the staff continually looked the other way (the football team were number one perpetrators). Administration and teachers have done NOTHING -- even at times have made the situation worse.
Students observe staff playing favorites to students and certain affiliations (athletes for example get a lot of "passes"), students are not treated fairly. Some are singled out based on race or even an older sibling who may have been in trouble.
Emphasis on encouraging students to think and engage in the subject matter and not just score well on tests or jump through hoops by an excellent teaching staff is a major factor in making Ashland High School, a truly great school. Students, faculty, administrators and the parent community work to create a school culture where helping others and working together as a team is valued. With the support of their teachers, administrators and community, Ashland High School students are doing great things . . and go on to doing great things when they graduate.
Sent four kids to this school. Wish that I had an affordable alternative. Not one came out able to put together a coherent paragraph. Two of them blossomed in college, third may be so lost that he can't be redeemed, and 4th still wasting her time at the high school. All three who are out feel cheated by the experience in light of college experience. Lots of busy work, teaching from texts. Paucity of analytical thinking. Science classes without meaningful labs. Too many teachers with short timers syndrome. Feel sorry for the few teachers trying to make something happen with all the dead wood. Athletics are a disaster, essentially child care with participation awards. Parental involvement is bait and switch. . . appears extensive but mostly platitudes. Town demographics (well educated and affluent) mask student learning deficiencies. Students learn at home how to talk like the man on the 6 o'clock news. But ultimately until they leave for college they don't realize how banal their high school experience was.