I was very disappointed in Mars Hill Academy. For all of their talk about "Truth, Beauty, and Goodness" and promoting Christian values, the teachers and staff fall far short. Bullying and corporal punishment are rampant. Spanking and striking of children for minor offenses is common. If one does not attend a conservative evangelical church or is a newcomer, that student will never be fully accepted at this school. There is no computer use and foreign language teaching is poor. "Young earth" science and creationism are part of the science curriculum. Nepotism pervades the hiring of MHA teachers; many are children or spouses of Mars Hill teachers and/or staff. Rote memorization in the early grades and Latin are strong points. I would advise extreme caution before enrolling your children here, especially if you want your children to attend mainstream colleges later.
If you're considering transferring your kids to Mars Hill, beware of a very tough transition with very little support. It is truly a "sink or swim" prospect for your students, and the staff and administration will place the burden of success squarely on the student's shoulders. Be forewarned that a great number of the students have been held back at least one year to improve their chances of excelling, so your children may be at a disadvantage from day one if you're unwilling to do the same. This is a great place for brilliant students (as the test scores demonstrate) but families should understand that those scores are high, at least in part, because "average" students typically wash out or are held back.
My sons, who are entering grades 9 and 11, have been students at Mars Hill Academy since Kindergarten. I greatly appreciate the personalized attention they receive along with the rigorous and challenging curriculum. They have learned to think critically, memorize lengthy and complicated texts, read and appreciate Classical literature and cultivate a love for good music. Despite the challenges associated with this kind of rigorous education, they have great fun and have developed what I hope will be lifelong friendships.
We have been very pleased with Mars Hill. We enrolled our three children when we moved to town a few years ago. We're now in our third year, having experienced grades K - 7, and are so thankful for this school! Our teachers have been exceptional and have taken the time to really learn our students and how best to help them academically and personally through character development. We feel like we have a true partnership with our teachers when it comes to nurturing our children. Now that we have a 7th grader, we are even more impressed with the program and how the students are being challenged to apply their knowledge, think critically and articulate themselves clearly. We highly recommend Mars Hill Academy. It has been a blessing to our family.
Choosing Mars Hill for our children's education is not a matter of finding the best academics or even a Christian worldview, although both are strongly present at MHA. Rather, we choose Mars Hill because of its life training centered on Christ and His Kingdom. Our children observe Godly character from the staff on a daily basis. Being in the same building with older students, my children see what it means to serve and sacrifice for others, and the students often exemplify the characteristics we wish to see in our children's eventual life-long mate. Being products of government schools and big-box Christian schools, we would not choose either for our children. MHA is not perfect, nor will you find a school that is, but the alternatives do not compare. Since starting MHA 7 years ago, we have seen the school graduate at least 1 National Merit Scholar almost every year. We have seen graduates receive PhDs or MDs, go to the mission field, and marry Godly mates. As far as we're concerned, a school that supports what we teach at home and fosters an environment of love and grace, while also being academically rigorous, we cannot choose a better school for our children than MHA.
My child was not happy in this school. My child attended 4th grade in 2012-2013 and was bullied by other students in the class. The girls were especially mean. They used to rate everyone in the class and making fun of the "low" ranked kids. The teachers and parents acted as if they didn't know. So, these are not the values I want to teach my child. On the other hand, the academics were not superb. Math is average compared to other private schools in this area, there is a lot of repetitive work done in English, artwork is very limited, no foreign languages offered. Latin was good. We found a wonderful school for this year where my child has blossomed again.
We have had experience for 5 yrs with MHA. It would likely be a real challenge to adapt if a child was coming from a chaotic/ permissive background, but our children began here and are always excited for the next year to begin. The teachers truly care about and take the time to know each child, and never act like they know the children better than the parents do. They have strict behavioral/ academic standards but are very clear on these expectations before your child is enrolled, so it should be no surprise. Depending on the child, this could be a great fit or not - if a child is prone to anxiety, the structure could be a blessing or an unhealthy added stressor. For our kids, it's been wonderful in every way. Academics are important, but the best part is the enthusiasm/ dedication the teachers bring to the class, as well as the huge emphasis on character. Every teacher we have had contact with has been joyful, loving, calm, supremely professional, qualified and organized, and HUMBLE! We love the quality of the classical education, but mostly are thankful the teachers model the character we're trying to instill at home and we don't have to fight the culture there at all.
