I have been there since its opening. Both my daughters are there in 1st and 3rd grades. I love that everyone knows me and my daughters. They are sufficiently challenged daily. Discipline is not a problem because Mrs. Bell and Mrs. H have both been able to run a tight ship with my youngest and she us doing wonderful, they are both so happy. We attend all of the school events, both are in the after school reading program. The front desk staff has become alot more efficient and fast. Pickup is organized by three digit numbers now so I usually wait a short ten minutes, max. They have grown from their days of disorganization and this being the forth year is obvious in a myriad of ways. I pack my daughters lunch because they are naturally picky so I can't speak to that. The soccer area has been a great addition. I do sit with my daughters and discuss and assist with their homework, so they gain a better understanding. My only wish is that I lived closer since I am in grad school and work at UTD. But in time. I don't see us leaving anytime soon. More field trips maybe, but I'm active so my girls have been to all the sites in Dallas. The activities are fun that the PTO create. I feel a strong sense of community there. PTO meetings are always over crowded, which says a lot about the interest level of the parents. Great security too. It's not in walking distance of any residential areas, so parents must drive students in, meaning most care and it reflects in the level of intellect in the kids and the parent involvement. The teachers work very hard and I'm sure are underpaid, but they rarely show discontentment. I approve. Also, extremely diverse. International student and teacher base, so you rarely hear any common American race issues, its a much broader environment. In my daughters class alone there are about ten different ethnicities. Very cool.
I feel like the majority of teachers in the school are happy to be teaching there. I also feel like some behave as it is a chore, more than their "calling."
We have three children at HSB Dallas and one is an over-achiever, by every sense of the word; one "treads water" each year and each year she tries really hard to do well; and my youngest child struggles with adhd/anxiety so he has much difficulty in the day-to-day activities, but this coming fall he will have the SPED team on his side and thanks to one very special teacher, he will finally have an equal playing field. Each year, the school improves in many ways - that includes their staff. We are proud to take our children to HSB Dallas and we are excited to continue and grow along with the school. It would be nice if they could implement a school library, another copier or two for the teachers, and possibly a more involved music/band program!
STEM is not a free ride. It's challenging for the kids and the parents too. Be ready to work with your kids regardless of the school but I'd say more so with a STEM school. Still, my kid struggles with some things and aces others, so pretty much like any other school really. The organization is getting better as we have a new principal who is both decisive in action and is willing to try new methods in education. This is important because stagnation is poison to innovation and creativity.
Also, it's easy to complain about something and do nothing about it. A lot of negativity has come from some legimite concerns (and some not so legitimate) in the past and arguably not all have been addressed fully, however to blast the school without making the effort to make changes to the system is pointless vitriol. As such, my family is volunteering our time starting Fall 2105 to help mentor HSB's first solar car group for 5th - 12th grades. It will cost time, gas money to get to the school and probably no small amount of sweat but it's worth the commitment to advance the school as a whole.
I'll leave you with this thought: given the schools available to your family, private, public and charter, how important your kids education is to you and them is based only upon your personal point of view. Our point of view is that the school is flexible, proactive and getting better all the time. We have looked at many schools since starting at HSB, but they always pale to what is offered at Harmony. I will give HSB 5 stars, not because it's "Great" but because it's got "Greatness" that will continue to flourish. See for yourself.
I am a teacher who previously worked at this school. I would not recommend it and would like to point out that many of the teachers do not bring their own kids here. Highly unorganized school with administrators that are not trained or certified as principals. It takes only 1 to 2 years of teaching experience to become an administrator here. Teachers are subject to 45+ hour work weeks with little to no curriculum support. Contract hours going until 4:30 every day and required to tutor and host an after school club. There is no library at this school. What a shame to not provide students the opportunities that a library offers. Class sizes are between 28-30 students per one teacher. It is next to impossible for children to receive the instruction and attention they deserve in this environment. Do not take your child out of the public education system! The teachers at this school try hard but are not adequately supported with curriculum, knowledgeable administrators, classroom resources, discipline support, or respect of their time.
In response to the negative reviews, I feel this school is a great school for kuds who WANT to learn and WANT to be challenged. If you feel this school is not for your child than leave. There are a handful of kidswho do not belong there because they need extra attention and the parents expect tne teachers to put in 10 hr days so their child can pass or do well. Ummm, it takes both teachers and parents to have an effective learning environment and a above average kid. Parents if your child did not do well or as expected, don't write negative reviews...parents research the school, visit tne school, meet the admin staff, take a look at the curriculum. Be smart in making choices for your child.
As a teacher of 6+ years and working in 3 different types of schools- public, private and charter working at this school was a learning experience. Yes, some of the teachers at this school are new, however wherever you go your child will have a "new teacher." The teachers at this school are asked to work over 40+ hours, tutor for free, as well as run a club. The teachers at most will have 45 minute break during the day in which they are supposed to meet with parents, plan, run copies, grade etc.The school is only 2 years old and yes they have a long way to go. However, as a parent it is your job to research the school you are sending your child to. There is NO library. There is 1 copier for the entire teacher staff to use. The limited resources are endless. As an educator, I would not send my child to this school, it is unorganized. Every year new teachers and new admin- how can it be organized? No teacher there is racist or mistreat any of the children as prior reviews state. Discipline exists in every classroom and is important for structure! It is sad that some parents believe everything a child states. Teachers have 25+ students in 1 class so yes discipline is a factor.
Had a terrible experience with this HSB. Just read other negative reviews, and agree with many of them. Some teachers worst I met in my life. No consideration for students. Extreme bouts of favoritism among some teachers, they overlook the potential and hard work of other students. Focus on discipline, discipline does not exist unless children are rudely spoken to and mistreated by certain teachers. Children who do well cannot get positive points etc, as will be shown as favoring a certain ethnicity in the school. School has a long way to go. Do not enroll your child there , you will regret it. As mentioned below, huge teaceher and student turnover rate, that says ALOT.
This school is really trying and may very well be a great school in the future, but it isn't now. So,do not sacrifice your child's education. NO BOOKS are given just xeroxed copies of sheets for busy work. I truly feel this year was a wasted year. Do not be fooled. Oversized classrooms, new teachers, horrible lunches and the list goes on. My child is leaving this school and I believe many more are leaving as well. It is something to be said when the administration, staff, and students have a high turnover rate.
Make sure you research any school before you enroll. We have been a part of a few different Harmony schools around Texas due to job transfers and there is a feeling of disorganization in all of them. Some teachers are not well suited for this school. My kids have come home overly-stressed and miserable. They told me that there are several kids with discipline problems in every class and that at times the teacher will just burst into tears from the stress. Most classes are larger than at public schools as well. My daughter's class had 30 students. Unfortunately, other reviews are correct in that an "A" doesn't mean much here. They promise a lot but they have not been able to deliver. We are transferring our kids to a private school that has a much higher track record.