Kirby Hall School is a unique and magical place. I think of it as "Hogwart's Up the Block From Ruby's Barbecue." On approach to the building, a stately redbrick former dormitory with tall columns, students immediately feel a strong sense of continuity, history and academic tradition. Inside, they find a thoughtfully curated library, vibrant classrooms and a lunchroom where a science teacher sometimes plops down at the piano to play. A rigorous academic curriculum leads by a full year the education provided at most other schools. At all levels, the experience is well-rounded, including physical education, art, music, computer science and foreign language. Most importantly, the students rise to the challenge on the strength of the staff. Across the board, from the founder to the principal to the full-time teachers to the special subject teachers to the parent volunteers, everyone at Kirby Hall fosters a sense of community, striving to advance together. This place - and the people who run it - have been the best thing to happen to our family. I'm proud to put my name on this post, and I'm happy to discuss it. Call the school office for my phone number - Mike Brick
This school is awful! Don't send your kids there. They have no counselor, no director of school, no nurse. Anytime there's a problem they have no idea how to resolve it.
Kirby Hall has changed our daughter's life! She loves the challenge and her teachers. She was a straight A student in public school, but never had homework and had difficulty with all the girl drama. Now she has homework every night and loves doing it. There is girl drama but they are like sisters!
I've had a child at Kirby Hall for the last fourteen years (!) and it would be very difficult to find a school that provides as much personal, individual attention to each child as KHS. The teachers are outstanding and adjust the lessons to best suit each child's strengths and weaknesses. It's as close to having a 1:1 tutoring environment specifically designed for your child as you can get without homeschooling.
This is our second year with a child in KHS (elementary). The experience has simply been outstanding. As some have pointed out, the academics are intense - but the environment is nurturing and warm. The very small class sizes are a tremendous boon for the early years - each child receives a great deal of individual attention. The level of preparation and thoughtfulness for the twice-yearly parent-teacher conferences is also top notch. The instructors are completely engaged in teaching your child as an individual. I don't mean that in some fluffy "we're all individuals" way - the classrooms are well managed. Rather, the instructors work hard to understand how your child learns best and apply that in their lessons.
We have 2 children in Kirby Hall and can not say enough good things about the school. Teachers are excellent, administration is friendly, helpful and very efficient, school has a warm, "home-like" atmosphere and everyone know each other. Yes, the schooll has a very intense academic curiculum, but isn't it the purpose of the having a child in a private school?
Kirby Hall is an exceptional school with the excellent teaching staff and caring administration. Students feel truly at home there, well cared for and challenged with rigorous curriculum and top notch teachers. We have raised three high achieving kids in our family and had a chance to compare other private schools with the best TAG programs in RRISD and highly selective magnet school in AISD - Kirby Hall quality of education and nourishing atmosphere stands unmatched.
At Kirby Hall School the administrators and teachers understand how to reach bright and gifted students....they engage students and teach at each student's individual pace. Students are challenged to think critically, ask questions and dive deep into subject matter. My son is in his third year now at Kirby Hall School and is happy as can be. He appreciates: - all students are focused on learning - teachers and peers are kind to one another - he is encouraged to share his ideas and participate in class - he is surrounded by other capable students who learn at a fast pace - Kirby Hall is a fun place to be. Kids are having fun! I appreciate Kirby Hall because: - Each teacher is outstanding and goes the extra mile to deliver excellent instruction - My child is finally being challenged in Math and Science (unlike public school) - Spanish is taught in a very effective manner and the students' acquisition of language is rapid - Kirby Hall students all love learning and doing their best...this type of attitude is contagious! - The school environment is loving and nurturing. - Administrators and teachers are responsive to parents
An amazing school with an amazing faculty. This place feels like home. You will love the small, intimate atmosphere that makes it feel like the students have one on one time with the teachers.
Kirby Hall has been a great place for our son. We moved him here after his Montessori school as they only went to second grade there. The transition from Montessori to the more structured and traditional approach at Kirby was initially a challenge, not academically as much as systematically, but the staff and teachers and kids were great in reaching out and supporting a new student in their midst. Once those adjustments were made it was clear to be a good fit for him and we have been happy with his academic progress and his engagement in the school community. The class sizes are small, the connections with other kids are deep, the teachers and staff are really kind and really involved in all the kids' lives. Last year it was hard to follow what was going on in class if you weren't there to pick up your child and speak directly with the teacher daily, but now the school uses RenWeb and I have the app so I can follow lesson plans and homework as well even when I am on the road and can't always be there for pickup in person. That is just great and helps all of our family participate in our son's education.
Kirby hall is a true gem. There really is not anything that compares to Kirby for elementary school. The environment is nurturing, challenging and safe. I have had 3 kids go through Kirby hall for elementary school. With my two youngest still at Kirby. They are well prepared for any school. The middle school is amazing but does at times tend to get a bit thin. But the academics are second to none. The teachers are fantastic and the kids truly love to learn. Highly Recommended.
