My children have been in AISD since kindergarten. I must say I absolutely love this district. It is small enough to where your child does not get lost in the system, yet big enough to have a wide variety of classes and activities for every kid. I currently have one child in 11th grade and another graduated in 2013. The reviews that I have read about Alvarado High have been upsetting and I couldn't disagree more. There have been so many positive changes over the years. Most recently, a large area of the upstairs has been completed to include a health lab, a MAC lab and a large studio for the filming/production class. The health lab even includes 'real life' hospital setting with programmable 'patients' to where students can be faced with actual symptoms to help diagnose ailments/conditions of their patients. The community involvement is absolutely amazing, too. While someone commented that the school did not have its own football stadium, there is a beautiful district-wide stadium that just had brand new turf installed. Juniors and Seniors can take dual classes thru Hill College, too. There are many great aspects of all Alvarado schools. Tour AISD before judging!
At first my daughter seemed to be doing pretty well, she was into sports, on the cheer team, and into basketball and soccer, but the soccer team and the new coach they put in at the High School, does not really coach, he stands around and watches. She was so disgusted with his coaching skills that she decided to just drop it. Also she no longer feels safe "in" the school....Their are so many bullies, and fights going on every week. The kids fight where no teachers will be around to see the fights, or in the bathrooms, and even on the fields of the school. They come home and show us videos of fights that have taken place. There is supposed to be a new no bullying policy, but apparently the school does not take it too seriously. They try to just calm them down, and DO NOT call the parents, or send a letter home to let you know what your child was involved in. I was told by the police officer at the school that they let all the students use their cell phones all day even in classrooms, too much texting going on! I think it is total breakdown of any rules. So for all this, I am pulling my daughter out, and looking into online schooling.
Pros in my opinion: Community pep rallys College night (very informative) Class choices like band, rotc, av Res (school show) lunch choices freaky Friday (parents/kids swap) Busses with the spear logo Ag barn/classes Don't have too many fundraisers improvements to the school just got approved Cons (in my opinion) Not enough seating in cafeteria (many have to stand) Student to teacher ratio too high (30-35 kids per class in some) No real support class for special ed- only GCS which is not that great. Teachers pulling double duty (coaching/teaching) sports first then education Disorganization Parent volunteering is non existent in the district Fighting No football stadium at this school Only put sports people in the pics on the website. I want to be part of that too. Its ok but I wish they would make some changes and make me feel important as a student. They forget about some of us unless we are in sports. I need extra help sometimes and I don't like GCS too much distraction.
I have to intervene. While the school is far from perfect, I am only seeing one area addressed. I have a special needs child in this school. My child is ALSO in the JROTC program & agree it is a great asset to have in this district. We came from a smaller school and I promise you Alvarado, in spite of whatever they have going on, is 100% better than them! I think many people were too dependent on the crutch they had been given in means of support. I am fully aware of the changes made but I have had a positive experience with the new staff as recent as today and thought that alone needs me to advocate in favor of this school. I agree that sometimes it seems "sports are priority 1" but I promise you I personally am trying to change that. Weather I do any good I have no idea. I would love to see special needs kids, Autistic kids, kids perceived as different or whatever posted on the school website, not just the sports people. Give the new guy a shot, he really came through for me today and that says a lot. I can't even put it all in here of how major that is. I also like the asst. principal and I have not had much interaction with Mr. Magee yet but I have met him. He sat in a meeting.
Teachers are not attentive to students. Programs and services cut back but they build a new school. During the pitch for new school they said services would not be cut and nothing else effected. Now that they won the vote for the school they are cutting services for special education students. They have cut specialized Autism therapies as of 10/24/2013 to save money and put unqualified staff in place to take over. They are treating special needs kids like second rate humans and feel they only need to be employed not educated. Poor excuse and not attentive at all. However if you are good at sports you are priority 1 and will get whatever you want. I never hear from the principal and he never is willing to talk to me.
I think this school is average. They push kids with disabilities too much to help their budget and the teachers are very disorganized and these kids do not get what they need. They do have some good programs but cutting them, such as music for autistic kids. I think it is a huge disservice to cut out something the kids were making progress in to save a few bucks. They only care about the Staar test but this is typical of all Texas schools I have dealt with. Over all the school is average but we are not happy here and still have a few more years to go. I think it is a basic school to get you by and prepares you for a two year community college not a four year college. There is extreme disorganization and miscommunication no one knows what is going on and it is very inconsistent. Special education instruction needs some serious overhaul at this school. Teachers don't see anything going on in the classrooms. They never know if your child is there or not and you have to deal with fixing absences and tardies when they are wrong.
I moved here 2nd semester of my freshman year. I feel that teaching isn't really too important to anyone in the school. I had maybe 2 teachers out 7 that cared about our education. My other 5 however, only gave the classes packets to learn from. Every day you work for about 20 minutes then do nothing else for the rest of class. All is good at first because you get easy grades, but the state requires them to give out test over stuff that wasnt covered well due to the packet-teaching method used by all the teachers, thus destroying your grade at the end of every 6 weeks. They are also very unorganized, I've been counted absent for classes that I go to every day. I moved from a city school though, so it was a big negative change.
so far so good. Newer to the area. Have a special needs 9th grader. This has been a wonderful change from the previous school he was in. They have wonderful programs such as JROTC that teach many skills children with disabilities need. It is a very positive program. The staff has met with me on the spur of the moment with no appointment and has encouraged me to come up there anytime I want. It was very inviting to me as a concerned parent. They have anti bullying policies and it seems to be working. I enjoy the fact the entire town and community came to show support for homecoming with all the local business participating. They have many activities that the parents get to come to school and be a part of the kids day, college information, etc. They have some very unique wonderful programs that we enjoy. My only concern was during scheduling of classes many were filled and had to take classes that were not first choices but at least they got out of the way faster. The cafeteria could also use some additonal seating. I enjoyed all the interaction with the parents & teachers on dedicated nights but I would like to be more informed of special events.
I moved from Duncanville to Alvarado at the end of my freshman year, and I graduated from Alvarado High School in 2002. I had some good teachers, but I believe the course offerings were very limited and the focus seemed to be more on athletics than academics. I also feel that Alvarado High School didn't prepare me very well for college. If you want your child to get a good education, don't pick Alvarado.