Harrison School District 2

www.harrison.k12.co.us
Unclaimed Profile

Harrison School District 2 Reviews

Updated May 21, 2015
13 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
Employment Status

Reset
2.1
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
F Mike Miles
9 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (1)

    Teacher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harrison School District 2 full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The teachers and staff at the schools in HSD2 work extremely hard for their students! They truly care about the students that they teach and are eager to learn more!

    Cons

    There are a lot of politics involved on the District level that can affect teaching within the classroom, if your admin doesn't fight for you and do what is right for kids. If you have a great admin, you will LOVE working in this district!

    Advice to Management

    District personnel should have at least 5 years of experience within a classroom in order to get a job on the district level. You cannot tell teachers what to do unless you've actually taught yourself and know the daily struggles of teaching! It is a hard job, but with the right support we can be much more effective!


  2. Constantly changing expectations make being successful as a teacher incredibly difficult.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher
    Current Employee - Teacher

    I have been working at Harrison School District 2 full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The kids on HSD2 schools are great. Some schools are definitely high-achieving and well-managed, but unfortunately that is the exception, not the rule. If you are a strong teacher that's lucky enough to be at a well-run school, E&R makes it possible to earn far more than what teachers make in neighboring districts.

    Cons

    Most school site administration teams are incompetent and too afraid of not following directions from up top to be true leaders.


  3. The pay is horrible and the atmosphere is dismal

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Harrison School District 2

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I liked working with the kids.

    Cons

    The pay is horrible for the Health Techs. The staff is very cold and unwelcoming

    Advice to Management

    Maybe promote more of a "team" atmosphere and review the pay structure


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. A Broken District That Sets Teachers and Students Up For Failure

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - High School Teacher
    Current Employee - High School Teacher

    I have been working at Harrison School District 2 full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    My Assistant Principal is one of the few good administrators. She should be promoted to give some much needed common sense to the system.

    Cons

    District 2, If teacher retention and student achievement are really goals of this organization, then major reforms need to take place. The turnover is high for many reasons. 1.) Little autonomy in your own classroom. I have had to backtrack on my own classroom rules because the administration keeps changing their minds on what they want to see in every classroom. The district has a very cookie cutter approach to teaching. They act like they have invented a new way of teaching, but in reality they push methods that may be good for elementary and middle school students for all students. Teaching is a science and an art. Let teachers do what they were trained for. 2.) Student behavior is unreal. The district has shut down its alternative schools and seems either afraid or unwilling to remove students that disrupt the learning environment. Consequently, many students have little to no respect for the learning environment and teachers. I have been threatened by students and many teachers have had personal belongings stolen from them. You must provide an alternative school to remove students that are currently ruining the learning environment. 3.) Students are shuffled through middle school despite not actually having to pass academically. The result is that when they reach high school, many will not work and expect to be moved along to the next grade. 4.) Teachers are given an extremely heavy work load and not enough time to actually do any of this work. There are no teacher work days and what this district calls “PLCs” become pointless wastes of time, as administration gives assignments during PLC time instead of actually giving us time to collaborate. There are few cases in which you will actually get to plan/ grade during your planning period if you end up teaching here. 5.) The pay for performance system is broken. While it might sound like a good idea on paper, the district tests are poorly written and often misaligned from what I have observed. The district curriculum for some courses also do not match the grade level. Most teachers do not stay long enough to climb the pay scale. 6.) “Reforms” left over from the previous regimes are counterproductive. For example, as a teacher, they require you have your door open at all times and they want you to have amazing collaborative classes, but how can you do that without disrupting every classes around you. Every time someone walks by your room it disrupts the entire class. By the way, the union was killed/ pushed underground by the last administration. There are very few teachers that have been in building for more than 4 or 5 years. PLEASE SIMPLIFY THE EXPECTATIONS. YOUR STAFF IS OVERWHELMED AND CONFUSED. 7.) We are not given the resources needed to actually do our jobs. I have no textbooks, there are paper shortages, and the laptop program is a joke. The student laptops are cheap and even when they are working, there is little accountability for students actually having them in class. I have had to invest a large amount of $ (MUCH larger than other districts I have worked for) to buy basic supplies for my classroom. 8.) AWFUL communication from administration. Last minute meetings are called regularly. Schedules and information sent to staff is often inaccurate. The result is confusion among staff. Leadership has brought forth a “zero tolerance” policy- but then did not explain to anyone what this actually meant, which created even more confusion. 9.) Don’t plan on having a planning period for long. Between having to cover other classes because few people want to substitute teach here and the hallway duty/ tardy sweep duty I rarely actually get a plan. 10.) They talk about high expectations for students, as there are no “’D’s” in this district. However, they curve the finals, so if a student scores a 3/100, in reality they score a 55/100. This is ideologically inconsistent. The district administration then is baffled by the amount of students that fail.

    Advice to Management

    1.) Simplify expectations for students and teachers. 2.) Give teachers work time. Give them back their planning periods and give them true teacher work days. 3.) Bring back the alternative schools and don't be afraid to give real consequences to students that are currently ruining the learning environment. 4.) Wash away all of the policies from the previous superintendent and start over.


