This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Anderson High School5
Posted February 05, 2014
- a parent
Real mixed bag of ratings here. Unfortunately most people that post things are those with an axe to grind. Anderson is one of the best schools in town. Are there better? For some kids, absolutely. For some parents, absolutely. It's as diverse as the neighborhoods that feed it, like any other school. The teachers, like parents, are people with strengths and weaknesses, good days and bad days and personality conflicts. They're not going to like everyone and not everyone is going to like you or your kid. Welcome to the real world. But there is real dedication all over the campus in the staff, the kids, the teachers and the parents and that's part of what makes Anderson a great place. It is what you as a student and a parent make of it. I'd also put it up against any verticals in town - it's hands down part of the best. People buy into the neighborhoods that feed Anderson and Murchison for very legitimate reasons.
As a professional collaborating with faculty and staff at Anderson High School, I am repeatedly shocked by the level of disorganization and poor building security. Meetings are poorly planned, staff are unprepared, and follow through is lacking in the special education/504 areas and with discipline issues. Students are free to roam the building and grounds during classes and visitors can freely walk through the halls without identifying themselves or checking in. Staff have difficulty locating students when needed. I feel it is an unsafe and disorganized environment. Test scores are only one aspect of a school's success.
Considering that this is supposed to be one of the best schools in AISD, it indeed does have great teachers, and a very laid back environment compared to other more suburban schools. There are plenty of clubs to join, however if your child wants to be involved in athletics, the programs are generally weak. The biggest problem has to do with the administration, and how social life can be towards your student. It is very hard to make friends at this school, and most kids as well as parents have an oddly stuck up demeanor. If you are looking for a good high school, I would suggest you pass on this one. There are many excellent choices such as Westwood or even McNeil which have good academics as well as a nicer facility, which to some matters. To most students, this school has a sink or swim policy; your student will either thrive, or hate it. Personally I suggest that you avoid this school, and either send your kids to private school, or move to a better school district such as Leander ISD or Round Rock ISD.
I have two kids at Anderson. Both are in pre-AP, AP or IB classes. For them I think the academics are good. I feel they will be prepared for college. (I've heard that the regular academic classes are disappointing.) There are certainly many outstanding teachers but also some that have been sub-par. As a whole pretty good. For the brighter kids there is a lot of pressure to excel. It's a big school but I think there is a place for everyone. You need to seek out social opportunities through the various clubs and activities. Lots of people have commented that the school has cliques. All schools do. If you have your heart set on fitting in with the Belles or being the star football player you will probably be unhappy at Anderson. If you are just looking for a nice social group to fit in, not necessarily the most popular, you can find it here. I know many kids who came to Anderson from private schools and are thriving. It's what you make of it. Lots of opportunity for parents and kids to get involved and volunteer. A really nice community of parent volunteers.
A GREAT school. I don't agree. Student lunches that are at 12:16 or 1:54 (or both, alternating days), double blocking football, band, and dance. The principal caters to the booster clubs, so the money continues to flow. (Principal's husband is HR director at AISD, so the teachers really have to be careful) My sons' educational experiences vary. Pre-AP/ AP classes are good; regular classes, fair. This school caters to the top 10% and the lower 10% and the 80% in the middle, its a coin toss. Some do well, others get lost. Not too sure of the role of the vice principals; know the one assigned to 504 actually said that the school is not responsible for " getting the best out of the students". (We transferred that son to a private school, where he excelled). The counseling staff is improving. We have another son starting here in the Fall and we'll see if his needs are met; otherwise we'll find the "best fit" for him. I'd love to see an administration change during our time at the school.
Academically, this school offers much to Austin students. For those who want a challenging environment to prepare for college, this is a good school. However, administration is significantly lacking. Administration starting with the principal are very beauracratic, poor listners and take the path that is easiest for them, not the students. I have first hand knowledge of the principal lying - manipulating situations to suite her needs often for the sake of expediancy. The teachers are great - just don't hope you need anything from the adminstration..
pretty decent school now looking back. i only attended here a few months during my sophmore year. the biggest challenge was the size, nearly 4000 students. the teachers were laid back and actually cared about learning.
Don't take IB or AP Latin. The IB & AP Latin teacher, Susan Fugate, does not teach Latin, & is verbally abusive to students. One math teacher, Gunther, is good. Cathryn McNamara is fantastic: try & take any course she teaches. Our child only had 3 good teachers in 4 years of high school. Below average for an IB level school.