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Ridgewood, NJ
Students enrolled: 69

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14 Hope Street
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

(201) 447-1696
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Map of Holmstead School address.
Develops honesty: Strongly agree
May 28, 2015
I have learned this from personal experience that many of the students have made extremely positive changes

- submitted by a student

May 28, 2015
I think that Holmstead is pretty awesome. I've been going here for about two years and I have had an amazing experience. The teachers are amazing and I look up to each of them. All of the staff is extremely friendly and so are the students. I wasn't able to handle myself in district high school but here I feel happy and focused on my future. I have made a lot of amazing friends here and when I graduate I will never forget all of the great things this school has done for me.

- submitted by a student

April 13, 2015
My child has been at Holmstead for 2.5 years and our entire experience has been incredibly successful and life changing . The teachers and staff are amazing They make it their mission to reach, motivate and challenge the students. More valuable than that, they got our child to grow in ways we haven't seen before, socially and about the world. Our child has interests in film, hockey, music, arts, history, none of which he never had before Holmstead. This school is preparing our son for college and for life, and while giving our son confidence and support in a "cool' high school environment. Our son looks up to his teachers and has made great friends. He cares about this school and values what it has given him. Holmstead works with it's kids and families to really have each student reach their potential, and that has NOTHING to do with medication. The question of medication is up to each student and their family and their doctor. This is NOT a school involved decision by any means. We are so grateful for Holmstead.

- submitted by a parent

April 07, 2015
This school was a nightmare for my child. The office staff was unprofessional and downright rude. Very little learning took place. "School trips" consisted of sitting in McD's eating fries. The students were not challenged and preparation for college was woefully lacking. The school has an arrangement with MSU, so students do get in and the school can boast about it, but kids soon discovered they are unprepared after starting college. Administrative salaries are as high as that of a school district superintendent's, and in some cases higher (it was published in an article in The Record). This is despite the fact that tuition is paid for by each sending district. In other words, public school districts are being bled dry by a private school (Holmstead only accepts students with IEPs who are referred there). This is for a school with something like 70 to 80 kids--not a school district with thousands of students. What's worse, there is significant and undue pressure to medicate students, even those who don't need it. The whole point of sending a child to Holmstead is so that the kids don't have to be drugged up on psych meds to handle school. Don't do this to your child.

- submitted by a parent

November 04, 2013
Low quality academics and therapeutic services, poor college prep. School is dirty. Very disappointed in school.

- submitted by a parent

April 02, 2013
I graduated from Holmstead School in 1980. There were maybe 15 students in my high school, and I think 6 in my graduating class. It was a wonderful school then, and I am sure it is now. All the teachers were on a first name basis with the students and they truley cared about us. I had an older sister who made it very hard for me to attend high school with her in it. She used to beat me up. To this day, she still suffers mental issues and my family still can not force her to get help for her personality disorder. Thank God for Holmstead School. IT IS THE BEST!!!!! Today, I left my critical care trauma nursing job and just graduated an Honor Student with a degree in Literature.

- submitted by a community member

December 22, 2011
To say Holmstead changed my life is a major understatement. It revolutionized my way of thinking. I finally had people who cared, who believed in me and who wanted to see me succeed. I suppose you could argue that this gives unrealistic expectations, since in college, most profs won't really care about an individual student. However, without the supportive, therapeutic environment of Holmstead, I wouldn't be happily married today. I wouldn't be a college graduate and a Master's Degree candidate. I never experienced anything even slightly "unsafe" when I was at Holmstead, and neither did my sister many years later. I suspect the parent who wrote the poor review had a child whom, for whatever reasons, was just not well-suited to this school. They expect you to work to better yourself. Students have goals to accomplish. Teachers have high expectations because the KNOW the students in their classes are highly capable. I am so grateful and proud to have been able to attend such a remarkable school. I can't imagine how my life would've been without Holmstead and the teachers who cared so much.

- submitted by a community member

August 19, 2011
We are sorry that the parent below had such a negative experience at Holmstead. Our's was completely different. Had our child remained in public school, there would have been no graduation day. Rated one of the top schools in the State but our child's issues were missed despite repeated meetings until almost too late. Holmstead saved our child's emotional life. The professionalism and understanding shared with us cannot be overstated and we highly recommend the school. As parents who have had to reconcile their hopes and dreams with the often harsh reality of what their child's life really is, we understand the frustrations around finding a school that answers the needs of a "different" child. If you are considering Holmstead your child needs much more than traditional school-taught lessons. Yes there were times when we wondered if our child could have received more rigorous scholastics. But there is time for that. What you need NOW is the whole supportive package -- your child needs to find his or her way first. We have seen the results--Dean's List for the second semester of community college and a transfer to a 4-year university. Holmstead certainly delivered for us.

- submitted by a parent

August 06, 2011
No school is perfect but this was the best choice by far for my daughter. Students of this school are highly intelligent, articulate people who, for a number of reasons, don't conform to the cookie cutter approach used in most schools. PLUS POINTS: The principal, teachers and administrators treat every student with respect in a very nurturing environment. They see the uniqueness in every student. Despite limited resources, they offer a diverse range of academic and elective courses. . The structure of the day plus the homework policy allows students time and space to work through the issues that first brought them to this school. CRITICISMS: More could be done to get students prepared for college as these students will have more challenges to face. Not all the in-house therapists were effective. There are monthly parent support groups that I attended regularly but parent turnout was low, maybe because students come from several school districts and several counties. So for some parents it would have been a long trek to get to one of these meetings. This also made after school socialization and after school activities challenging for both the students and parents.

- submitted by a parent

June 12, 2011
As a former student, I remember how much I would look forward to attending school every day. I think that it provided an excellent alternative to the public school system, where sometimes students tend to get lost in the crowd . I believe that the specialized attention I received made transitioning to college a much smoother process than it might have been otherwise. Case in point, I remember the director of the school taking time out of her busy schedule to drive me out of state, just to attend my first college interview. She literally went the extra mile just to help ensure that my transition to college would be a smooth one. I also recall the teaching staff creating new technology related courses, to better prepare me for the field of study that I had planned to pursue. Partly due to their dedication, I don t think that my college experience could have been a better one. Overall, attending this school has been a very positive experience in my life. During my time there, I learned many new things and was fortunate to have made a number of life-long friends. I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this school.

- submitted by a community member

June 07, 2011
If not for this school I do not think I would have survived high school let alone graduated and then go on to graduate college. I still, after all these years, try to find time to visit... most of my teachers are still there and the atmosphere of support and caring in the school hasn't changed a bit. I am forever thankful for this extraordinary group of people who put up with me for 3 years and made sure I didn't slip through the cracks.

- submitted by a community member

March 30, 2011
Does not adequately address the needs of the student population it proposes to serve. Poor college prep, lack of supportive and/or therapeutic atmosphere, and unsafe environment that does a disservice to fragile kids.

- submitted by a parent
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Holmstead School
14 Hope Street, Ridgewood, NJ  07450
(201) 447-1696
Last modified Holmstead School is a Private school that serves grades 9-12
Holmstead School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 12 reviews. Top