This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Henry Charles W School4
Posted April 14, 2015
- a parent
We are having a good experience with our oldest in Kindergarten this year. Music, art, gym and computer are the "specials", and the terrific bonus of a Playworks instructor for recess. The focus is definitely on academics, but the teachers make it fun--with interactive lessons, and free choice time in the afternoon. There is an organic garden that the kids have fun planting and maintaining (and tasting!). This year, there has been a "kinderstrings" program (violin classes), plus an African dance residency just for the kindergarteners. A huge plus for kindergarten is that the 2 kindergarten classrooms have en suite bathrooms, plus outside access to their very "own" kindergarten playground. Principal Rogers welcomes parents to budget meetings and is very responsive to any concerns. Plus, the active PTA is a huge asset for the school. The downsides are the ongoing budget issues, nurse only 2 days/wk, and large classes (although there are aides), and aging building. The school, PTA along with Mt Airy USA are working to get the older kids playground a massive facelift very soon so that should help the look of things a bit!
We ve had a very good experience with Kindergarten this year. Our oldest is thriving in the classroom, with a strong curriculum and excellent teacher. The focus is on fundamentals (particularly reading and math) but also includes science, social studies, art, music, computers, and PE each week. Class sizes can be large (the two K classes are at 30) but Henry augments with aides and student teachers. There is a sizeable and active contingent of parents, with an active PTA and several other contributing groups in the community. The main drawbacks for us involve facilities and the challenges that trickle down from being part of the PSD. The buildings and grounds are less than lovely, and don t receive enough maintenance and upkeep. The annual budget dysfunction within the district can make each summer nerve-wracking for both faculty and parents. We understand that the public model (at least in Philly) doesn't work as well for everyone, and no school is a good fit for every kid. But we're confident that our children are getting a sound education at a good neighborhood school. All in all, we're very happy with the decision we made to send our kids to Henry.
My two children attend Henry, our neighborhood school. We have been very fortunate to have wonderful teachers who go above and beyond the required curriculum to engage the students. While it's a challenge to be part of the PSD, there is a lot of parent involvement within the school and support from the neighborhood community. There are high expectations for the children attending Henry in terms of learning, behavior, and attendance which are easily attained with parental involvement. I did not give the highest ratings because there is always room for improvement.
My daughter is in 2nd grade and has been at Henry since kindergarten. So far we have had nothing but good experiences. Her teachers have been great, and she has excelled in her reading, writing, and math skills. The music teacher is fabulous - kids and parents all love her. They also have art, computers, and Spanish in addition to gym and Playworks. The older grades have an instrumental music program too. We moved to West Mt. Airy specifically for this school, and it was a great decision!
I feel very lucky to have Henry as our public school. Our son is having a great experience there, and we know that he's getting an excellent education. Our daughter was accepted into Masterman after attending Henry for five years.
I strongly believe that CW henry is highly over rated. My child is in the kindergarden classroom and I do a better job teaching my child at home. Also there is a lack of communication with principle and employees in the main office tend to be very rude and unprofessional at times. School can also use help with maintenance.
We love Henry! It's a huge leap of faith sending your kid to a Philly public school these days, so glad we did. My daughter is happy, her teachers are great and always available, the new principal is aggresively pushing academic standards higher, keeping the arts a big focus, raising the bar on safety and seems on the ball. Smartboards in the classroom, music, art, computers and gym every week (starting at K), band, musicals, after school clubs, field trips, G & T, Autistic Support and everything in between, organic garden that the students work in, rad programs like Playworks, tons of parent involvment and a super PTA, diversity in race, religion and types of families. Not saying all is perfect: the building is older, I'm sure we will go through a year with a teacher we don't like (everyone goes through this folks), and my fingers are double crossed that Principal Rogers kicks the PSSAs from good to the best (ie: Meredith). Though it is a top 10 feeder for Masterman! Go to a PTA or Knowing Henry meeting and take a school tour. That's what we did. It blows my mind that people will move out of the neighborhood or turn to private school rather than just tour this school.
Henry WAS a good school and over the last 6 years or so, it has gone down. Many parents left discussed as well as teachers. The children are picked on by the staff, they staff is unprofessional. Its the shadow of the leader --- and she is gone. Hopefully under the new leadership it could raise again. I hope so for our children sake and our future adults.
Horrible. I have a daughter in second grade and its been a complete waste of school year. As a responsible parent I understand that the teacher can not do all of the work. Parents must supplement and provide additional work to help your child stay ahead in class. However, with the teacher my daughter has we are doing all of the work(basically homeschooling). We have been in school almost a year and we have NEVER received a test result from the teacher. She received all A's on her report card but the teacher is unable to provide evidence of the grades. We've met with principal and teacher and we still obtain any communication from the teacher. Very unprofessional and sad situation. Just of the many kids that don't have parents providing extra work or in this case work period how behind and lost they will be in the up coming years of their education. Not sure about the other grade teachers but this particular second grade teacher and principal have not provided any form of communication. I do not recommend for second grade.
I have a son at Henry (as well as a daughter) and we've been very happy with how he's been treated and how behavior issues are handled. There was an incident early in the year involving my son and another boy fighting on the playground, and the teacher and principal handled the situation calmly, professionally, and to everyone's satisfaction (including both sets of parents). Additionally, we've been very pleased with the academics, creative offerings, staff, and parent involvement at the school.