We have been blown away by the quality of teaching at Hill -- intelligence, level of commitment, how they challenge students and how each of them, in their own unique ways, make learning fun.
Specifically we like:
- Accountability (Our son has had to have late homework signed by parents and administration).
- Students have the opportunity to improve quiz or homework grades since the real point is *learning* the material.
- Teachers make themselves available for students to get extra help, though they require students to take the initiative to come see them.
- Teachers go the extra mile to make students feel special, respected and connected. (i.e. our son recently redeemed some Ms. Howard's "Howie bucks" for a Chipotle lunch with her.)
Other things we like about Hill:
- Class groupings - The same group of students make up all of my son's core classes. This "shrinks" the size of the school and has helped him make friends quickly.
- Mindfulness with Mr. Kavanaugh - This seems like a great way to regroup after lunch.
- The principal knows our son by name and says hello in the hallways.
- The principal is open to ideas from parents and responds quickly.
- Our son feels safe at Hill.
- STEM is offered. Our son loves his projects in this class.
We are a new family at Hill (6th grader) and we are having a very positive experience so far. The transition from elementary school to middle school, not to mention the choice system, can be daunting and stressful, so it has been a relief to get off to a strong and positive start. We are realistic to know that “it is middle school” and that there will be ups and downs, but have been impressed and pleasantly surprised with what we have seen so far.
As we hoped for and expected, we are enjoying the well-rounded traditional programs at Hill, from honors tracks in core subjects to a wide range of electives across the arts and sciences, to after school clubs and sports. The year-long STEM elective is a must and has been the most differentiating part of the year so far.
More than we hoped for, the school is clearly working to set a positive and upbeat tone. The administration has been very responsive, and we have been encouraged to see all the efforts, small and large, traditional and creative, to build a constructive culture across a diverse student body. The PTA has also been very welcoming, and it is great to see people working hard to build a strong and more importantly, caring community. Thank you for all you do.