I am very dissatisfied with the transition to FHTMS. My children have been served in the SBSD since kindergarden - with a focus on skills development of special needs. Elementary years were a struggle as well - nothing is handed over in services even though the need is very apparent, you must ask for it and in most cases fight for it. FHTMS is dysfunctional - with the exception of the new Asst. Principal - which is the small light in a very dark room. I would not recommend you sending your children to any of the SBSD school if they have special needs of any kind. There are other districts in VT that are now considered a better option.
We have been in the South Burlington School district for over 20 years having children with 10 years between them, so we have seen the schools evolve...sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. While no organization is perfect, all in all, South Burlington is an EXCELLENT school system with extremely dedicated parents and teachers. Both our children have had incredible, talented teachers visibly invested in their futures. As far as the previous poster who criticized the school for "cutting" students from the musical I have this advice....unfortunately a hard lesson to learn, this is life. We "audition" for jobs, sports teams, colleges, etc., and "protecting " our kids from disappointment will never be the answer. This is how a "entitled" generation is born. There is nothing wrong with a little failure...it gives us a chance to better ourselves, a chance to raise the bar. If we teach our kids otherwise we deprive them of reaching their full potential and give them a false sense of the real world. Our job is to encourage our kids to reach for the stars and to provide a soft landing when the fall, and to push them out there to try again!
I find that the teachers are hit or miss. You get amazing teachers or a real dud. Unfortunately the duds of teachers have many many years there and are not going anywhere. They offer a lot of fun field trips throughout the year. This is an engaging experience for 6th graders. They let kids have responsibilities there too. Not locked down and super strict rules. The learning seems slow, not fast paced enough. The staff varies in kindness. The lunches are very healthy and fresh. The library smells of an ancient tomb. The bathrooms need supervising since it appears that kids in middle school enjoy playing with their waste. Overall a good experience with the need for a faster more challenging learning curve.
I am a current student at FHTMS and I would say that my experiences over the last three years have not been very positive. My sixth grade year was incredible. The teachers were amazing and the small team of students really helped me come out of my shell. Once I hit 7th grade things got a bit harder. Over the past 2 year I have found that the students are incredibly rude to there teachers and each other and that may of the teachers are disconnected from there student in a way that makes us feel that are education does not matter to them. My experience with this school and my peers really affected my self-confidence and passion for learning negatively. I find that if you are not naturally charismatic and outgoing the students will walk all over you.
This is an excellent school. Lots of learning opportunities, the teachers are very good, and care about the kids, and the extracurricular activities are excellent and still teach real wold skills such as dedication, hard work, and that you have to earn your way in life and are not given a free pass. Success and failure is a part of life and the students are taught how to handle both, and keep trying.
The teachers are rude, un-understanding, and are very arrogant, the guidance consolers may as well not be there, and it is simply a horrible school My child learned next to nothing at the school. They extracurricular activities actually cut kids, making their self-esteem plummet (they cut 35 kids in the musical they are doing then had the nerve to ask the PTO for a huge amount of money). Do not send you child to it.
My daughter loves school this year. The teachers on the Polaris Team are excellent and seem very interested in the kids as individuals. I couldn't ask for a better middle school experience.
I think that overall this school is very good. It has a lot of extracurrical activities and a lot of sports for the kids to play.
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