This school has an ED center located on site. The center serves highly emotionally disabled children. The center is located in a separate building which also contains all 6th grade classes and art classrooms. Your children will be exposed on a daily basis to emotionally unstable children who can become dangerous. The ED children are mainstreamed into regular classrooms. My children were exposed to inappropriate language, violent outbursts, threats, and emotionally disturbing behavior on a daily basis. If you do not want your children exposed to this type of behavior than HM is not the school for you.
A National Award Winning School. The community here has really taken a stake in shaping this school. The principal is one of very few in the area that keeps an open door policy for parents, and welcomes you in to be a part of your child's experience at school. The community has worked together to build outdoor classrooms and gardens and kids love it. Every year this school wins another national award, and it's well deserved. The community has also helped maintain extra science and math resources giving kids extra opportunities to take science classes and learn outdoors. They use the responsive classroom system, and it really helps to manage behavior and help kids take a role in their classroom community. My kids love it here, and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.
So glad we moved out of the HM school district!!!! For 3 years of my childs elementary school years we were here.. and it was Heck! My child had the same teacher for 2 years and another for the last year here and every year my child was miserable. Hated going to school, hated everything! Do you know how sad it is to see your child hate school?? They just send children out of the class to "deal with behavior issues", never call to inform you of anything, yet get upset with you for everything. My childs K and 1st grade teacher constantly made nasty comments to my kid, thinking I wouldn't know or be told them... even threaten my child if I was told about it.. Now there is nothing I can do about it now, but if I had known, I'd be in the news! We are at Stratford Landing ES now and my child LOVES LOVES LOVES school.. We can't seem to leave early enough to get there =) and every subject is the best subject in school to learn. So thrilled to have gotten away from HM and the HORRIBLE teachers, principal and staff.. they are horrid to deal with and I hope they reap the karma they all deserve.
My son attended this school last year in the second grade. The teacher and office were unwilling to understand when we were sick and because we lived in an apartment all of .25 miles away they refused bus transportation! I worked in DC and it was NOT ideal! The teacher was very uncooperative and insulting. Obviously not happy with her job. Some people just shouldn't work with young children. The school did provide an alternative to lunch menu, which worked out great. There was always something to pay for. What happened to free education? I was not impressed with the quality of friends options and neither was my son. So glad we are out of there! Traffic was horrible too.
Moving here in August of 2011 we were hesitant about sending our kids to HM. Having come from a 10 rated school with a very different racial and socio-economic mix of students we were not sure what to expect. This year has been a wonderful year for my three children! As with all schools, no matter the ranking, a child s experience often depends on their teacher. I LOVE all of kid s teachers. All three are strong, thoughtful, caring, organized teachers who have developed a positive classroom environment, which has helped my children grown academically and socially. Being a Title One school HM has many reading and math specialists who move from classroom to classroom allowing for more attention for each student. I love the diversity my children see every day with both the students and teachers. I volunteer at the school for several hours each week and highly enjoy my time there. Cons: If you have a high achieving student they may not be pushed as hard as you might like, not all parents are involved and classroom volunteers tend to be the same parents over and over, there is only one teacher overseeing the lunch room which makes it noisy and chaotic.
The overall tone of this school is harsh and controlling. The amount of yelling on a daily basis is terrible. While there are a couple of reasonable parts, it is an overall depressing place to be. My children aren't learning much except that teachers scream and school is frightening and boring. So sad.
School just named 2011 Intel School of Distinction in Math. This school is much more than the scoring indicates. I just graduated a 6th Grader who went since K and have third grader. It has an authentic hands-on method of teaching that is getting real results in math and reading scores. It is a special school with involved community, teachers and administration.
We are military and moved into Hollin Meadows area in the middle of the year. We have since moved again and will be back in the Alexandria area in 2011. Our kids absolutely LOVED the school. The best was the diversity -- there are kids there from all over the world, literally. The multi-cultural fair, the Renaissance fair for 5th graders, the gardens, the science program, the literacy program, arts and music are all integrated so kids in every grade are having similar lessons on their grade level. We can't WAIT to get back to Hollin Meadows.