Both my children went to Hillsdale and had great experiences, made wonderful friends, had caring staff, had mostly good teachers and graduated as ready as can be for college.
True to a previous negative comment, this school does send a lot of students to CSM and promote programs with CSM. It's given as an option, not a requirement. My children had 4.0+GPA, were gifted and felt they still had a good education at Hillsdale.
The small learning communities can be supportive of your student, but this is not always the case depending on which one your student is enrolled. Experiences among the three vary widely. Unfortunately, a different administrator is in charge of each one, and not all of them are effective and competent in handling issues and problems that arise.
My son is a special education student at HHS. The program for autistic students is heavily focused on teaching living skills, with full kitchens and a laundry room for the students to learn how to use household appliances. There are two rooms for students of high school age, and two rooms for those 19-22. These are in a sort of quad arrangement. The students are assigned to the rooms based upon their desire to socialize. Each room has a "quiet area" where a student can go and shut the door. The teachers and aides are all long-time faculty and staff at HHS, so there is great stability. When the rooms were redone, the teachers were allowed input into the redesign, so this area is specially built with the autistic student in mind. So happy we ended up moving to the SMUHSD area.
My son is a freshman in the HS and we have been so impressed with how the administration, faculty and parents have integrated him into high school. They have made this transition a fabulous experience and he has started his high school experience off with confidence, new friends and great enthusiasm. We are excited for all that is to come at Hillsdale High School.
We are new in this HS and we are completely impressed about the great atmosphere, the quality of the teachers and also the motivation of all the staff. Since the first day, they know perfectly my son and they personalize the deal with every single student. We can ensure that there is a closely communication between the HS and the parents.
It is a small learning community school which has its drawbacks. You are not aware of those drawbacks until you face the actual problem. The school assigns your child to a random house where he or she spends 2 years. The house has a set of teachers which remain with your child in that interim. If you happened to get a bad English teacher, for example, (which what happened to us) your high school student will not be able to drop this teacher and take another class. Your high school student will loose precious learning time and his or her SAT results will be impacted without any recourse. Or, your student may get a teacher that he or she do not get along with - same thing - will have to suffer for 2 years. They call it "an integrated curriculum", but in reality it is a way to provide below average teachers with secure jobs. There is at least one good teacher in every house, but there always is a below average, problematic individual. The school has to be a magnet school instead of assigning our children to be there just because we live nearby. The school may be good for 1-2.5 GPA students, because the administration is only interested in providing education suitable for CSM.
Hillsdale's wonderful teachers, counselors, and staff are friendly, thoughtful, and kind to students and parents Hillsdale HS's small learning communities helps students bond and makes them feel like a big family. My son liked to stay and mingle with classmates and teachers after school until they go back home for dinner. That's how fantastic this top ranking high school is; it all comes down to real human interaction. Let your son or daughter enjoy Hillsdale's warm and rigorous study environment, which nurtures our precious next generation to be knowledgeable, ambitious, friendly, healthy, and well rounded individuals.