I am also pulling my daughter out of North Hills after one. It was a disappointment to say the least. All they care about is preparing for the TAKS test and disipline. The teachers are rude, they don't return students e-mails when they have questions about school. They get mad if a student does not understand an assignment and asks questions. My daughter received her English text book in January, 6 months into the school year, your supposed to get them in the beginning of the school year, not when school is almost out for the year! Bad academics, poorly organized school. Oh well, back to private schools.
After 7 years at NHP I am pulling all my children out. It has definitely changed since Uplift took over. Poor facilities are one thing, but now the administration is actually harassing students. NHP has seen its best days.
I'm from North Hills myself and have gone there since 6th grade. It's a good school for people with good morals and high academic grades but thats it. For parents who have rebellious or below average kids you will be overwhelmed. Literally. I've seen a straight A student from a regular public school become a barely C one. If you enjoy challenges and close teacher student relationships then this school is for you. However if you're looking to put your trouble making child here in order to get them to college I suggest going elsewhere. Peer pressure here is not about drugs and being cool, it's about grades. But other than that our school has a 100% ratio of student going to college. Oh and let's not forget the art program. Next to Booker T's Art school from the VASE scores this past year we were second.
Mixed Felling From an Alumnus (cont.) Most people with an IB Diploma are basically overqualified for their Freshman Studies classes in college. These changes, in my opinion, were done to make the school grow at an unnatural rate, sacrificing actual academic quality for perceived academic prestige. I would not automatically rule out North Hills, but I would recommend caution. I don't know how much more it will change in the future. Be aware that if you think 'This place is too good to be true,' it is.
i'm a student at north hills and i find it terrific i've learned a lot!
I am surprised to see the lack of valid arguments from parents towards the faults of the school. I have been a student since 2003 and will be graduating this year. Overall, the curriculum, although not always what I would consider fantastic, is challenging. The teachers are not afraid to give homework and come to expect more and more from students every year. The facilities are not top-grade, but I believe the school has done well with the limited funding that they have - in exception to the high school classrooms, which are vastly inferior to the elementary and middle school areas. The statements that the school is changing for the worst - are correct. Many fabulous teachers and administrators move or change career paths - and the school suffers greatly. The International Baccalaureatte Program offered, however, is the biggest plus of the school. Its teachers are still good, generally speaking.
The administration does not support or encourage quality teachers, and teacher turnover is extremely high. Most teachers are trying to do a good job but under very difficult working conditions and there is no system in place to deal with disruptive or unmotivated students. The administration is disorganized and tries to respond to problems instead of anticipating them and dealing with them in an effective and professional manner. The special ed department interferes too much with teachers who are trying to teach special needs kids to do the best they can and makes excuses fo them instead of encouraging them to learn.
My kids have been in this school for 10 years. I have lived the rapid change NHP has experimented over the last 3 years and unfortunately things are changing for the worse. I would have to say that the new administration has lost contact with the parent community, making growth and size more important than quality academics.
This school is a good alternative to your local school if you like uniforms and a safe environment for your children. The level of education provided is average, with only teaching to the TAKS test as the main educational goal. This school contuniues to re-invent the wheel when it comes to curriculum choices and standards. They can't keep teachers because their pay is well below regular districts and lack direction in their curriculum. The have lost their Kindergarten teams entirely, the last two school years due to lack of direction and mismanagement. If you have a sepcial needs student, avoid this school as they are viewed as second-class citizens. Save yourself the drive...
Academically this school pushes our boys in the right direction. There does seem to be an underlying current, however, of administration and staff trying to play doctor and label kids with ADD and ADHD diagnoses, push pyschological testing and expensive treatments for kids and attempt to convince parents that their children need to be medicated. They talk diversity from a racial standpoint, but have very little use for diversity on a child by child basis. We've seen that many of the staff would prefer 'Stepford Kids' - all having the same bland behavior and leaving no room for personality differences. If your kids are easily controlled with no opinions of their own then'll you will fit in just fine. If your kids are exuberant, energetic and are excited about things easily they may be labeled as difficult, willful, angry, in need of Special Education and medication.
