This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Ab Harrison Intermediate School1
Posted February 10, 2015
- a parent
My youngest child is a current student at this school. It is every bit as pathetic as many of the other reviews indicate. I wholeheartedly agree with comments in one of the reviews regarding their so-called 'trust card' system. This is really the ONLY discipline tool in their chest. My child was SO excited on the first day of school, 5th grade. By the end of the first week, all the excitement was gone, and all that was left was a great dread of having to go to 'that school'. Forget about transferring to another intermediate school within the Wylie District - the school administrators REFUSE to allow transfers from Harrison, at the very same time they REFUSE to deal with the big mess at that school. My personal opinion......because this is the only school in the district with an administrator of color, they are desperate to keep this person to show diversity among their administrators, and thus this 'principal' gets a free pass. The only way to fix the school, is to begin by replacing both the principal and the assistant principal.
We have been thrilled with Harrison. Having moved twice with my husband's company I have looked to Great Schools for information time and again, but I would say that this school rates higher than an "8." As another parent mentioned, the teachers at Harrison are extremely dedicated and available to the students. I find my son coming home and discussing what he has learned in class - even in the subjects he normally thinks are boring. These dedicated teachers are making it interesting. The Principal seems very impressive and caring. I appreciate "College Thursday" where collegiate-wear may be worn in place of the normal uniform - keeps the future goal of university study in view. I have also been impressed with Wylie ISD. The Superintendent is a force for these kids and keeps the district on the cutting edge as seen with the STEM programs. The district emphasis on the "Wylie Way" encourages character and respect and these traits are kept at the forefront for the kids. We couldn't be more pleased with how our son is thriving at Harrison and in Wylie ISD.
Let me just say that I feel a deep admiration and respect for the exceptional teachers, brilliant principals and such hands on administrators . We have been truly blessed by these amazing people who love what they do and challenge our students. The drive, energy, enthusiasm and openness is parallel to no other. I have also been blessed to be on the PTA and actually see these leaders in action. Its impossible to make everyone happy But, Harrison is the best school we have attended. If you take the time to look at the actual test scores, you will find that this school excels on many levels especially academically. As far as the comment about the GT program, this particular teacher is a brilliant and extremely dedicated to her job. Christin :)
Not a great school at all. The easiest way to describe this school would be militant and uncaring. Harrison uses a trust card system, which is essentially a require name badge for the students. The principal and staff would tell you it's a privilege-based system, giving students special privileges for wearing them. It's actually a tool for organized teacher bullying. Students are punished by getting their cards removed. Kids without cards, either because they were taken away or because they left them at home, are forced to sit at lunch in desks facing a concrete wall. With a few exceptions, teachers are rude and uncaring for students and parents alike. Parental concerns are never addressed...in fact they are often mocked. If you have it within your ability to avoid this school, please consider doing so. My child said it best when the conversation of bullying came up a while back. When discussing what to do when a student bullies you, my student said, "But the teachers are the bullies, what do I do about that?"
We were sorely disappointed with this school last year. Our daughter was in 6th grade. Having moved from another school where she was in the Gifted/Talented program, it was disappointing to find that Harrison only has 1 GT class, Language Arts. The teacher of that class is disorganized and knows nothing about what it truly means for a student to be gifted. It is not simply being smarter than the other children. They need particular attention, helping them foster their critical thinking skills, etc. This teacher does nothing for that. The other 6th grade teachers that my daughter had seemed to focus their efforts on the struggling students and would ignore the brighter children. My daughter ended up having a mediocre year of school because of the lack of interest in her education and as a child. My daughter loves science and would frequently go to the science teacher and ask an 'out of the box' type question, she would normally be shrugged off and told to "go look it up". HORRIBLE school and pathetic teachers. I'm glad we are done with that place.
The teachers are reasonably tough and they truly care about bringing out the very best in the students. They seem focused on true achievement, not just 'feel good' teaching. Gifted and Talented program is great. Our son is actually asking about college! At this school, its more than teaching to the TAKS, they are on track for real education. This school is a fresh breath.