Harrison School District 2

  www.harrison.k12.co.us
  www.harrison.k12.co.us

Harrison School District 2 Reviews

Updated September 15, 2014
Updated September 15, 2014
8 Reviews
1.6
8 Reviews
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F Mike Miles
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Worst teaching environment I've ever experienced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 an year)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    INSANITY

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 an year)

    Pros

    None - other than working with kids

    Cons

    Everything else in the world of education is wrong here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Miserable atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    Pros

    Opportunity for decent pay if you play their game.

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to teachers and allow for individual instructional styles.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Possibly one of the worst career moves ever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    HSD2 became the most miserable place I've ever worked.

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

    I worked at Harrison School District 2

    Pros

    Working with at-risk youth
    Great Hispanic population

    Cons

    Superintendent believes there is only one way to teach
    Vindictive administration
    Favoritism
    No appreciation for a job well done

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Teaching is a career, not a job, so people are looking to do it long-term. F. Mike believes one should teach for a maximum of 5 years. His justification is,"the average person has 12 jobs in their lifetime." The average person does NOT have 12 careers! Treat teachers with respect, and know that the vast majority of them are doing right by kids, not the other way around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Teaching is hard

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

    I worked at Harrison School District 2

    Pros

    It's close to where I used to live. I saved a lot of money on gas specially given the fact that I used to car pool. That's good for the environment. My coworkers are supportive. It seemed to me that at times public education is like a war zone with four parties are war: teachers, students, administrators and parents, each with their own agenda. Teachers try their darn best. Hey, most of them passed their content test. I loved the solidarity about our work and the camaraderie outside the workplace. My fellow teachers and I used to confer a lot.

    Cons

    Teaching is hard. The school district is located in the depressed area of Colorado Springs. As I said at times public education is like a war zone with four parties are war: teachers, students, administrators and parents, each with their own agenda. The students are a bunch of ne'er-do-well slackers. When I was still there, there was a construction boom and a lot of teen age boys didn't see the need to do well in school. Most of their parents aren't college graduates so the students don't have good role models. Administrators just want to boost test scores so they look good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You've got a tough job ahead of you. Keep going.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    The work has been rewarding thus far

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Harrison School District 2

    Pros

    It can be really rewarding to work at a school.

    Cons

    It can be really hard to work at school

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