This isn't a bad school. Some teachers are great, some mediocre, and some are awful. There is a huge drug culture that the administration likes to pretend doesn't exist, but there are plenty of people who don't do drugs, and they're not hard to find. The new library is dark and kind of pathetic, and I expected better from a school system as wealthy as APS. The gym is really nice, and there are extensive gym facilities, like a state of the art weight room and a nice auxiliary gym. There is a team for practically every sport, too, and a ton of clubs for nonathletic people, so the extracurriculars are great.
"You'll find druggies at every school you send your child to." Yes but of all the schools my kids attended while I was in the military- schools in California, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia- the only time I ever witnessed a 40 year old PARENT light up it was when my kid went to Yorktown. If you throw your kids to the wolves there, don't count on the other parents acting like parents.
Yorktown is an okay high school with some great points and some horrible ones. I've had some teachers who changed my life for the better here and others who almost ruined my learning career. Though drinking and drugs are a problem here, I would not suggest sending your kids to private school as an alternative. Yorktown is very diverse in terms of what kids do in their free time. It's possible to avoid illegal activities and still have many friends. YHS has a LOT of school spirit and great theater/music programs. There is a club for everyone. This school is not perfect, but if you look hard enough you can find some wonderful students with ambitions and values to match your own- and that will make up for everything else.
Outstanding languages program (Japanese) and brand new facilities. Yorktown is located in a super affluent section of Arlington but is also diverse.
The irony is that parents send their kids to this school because they feel it will keep them away from drugs when the fact of the matter is the school is composed of mostly rich kids who can afford it. Sending them to private school doesn't help because it's the same situation. And honestly the APS program far surpasses the local private school education and is way more diverse. You'll find druggies at every school you send your child to.
I love this school and the construction is almost done and it looks BEAUTIFUL!!! :) <3
I decided to give it several months before I posted a review of this school. Now that my child has been attending another school in a different state for almost all of 2012, I can safely state that Yorktown is NOT a good place for your child to attend school. As other parents have noted, the staff is unapproachable and condescending. They do not listen to your concerns. Some teachers are outright incompetent. For instance, in Chemistry my child had a D when he transferred out of there and by the end of the spring semester in the same subject he had an A at his new school. And drugs are a HUGE problem at Yorktown. The kids just have too much time and money on their hands. At all costs, if you have to live in that area, try a private school or home school your kids.
We bit the bullet and purchased in the Williamsburg/Yorktown district based on what we had researched when moving to the DC area. With respect to Yorktown, we could not be more disappointed. Our personal experience revealed a prevelant attitude that the kids should be treated as adults, that the school knows best and the parents are idiots. Some of the staff were outright condescending when I questioned the total lack of communication. There are some very,very good teachers who clearly struggle against the "teach to the SOL tests" instruction, as well as school overcrowding issues. And there are some horrifically incompetent teachers. For example one teacher failed to grade assignments for a month, lost at least 1/2 doz of my child's assignments (thank goodness for archived emails) and rarely returned my calls/emails. Parents - keep on top of your kid(s)' progress and keep in consistent communication with the teachers. We hired tutors to shore up those classes where the teaching was subpar.
As one other reviewer noted, there is a huge emphasis on testing (so they can claim to be a Blue Ribbon School) to the detriment of actually ensuring the students learn the material. Students are overwhelmed with assignments and homework. Some teachers are unresponsive and then dig their heels in over subjective grading policies and will not allow assignments to be made up even when absences ar excused. Kids walk out of school after the end of the day with frowns, not smiles. Drugs are prevalent. The three stars are for the fact that they have a great extra-curricular program with opportunities for every student to participate.
A major weakness of Yorktown is it's counseling dept. It seems rather that helping kids who are not performing up to their capabilities they mostly hand out college brochures to those who already know what they want to do. I am a parent of two YHS graduates. My son could have benefited from good counseling. Their is also a math teacher at the school who can't teach math. Some others are very good.
