This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mars Hill Academy5
Posted January 29, 2015
- a community member
When I came to Mars Hill Academy as a scared, introverted nine year old, I was not sure what to expect. I was surprised by how friendly and welcoming everyone was, and I quickly came to love MHA. Mars Hill was my second home from 3rd-12th grade, and was and has continued to be a blessing in my life. It's true that the academics can be very challenging, but the teachers are also very selfless and encouraging, and they truly want all of their students to succeed academically. More importantly, they want to see students grow closer to God, and develop a mature faith and love for Him. The MHA community is uniquely supportive and tight-knit, allowing younger and older students to form friendships and influence one another, a microcosm of the Body of Christ as a whole. I am now a freshman in college. I have been happily surprised at how well-prepared and how far ahead of my peers I am academically. Without a doubt, this is due to my education at Mars Hill. I would absolutely recommend Mars Hill Academy. The education students receive at MHA will benefit them exponentially in higher education, the work world, and wherever life takes them.
After sending two children through public school my wife and I decided that we needed to find a better educational environment for our younger children; we needed to find a school that aligned with our Christian worldview (not the culture) and one that would teach our children how to learn and how to love to learn (not just to pass a state test or prepare for college). God led us to Mars Hill Academy and for that we are exceedingly thankful. MHA is everything we hoped and prayed for and more! Our children are thriving in joyful, respectful, and Christ-centered classrooms led by extraordinary, loving teachers. The school is reinforcing the Christian beliefs that we teach our children at home and our children have really developed a true love of learning (and they can t wait to get to school every single day). We thank God nearly every day for this school, its teachers, and the incredible positive influence it has had on our children. We would award this school ten stars if we could!
Mars Hill Academy is an amazing place. We joined the school when the oldest of my three children was in third grade. We felt immediately welcomed and at home. The staff made our transition as smooth as possible, and the other students reached out to our kids and they quickly made friends. The teachers at MHA are wonderful, and we are continually impressed with what our children are learning. They're not just learning information for the sake of passing a test and moving on to the next subject. They're actually learning how to learn with skills that are built upon each year. Now that my oldest has graduated, we see first-hand that the classical method of education really works! MHA students are well-prepared for the challenges of college, both academically and socially. If you're looking for a Christian school that focuses on producing lifelong learners with godly character, I would (and do!) highly recommend Mars Hill Academy.
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.