Kirby Hall is an excellent academic environment and a nurturing home. My child is learning faster here, with more depth, than at either of the other schools she attended in the past; moreover, she is now acquiring the thirst for learning that she did not get at the earlier schools. Moreover, she is happy, and looks forward to going back to school after each vacation. Kirby Hall is also a nurturing family, where every child is cared for and appreciated. The character and happiness of the child is comsidered as important as academics: good behavior is expected of everyone and bad behavior is gently and intelligently corrected in the manner of the best parent. Because the school is small, my child knows everyone and is known by everyone, students, teachers and staff. She interacts regularly with children from all classes, gets encouragement and advice from some of the older kids, and finds herself encouraging younger ones. This exemplifies the way happy large families operate, and my child is thriving and happy. We are blessed to have found Kirby Hall, and I can't think of any school, bar none, that I would rather have her at than at Kirby Hall.
I have two sons (9 and 11) who have been at KHS for several years. We love this school - class size is great (usually around 12), which allows for a lot of personalized attention and individualized instruction if needed. (One of my sons is advanced in math, so he is given extra assignments to match his academic level.) Academics are strong and both my boys are challenged without being overwhelmed. Many of the teachers have been at KHS for many years, and you can tell they love teaching and really connect with the kids. Both teachers and administrators provide a lot of communication about what the kids are doing, and they welcome parent input. The school brings in very wide variety of after-school activities for the kids to take part in - soccer, Chinese, Legos engineering, piano, and so on. The small class size also allows for a lot of field trips - including trips to University of Texas at Austin, which is adjacent to the school. Overall, we are very happy with KHS.
I have been at Kirby Hall for 20 years. My responsibility is to teach students how to succeed as learners. I start with teaching the students study skills such as note taking. A large component of my curruculum involves writing reports and papers. The goal is to get students comfortable with the process so that when 6th grade hits, we do research reports at UT which is only a 15 minute walk away. I also let students explore learning in multiple ways using group projects such as creating travel booklets to better learn the geography and culwture of different countries, or having students negotiate to introduce them to the art of diplomacy. Field trips are another way to bring learning to life to introduce or reinforce what is being covered in class. In 6th grade, I begin overnight trips to places such as Fredericksburg and Goliad. Topics include World War II and the Texas Revolution. I also go on a 5 day end of year trip to Ft. Davis, to tie up our Texas History class. It's a wonderul trip with many hikes to see the flora, fauna, & landscape. It's important to have fun and learn at the same time. whether by presentations or cooking up cultural foods in our kitchen.
My daughter is a second grader at Kirby Hall School. My husband and I have been very happy with the school in many ways, and I believe many other parents feel in the same way. The instruction is solid. They have wonderful teachers who know how to facilitate the development of young learners' academic skills. The test results show that they easily perform at least two (often three or more!) grade levels above their actual grade levels on average. We have been also happy with the non-academic aspects of the school. I highly recommend Kirby Hall.
Kirby Hall is an exemplary school with small classes, nurturing teachers and high standards. We feel truly fortunate that our son, Cooper, was able to attend Kirby Hall for Elementary School and High School.
I was overjoyed several years ago to be offered a chance to teach at Kirby Hall! I love every minute I m in my second grade classroom with my twelve (twelve!) amazing students. I have the flexibility to tailor my teaching methods, levels, and materials very specifically to each individual student, while at the same time enjoying the support of excellent curricula and a helpful administration. Having had previous teaching experience in large public schools, I appreciate the value of that unique combination of freedom and support. My students are enthusiastic about learning and regularly take the initiative to engage in further learning outside of the classroom: two of my students were so inspired by our study of the War of 1812 that they built a model of the U.S.S. Constitution out of wood scraps and duct tape and emailed me pictures of it sailing in the pool! During our unit on ancient China, every recess period was spent adding to the Great Wall, which stretched across the sandbox and was eventually replaced by a log cabin during our reading of "Little House in the Big Woods." I am constantly reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of this wonderful school.
I have had the privilege of teaching Drama and Music at Kirby Hall for the past 7 years. This is a school that focuses highly on academics but also places emphasis on the importance of the arts. In our drama classes we learn a variety of things (depending on the grade level) ranging from creating, writing and performing our own plays, performing a class play in front of a large audience, Introduction and analysis to playwrights from across the globe, reading a variety of theatrical literature, learning about and implementing certain elements of technical theater, play analysis, and stage make-up just to name a few. All students are given the opportunity to participate in school wide productions including class plays, a spring musical and a talent show, as either a performer or a back stage technician. Our music classes consist of playing instruments, music theory, music history, singing and a variety of composer & time period lectures and discussions. Kirby Hall students are a dream to teach. They are academically wonderful students but they are also an artistic bunch who thrive in an environment with a small student to teacher ratio and high expectations.
Our Family has been blessed by Kirby Hall. The strong affiliation and close proximity to UT are beneficial to children of all ages. The stable administration ( board chair & founder still oversees everything from budgets to classroom management) provides a predictable home like atmosphere with exemplary education. While the school is geared for gifted students and therefore demonstrates an academic as opposed to sports focused environment, there are substantial after school offerings ( including soccer). When KHS is a good fit it is an exceptional experience. If your seeking a school it is SO worth your time to visit. Ann Thomas has recently returned and will likely be your first introduction into the magic of KHS!
Both of my children attended Kirby Hall School. I am so grateful to the essential school administrator for helping to "raise" my children. She is a true gift in the life of children. Her gentle nature, sense or humor and compassion for every student here is part of what makes Kirby Hall so special
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