We are in our second year at North Hills. I have a 2nd grader and one in K. We love the teachers and staff. We send our kids there for their education, not the facilities, which by the way are just fine. We travel 40 minutes one way from our house and it is completely worth it. My kids are thriving and my 2nd grader is reading on a 7th grade level. We will continue to assesss the situation each year, but I can not foresee taking my children out of this school.
As a student of 7 years now I can say that this school is losing direction. In previous years this has been a strong school with good teachers and students who perform well. The school has undergone an administration change and I know from personal experience that the quality of education and genuine concern for children parents desire for their kids is NOT reflected by the current head of upper school.
We are now in our 4th year at North Hills. We reassess this school every year, as we would any other - public or private - and to date, our kids are getting a great elementary education. Here s why: committed, competent, fun teachers; extracurricular activity opportunities (parents volunteer to coach soccer, basketball; there's a very active Girl/Boy Scouts program, after school classes for PSIA competitions and Math Olympiads); very involved families; an interesting, diverse student body; and on the whole, a genuinely nice group of kids. I m puzzled by the disgruntled individuals who resort to language like damage and pathetic . Families who do well at North Hills have high expectations not only for the school but also for their kids, and I believe that two-way commitment creates a very positive atmosphere at the school. All schools face challenges of some sort, but North Hills definitely works for our family.
The principle complaints against North Hills is that it lacks facilities and extra-curricular activities. Everyone should know that North Hills is a charter school and therefore gets 25% LESS funding than regular public school. I also think that not everyone is going to be a perfect fit with the school. No school is absolutely perfect, and North Hills has its fair share of faults. That being said, North Hills has an excellent curriculum and both the teachers and students who are concerned about education have done an excellent job of making do while North Hills is going through this transition period.
I went there for 3 months. I then decided to go to a public school, and went into honors classes. I noticed that I had the same textbooks, but I was learning alot more at public school. I have so much fun at public school. I love attending football or basketball games, and I love the school experience. My mom says that she would never put another kid at north hills, because of the damage it did on me and my sister( who went to north hill s for 6 years- and then decided to go to public- and loved it!)
I like North Hill, I don't really think the facility problem will affect the kids, Most of the kids in North Hill are ready to take the challenge academic, I had subbed North Hill for 3 years, I really think North Hill provides a good environment to those gifted students. Teachers also did their best to help the students under very limited budget. Not every kid fits North Hill, Before you transfer your kid to this school, you should make a research about this shool.
This school is very high in academics, but very low in everything else. The exra curric. activities are pathetic, they don't give enough programs for kids. The school only has 2 janitors, which results in horrendoes messes around the campus. It was built on a ranch and smells like horse droppings and fertilizer, everyday. If your kids have allergies, Be aware! They are very hard on getting work done and will literaly hunt the kids and parents down to finish them. The gym is a sad excuse for a fitness facility, and there is no field for kids to use except to polo field. But what worries me the most are the rules against using the facilities. Is that permitable in our sivilized world to limit our bathroom needs?
I have only been in this school for a year. In my limited experience (compared to the public school my child was in before), this school definitely lacks facilities. The school desperately needs more funds. Some substitute teachers are of poor quality. I was fortunate to have a good teacher.
This school has undergone substantial change in the past year. It has a new administrative team (new head, new upper school, middle school and lower school principals, new college counselors, new IB coordinators, new registrar). Note that the administrative team that left over the past 18 months did so voluntarily. It also has averaged over 30% teacher turnover each year. According to the most recent state Academic Excellence Indicator System report, the average years of experience for teachers 6.1 and the average years a teacher has with the school is 2.4. It seems to have become a revolving door. I understand the school is ranked highly in Newsweek, but that is only based on number of AP and IB tests taken, not the pass rate of those tests. This school is certainly a school in transition.
My children currently attend Arlington Classics Academy which is an accelerated charter school with many of the same goals as North hills. I am hoping to get my children into North hills since their current school only goes through 6th grade. I take offense to people having problems with the high academic expectations of both schools. ACA has a reputation of being a Homework school also, and I just do not see it with my kids. If your child is not ready for such a challenging environment then maybe this type of school is not for you. I am happy to have options like this available to us without having to bear the expense of private school. As far as the lack of sports or PE. You can pay for programs outside of school if you want to. These schools are about preparing kids for college in a competitive world.
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