Hilburn is a good school if your child is perfect. If your child needs interventions or testing to see if they have a learning disability they're terrible. They double talk you so that they don't have to get involved. If your child is energetic Hilburn is not for you. If you're looking for diversity, Hilburn is not for you. If you want your special needs child to be in a mainstream class, Hilburn is not for you. There is also a propensity to point out that many minority children have focus and behavior issues, or just aren't smart. Teachers give out discipline almost always to brown bodies and they are indiscriminate with how they use it. Silent lunch is given to kindergarteners who have forgotten to bring back notes. Reflection sheets for crying in the hallway and a parental meeting for minor offenses. Individuality is discouraged. Many minority parents comment on the language that comes home in report cards no matter how well the child is doing. The principal is out of touch and only protects the teachers. When you compare this school with schools in other states, it is a complete bust. There are a few great teachers but not nearly enough to make this school work well.
I am in a unique position to review this school because I have an older child who went to a different middle school. My younger child has attended 6th and 7th grades at Hilburn. Parents whose children have only attended HIlburn may not realize how phenomenal Hilburn Academy really is. Class size is small compared to other middle schools. Hilburn's teachers are enthusiastic and engaged and the communicate with one another to coordinate lessons around a theme (a rarity at other schools). A few parents withdrew their students in anger because the expectations and project-based approach were too difficult for their children. It is important to make sure your child can thrive in a STEM environment before enrolling. If they can, they will get a superior, challenging, stimulating education at Hilburn. I did not give the school a 5th star because, while the principal is very receptive and listens well, he falls down when it comes to follow-through and his responses to concerns can seem bureaucratic. Hilburn Academy is not perfect - no school is - but it is EXCEPTIONAL. My younger child's education at Hilburn surpasses by miles my older child's education at another public middle school.
Hilburn has some good teachers and some not so great teachers HOWEVER the problem at this school is the administration, the three leader team is among the worst I could even imagine. If you're thinking about Hilburn be prepared that if an issue arises the response you get from the administrators will be off the charts. They do not know the law and do not care about what the law is. I have stood in the school and watched the head principal lose it because a student touched the wall ... in an elem school kids are not allowed to touch the wall ... it's a mini-prison. Look up the climate survey with NC DPI, see what the teachers think about the administration. Everyone is not wrong.
We really like Hilburn Academy. I have a special needs child who has been fully included in all activities the school has to offer. The staff ans teachers there are very caring. I was impressed when I brought my younger child for kindergarten staggered entry that the staff knew all the first graders passing by and greeted them by name. The school has a very active PTA and nice parents and students. They have high expectations academically for all students. The new middle school program is very good as well, the new building is great and if your child excels in math and science it would be a good fit. An added benefit is Hilburn offers a language choice starting in kindergarten for all students.
My son completed his Kindergarten year there and I could not be more pleased. He is really receiving a well rounded education and Kindergarten just isn't what it used to be. My son knows some spanish, technology, and can read so many books already!!! Really looking forward to what his 1st grade year will bring;) Super friendly staff and could not be happier!
WE LOVE this school!! We have attended Hilburn for 6 years now and have experienced lots of wonderful, positive changes. I would encourage ALL parents interested in sending their children to HDA to visit, as they should all schools, to see if this school is a fit for them, instead of making a decision based solely on individual reviews and opinions posted on this site. We have found the administration and staff extremely helpful and dedicated to making this school a success. HDA is still growing, changing and only improving with each year. Hiburn provides a great community for both parents and students to be a part of and thrive in. We have been extremely happy with the middle grades and are thankful for the exposure to technology and small school environment. Obviously, this will not necessarily be the choice for everyone, but please give Hilburn a visit and chance before believing everything you read. With each negative post, I will bet you would find 100 parents that would counter it with positives!!
What a place. When you have a need, they are not there! Principal avoids you and then tows the administration line. Somewhere along the way he has lost his compassion, caring, and dedication to the child. He is now a "Yes Man" instead of a child advocate. What a disapointment he is!
Attention all parents and students. I have been attending Hilburn Drive Academy since 2007 and I would like to shed some light on the problems inside this schools seemingly perfect appearance. Bullying is a huge problem in this school and counselors have effected that very little. Some activities in school are repetitive, such as specials. I would highly recommend a different school for your child parents.