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Hyde Schools, Bath ME and Woodstock, CT are two schools, under common management that FamilyLight sm  has very mixed feelings about.  We intend to write more in depth about them, but will provide a superficial review now. 

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FamilyLightsm is an educational consulting firm specializing in work with families with a young person with behavioral, emotional or psychological difficulties.  We offer in-depth personal guidance to families on a fee basis and free guidance on the internet. FamilyLightsm attempts to be fully objective and accepts no advertising nor referral fees.

On the positive side, we have seen Hyde School work miracles with kids.  We have also been aware of a number of very seriously disappointed parents.  Our biggest concern is that when parents have circulated signed statements expressing concerns about Hyde School(s), the management at Hyde has been unwilling to respond specifically and on the record.

Here are questions we suggest parents ask if considering Hyde.  We suggest that request answers in writing and challenge the school in case of later evidence that there was not full disclosure.

  1. What mental health diagnoses occur among Hyde Students? With what frequency?

  2. What percentage of you students are taking psychotropic drugs?

  3. What are the qualifications of the staff members supervising these students?

  4. To what degree are mental health services for your students integrated with the faculty and other staff supervising your students?

  5. What is expected of parents regarding participation in parent seminars?

  6. What of my personal life am I expected to disclose in the parent seminars? How many other parents will be present?

  7. What are the credentials of the people staffing the parent seminars?

  8. What donations will I be expected to make to the school, in addition to the tuition?

  9. What special provisions to you have for learning disabled students?  Are the teachers of learning disabled students special education certified?  All of them?

If Hyde would choose to provide us with specific answers to these questions, we will publish them.

While we neither affirm nor refute published claims of parents and claims made verbally to us, answers to these questions would cover many of the concerns that have been raised.  We applaud the efforts of Hyde to provide character education.  We applaud their efforts at impacting the character development of some students who need that intervention at a lower cost than many other schools with similar objectives.  We believe that the methods of the Hyde Schools at the time of its founding were forward looking and showed great promise. We question whether or not Hyde has adapted its methodology sufficiently as experience and research have taught us much in the intervening years. 

We anticipate a more detailed review of Hyde's campuses in the future

Official web site of Hyde School(s)

Return to Individual Schools and Programs Index

Hyde School in Wikipedia

Letters from parents about Hyde, published in Woodbury Reports 

A letter Criticizing Hyde (this is one of two published, signed letters whose authorship is authenticated, criticizing the school[s], from parents, which the school itself has not responded to, so far as we know, after we asked them to address the concerns raised in the letter. This letter in part inspires the questions we have suggested above.  Note that we can neither confirm nor refute its allegations.  The unwillingness of the school[s] to address what it alleges directly is concerning to us.  The letters affirming the school[s] from other parents are not as specific to the criticisms as we would like to see, but they do show strong support for the school[s].)

A direct response to the above, from another parent.

A support letter from a parent, possibly in response to the letter criticizing Hyde.

An additional letter of the same form. (This comes closer to being specific regarding the criticisms in the first letter.)

Feedback is invited. We will publish feedback in good taste. See our Rules for Submissions.  Email FamilyLightResponse@yahoo.com

Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.

Last updated  8-08-09

 
   
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