Greenhills shines as a college prep school high school. Class sizes are small, averaging 14-16, and the faculty is well qualified (top tier college educated, mostly Master/Ph.D), enthusiastic and a bit diverse and quirky. This is a great school for quiet high achievers, non-elite sports enthusiasts, and where your child won't need to fight for attention from harried, overworked teachers locked into a prescribed curriculum. The school is small enough that the teachers to provide individualized help and attention. Each grade has 70-80 kids, large enough for diversity but small enough to be a community. 9th grade is mostly lock-step (except math & foreign language with options like music/art) and options increase in later grades. Kids can 'concentrate' in sciences, arts, etc... Many of the courses are multidisciplinary and faculty designed. Homework load is heavy, so expect your child to work hard. This is not a school for slackers! GH is rated by colleges as one of the top HS in MI (e.g. UM admits 75% of GH applicants). Overall, a great choice for college bound, high achievers who want a traditional high school experience.
Like all schools you will have the best experience if the school fits the child. Greenhills was the best choice for my child and is worth the expense, even with the need to make hard choices. My child is very self motivated and driven, this was seen in public school as something to admire, give her A's, but never to challenge. At Greenhills the teacher's offer more than just an A in class, they are willing to review and motivate your child. My child does more work now but it is often for her own personal reward, because she has been challenged to expand herself beyond grades. That joy of learning was being lost in the Ann Arbor School. (The school was referred to me by a teacher in AARP who also sends their children to Greenhills.)
This school was a great find for our family! Your treated like family. Great parent involvement. Kids love it there and they think very highly of their school. Small classes and they get to know your child, one on one. No where is perfect but I feel they come really, really close!
I went to Greenhills for middle school. I entered 6th grade expecting to be challenged by passionate teachers within an "intimate" setting, far removed from those public schools where students sunk into an abyss of anonymity. Sadly, the 6th grade program at Greenhills was regressive, aimless, and bizarre. We sat on the floor daily for storytime, worked on long and uninspiring projects for months, and lounged around for hours inside the kindergarten-esque forums that stood in lieu of hallways. The weirdness gradually leveled off during 7th and 8th grade, but the predominant feature of the day was abundant amounts of free time and classes taught by self-congratulatory teachers with antiquated methods. Since so much is made of these loving Greenhills teachers who long to hold your hand as you face junior high perils, it's worth mentioning that many of them are roundly awful. Perhaps it's their meager salary--cut handsomely since they only have to teach "good kids"--that accounts for their bitterness. In terms of diversity, Greenhills is white to the bone. While African-Americans and Hispanics may be prominently displayed in their brochures, it will take awhile to track one down.
Greenhills school has been the most increidbly opportunity in my life. I was forced to go as a 6th grader, but soon started to enjoy being at school more than anyone else. It's not just the education that's superior, but the fact that you are surrounded by people that care and are automatically taken into a tight-knit community. You are opened up to connections and teachers that will walk you through step by step, one on one, through the material if you have the slightest bit of difficulty. It is often rumored that it is full of "snobby rich kids" but this is not the case at ALL. Many kids are there on scolarship, and those that are not don't show off their wealth, but are rather polite and classy about it.
To the poster below, in response: I had some negative experiences at Greenhills, but they were truthfully few and far between. There were two teachers in particular that I did not like, but both have since passed, and two bad eggs out of two dozen isn't worth a negative review. Secondly, in all my years there, I never once heard of a parent arguing with a teacher because a student got a bad grade. I'm sure it happened, but I doubt it's common practice. And lastly, most students are academically talented, but in any institution you're going to find kids who have more means than brilliance. Do you think every student at Harvard/Yale/Princeton/etc. is a genius? Definitely not. If you're in Ann Arbor, and you're looking for a strong prep school, you're not going to find anything better than Greenhills. Just because it's not *perfect* doesn't mean it's not the best.
Having attended both the AAPS and Greenhills, I feel comfortable in saying that a GHS education is superior. Yes, the AAPS are good schools that test well and are highly rated, but they simply cannot provide the one-on-one attention that GHS can. If your child does not learn well as yet-another-face in a sea of thousands, then GHS is a wonderful alternative; teachers are supportive and attentive, classes are small, and the parental involvement is instrumental. As a student who could have easily gotten overwhelmed or downtrodden in a large public school, GHS was a saving grace; it is the reason I have excelled academically and intellectually, and that fact alone makes it worth every penny.
It is interesting how the people defending the school have not had any negative experiences. It is hard for me to believe that they made it through the system without any criticism, since I do know that parents have been known to gang up on teachers that they feel are not giving their children the grades they need. It is one of those schools that depends on parents who can afford full tuition to pay for those actually academically talented kids on scholarship. So, truthfully there are students that are there because they can afford it and not because they are academically talented.
20% of senior class are merit scholars-that is a lot. School is great for motivated students. Getting better with struggling students.
I went to Greenhills for middle school, and the Ann Arbor Public Schools for elementary and high school. Greenhills is a good school, but it doesn't offer much that the public schools do not. People at Greenhills think they are special because of the school that they attend, not because of their own personal merits or abilities, and I believe this is a probelm. Yes, Greenhills sends a lot of graduates to Ivy leagues and other great universities, but I believe these students are motivated and intelligent, and would have made it to these schools regardless of their attendance at Greenhills. People at Greenhills think they are the best thing since sliced break, but they don't know that other people are laughing at them for spending thousands of dollars on an education they could be getting for free nearby.
We have been at Greenhills since 1998 with two of my children. It has been a fnatastic experience as a parent and an incredible learing experience for my children. It has opened up avenues that I believe would have not been there had they attended public school. We will truely miss the school at graduation this june.
Greenhills is a wonderful school. Being a graduate and current parent, I can not say enough positive things about it, and whole heartedly recommend it - as I have to many people. In my mind there are no negatives at all.
Greenhills talks a lot about diversity. While they focus on the racial side, few realize how diverse the school is in so many other ways that matter much more. Greenhills has brilliant minds, gifted athletes, talented artists, and they all learn, compete, and work with each other in ways that show how diverse the student body really is. The person who said that Greenhills is not for gifted students is very wrong. A school with diverse minds and interests forces everyone to learn from each other, and that is exactly how Greenhills functions. Parents are extremely involved in everything going on from theater events and art shows, to track meets and basketball games. The teachers seem to live for the students, devoting not just part of each day, but much of their lives to helping each student. Greenhills has had 100% college acceptance for more years than I know.
I think this is find academic school, but it not necessarily for gifted children. Our experience has been up and down and in the end I think I would have been better off checking into other schools with gifted programs.
Greenhills school prepared our son for college better than we ever could have imagined! The combination of small class sizes, extremely committed teachers and staff, and an atmosphere that lends itself to the love of learning make this the ideal choice for your son or daughter. Graduates from the school are accepted to the best colleges and universities in the country. Our son's class had kids accepted to Harvard, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, Amherst, Wellsley, Wesleyan(sp?), Washington U., U.ofM., Yale, and too many other top-notch schools to name. This is a private school with a tuition, and you won't find a better place to invest your money! Parents are actively involved, and their participation is really appreciated. There are many opportunities for participation in athletics, the arts, publications, student government, and community service. The school is like a very close family that you would want to be a part of!
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