My own children have tackled difficult tasks that are assigned with confidence. I am often amazed at what my children can learn, if only challenged to do so. The students work very hard, and usually because they want to.
Based on what I see among the classmates of my children, they are genuinely concerned about each other, encourage each other, and if anyone is seen as being rude, unkind or bullying, then the teacher quickly deals with it in a loving, biblical way.
Our two children have been at HLS for 3 years now. We love the school. Their academics can't be beat. And it is definitely one of the more affordable private schools in Louisville. It does have a Christian emphasis, in that the Bible is taught and scripture is memorized. The school does not evangelize the students...as this is to be done in the home/church (which is what we believe, also). My children are definitely challenged, but they enjoy being at school and are confident learners. The highly qualified teachers are loving, caring, and encouraging. If you are looking for a classical, Christian education, then this is one you should consider. Most families that are at the school would agree with me (from what I have heard).
The admissions director is not warm and friendly and she doesn't listen or let you talk. She's actually very off putting. When checking out schools, an admissions director is the first person that gives you a feeling about the school. At other private schools in the area they are incredibly welcoming, cheerful, and sincere. I have talked to three other potential hls families that were immediately turned off at this school because of the admissions director's demeanor.
My kids have been at Highlands Latin for three years. No school is perfect, but it has been great for us. They have had caring teachers and wonderful classmates. The small class sizes are a big plus. The admissions process was a little intimidating, because I knew there was a long waiting list for kindergarten. Highlands Latin is Christian, which we wanted. They say they don't evangelize specific doctrine, and I have generally found that to be true. This fits our family, because I want doctrine to come from home and our church. The academics are second to none. The school has great test scores, and when we took our first tour, we loved that every class was engaged with the teacher and working. My kids don't ever come home and say they spent 2 hours watching a movie at school. I was a little worried that the kids might not like the hard work, but when we took took a tour, it was obvious that the students are joyful and happy. Like anything, you feel good about yourself when you are working hard and accomplishing something. Athletics is not a big focus. This is fine for us, but may be worth considering if competitive sports are really important.
Great school. My children go there and we love it. When the kids are at school, they are learning the entire time. There aren't any movies or all day field trips. They have a terrific focus on academics.