I think there are some good teachers and some not so good teachers. I think the HS Administration is smart, I think the district Administration is lackluster at best. Two teachers at freshman orientation gave a very negative introduction to their classes (you're not going to like this class, but...) and it seems there are numerous attitude issues with students and faculty alike. On the other hand, there are some teachers who seem to be really engaging. After the fallout of Walker's and the District Administration's changes, there was much negativity in the district and I feel that's calmed down some, but remains. The school is making improvements I think, but not dramatic and all test score oriented.
Just went to an introductory meeting at the high school for incoming freshmen. You Have to be impressed with the variety of courses that are being offered. A number of courses are offered for those who are college bound, with many of the courses offering college credit. A number of courses are being offered in technology and industrial arts and students can get certified in a number of areas. There are clubs for everyone, from those on in hospital settings, to foreign languages where the students visit the countries speaking the language. As a parent, I am glad the high school has returned to the skinnies where each class is about 50 minutes long.
I think this school lacks in support and communication between parents and students. I have 3 kids a junior and two freshman which all transferred to montello schools after half the year of portage. I would not recommend this school at all it has been a struggle getting my kids to succeed and I think we have better chances in montello then portage schools. The school may sound nice and big and welcoming but the teachers and staff seem to not take anything seriously.
Portage offers a lot of great opportunities for students. It has a lot of what big schools have but in a small school setting. The band choir departments are phenomenal. The tech ed department is incredible. The quality of education is outstanding! The semester honor rolls always have a great amount of students.
Both of my kids graduated from this district and are doing well at Universities. We had no communication problems with teachers and they both enjoyed the school, its clubs and sports as well a most of their classes. AP courses were often pushed at the expense of electives that would have given them a better start in their majors. Foreign Language (German), Art and Music were all big parts of their high school experience. We found that all students who wanted to be part of the school were welcome.
Unfortunately, Portage High School used to be a fantastic place. Since the current principal and administration have been in place, since 2000, the atmosphere has gone downhill, fast. Yes, the music program is Wonderful as are the foreign language and science programs. The arts used to be wonderful as well, until the current controversy to cut positions. PHS does inspire students to think and lead, yet fails short of preparing them for further education. There is something for everyone to be involved in, but unfortunately there is a definite athletics vs arts divide, with the arts losing. Abstinence only education is failing the students and the quality of teaching has steadly declined. The guidance counselors are worthless and block scheduling has, I believe, been detrimental to courses offered to students and the ability to take core, AP, foreign language, and arts courses. The cutting of the newspaper was a great loss.