This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted September 07, 2014
- a parent
Greenhills is flat out exceptional. It is worth every penny. Smart, caring, and enthusiastic staff and excellent teachers. The vast majority of students are interested in learning, highly driven, as well as compassionate and kind. My children (grades 8 and 10) have had a remarkable learning experience here.
Schools is ok, but 10% of the 9th graders left this year. My oldest son went there any GPA was low 3.0 while his public school friends had 3.8's or higher. My son's low GPA did not allow him to attend competitive summer programs at Michigan or other schools which require a 3.5 or higher. All his public school friends are going to Michigan and he is going to a public school with 90% acceptance rate. Colleges only care about grades and scores these days. Lots of disappointed kids in his class who thought the Greenhills name would make-up for the lower GPA. It doesn't.
The teachers are great but there are some strange kids and parents there. Ann Arbor has some great schools. Maybe not worth the money for Greenhills because not that well known outside of Michigan. Two kids from Huron (public school) are going to Harvard this year and zero from Greenhills. College placement was very disappointing--for some reason they don't have the connections. I don't think they really have a plan for the kids to make them look great in the college application process.
My oldest is now entering 8th grade and we have another child starting in sixth grade. The 8th grader is thriving at the school. Her classmates all seem to be high-achievers in academics and extra-curriculars. It's great that she is surrounded by peers how want to do their best.
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.