Some great teachers and 'well to do' families motivated to get their kids into selective colleges are factors that make YHS a school that performs well on academic rating scales. The enrollment has really increased in the past couple of years while the faculty and counseling staff size have not seemed to. The stress is showing. Changing classes seems almost impossible once schedules are issued. The 'rebuilding' of the school while the kids are there could not be avoided and will be a mess for another year. As parents, keep your eyes open as high test scores does not mean no problems; theft, drinking, drugs and bullying are also at YHS. Student stress is a real concern as multiple AP courses seem to be the norm now for 11th and 12 grade. Maybe it is time for a school review at YHS.
Yorktown is the best school ever. five months ago whem I stepped in this country, I did not know if i could fit in this new environment. Yorktown helped me get through the barricades. I could not possibly have asked for a better school. And now when my parents want to move to Fairfax, my answer was that you coul move but I was not going anywhere. Come on! I can't leave this school. Even if I have to live alone.
We moved from Fairfax County to Arlington for the sole reason of putting our child in this school. it is absolutely amazing. we have always done private schools and this school is by far above and beyond anything we have ever experienced. great teachers who are willing to communicate with you, respect towards the kids, and overall attitude of the staff is amazing. the pta has a high number of parents willing to join and participate.
As a parent you can't ask anymore from a school. When moving to Arlington, we made sure that we moved into the Yorktown district because no school in the county can match Yorktown. Academics are the number one concern in this school. If your son/daughter has the opportunity to take an AP class, they will realize it is college level material and that no class is taken as a joke. Whenever my daughter is struggling in class, help is ALWAYS offered after school or during lunch. The level of commitment from teachers to administration at Yorktown is unmatched. They really stand for the betterment of the individual. Athletically, Yorktown is always competitive in EVERY sport. Losing is a rarity and success is always found. School preaches playing with class and won VHSL sportsmanship award for their efforts. Read the grammatical errors from other school reviews and you'll see the system works!
Yorktown has more than prepared my daughter for a rigorous academic college; it has inspired her to seek excellence in ways that extend beyond the academic arena. It's AP classes, in some ways, have been tougher than some my husband and I had in name-brand/academically challenging universities. In a sense, after a student has been to a school such as Yorktown, he or she needs to apply to an Ivy or super rigorous university to keep being challenged. An average and slightly above average college will frankly, be boring to somone who has gone through Yorktown's AP track in a cosmopolitan city. Kudos.
This school is really academically focused and positive minded. It is one of the best schools in Virginia and in the US. I have a son that goes to this school and he is impressed with all the technological materials in the school. The computers are brand new, every class has a large screen TV, and the students have unlimited access to any of these materials. My son has been very happy with the school.
Yorktown is one of the greatest schools in the area. In 2003 it was rated 23rd in the country for public schools by Newsweek Magazine. The teaching staff is incredible. They are always willing to spend extra time with students before and after school and during their lunch breaks and they often support their students by going to sporting events, etc. The Yorktown Patriots are very competitive in their athletic programs (the best in the district) and often win district titles. Yorktown's acedemics are amazing - they offer countless AP and Gifted classes and many of their students go on to go to great colleges and universities (UVA, Princeton, Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, etc). A whole new building was just finished for this school year which added 32 new classrooms, several administrative offices, and more storage room. I love YHS and I wouldn't change anything about it!
We love YHS. Yorktown offers a lot of AP courses (across academic fields) and options for students. The teachers are caring and able to readjust a student's path when necessary, and the students are very accepting of new students. The expectations are very high, and that could be a draw-back to some students. All Arlington County high schools are smaller than surrounding counties, which seems to provide a good, safe community where each child can find his or her niche. The athletic programs follow a model out of Stanford called Positive Coaching Alliance which is a great approach for keeping sports in perspective. The socio-economic level of the community is very high (lots of family financial support for programs), though the school has a more ethnically diverse population than you would find in other areas of the country. Nationally rated high school.
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