  6. This school district can be discouraging to work for at times at times depending on the school you work at.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Harrison School District 2

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    In this district you really have a chance to make a difference in the educational lives of your students. At one of the schools I worked at there was a great support system with the building's administration. They were always willing to go to bat for you.

    Cons

    Other building's administration were very clicky. If you were not in the "in" crowd, you were out casted which made for a hostile work environment. Administration as a whole is very judgmental. Personal life problems which arise in everyone's lifetime will be held against you if it interferers with the school calendar.

    Advice to Management

    If you hire someone and they make mistakes give them a chance to correct them, work with them not against them. You may be surprised at how much they can surprise you.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Worst teaching environment I've ever experienced

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO

    I worked at Harrison School District 2 full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The kids, who unfortunately never think their teachers are coming back, because with TFA, people getting fired, or people quitting in disgust, turnover is ASTRONOMICAL.

    Cons

    Administration do not welcome feedback on reviews or policies, teachers are treated like they're idiots despite constant lip service to the contrary, and teachers work in a carefully constructed climate of fear. Will downgrade teachers on observations subjectively and deliberately so it looks like THEY are responsible for "coaching" teachers to better ratings. No consistency in review process; your colleague across the hall may have a different administrator who is generous with observation scoring, and you might have a hard-liner who downgrades you for the exact same activity and strategy at the same time. Experienced teachers are forced to teach lesson plans developed by first year teachers; professional expertise and experience in teaching only valued when it eases the workload of the administrator somehow (for example, you take on extra, uncompensated duties). Despite the catchphrase of "rigor" being tossed about constantly, teaching is designed to be directed at the approaching-proficient level student (who is most likely to improve his/her test scores.) ALL teaching is test-driven; teaching to semester standardized tests is expected. As mentioned below, paperwork and data-tracking is a massive task with many layers if redundancy. You will work more hours here than you ever have in any district, but admins will promptly leave and lock up the office by 3:30.

    Advice to Management

    Stop the test-driven madness. Stop dictating to the letter what teachers are teaching, and do not force all teachers to teach exactly the same way. Allow for and respect different teaching styles. Back up your teachers in situations with parents instead of ALWAYS pointing your finger at the teacher; caving to students and parents no matter what makes our classroom management that much harder. Stop arbitrary spot observation scoring. Don't do observations AT ALL that do not have post-observation teacher feedback, face to face, built in. The way you do it now, email and no follow-up, is cowardly and makes your teachers feel demoralized and powerless. Address the issues leading to your high levels of teacher dissatisfaction--WITHOUT threat of reprisals against teachers---and the issues relating to your RIDICULOUSLY, SCANDALOUSLY high turnover.


  8. Helpful (1)

    INSANITY

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO

    I worked at Harrison School District 2 full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    None - other than working with kids

    Cons

    Everything else in the world of education is wrong here.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house at the management level, not teacher level there is already a high enough turnover by their choice


  9. Helpful (1)

    Miserable atmosphere

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO

    I worked at Harrison School District 2 full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunity for decent pay if you play their game.

    Cons

    Oppressive, limiting, restrictive.... Care more about saving money than teaching kids.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to teachers and allow for individual instructional styles.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Possibly one of the worst career moves ever

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Teacher in Colorado Springs, CO

    I have been working at Harrison School District 2 full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The kids are overall pretty great. Some great colleagues in other teachers, who are also desperately trying to do their best in an incredibly oppressive environment.

    Cons

    Administration fails to understand that a school is not a business--a failure of the reform movement in general ( this district is also greatly influenced by ideas coming from TFA). Data needs to be tracked EVERYWHERE---on walls, in individual student folders, in binders, on department posters...for assessment after assessment. The amount of redundancy, soul crushing documentation, and loss of instructional time as well as teacher overtime devoted to these processes is mind blowing. Then there's posting of plans on two written formats, chalkboards, shared drives, walls, power points, AND chalkboards. Standardized plans where you MUST be teaching the exact same plan as your colleagues on the same day, so little to no teacher autonomy, despite constant yammering about "leadership". If you are an experienced teacher or teach because you actually find some joy in teaching, my best advice is avoid, avoid, avoid.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like you have some modicum of respect for their professional judgement, not like they're some sort of teaching widgets. Solicit feedback on evaluations. Recognize that you are not infallible. Fostering an environment of intimidation is counterproductive over the long term.


  11. The students and staff members at HSD2 are, for the most part, intelligent, hard-working, caring individuals.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - School Principal in Colorado Springs, CO
    Former Employee - School Principal in Colorado Springs, CO

    I worked at Harrison School District 2 full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    So many staff members go above and beyond the call of duty in educating students and providing opportunities for students to grow and to become responsible citizens.

    Cons

    Too many staff members seem to be concerned about just keeping their jobs and being part of the "Good ol' Boy" group rather than really caring about what is best for staff members, students, or parents.

    Advice to Management

    Do what is best for students, staff members and parents. Find out what that is by asking each of these groups and truly listening to their responses, and then following through. Escorting award-winning staff members out the door and putting inexperienced teachers in the position of department chairs is certainly not best practice. Communicate! If there are concerns - allow staff members to improve rather than just giving them the boot. Shame on you if this describes you as an administrator!



Showing 13 of 13 reviews
Reset Filters
RSS Feed </> Embed

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.