My daughter transferred to Signal Mountain from a semi-private school a few years ago and was instantly aware of how far behind she was by Signal Mountain standards. Thanks to the caring and dedicated faculty, she was able to catch up and is now in all honors classes and is absolutely thriving. Signal Mountain has very high standards and is not for the faint of heart but the kids come out more than prepared for college and career. The IB program helps to develop well rounded students who can think and act as problem-solvers. The school is not without its problems (most of which are very small), but overall, we are very, very glad that we made the move to this school.
The only disappointment I have as a parent is with the so-called "student transfers" from other area high schools such as Red Bank, Soddy Daisy, or Hixson High Schools. A high % of these "out of zone" kids play on the sports teams and it is starting to ruin the overall school spirit and enthusiasm. Some of the kids who live "on the mountain" are not trying out for teams because they don't like seeing kids from "off the mountain" and out of zone getting chosen over friends they have played with on teams for years. The acedemic programs are above average and the IB program is highly overrated as very few if any US colleges care about the credential for admissions.
Any review that has less than give stars is very incorrect. I'm a student here at smmhs and every teacher I have had was great. The strings program is slowly but surely making its way to victory, and shouldn't it only matter what the kids think and that they are getting a great education??? I know I am. On another note, I have never seen or experienced any extreme violence.
Coming from a school in West Tennessee, this school is a amazing. I came mid-6th grade year, and the teachers and students were very welcoming. I love having International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, and it means the opportunity to have a foreign language in middle school. I love SMMHS!
On the upside, I have encountered some extraordinary teachers at SMMHS. And also to give the school credit, the goals of the school are so broad that they are almost impossible for one school of this size to meet--high performing sports program, IB, good theatre department, etc.... One warning: the IB students are pulled out for special "bonding" and attend separate classes. This creates a divided school, with hostility on both sides. Those students in the sports programs who, except for a few, do not go into the IB program would probably get a better education if they had gone to another public school which has money available for AP classes and the better teachers are available to teach the whole student body, and not just a few. Also parents should be aware of this, in spite of what you might be told, IB is also European in its World View. Also, IB has a strong liberal arts program, but is weaker in Math and Science than AP. For these reasons, I think it would be better if the IB program was administrated as a separate school, perhaps as a magnetic school.
The old SMJH was bad enough, but then they lied their way into getting a high school built (ahead of 2 other derelict schools that desperately needed replacement), then "discovered" that their estimates of enrollment were about twice what they actually got, so they merged the middle and high schools (in a building that was not designed for it). They have three football fields, but last year my son didn't have all of his textbooks. I had a parent/teacher conference where 3 of his teachers sat with their arms folded and scowls on their faces the entire time, not looking at me or saying anything; they obviously didn't care about my son, but I guess they felt that that was the sort of thing that teachers are supposed to do. Last year the football season record was invalidated for rule breaking. The facilities are magnificent; the faculty is, largely, pathetic. I have withdrawn my son, and he is currently enrolled in virtual school.
For those uninformed, The International Baccalaureate Program is a UNESCO (United Nations ) funded program, part of the United Nationa Agenda 21, that teaches from a Socialist perspective, based on the Theory of Knowledge by Bertrand Russell. The teaching aid website theoryofknowledge.net ,read it all. So yes it is a great Socialist School.
This school has a beautiful campus and a good variety of course options. However, communication from teachers is very poor, and the school counselor is of no use whatsoever. If your child can just do the work and needs no assistance, it is fine. If you need assistance (in our case, for health issues that cause my child to miss a lot of school), you are out of luck. My child scored in the top 5% on state tests despite missing 50% of her school days, so she is a very smart girl. She gets no help here and is told to "look online" for any information regarding her missed assignments. We are moving out of the area because of this school, so I think that speaks for itself.
SMMS was always an outstanding school, and in 2008 when they added a high school, the anticipated high level of excellence was not only met but exceeded by all measures. The strongest and most meaningful asset any school can have is the faculty and staff, and ours is dedicated, caring, and always willing to set the bar higher and help the students achieve the high expectations. The involvement of the community and parents is also outstanding and integral to the success of this new school. My kids, while finding it very difficult, found their respective niches and thrived.
I think our school is top-notch ! As with any new school, SMMHS has had bumps in the road, but the Administration & Faculty are working hard to correct these problems. Our principal is a wonderful leader & example for the students - he believes in discipline and having each student reach their full potential. The comment about the police officers "standing guard" over lunch every day is a gross exaggeration. There have been some scuffles at school, but certainly not a lot of violence needing police presence ! Overall, the school has a very peaceful atmosphere - many of the students that have transferred from TRULY violent schools will witness to that. I volunteer there frequently & the kids are well-behaved in general. We have a huge amount of community & parental involvement & support. This has enabled the school to have extra benefits & equipment that is not provided by the county school system. I am not so blind as to say that it is the perfect school, but it definitely stands head & shoulders above most of the public schools in our area. My children attend there & have been encouraged & pushed to do their best in classes. I am excited about the future of our school !
This school was a great idea that just didn't thrive. I have to say that the school does have problems, as any typical public high school today would. As for being a alternative to a "pricy private school", that would certainly be wishful thinking. I am concerned with some of the acts of violence that have taken place on campus; likewise, on a daily basis two or three police officers including the student resource officer, stand guard in the school during lunch. As for the accreditation, students have the same opportunitys at any school in Hamilton County.
I have to point out first that some of the comments critisizing the school are not founded. The school just received international baccalaureate accreditdation. They have some of the best test scores in Tennessee, and award winning teachers. Also, Signal Mountain in general has a very low crime rate, so I don't believe that there are too many incidents that need to be "covered up." I would say the school is amazing, and a very possible alternative to a pricy private school.
I do not like this school very much. I think everyone is very "clicky" and people are rude and disrespecful to teachers and parents and to even students. Everyone talks trash and has a hillybilly accent. I feel like if you do send your child here you are in for a big treat. The acadimics overall are not as up to date as most. I dont encourage anyone going here. It's awful!!!
This schools greatest asset is its physical location and outstanding faculty. The only drawback is over involvement by parents, primarily the affluent stay at home Mom's who activities seemingly are more about promoting the social status of their children. However, over involvement is preferable to nothing.
I love this school! It gives me a challenge as a student but there is always help if I need it. The gifted program is great. There are about 10 or 15 clubs to choose from and sports teams on top of that. Every day, I see parents in the building. It is so cool having a brand new school!
Until this year, I have never liked school, but now I absolutely love it. I am a straight-A student, and this school is right at my level, where I have to actually put in a lot of effort to keep my high grades, but it's not over the top. Also, the people here are amazing. Signal Mountain is full of intelligent people, and the community has the financial resources and the parental involvement necessary to make a school this wonderful. After last year, which was my first year of school off the mountain since kindergarten, I can see just how great it is up here. My only regret is that I will only get to go here for grades 10 through 12 because the building wasn't finished soon enough. SMMHS will only continue to improve, as this is its first year and it is just getting established.
If you want high academics with heavy parental involvement and A BRAND NEW FACILITY, this is the place for your student, all in a beautiful, mountain setting.
I have one child in AP classes in high school, thanks to the challenging education he received at SMMS. I have 2 more still at SMMS. ADD child is doing great. I couldn't be happier with the education, school community, and communication here. Very active PTA. Very caring teachers. The biggest problem is too many students for the size of our facility, and each year's incoming 6th grade is larger than the last.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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