My daughter has been in the Hawthorne ELP program since kindergarten. I feel it has been the best choice available given our circumstances, but it is far from perfect. Strengths: (1)The other kids in the program. There is no substitute intellectually for having your kid in a class filled with other bright kids. This redeems the school's other failings. Weaknesses: (1) Faculty and administration seem quite content that they turn out kids who do well academically. This overlooks that they have started with kids who were already at the top of the scales. It s hard to say there is any special value added by the school s curriculum. 2) The kids who fill up the ELP program are overwhelmingly from affluent, upper middle class or professional families who know how to game the system. It is not some miraculous statistical anomaly that all 3, 5 or 7 kids in a family manage to get into the program. 3) The ELP program is very insular. There is remarkably little interaction with the other three quarters of the students at the school. ELP students have different lunch times and recesses than the other kids limiting mixing and undermining a principle strength of a public school.
Hawthorne elementary has several components within its school - it has a usual community neighborhood school, a mixed-grade school (called curriculum lab) and a gift school (called ELP). Hawthorn ELP has been the best gifted education program in Utah. I know several parents who strive to prepare their children to pass the exam to enter this ELP program. Liberal. Very challenging. High standards for math, reading, writing, and science. Teachers are great; working hard. Principal is supportive. Parent involvement is required (usually do classroom teaching and working with children 2 hours per week) and makes the most important aspects of ELP. Parents and teachers are really interacting each other. Families are really close each other. Overall rating of the school may not be great because the rating is not just for ELP program. FYI. I am also holding a Ph.D. in education and try not to be biased in my opinion.
I have two children in the Hawthorne ELP program. I have 20yrs of Education experience and a phD in Education. I am familiar with all of private, public and charter school curriculum in Salt Lake and regularly tech teachers at many of the same. The Hawthorne ELP teachers are outstanding. We have the ability to send our children to any private school in Salt Lake, but selected Hawthorne's ELP program because in my evaluation, it is the best education available in Salt Lake. The principal is supportive, friendly and in my experience doing an excellent job. I have seen bullying problems in the local private schools that for some reason is ignored by administration, whereas bullying is absolutely not tolerated at Hawthorne.
New principal started Fall 2007 - much better than the previous leadership. I have enjoyed all of teacher's so far, but my daughters are in the ELP program, versus just the neighborhood school, for whatever that's worth.
My son is a 5th grader @ Hawthorne & my daughter started kindergarten this year. I have loved Hawthorne until 2 years ago. The new principal is unfriendly. Still their test scores are above average, my son is in E.L.P. classes & music. My daughter is learning quickly to read. Bottom line, Hawthorne is NOW overcrowded and the leadership stinks!