I went to the Hudson School for middle school. I credit the school for showing me that the acquisition of knowledge is self-directed and self-motivated and not an end in and of itself. What I do with knowledge is what is critical. While I did not know it at the time, the pedagogy is mostly inquiry-based. Students learn how to investigate and make connections for themselves between disparate concepts. I feel the school held at its heart what it means to be an ethical and openhearted person in society. I'm grateful beyond words for the experiences I had there. - an alumna
We have great disappointment in Hudson. We thought that if we paid more money to send out kids to school, they would turn out so smart. We found the school to not be the best and our children were overpraised for doing very mediocre work. This school is a lot of hype, unfortunately. For us, it was a painful and expensive lesson: Many schools claim to be so great and with the brightest kids. We found the opposite to be true: the kids are average and the school is not worth the money.
As for the HIGH SCHOOL, here are the pluses: It's very very diverse -demographically, socially and academically. Your child will feel freer to explore who s/he is, rather than fit into a box. Some teachers will go out of their way to help your child. And the school has a remarkably good record in terms of college acceptances. The negatives: The school's leadership is lacking and has blinders on. A few teachers get away with not doing very much teaching at all. [If the administration reads this: it's really time to overhaul the Without Walls class. ] The bottom line: Not perfect by a long shot. This is not an "elite" private school. BUT if your child needs an environment that isn't a pressure cooker, and you're looking for a place where s/he could find his/her voice, this could be a good place.
Our experience at the school has been somewhat disappointing. When we enrolled two years ago, we were under the impression that the school was for exceptionally bright children. What we found in actuality was that the school holds (and accepts) a majority of average children and a few that are exceptional. As a result, the few highly intelligent carry the weight of the average in terms of high test scores and awards. We came to realize that most kids we know get "accepted" into the school with ease and that most of them are not gifted in anyway, especially academically. We are writing this review so that no other parents go through what we have to go through looking for another school that is more challenging because we believed all the talk and chatter of the school's uniqueness and high standards. What you have at Hudson are a mostly average kids with supportive parents with the money to pay the tuition.
The Hudson School offers an incredibly unique academic experience. As a high school student here, I am still impressed with the myriad course options available. In addition to its rigorous academics, the school truly focuses on educating the whole child. Hudson's overall atmosphere is laid-back and supportive. The teachers want you to do well, and above all, learn and understand. The student body is very diverse; I have friends from all different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. While I did not attend Hudson's middle school, I can easily say that it looks like an incredible academic experience. The middle school has a unique curriculum that prepares its students for top high schools, just as the high school prepares its students for admission to rigorous colleges. If I were to sum up a Hudson School education, I would say the following: The Hudson School offers a "real-learning" experience. The English teachers teach how to write effectively; the Math department teaches students how to think like mathematicians, and so on. Critical thinking and community are the most defining elements of the school. It's too unique to describe--I encourage you to come check it out.
The Hudson School is not just a school, it's a family. They nutured my daughter from grades 5 to 12. The faculty is extremely dedicated. Parental involvement was encouraged and I benefited by it. The academics are challenging but the intangables come with it. By the time they prepared her for college she had fantastic study skills, organizational skills and confidence. These traits helped her so much in college. The entire family was rewarded by it's involvement with the Hudson School!
A graduate in the class of 2013 said in their speech last year, I started at Hudson in eighth grade, uncomfortable in my own skin, believing that there was no place where I could fit and truly belong. Thank you for proving me wrong. This kind of accolade is common, not only among students, but also faculty and parents. The Hudson School is a warm, supportive and familial place -- perhaps the nicest place I have ever worked. It's not only the warm atmosphere that keeps teachers working here for 20 and 30 years. Another teacher said to me today, "This school is an extraordinary place where we as teachers are given room to grow and are motivated by the intellectual environment to challenge not only the students, but ourselves. We as teachers are encouraged to think imaginatively, to use new ideas in place of what's expected, to detach from the old and already known and limited, and to be able to accept new perspectives."
This school has a wonderful blend of strong academics and support. The teaching staff is very engaged, and all the kids (including in the upper grades) are very supportive of one another. The school maintains high standards but also allows the kids to grow on their own. My child is learning a lot and growing as a person every day while getting a very well-rounded education that requires her to learn facts but also how to think on her own, speak publicly and analyze a lot of material. In short, it is a warm, loving environment that urges and insists that children take their education seriously, be an active part of their community and enjoy being a child. I love this place!
I would like to respond to the previous review - yes, there are tests and homework, but neither I or my husband found it to be overbearing for our child. It was just the right amount. Our kid had plenty of time to be on Facebook, read, watch TV in the evening and go to all the additional clubs and socialize with other kids. Our family loved the school, it was wonderful experience with some hiccups, but nothing is absolutely perfect: there always be amazing teachers and not so great ones, but kids have to learn how to work with both. Hudson has many truly amazing teachers and I wish I had at least one of them as my teacher when growing up. It is very personal, very nurturing environment, but it is for very bright kids: it can be a tough place academically for some children. At the same time Hudson has been very accommodating as it offered 3 levels of math for middle-schoolers. There is a lot of pressure to get to the best possible college and there is fierce competition. Whenever my kid goes in life, Hudson taught him/her this very much needed lesson on how to face these types of pressures in a very loving, very liberal and highly academic atmosphere.