I am currently a freshman at AMES and hate it. The school is not academically rigorous, as it claims, and thinks way to highly of it self. The only reason they score high on tests and ratings is that most the students there either chose to be there or were forced to go there by their parents because of its undeserved reputation, which continues because of the students attracted their. One of the worst parts about AMES is the sport and social aspects. There are no sports teams and PE credit is awarded easily by either filling out a fitness packet or taking a class in which you walk. Instead of taking extra-curricular activities from AMES you take it from the school they are housed in (Cottonwood high school). While this seems wonderful, the relationship between the two schools is extremely poor and their communication is worse. If you do wish to do Cottonwood activities, you have to often choose between Cottonwood activities and AMES activities often, because often major things such as Prom and graduation are scheduled carelessly at the exact same time. AMES also starts during Cottonwood's second period, and to accommodate adds a fifth period that dismisses at 3:45. This also makes after school activities from Cottonwood difficult, and when the only "sport" at AMES is robotics, your pretty much out of luck. Traditional high school practices are often nonexistent or extremely altered. Our student counsel isn't elected, but appointed completely by the teachers. All school dances are poorly organized, and are not date dances as a normal high schools have. Finally, if you are planning to go to any other college besides the University of Utah you are a small minority. From day one they push you as hard as they can towards the U, and act as if everyone is going to end up their. I would not recommend this school to anyone if they care about their extra-curricular activities and wish for a normal high school environment.
While in some of my classes the homework was just right, my history and geography classes, which were supposed to lead up to an AP test, required very little homework, maybe a half hour every two weeks.
I am currently a junior here at AMES. I think this school is great for anyone from any kind of background. At AMES there are a lot of AP classes to take, as well as classes from the University of Utah. Nearly all seniors are in at least one University class. We can also take classes from Cottonwood high school, where there are other concerant enrollment and AP classes we can take in language, art, music, and other subjects. I love the environment at AMES. Comparing it to other schools I've gone to and the Cottonwood classes I have had, AMES teachers and students are far more friendly than any other school. Since it's a small school, basically all of the people in each grade know each other and a lot of the people in other grades. Overall, I would suggest this school to anyone, no matter what their situation is.
I am currently a very unhappy sophomore at AMES. This school, while it has a great reputation, does not live up to what all that it claims. Teachers are supportive but teach to only those they see 'need' the help. Administration will listen and sympathize to situations or problems, but will never make an advance to fix them. The student body is comprised of about 40-50% of students that don't want to be at the school, and the remaining are either settling because they don't care or truly enjoying their experience. The social aspect of AMES is almost entirely segregated by race and leaves very little room for those who aren't close to others of their 'skin color'. The three R's of AMES are rigor, relevance, and relationships. The rigor of this school is by far less than those of normal AP or IB programs at other schools. The relevance of the classes often have nothing to do with applying an education to real life but applying what you know to pass a test or exam. The relationships of AMES are lacking and often superficial. I would not recommend this school to any student, male or female, looking for a challenge and purpose in their education.
I'm just about to be a Senior at AMES. It's a fantastic school, I love it. The teachers are very into getting you prepared for college and encouraging you to reach your full potential. Not only can you take AMES classes, but you can also take classes through Cottonwood High School, such as languages, art, music, and sports. It's a school dedicated to helping their students, the teachers are great, and it's also a lot of fun. No matter what your interests are, I would recommend AMES to any high school student.