I worked harder at Hinsdale Central than in college. Granted, I moved to Hinsdale from Chicago Public Schools ( on the south side ). I was a straight A student in the city, but in Hinsdale, found myself getting D's. I put in plenty of effort attempting to catch up. Pretty sure if I grew up in Hinsdale from the very beginning, I wouldn't have had to work so hard.
At 12 I moved to the Hinsdale area. Until then, I went to Chicago Public Schools.
In Chicago I was a straight A student. In Hindsdale I was getting D's. I had to work really hard to get my grades up. Best of all, the kids in Hinsdale wanted to learn... and they didn't ridicule you for getting good grades. People care about education in Hinsdale.
My parents didn't want me to get murdered, so we moved to the burbs. I was a straight A student at Chicago Public Schools. Didn't even try. When I moved to Hinsdale I was getting Z's! I really had to work HARD to get my grades back up. The school was heavily focused on academics. The parents/family were very involved and the kids all wanted to learn.
The teachers here are great. However the students are very close-minded. If you are not very well off or went to Westview Hills Middle School you are considered scum and feel very left out. I believe it has a lot of diverse clubs and sports that excel in their areas. Overall I hope Central pays off for all the stress and loneliness it has put me through
Spectacular education that prepares you for the rest of your life. I was barely in the top 20% of my class and I currently attend The University of Michigan and am about to graduate with honors. There are some problems such as the "Hinsdale kids", but it is truly a phenomenal educational institution. To put it in perspective, we regularly have our middle 50% of kids go to schools like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Purdue. The "bottom of the barrel" kids still go to schools like Mizzou and UIC. It is a truly great school.
Facilities are substandard, but don't be fooled. Hinsdale Central's results/reputation serve as a magnet for education-focused families moving to and living in Chicagoland. Especially those with talented, motivated students. Diversity is improving as interest in obtaining a high quality of education trancends race. Having four levels of course difficulty accommodates the needs of all students. Honors/AP are difficult for even the best students. The unusually large assemblage of very talented and dedicated students provides challenge, motivation and support in a way that would not be available for very top students and most other schools. The result is that the strong academic focus opens a wide range of possibilities for graduates. The importance of personal development through extracurricular activities and athletics is also emphasized. If you are looking for the best public education that Chicagoland has, Hinsdale Central is it. The biggest drawback is that while the high-expectation, high-performance environment gets results for most students, it is also stressful. Aligning parent expectations with student abilities resolves much of this problem.