I hear that the Altitude educational track that combines the three middle school grades really works. It enables more in depth submersion within a given subject than what's covered in a traditional classroom. As a parent whose child is about to enter the school, I certainly hope that they are chosen for the program. Better yet, perhaps H.M.S. can expand the program so that more children can benefit from this progressive model. Parent
We are new to the VT area from the Midwest so my son has only been at HMMS for 1 month. I can completely see why this school is failing and the district is trying new ways to revamp its curriculum. Math: She does not grade the math homework because she wants the student to "try" it and get a 100% based on their efforts alone. What this means is that the student can "try" to the best of their abilities and still fail an exam because homework is not taken seriously by DeBalsi. IMO, homework is practice to show a student has mastered concepts. It's a recipe for disaster. Lang Arts/English: She doesn't give 100 on any assn. There are several "parent signature forms" that she gives 90 of 100 pts for. When a parent asked how it's possible to only get 90/100 for a form parents just have to sign (in other words, what could a parent have done to get the other 10 pts) she said GPAs don't matter in middle schools. The logic is just not there. So, any given student will fall in the "B" or "C" range just because she deducts 10 pts for asinine reasons. One month and we are disappointed thus far. Is this why Hartford High is subpar too?
My husband and I have never been pleased with this school. If you have a 'non-problem child' then this school is great. But for the parents of a 'problem'/need extra help student, this school is not in their best interest. This school passed our child 6th and 7th and 8th grade when our child did not pass ANY classes in the entire time she was in this school, and that was after repeatedly asking for a retention! Teahers let things fester until everyone is miserable. Falling through the cracks...oh yes if you don't have the A-B student that is self reliant your child will most likely fall through the cracks! One bright spot....the guidance department is wonderful a terrific assest to adolescents!
HMMS overall is a great school. The teachers are compassionate, and are willing to give the children in their classes every opportunity to grow and excel. My son had a difficult year in 8th grade, but the teachers never gave up on him, they all felt he was just experiencing 'growing pains'. He went on to high school and has had a terrific freshman year. Thanks to all those who cared and persisted in Robs education.