Basic academics are strong but limited by a harsh learning environment and no access to technology. After several years of attending had to reconsider as my children began to develop fear in attending school and anxiety over possible punishment. Would recommend caution and repeat school visits before enrolling your child.
After public school and home schooling, we feel incredibly blessed to have found Mars Hill. The school's dedication to "Truth, Beauty and Goodness" shines through in everything from art to athletics to academics. The teachers are amazing as they point my children toward Christ in every subject they learn. My children love Mars Hill, and that means so much to me as a parent. We are so grateful to have Ohio's only accredited K-12 classical and Christian school right here in Cincinnati!
After trying another private school in the area and homeschooling for a few years, we're so thankful to have found Mars Hill Academy. It's exactly what we were looking for. Our kids are learning incredible things and being challenged to become young men of character. The teachers are wonderful and the classical model of education really works! Stop in and visit a classroom and you will be amazed at what you see. We love Mars Hill!
If all I cared about was academics then my children would still be attending this school. The atmosphere is rigid and not at all warm like you would expect from a Christian school. Our children had issues with bullying and the school did nothing. Not only that but children are spanked and the parents are not allowed a say in whether the punishment is valid. Would not recommend.
We enrolled our 2 kids at MHA as 4th and 7th graders. SInce MHA requires Latin class starting at 4th grade, (hence the average ACT score of 29 since 2003) our 7th grader had 3 years of Latin to learn before starting. That sounds profoundly daunting, but it actually wasn't! She took their summer course for 3 weeks over the summer and a couple meetings with a student/tutor from MHA, and was then able to start the 7th grade completely caught up. We were coming from public school, and the transition was smooth thanks to the loving teachers as well as the welcoming classmates. In fact, that's what the kids commented on first, "The kids are so nice!"
We have been at Mars Hill Academy for 7 years (3 children currently and we'll add one more next year). You will not find a school in Cincinnati with better Biblical character training or the intentional integration of faith with academic excellence.
Our daughters attend Mars Hill, and they are thriving. They were in public schools and were miserable bored and unchallenged. I had never heard of the classical education model until I visited MHA, but one visit was all I needed. The teachers are passionate about their students and God, and Christian ideals rule in the classroom. They are so knowledgeable about the subjects they teach, they make learning enjoyable. There are no VCRs in these classrooms the teachers actually teach! While it is challenging, it is not a school for the gifted. As one teacher said to me, We raise the bar of learning, and they meet it! And every subject is taught through the lens of God s greatness. We are convinced our investment in this schools is one of the wisest decisions we have made!
Fantastic! Great education in a balanced Christian environment. This is our third year at MHA. I'd highly recommend visiting the school and sitting in a class. The education is excellent and the environment reinforces respect and kindness. This classical and Christian school is a rare gift the greater Cincinnati area.
I have three children going to MHA for the fifth year. The teachers and staff have consistantly showed their faithfulness in training the children to be keen thinkers, grounded in Faith and men of character. MHA is more than a school... It's a community where parents grow and learn together with other parents and their children to be better parents. It has been a tremendous blessing for our family to be part of the MHA community.
Mars Hill does a particularly thorough job of providing the information and skills that K-8 students need to excel in High School and College.
Mars Hill is the best school in all areas. Teachers/administration are stellar, academic standards are high & the culture of the school is priceless. Whne I visited I thought, 'is this school for real'. It is! Highly recommend this school for anyone who wants the next best thing to homeschooling.
Mars Hill is one of the best Classical schools in the north and is definitely one of the better Christian schools in Cincinnati. What sets Mars Hill apart from other schools in general is its total and complete approach to education. The 'Classical' approach involves memorization in the early grades, and develops children as they mature. Contrary to popular belief, Mars Hill Academy is not an elitist school for the genius, perfectly behaved student. The child will be gently eased into the system of discipline. This school is also not a 'playground for the rich'. Many families sacrifice much to send their kids to Mars Hill. This fact testifies to the overall excellence of education received here.
I have a son that attended Mars Hill Academy for Four Years. During the fourth year, they moved him forward to the 4th grade. All were in agreement. However, my son began to act out. At the school's request we took him to a doctor's and he was diagnosed with Aspergers. There were some who came aside and made an effort to assist. However, the overall response was tepid at best. If you are in the market for a great prep school and your child is maintenance free 'then this maybe the school for you'. However, if after three years of no problems and then the onset of technical difficulties' Christian charity goes by the wayside and do not mess with the product. Mars Hill Academy has established itself very well as a elitist school. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness?
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