My daughter has been going here for almost four school years now and I've been less than impressed on several occasions. My son is immersed in the special education class here and I often questions some of the things we've been subjected to over the years. There's not a lot of options here so I am considering homeschooling until we can move.
We have had several bad experiences at Orchard Heights. I'm not sure if the school has just gone downhill in the last few years or what, but many of the parents we know in the area are now opting for home school or another school besides Orchard Heights. Both of our children were lost in their classes and got little help to stay caught up despite our efforts. Our 5th grader had a teacher who was verbally abusive to our son and spend too much of her time in on the internet or on her cell phone. Safety and security is another place where this school lacks greatly. There have been several instances of strange people coming on campus during the day and little is done about it.
My daughter was in 5th grade last year. The teacher didn't care about the class; it was always out of control. We had to pay a lot of money out of pocket for camp. The school could have taken a lesson from other schools in the district. Other schools raised funds to take the burden off families.
Teachers at this school work with the parents to better educate the students, the integrate the students with special needs with students that dont. Also have a ready for kindergarten class that helps parents to children 0 to 5 years old to ready them for when they do enter in school.
We love Orchard Heights. The principal and assistant principal are amazingly involved. The teachers are all warm and caring. The school also teaches and emphasizes the 6 Pillars of Character which is highly effective in building a good student, child, family member and citizen. I especially appreciate this since or children spend so much of their day at school. I would give this school 5 stars except I personally feel that class sizes are too big this year (24 in my daughter's class).
Both my children have attended OH since kindergarten. Our principal now for 2 years, Mr. LaRose, is a hands-on principal who knows the children by name, interacts with them, and is ever present. The teachers are caring, have a good attitude, and help all children attain their best including the remedial and gifted children. OH is in its second year of The 6 Pillars of Character, an enhancement to the curriculum which promotes respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, trustworthiness, and fairness. It is used world-wide by schools, communitities, and non-profits. OH is a very family-friendly school, there are many well-attended activities you don't always see in other schools (silent auctions, family dances, Muffins for Moms, Donuts for Dads, etc...). If our test results have you hesitant, please call Mr. LaRose for clarification. Academically my children are doing great & I feel very confident that they will do well in middle school.
I have a 6th grader and a 3rd grader at OH. The academics are good. The extracurricular activies are great and there are a lot of them. Music and 'Earth Friendly Studies' are very high. There does not seem to be a lot of art activity. The PTA is amazing and does a lot for the kids. We had a great music prgram by the 3rd graders a few weeks ago. Teachers seem very involved with their classes. Great field trips. I like the school, I wouldn't say there aren't things that could be improved. This is the new principal's 1st year and he has brought it a long way. More improvements coming!