We have loved every single day that we've been at Highland Hall! Our son literally skips on the way to his classroom in the morning and can't stand to miss a day of school. He loves the handwork that they are taught, gardening, German and Spanish, and all the outdoor time that the kids have throughout the day. As parents, we couldn't be happier. We are watching him begin his academic life in a positive and supportive environment, where he is learning creative and critical thinking through all of his work; this alone makes it all worthwhile for us.
My daughter attended Carpenter Community Charter School and switched to Highland Hall in the 4th grade. She went from being an under confident stressed out kid to a happy kid who is proud of her accomplishments and never wants to miss school. She has such a great time at school she's often learning without even knowing it. Not only is she exposed to wood working, Spanish, German, biodynamic farming, knitting and sewing, archery, but she has learned to play both the violin and flute, and performs in orchestra! She tells me that she wishes she could go to a Waldorf college. Mostly, I am impressed with how dedicated her teachers are. They truly love and care for each and everyone of their students.
Our daughter has gone to Highland Hall since the Mommy and Me days, and it has been one of the best decisions we've ever made. The school follows the Waldorf program, first developed by Rudolf Steiner nearly 100 years ago. It's fully integrative learning, offering children instruction that connects art, music, visual learning, math, and reading so that they not only absorb information but really become better learners, no matter what challenges/problems they face. The other parents have been terrific, which provides an overall community that enriches both our daughter's and our experiences. I can't recommend Highland Hall highly enough; it's a great place, presenting an education that respects the children, and all taking place in a beautiful environment.
First of all, I can make this pretty simple. I remember when I was an actor years ago in New York and the teacher used to say " . . . could anyone who is not here right now please leave." Now imagine you are at child's school play or concert etc. and there's not a camera in site. No one is trying to record the incredibly special magical performance in your child's life. No screens up in the air like it's a press conference or a sea of paparazzis. You actually are watching in real time and you realize your really present and everyone is really quiet and watching the real thing instead of a screen. I didn't know that would be the case when we first got to the school but I soon realized what the point of it was. So the school may record it to share with all the parents, but that's not the point. The world is constantly recording. To stop, to listen in real time to such an incredible moment in my son's life blew me away. And I get it. If you don't, then Waldorf may not be for you. But then again your not the one looking back at all those cameras hoping you can see your parents instead of a bunch of camera lenses. Our son has never been happier in his life then he is now.
This school has been an extraordinary experience for our daughter and our family. She's currently a Jr. in the High School; she started at HH in Kindergarten. The philosophy, the community, the faculty, the camaraderie, the quality of the education - all have served to create/allow/invite a fluency in music (cello), language (German), the arts, strong academics, as well as incredible self-confidence and creative ability to think way outside the box. I only have grief that I never knew about Waldorf education for my older children!
I am both a former K-12 student and a current parent. I can't thank Highland Hall enough for 13+ years of the well rounded artistic, academic, and athletic education I received in the 80s and 90s through 2002, and that my children are receiving now. Between the great teachers, the multitude of artistic and academic options available, and finally the beautiful campus, I can confidently say that there is no better school than Highland Hall out there.
My family absolutely loves this school. The teachers are amazing, the grounds are beautiful, and the curriculum is unmatched! If you are looking for a school with a rigorous academics and plenty of arts and music - this is the place. My daughter's experience at Highland Hall is not only preparing her for life, it's helping shape her into an incredible adult.