This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted May 20, 2014
- a community member
According to Winterhavens site, it is a math, technology and science school. That is NOT true. Sure, the math and science is advanced, but the technology? We do things like take pictures with cameras or make silent films, how, in any world, is that advanced technology? Oh and the computers? Yup, they're easily over 5 years old and you can't do ANYTHING on them without them freezing up or having to restart. Other than the lying about having advanced technology though, it's a pretty good school.
Winterhaven school is NOT a school for special needs children because they have very little support from the district. Neighborhood schools are much better equipped for children with special needs. However, for the children who are above average learners or who enjoy becoming life-long learners, Winterhaven is the BEST! The teachers at Winterhaven really care about their students!
My student did not feel welcome at this school as a child who's family is living below the poverty line. I guess it's easy to get good test scores at a school that does not have poorer people, ELL students, minorities, or children with disabilities. I am taking my child to a more open school with a more open envirnment.
I attended Winterhaven from 1st grade to 8th grade. For 8 years I was surrounded by enthusiastic, eccentric students and teachers who really cared about me. Everyone knew my name and who I was, just as I knew everyone else. Winterhaven gave me a head start in high school. I entered Cleveland high school in SE Portland with 3 full credits. I am confused by the comment about teachers being overwhelmed by all the "special needs kids". Winterhaven is a magnet school, but it is still a public school. The amount of "special needs" kids would be the same amount you would find in any other public school, and the teachers are inspiring, intelligent, and truly pasionate people. I have very fond memories of my years at Winterhaven. It is a wonderful school, and a wonderful community to belong to. I have just graduated from high school, and I give full credit to my time spent at Winterhaven to my success in high school. It was a bit of a culture shock coming from Winterhaven into high school, mainly because students lost inspiration and interest. Without a close-knit community, I felt alone and as if no one cared about me like they did at Winterhaven. But alas, I made it to where I am now!
Winterhaven is a magnet school - for special needs kids. There is a large population of Aspergers and other special needs kids here who are very intelligent but with few social skills. There are not enough resources for the staff to deal with all these kids and their special needs, and frequently the teachers are overwhelmed and the more "normal" kids fall through the cracks. Some of the teachers are excellent, some are overwhelmed, and some are just waiting for retirement/should have retired already. The electives are largely taught by parent volunteers, some of whom are "special needs types" themselves. The curriculum is advanced, but for the past two years the 6th grade class has lost their field trip privileges due to behavior issues by a large number of students - enough to have the entire field trip(s) cancelled rather that just having 1 or 2 students not participate. To me this is very significant.
I have two bright girls but really felt they could get lost in the PPS district with all the budget cuts etc. I really wanted teachers/faculty that could give them creative ways to learn and problem solve, give them a little push if they need it or on certain things that they have caught on to teach them more advanced levels so they can feel challenged that is what they do at Winterhaven, they are so supportive that way. They try to give one on one attention while teaching science and math in creative ways. What a blessing it is to go to work and know my girls are being enriched in math/science/community/language/arts and most of all they come home feeling they belong and fit in. Winterhaven also has a nurturing environment so it s comfortable for the students to study and learn I think it s due to the combination of staff and daily involvement of parents/PTA in decisions and the activities that go on there. Winterhaven is the best all around school!
This is the absolute, best school in the portlandpublicschool district. The teachers there could not be paid enough for the work they do, the interest they take in the students, and their ability to communicate (teach) the students. My two sons; '06 & '07; are far better prepared for HighSchool then I could have ever hoped. In fact, my '07 son, who was a Freshman this year, was number one in his class of 187. All thanx to Mr A, Mrs A, Mrs Lane, Mrs Shuman, Mr Bright, Patti & Mrs Gattis. What a great school!