August 26, 2003
My daughter attended Hamden Hall from grade five until ninth, when we came to the decision that it was best for her to switch schools. Although we were not completely happy with the middle school teachers (one of her teachers actually made fun of students in front of the class), it only got worse in high school. My daughter never had to study very hard in middle school , but when she hit ninth grade, suddenly she was recieving an extreme amount of homework and tests, a workload my daughter had not been properly prepared for. They believe that it's best to sort of 'shove' kids into more difficult academics in order to prepare them for college, but give them no skills to do such, nor support. Ninth grade as it is is a hard enough time for kids. About one third of the ninth grade class left after that year. There are also few, few choices available for students less interested in sports. Sports are mandatory at Hamden Hall, but there are no arts programs offered besides your generic art class. My daughter was not doing well in school at this point despite the fact that she had been a straight A student prior to ninth grade, and when we discussed the issue with her advisor, she brushed off her struggle as normal and did nothing. Her math teacher never collected the homework, and as a result students began to copy each other's homework minutes before class (I know this because I heard it from my daughter). I find that the academic program at Hamden Hall, for all the money you pay to send your children there, leaves little room for them to grow and develop into their own persons. It's a great fit for some, but generally I have encountered a lot of dissatisfaction with both the curriculum, teachers, and over all atmosphere. There is a great sense of being on your own there I think. My daughter now attends Hamden High School, and thankfully she has managed to recover from a bad year, and loves her current school.
- submitted by a parent