My daughter spent one year here at the start of high school. Academically, the school did challenge her and she was succeeding under the pressure of it. The school also offers many academic choices for the girls, which is a positive.
Socially, this school is a completely different situation. It is very difficult for any "new girl" to break-in and make true friends. Most of the girls we had contact with were nice on the surface, but devious and exclusionary beyond that...and, most of those girls had parents who acted the same way. We met very few truly welcoming people here. I am sure there are some very sweet girls and parents attending, but we sure never found them. The upper school administration also did nothing to help any new child assimilate. On class trips or in group projects, girls were grouped with their friends--so any type of "bonding" experience that was promoted just became another typical high school clique. The girls are not ever placed out of their own social comfort zone. That is a huge missed opportunity for administration.
Our daughter ended up leaving due to the poor social environment. She is now thriving socially and academically at another school.
I really enjoy working at Hutchison. I love my coworkers and I enjoy working with our girls... they are truly incredible! I am blown away by the work our school does with training the next generation of leaders. Our support of the development of partnerships with organizations in the community makes me feel like I'm working at Hutchison for more than just girls education. My efforts impact our girls, who in turn, impact the world around us. Happy to "bee" at Hutchison? You betcha!
Although no school is perfect, Hutchison has been an amazing experience for my two daughters. I've found that most of the criticism that comes from parents are from those with students who were not a good match academically and want to blame in on something more than it was not a good fit for their daughter. It is definitely not for everyone! Our oldest daughter actually called to thank us for her Hutchison education and for being so prepared during her first semester at a competitive college. She is now graduated and owns a thriving business. My youngest is still there and doing very well. Hutchison is challenging academically and seeks to educate the whole child. Much learning goes on outside of the classroom through her activities. We chose it, in part, because of the myriad of extra-curricular activities available in sports, art, theater, music, leadership and community service. The teachers and coaches have been nurturing and encouraging at every level. Developing a passion and leadership capabilities outside the classroom is every bit as important to me as academic success.
I am currently attending Hutchison and am in the 8th grade. I have been reading the comments and am very offended by the people saying we are all about the money and you have to be talented, popular, and rich to go to school here. This is most definitely not the case. The days at school are very fun, but we get down to business and do our work. I have learned so many things from not only the teachers but also the students. There is so much diversity at Hutchison. Of course, St. Mary's is a great school. I have many friends at St. Mary's that tell me how miserable the middle school is and how they only care about academics and how boring school is. This year, we had the most new girls come from St. Mary's, so that can tell you something about Hutchison. There are so many things offered at Hutchison that people don't know about. Leadership opportunities helped me get over my fears of speaking in front of people, and the arts classes helped me have fun and let go of the stress of a test or a project that is going on. Hutchison is definitely the best school to go to. Not only do we have great education, but there are so many choices and different paths you can choose. I love Hutchison!
In early childhood at Hutchison, they draw you in and make you believe it is the best school on the planet. All of the teachers are so laid back yet disciplinary, and they all work well with children. In "lower school" or elementary school, it is the same way. Here's, though, is where you should watch out. Starting in 5th grade everything goes down hill; it all starts to be about the money and who you are, and not just between the students, but the faculty rather. There is really no way to explain it other than the school does not care about you child anymore, and they only care about the money. They cheap out on everything now, and more importantly they're way of thinking is very off. They try to include this very liberal way of thinking, but it does not work. The teachers in middle school are also very wacky (especially when my daughter was 5th and 8th grade.) It is hard to explain, so you would truly have to see for yourself.
Hutchison is an average private school in terms of academics -- and based on many of the parent reviews on this site, above average in terms of public relations! I attended Hutchison for part of elementary and middle school. My teachers were for the most part caring and competent, and I received a good education. I was also in every advanced program that was offered. In reflecting on what my classmates have gone on to do, however, it's hard to justify the years of tuition dollars their parents spent. At least half of my graduating class went to schools such as Ole Miss, UT, Auburn, etc. Fine schools but far from mostly Ivy league/prestigious as some are posting on this site. Some have gone on to have successful careers but a surprising number that I keep up with on Facebook work retail and other jobs that do not require a college degree. I'm posting not to be critical of the school but I do think there are other options, both public and private, the provide a comparable academic experience and more well-rounded social experience (and cheaper, to boot.)