As the parent of a student who was in the second graduating class, I cannot heap enough accolades on Aviation High School. Also as a businessman, I would hire many of the graduates from AHS before most college graduates. Being taught personal accountability coupled with project based learning gives these students almost an unfair head start on their peers. And my son had many outside activities (Garfield HS Jazz Band, sports etc.) and with the time management skills taught at AHS, he thrived in every situation. Is every school perfect? Of course not, but this one is as close to perfection as any I've seen.
For the most part this seems true, but several of the teachers are far from ideal role models and seem retaliatory or arbitrary in their grading. One Spanish teacher gave a test on material the students had not studied and even the one native Spanish speaking kid in the class found the test difficult.
As the parent of a sophomore at Raisbeck Aviation High School, I can say like most schools Aviation has its strengths and weaknesses. Most teachers are excellent and inspiring, but several have been disappointing and more a lesson in perseverance than the content area they are supposedly teaching. The clubs like Science Olympiad and Robotics are wonderful, but participating in normal high school sports is challenging because of the schedule and distance athletes must commute to get to their "default home school". On several occasions, my child has been faced with the difficult choice between skipping class or disappointing a coach and teammates. For those not athletically inclined, even getting P.E. credits is rather involved and requires a fair amount of parent support. The arts are similar. Only two classes are offered and not always available schedule-wise. Despite these shortcomings and the considerable homework load, my student enjoys the serious attitude that most of his classmates have and the focus on aviation.
In this school, many would think RAHS has great teachers and friends over there. However, in my case, not necessarily. I've been hated by one teacher, unbearably, wrongly ignored by this school, and I have little or no friends over there. At the awards ceremony, I was never recognized, not even once when I really deserved to be recognized there. And to add insult to injury, this school made me feel like a homeless man living on their property. Not to offend the teachers, but I was never appreciated for my great attitude towards learning. Why an I being ignored when I shouldn't? It's a simple question. I'm not asking for a detailed, 5-page report! Anyways, dedicated people like me are being ignored here. And for you, just get ready to have your social and mental health impacted very badly at this school. If you can't handle the stress there, then this school is not for you.
I'm a student from the class of 2013, and I cannot express how impressed I am with AHS. When I walked in I was a lonely nerd without direction. When I left, I had work experience in the aerospace industry, several large scholarships, admission to my top three colleges and a group of friends I'll never forget. That said, this place requires intense sacrifice and a burning desire to succeed. You'll work absurdly hard, but in the end, it's all worth it.
My son is a junior at AHS (now RAHS Raisbeck Aviation High School, after a major benefactor). Awesome school really motivated students, which in turn attracts great teachers. My son felt comfortable there from day one, and it seems like all the students get along really well. It's a school where it's cool to be a geek! The extracurricular activities are challenging and popular, particularly Robotics, Science Olympiad and Debate. PE can be a bit of an issue, though they now have their own Ultimate Frisbee team, which is a fun sport that accommodates all abilities well. Electives are a non-issue plenty of interesting ones to choose between. And their new building is state of the art, directly across the street from the Aviation Museum. I can't believe that this is a free, public school for my son, no school could be better. For others if you're not into math and science, forget it. And being passionate about aviation is a big plus, though not totally required. Reba Gilman should be sainted for overcoming the bureaucratic hurdles of getting this school established, then driving the public-private partnership that's made it the school it is today.
I have two children who go to this school and it has been a great experience for both. It's a smaller school so the kids really get to know each other and they all get along well. The staff is very involved for the most part. AHS has a great FIRST Robotics team and Science Olympiad team as well. I feel this school does a great job of preparing the students for college. They learn time management, are challenged by their classes and present to groups (student and adult) all the time. The PE credit is an issue for some kids as they aren't able to complete at school. There are more electives now - my kids haven't had a real problem with that. Students who are in band and sports are still able to participate through other schools in the district. They are building a new AHS school building in the near future that will be quite amazing and one of my kids will be able to enjoy that!