I just graduated and absolutely loved the school. We have some of the best teachers, administators and principle in the state, by far. To put it simply I had a great four year and I will really miss Hillgrove.
You can't judge this school unless you are part of the staff. Teachers are terrified of losing their jobs or not having their contracts renewed. Everyone is sworn to secrecy. No one knows why teachers suddenly disappear. If they say anything, they are told that they will lose their jobs. Even the food court workers are afraid of losing their jobs because of all the rules. All classroom doors must stay locked during class. In such a large school, students only have about 6 minutes to get to class; they don't have time to go to the restroom or lockers. They have to carry their very heavy book bags all day. Teachers have their own rules about allowing students to go to the restroom. If students misbehave, it's always the teacher's fault. Rules are so strict that it doesn't take much for a faculty member or student to break a rule. Girls, for instance, can wear shorts but they can't wear a sleeveless shirt or blouse.
Being a student who has attended Hillgrove for all four years, I do have to say Hillgrove is a nice school but sometimes feels like a prison, you almost never leave the main building unless you have a p.e. class which is kind of suffocating at times. The school is full of cliques, just like any other high school I suppose. Most of the teachers are amazing, really helpful, still has those "bad apples" though. The administration is... STRICT STRICT, did I mention strict? It's really ridiculous at times. I understand you want to keep and maintain a structed environment but Kattoula/Shaw take some things way to far. When Boland left after my freshman year, everyone's mood changed for the worse. As a whole, Hillgrove is a really nice school -education and environment wise- administration on the other hand... Let's just say I feel bad for the students still there. CLASS OF 2012!
My son goes to this school and I could not be more pleased! I think this is one of the best high schools in the West Cobb area.
My daughter doesn't like to miss a single day of school since starting Hillgrove. She loves the staff and teachers and her grades are thriving.
As the parent of children who have thrived at Hillgrove, I have to say the we have been most impressed with the challenging academic programs and emphasis on achievement & growth. The athletics has been remarkable as well, with most sports making it to the state level in only a few years the school has been open. Highly recommend it!
Hillgrove is a wonderful school! I absolutely love it! When I go to Hillgrove I will be so excited!
Hillgrove HS offers students a supportive environment in which it is expected that each and every student will do their best to achieve and exceed the expectations as set forth. We have two highly gifted children (as per testing, not just our opinion) and Hillgrove has always worked with us to meet their needs in as many ways as it's been needed. They both absolutely love their high school, they have awesome friends, are engaged and most important are becoming very fine young adults. Hillgrove deserves a big thank you as the staff, teachers, and coaches have all played a big role in their success. We fell very blessed to live in this high school district!
I am a parent of a graduating senior (2010). I must admit that we did not think that Mr. Boland could be replaced, but Mr. Shaw has done a great job. He attends many events and is very visible in the hallways. He appears to care about all of the students and tries to get to know as many of them as he can. He has asked more of the teachers and most of them appeared to have responded in a positive way. With a 9th grader coming to Hillgrove next year, I am very confident about the direction the school is heading!
Hillgrove's administration needs an overhaul. They have unfair discipline practices based on who you are or what you look like. Mr. Boland was a man of common sense and fairness; however, between Mr. Shaw and Dr. Kattoula, Hillgrove is on its way to the toilet. Mr. Boland was strict, but he was fair and it was evident that is was all about the kids....and the kids (and the parents) could respect and understand that. This new regime is strict; however, they are unfair...no one will ever respect that. The school was tp'd today...the kids would have never done that to Mr. Boland. Why not ? Because he was fair. Children know the difference between tough love and people who could really care less about them.
This is like the best high school ever! The teachers are amazing and the principle is so cool. It's somewhat diverse but even though there are little cliques, everyone associates and are friends with one another. The school has enough equipment and resources and no one is left behind.
This is our 2nd yr at Hillgrove and I am very pleased. My daughter is thriving under the leadership of her teachers. The administration is great. For parents that are upset that Mr. Shaw is doing things his way and not the way of Mr. Boland, need to 'get over it' He is not Mr. Boland. My daughter also got left for not making the bus in 8 min. But guess what? She will make sure so won't miss it again. The bus drivers can't wait for every child that wants to dilly dally in the afternoon. Eight min is plenty enough time to get to the bus. As far as the new rules go, they are in place for a reason and if your kids can't live withing them, they will have difficulties in the 'real world'. Thank you Hillgrove for all that you are doing.
Horrible.! As a parent of 5 children that attned hillgrove, i must admit since boland is gone, the school has gone down. Coming out of the 'ghetto' my kids used to attend southwest dekalb high school and when they came to hillgrove it gave them some dicipline. But mr. Shaw needs to ease up on some of theses krazy rules such as getting to the bus in 8 mins. Or you get left...Foolishness.! Get it together administration.!
I have a senior at Hill Grove and since Mr. Boland left, she really doesnt like it anymore the new administration took away all the senior tradions that all the other high schools have kept in place, I think they need to clean house and start all over
This school has gone down hill since Mr. Boland left. Now there are more strict rule and the administration is horriable. They need to change things up a little. They now have a new rule that you only have 8 min to get to the bus, and they left my kids so i had to go pick them up.
I have a Senior at Hillgrove. We have been so happy here---Mr. Boland has been an excellent Principle, we were so lucky to have gotten him as a new school 3 years ago. My older son graduated from McEachern -- we were excited about the new school for my younger son and it has been everything we hoped it would be. Thanks Hillgrove!!!!!
My son is a freshman at Hillgrove this year (2008-2009) and we feel privileged that he can attend such an excellent high school. Before Hillgrove, he attended Lovinggood Middle School right next door. As an 8th grade band member at Lovinggood, he was able to interact with the Hillgrove HS Band and even attend drumline practices weekly to prepare for joining the high school band. The band program is incredible. Look for this school taking top awards in all categories as this program takes off. If you have a musically inclined student, this is definitely the school to consider. Mr. Ferrell and Mr. Erwin (Band Director & Assistant Band Director) run a disciplined and challenging program. Check out www.hillgroveband.com -- Go Hawks!
Awesome school. We live in McEachern district and since I work in the school system I was able to allow my freshman to go to Hillgrove. I did not want my children going to McEachern because of the way ALL the kids look like thugs. Mr Boland will not allow the kids to dress like gang members(no pants hanging,no holes in the jeans) He will know all the kids names by the end of school which I think is amazing. The students love him so much they have a club called Bolands Buddies, you don't see that much respect at other schools. My son has even said that the teacher really know how to teach so the students can understand. I am very happy with my decision to send them here!
I agree with the parent who expressed concerns about the fairness of the athletic department. It appears as though not all the student athletes are encouraged to developed to their full potential. However, I am very pleased with the academic progress both my children have made. I also would like to see more electives in the areas of marketing and technology.
My son started here when the school opened and it has been awesome. I was worried with it being a new school, but have found it to be one the best schools my kids have ever attended and definitely a top West Cobb school. There is strict attention paid to excelling academically, & an excellent principle. My only complaint is with the sports program. At our other school the head of the athletic department was much more fair and interested in helping every kid to succeed & get fair playing time and he was very supportive of his seniors. They could use some improvement here. Otherwise - the environment is very positive and shows strong leadership.
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