We have two children at HIES and are thrilled with the school overall. I do wish that the school would phase out some of the older teachers as everyone (students and parents) pray they won't have them.
However, Paul Barton is an excellent head of school and is taking the school forward with clear vision.
The new STEM building is amazing and will offer many learning opportunities not available at other schools. Biology and chemistry labs, a hydroponic garden, a cafeteria that seats 500 students... It is almost like a college campus.
I have two very different and unique children and they are both thriving in this environment.
We have had experiences with other private schools in the area and are thrilled with our decision to put our kids in HIES!
Holy innocents has a lot of teachers that seem to care but the student body is very cliquey. One minute you are well liked and the next no one will talk to you because of one girl or guy telling everyone not to. I know this happens with all schools but this school is particularly bad. The parents are the same. I am a high school freshman and I wish I had chosen to go to other private school I was admitted to. I think the faculty encourages the gossip among the parents and everybody gets in everybody's business around here. Academically, it is not as challenging as other private schools but any kid that puts forth effort here should do well in college. Just prepare your son or daughter for a wild ride socially; especially if they are different (not rich or white) or very pretty/good looking coming in as a new student.
As a parent with children that attended HIES for 8 years I must say that the school has some really really great teachers and faculty and coaches. My kids had some very good experiences here but also some very disconcerting experiences as well. Unfortunately, the leadership at HIES is terrible. Been through 3 or 4 headmasters during our time there. The school does not encourage individuality and is not the best environment for boys especially (if you have a boy that is "all boy" this is DEFINITELY NOT the place for your family). This is a shame because outside of the classroom on the athletic field the coaches are fantastic and wonderful for boys. HIES claims to strive for "balanced excellence" but is sub par across the board. The middle school math department is terrible and the middle school principle is even worse. Lower school is ok, and I think the highschool may be fair to good. There are some great families but most of the "great families" stay clear of the social aspect of the parents because it is exceptionally gossipy. Kids are very cliquey (even my own kids became this way). We have decided to switch our family to another private school for this coming fall.
Holy Innocents deems to be a highly recommended school by most due to how elite and prestigious it looks on the outside. Do not be fooled, as a current student there I can easily tell you that everything you see on the outside is simply false. If you want your child to be in a welcoming environment, where differences and individuality is encouraged, I would say that Holy Innocents is the last place you would ever find that. This school desires for everyone to be alike, they do not want anyone to be an individual. If your child is different in any way, do not send them to this school. It is simply sad and pathetic that in a world with such unique and different people, that a school with the available funds to provide just that, refuse to supply us with it. The students, especially the girls, are extremely cliquey and exclusive and although teachers and administrators witness these occurrences happening, they take no steps to change it. The way private school is perceived in movies, are exactly like how the children act at this school. It is full of pretentious, trust fund, brats who will most likely never work a day in their life. I honestly don't recommend this school for anybody.
We have had two children graduate from HIES after having started in pre-school. Both went on to a well-regarded public university and did well there. I now have a third child in the high school. Overall we have been happy with the school. Teachers, parents and kids are all nice and are the kind of people that you would comfortable with and happy to have in your home. There is not a lot of diversity; but, the school has made an effort to recruit students of color, especially in the upper school. My impression is that the lower-income and minority kids are treated well by the other students. There is a religious component to the school and the curriculum; but, it is not heavy-handed and is accepting of different points of view. Our impression is that the bar has been raised over the last ten years with respect to academics. Under the previous headmaster the school did not seem to care about college placement and was happy to send the students, to Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss. The school now offers 24 AP courses, so the curriculum is plenty challenging for the student that want that track. On the other hand, there
I taught very successfully and happily at HIES for 9 years until my contract was unexpectedly rescinded the day before school let out for the summer. There has been no plausible explanation given to me for my dismissal and everyone associated with the school has been flabbergasted. My evaluations have always been excellent and I have done much throughout the state to bring positive recognition to the school. Many of the faculty are walking on eggshells hoping the same thing won't happen to them. Morale is dropping, creating an unfavorable environment for teaching and learning.
I've been at HIES for 9 years now. Maybe it's because I've been at Holy Innocents' my whole life, but it feels like a second home to me. All the students in all grades are very nice and welcoming. Everyone here has made at least 5 life-long friends. The teachers are also a great part of this school. They really care about you and your opinion. If you are having trouble in one of your classes, the teacher meets with you during tutorial time to help you understand better. If you work hard and try your best the school will challenge you to do better. The only problem I have with this school is the food. The food is OK sometimes, but sometimes it's not. The food has gotten better in middle school. They added panini presses!! Visit this school and see for yourself.
Holy Innocents truly offers a balanced life for your student. Academics, Arts, Sports, and a sense of giving back to the community are all equally important. The teachers truly care about their students and are easily available to discuss and solve any issues. Most importantly, the parents are friendly and normal people. Sure, every private school has its super wealthy. That class at Holy Innocents is actually one of the nicest groups of people within the school. I am very impressed with the sense of community out family gets from the school. I would consider it a school with a very low "snob factor". (snobs are usually posers with low self confidence who act like they are better than others). Snobs are outcasts at Holy Innocents. Diversity has improved over the years as well. Give it a visit and I think you will be surprised on how smoothly the school operates. No need for all those extra "common sense" rules like public schools cover for the first two weeks of school. Good behavior and developing friendships are the expected norm!
Our experience at HIES has been outstanding, and we experienced none of the 'fitting in' problems that a few apparently disgruntled parents here have noted. Here is the thing: don't pay attention to anything you read on these boards, good or bad, about any private schools. It's just too hard to trust whatever it is you are reading, since most of the people posting here have ulterior motives, either positive or negative (yes, including me I suppose). My advice is go visit this and other schools. Speak with current families... not just the ones the Admissions Offices connect you with... ask around your community and you will find people with kids in whatever school you are looking at. Get the 'real story' from them, then make an informed decision based on that. We have loved HIES since we joined the school three years ago, but do your homework.