This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Pin Oak Middle School1
Posted December 02, 2014
- a parent
Really disappointed with the school. Academics are weak and many of the teachers are of poor quality. Many students are having to hire tutors to make up for what is not being taught. I echo the previous posters about resistance to implementing accommodations and also the retaliation. Administration is abominable. Parents are afraid to say anything because of the negative repercussions for their children. The school used to be really good. It is going down hill with the current administration.
POMS is an incredible middle school that challenges students while remaining empathetic although I graduated about 2 1/2 years ago ( CLASS OF 2012! ) their computer classes remains influential in my life
Our daughters just finished 8th grade. We were always certain that Pin Oak provided a great environment for middle school kids. We were less certain about the academic rigor, particularly in the humanities and sciences. However, the results for our daughters on their ISEE and private HS placement tests tell us that our concerns were in some part unwarranted. Like all public schools, however, the spring is dominated by testing or, more properly, test preparation. Even with that said, we believe that Pin Oak is very likely the best middle shool HISD has to offer. And with that said, three "stars" at POMS merit individual mention: Shantelle Lewis, House B principal, Lisa Hale, algebra, and Misty Wagers, dance.
POMS is highly over-rated. It is the most disorganized school we have ever encountered. You need to visit 4-5 different websites to know what is due for your child. Unless your child is super self-motivated and organized, this is not the right school for your child. I find many of the teachers to be lacking experience and not really caring who drowns in their classroom, in addition to ignoring parent emails. One 7th grade math teacher recently told his class "tell your parents to sue us if they don't like my teaching. They will have to fight the HISD lawyers.", as a form of warning of retaliation for kids who dared to speak up at home about unfair evaluations. If your child has a learning disability, such as ADD, beware of this school. You will find resistance in enforcement of special accomodations. In addition, this school teaches math and science only on alternate days, so it is particularly weak in preparing students in these areas. I addition, what is taught during the year does not reflect what is tested on the STARR exam, making it difficult for the student to pass the test.
Pin Oak makes up for an overall lack of rigor in the classroom in this way: it generally values kids and gives them space to become something worthwhile. There are many activities, almost too many, for kids to choose from - some are academic, some are not. I do think though, that if your kid doesn't step up, sometimes he/she can get lost. Maybe that's everywhere...Finally, they could do more writing!
The students here are unmotivated and the magnet program has some of the worst students here. I was almost accepted into Lanier Middle school and decided to attend the magnet program here. Most students I knew were hard working but they ended up being distracted and their work ethic got worse. The teachers were overall good but the students were unmotivated to learn. I then transferred to Th. Rogers. Students here also have occasional fights.
My son is in his second year at Pin Oak and I am extremely happy with the school. The academics are challenging, the music / art / theater programs are very strong, and there are numerous opportunities to take part in extracurricular activities. We chose Pin Oak over a smaller private middle school because I felt my son would benefit from being a part of the diverse student body there. I am particularly happy with the strong level of communication between my son's "Cluster" teachers and the parents. And to top it off, almost every time I've entered the school office, a student has paused to hold the door open for me. How can you not love that?
I have an 8th grader at Pin Oak and she has loved her three years at Pin Oak. Susan Monaghan, the Principal of Pin Oak for the last 3 years and her administrative are advocates for the children. They are there to help create a school environment that is safe and conducive to education. Although the school is a language magnet, they carve out in their budget an award winning fine arts program and athletics program. Pin Oak has won many awards for academics but for me as a parent, I know that my child comes will succeed in her high school career because her preparation through Pin Oak.
I have twin daughters in 7th grade at Pin Oak and we LOVE it. Though Pin Oak has 1200+ students, it feels very small; my children's teachers and principals know them by name. The girls are academically challenged, yet still have plenty of time (and are encouraged) to participate in extracurricular activities. And the kids who go to school with them are a diverse yet motivated group. All in all, I can't imagine how anyone could have a better middle school experience. I worried about the transition from elementary school to middle school, but at Pin Oak it has been seamless, and the administration at Pin Oak works very had to make that so. I can't say enough about the responsiveness of the Pin Oak faculty and staff; if there is a problem, they address it. If you have a concern, they respond. From the principal on down to the police officer that HISD mandates be present in each middle school, Pin Oak is concerned with the academic and social development of your child. It is a wonderful place.