I am a student at HVA. I came from a small town with a class of 20 people. With that being said, I was terrified to leave the only place i had ever attended school to go to a school where I didn't have any friends. HVA is 10x bigger than what incas used to, when we walked in I was nervous, but the guidance office made me feel so welcome and helped me pick a academy. They were very respectful to my parents, gave me a personal tour and made sure I had someone to meet so that I was not alone at lunch. Over the past two years I have been there I have created a bond with the administration, had teachers stay and come early to help me further my studies, and went from failing grades to A's and B's. Moving to this school is the best thing that could've happened to me and I'm saddened to leave next year!
PART 1 As a student that attends Hardin Valley let me give you some advice. Firstly, all over the walls and floors of HVA there are stains from several unknown substances. In the gym I have seen what appears to be snot smeared on the walls, in the bathroom something brown around the toilets, and many other things including a variety of drink stains. There are dust bunnies everywhere covering every corner, dead bugs scattered about, and one time I found blood all over one of the water fountains. Classrooms seem to be kept reasonably nice, but bathroom and other areas of the school are not. Secondly, bullying is a huge problem at HVA. As a student I hear numerous ocassions of people being bullied, and it's not just any bullying. On a daily basis people get followed to their class, told to kill themselves, pushed, shoved, provoked, ridiculed, and shamed for their body type, skin color, and much more. Yet the teachers do nothing. Everyone who has talked to me about their cases of bullying has also gone to the office. They have had proof of bullying like text messages, they have broke down crying, and even been scared to go class.
Just six years ago, Hardin Valley Academy is Knox County's largest high school with just over 2,000 students, with its students divided into four academies- Business/Law/Public Affairs, Liberal Arts, Health Sciences, and STEM. HVA enables staff and students to collaborate on educational projects in all academic areas. The school offers multiple AP and Honors track courses plus dual enrollment opportunities at the nearby community college. Its 2014 grads were awarded $22 million in scholarships last year. The school boasts nationally recognized a first rate band, orchestra, arts, and theatre program plus TSA, FIRST Robotics team 3824, an award-winning yearbook, DECA, HOSA, and diverse extra-curricular programs. The sports department features several state champions and numerous opportunities for student participation. Challenging academics, caring staff, and amazing students foster a terrific atmosphere. Administrators know your kids and support them in so many ways.
our Academy is wonderful community of students- all shapes, sizes, & smarts- and teachers- also all shapes, sizes, smarts and empathetic- , along with an administration ( both at HVA and in the county school system) who see the bigger picture in their planning of courses, advanced opportunities and academy endorsements. And the athletics and arts opportunities are awesome too!
Dear the parent that made a comment in August, You have to realize that in August, the staff are overwhelmed with many schedule conflicts due to the school year starting, it happens in every school. The staff do not mock the students, they may joke around with the kids because it relieves tension and creates a more friendly bond that makes kids comfortable with being around them and confronting them with issues, like your child did. Also, HVA has a wonderful academic program and even if your child's class doesn't go to their preferred field of study, there is room for extra classes in the schedule that don't have to be part of the focus, that's what block scheduling is for. Furthermore, every school has overcrowding. It comes with the growing human population and even if you had stayed in the Farragut district, you would have the same issues there. Even though HVA isn't the most perfect school, it's still in a lot better conditon than others, and the staff is trying to figure out the best way to run things but the school is still considered new if compared to surrounding schools, so it still has some flaws.
HVA is absolutely the most progressive high school in the county. Moving into the zone to send our kids there is the best move ever. The administration has defined goals and an outstanding staff; the teacher, teaching methods, Academy approach are all focused toward the student excelling in a particular area before graduating. The advanced level of certain classes, AP level courses, and outstanding extra curricular clubs and events are all top notch. The athletics programs and facilities are first rate, as are my kids coaches. All 5 stars for our family.
We moved from the Farrugut school district with the hopes this school would be just as great. But it has been nothing but problems. First of all, the school is over crowded. They have to make multiple bus trips for the same route. The staff is less than stellar. They literally mocked my child because she was upset they screwed up her schedule and she has to take throw away classes that do NOT count towards her desired course of study because of crowding issues. The guidance office does not contact the parents to help work out these issues. I would talk about the attitude of the children who attend this school, but I do not want to offend other parents. Lets just say this school sucks and I regret EVER buying a home in its district.
We moved to Knoxville from out of state, and have two daughters at Hardin Valley Academy. They have felt comfortable there from the first day. The kids have been nice to them, and even invited them to eat lunch the first day so they were not uncomfortable. It is a large school, but my girls do not feel like they are a number. They are taking many challenging and interesting classes like Orchestra, French, AP, etc. We are very pleased with our decision to purchase a home in this school's district so that my kids can attend the Hardin Valley schools.
My kids are in Hardin Valley elementary now. We hear only great things about the school. My 1st grader class and I enjoyed a field trip there last year 2012. What I would to know is when is the highschool going to receive a score on greatschools.org? That matters to me.
Hardin Valley is communicating with parents, encouraging students to acheive, and working the academy program to it's fullest. Parents, this is a chance of a lifetime for your students and if each student took this seriously, there would be some great accomplishments come from this program. Keep up the good work teachers and staff and support people. Thanks for your dedication