As my family comes close to completing our 13th year of being a part of the Hammond family, it makes me pause and think what a wonderful gift I've given to my children. My oldest will be a rising Senior, then his two younger sisters will be rising a Sophomore and 3rd grader, respectively. Both my husband and I grew up in public schools and choosing Hammond was a big decision and investment for our family. I regularly ask my kids if they are glad to be at Hammond and the answer is always a resounding, "Yes!". Hammond provides my children with an opportunity to be challenged, to grow in their passions, to experience new opportunities, to excel in becoming a well rounded individual that has a healthy respect for academic, athletic and cultural excellence. We have seen much growth and change at Hammond in our 13 years with technology, new facilities on campus, curriculum as it is an environment that knows to excel you can never stop learning and being open to change. I am thrilled that my youngest has the opportunity to spend 3 years with our unbelievable LS Head, Helen Kiser. She joined the Hammond family this past summer and has already won the respect as well as the hearts of students, faculty and families. I know that with her passion for children and positive nature our LS will continue to amaze and engage our students to do great things and more importantly become kind and generous citizens. Thank goodness, I am fully supported by the marvelous Upper School College Counseling Department and US teachers. I have said to many parents that ask about our US, the guidance and dedicated partnership your family receives from the College Counseling Department in 9th-12th grade is well worth the investment of tuition. The conversations that I share with my older children never cease to amaze me as they share discussions that they had in class or with a teacher. My only regret is that my husband and I aren't Hammond Alumni but we have found our place there as well both serving as volunteers in many capacities. If you are looking for a positive, challenging and well rounded environment for your children, I hope you will visit Hammond. It was the best decision our family has ever made and we have three kids that agree.
My wife and I are both alumni of Hammond with three children that have attended since PreK. Hammond has totally lost tract of academic standards. Mass exit of teachers that were qualified. Athletics has become the focus but not on coaching every athlete -- recruitment. Exchange students are becoming 1/4 the grade by Jr/Sr year. Students are not accepted to state universities that have A/B average. We have one child that has graduated and states he is not prepared. Other two are in public school behind. At Hammond, there is NO accountability or guidelines - Hammond use to be a place for academics but with the many academic levels of students it is impossible, lack of ability to take AP curriculum and lack of accountability this school is not the place to be. Hammond has become a business that has NO ethics.
This is our third year as a Hammond family and I couldn't be more pleased with my daughter's progress. She is in the third grade and I have found the administrators to be supportive and the teachers to be dedicated and willing to challenge my child academically. I agree that the school is ver expensive and may not be for everyone, but as a person of color I appreciate that the school has a strong tradition to reaching out to other communities and cultures. As long as my child continues to thrive at Hammond (and we can afford it) we will be a Hammond family.
Hammond school has great potential with some great teachers, however, the administration has degraded the entire academic system....allowing the "select" few get favors, do overs, and special privileges just because of who their parents are or how much money they donate. My child was in the lower school and it gets totally out of control by the time they get to the upper school. I guess if you want to buy your child good grades without having them work for it...this is the school for you. Otherwise, you would do just as well at Dreher or AC Flora with actual academic standards and teachers who challenge students.
After three years we are taking our children out of Hammond. The school has great facilities, teachers and great parents but management is just shallow. The air amongst a vast majority of the students is they can just breath the air at Hammond and become successful. Hard work is a distant thought at best. For the amount of money Hammond charges, nobody should walk away with the total disapproval we have but, we are.
Unfortunately, Hammond is not what it once was. The current administration(at every level) has endorsed a watered down curriculum and is admitting children who who are weak students and behavior problems. Let the buyer beware! Our children will be leaving after this year. Why pay premium prices for what you can get for free in the public schools?
Hammond was instrumental part of my education. I attended 5 years and graduated in class of 1998. I found the math program (particularly Mr. Austin) and physics program (Mrs. Peterson) to be very impressive. My only recommendation would be more focus on college prep earlier. Junior & Senior year there was a lot of college focus (resume, GPA, etc.) but it needs to start Freshman year to be more competitive. Nonetheless, I was able to get in to a top 10 college. Minus 1 star because technology in the school was weak (at the time) and because of above comments on college prep.