This school is nurturing and provides excellence in education. A strong alumni base continues support. The dedicated teachers establish meaningful support to each student. Parent teacher collaboration is evident.
My children, ages 12 and 6, have considered Kirby Hall their second home. My daughter entered KHS when she was just a kindergartener. Over the past 7 years, she has enjoyed going to school every day. She adores her teachers who are masters at what they do. From the daily Spanish immersion classes to rigorous math exercises, to just running around in the lush park adjacent to the school during PE, my daughter fully embraces and savors her time at school. Yes, the school work is rigorous, and homework demanding at times. However, I truly believe it is a necessary preparation for one to succeed in the ever changing and more competitive world that we live in. My son started 1st grade this year. He adores his first grade teacher and writes in his journal about how wonderful she is. How often do you hear from a little boy, who has to sit through 7 hours of classroom work daily, that he is happy at school and looks forward to going back for more the next day? This speaks volumes of the teaching staff. Yes the school is small and lacks certain facilities, but the great teaching staff and the safe, loving and nurturing environment more than make up for its deficiencies.
Kirby Hall School attracts smart children and most dedicated teachers. It provides an outstanding learning environment with highest academic and personal expectations. It grooms happy, well-adjusted, life long learners. Our four children have attended different schools in Austin and now we have to attest that Kirby is - hands down - the place to be and be truly prepared for college.
We have two kids at Kirby that are different in their attitudes toward learning and as such we have a pretty good perspective on the school. Kirby has excellent and dedicated teachers in the major areas, which is its biggest asset. It also helps that the classes are small. The school is strong academically and it maintains sensible discipline that is effective in keeping the students on track without discouraging their creativity. If you are looking for a school with a strong athletic program, Kirby may not be the place for you. However, we are interested in academics, and are very impressed by what Kirby does. Some comments were made by other parents on rapid turnaround of teachers. This is not true, at least not in our times. The math, history, English and Spanish teachers are in Kirby practically for ever, and it shows. The science program has become a major asset in the last two years and the drama classes are outstanding and are extremely effective. In summary if your kids are academically oriented, are willing to do the extra work compared to public schools, and be guided by an exceptional team of teachers, Kirby Hall is a great option.
irby Hall School is a great school with incredible teachers who work individually with every child and help them thrive. It has a very homely atmosphere which helps the child to feel secure and helps them to focus on their studies. The children graduating from Kirby are academically strong as well behaved in their life. I have two kids at Kirby and have been happy in all ways. Finally, I would like to thank the teachers as well as the faculty for helping my children for the wonderful experience of learning as well as having fun at the same time. I bet they will cherish their memories at Kirby for many years to come!
Kirby Hall is terrific little school with a very serious college prep program. Their particular strength is their academics, as seen in their test scores and numerous state level PSIA trophies. Their curriculum is extremely rigorous and challenges even the brightest students. Their class size is very small, so if you are looking for a more typical, larger school environment, Kirby Hall is not for you. They are unapologetically light on sports teams, but offer a really decent selection of after school activities and clubs. One thing of important note is this: There is a LOT of homework at Kirby Hall. More than most private schools (from someone who came over from a private school which was also very rigorous). For this reason alone, Kirby may not be for everyone. However, if you have a serious student who is looking for an academically challenging curriculum, a friendly (nearly clique free) environment, and a shot at some of the best colleges in the US and abroad (UK), then Kirby Hall might be a good fit for you.
Both of our daughters attend Kirby Hall School and we have found it to be an amazing school in every way. The teachers and staff at the school are wonderful and have helped our girls grow and develop in more ways than I expected. It has been amazing to watch them develop intellectually, socially, artistically and personally while at KHS and it is great to hear them talk about it as well. I think it really says something for a school when the children love it as much as the adults and you can really feel that at KHS. I would, and do, recommend Kirby Hall School to anyone who asks me about where we send our daughters to school. If you are looking at schools in Austin it would be a real miss to not have KHS on your tour list.
My children attended for elementary and I recommend it through grade 5. The teachers are dedicated, caring, and effective. The school is rigorous and expectations are high. I was pleased for the most part, though I thought the homework beginning in 2nd grade was too much. Homework is about 1.5 hours. Though we had a positive experience, the downside is the administration and lack of parent communication. No PTA allowed. The parents are not permitted to meet for fear they will cause trouble and parent input is not solicited in a meaningful way. Parent complaints are not welcome and go ignored. Also, teacher turnover is high. We did not choose to remain at Kirby Hall because we wanted a larger community.
We have been at Kirby Hall School for five years now and could not be happier. Kirby Hall School is an excellent fit for the gifted child. The curriculum is challenging in all areas. There is an emphasis on English and language arts which makes the children to fantastic readers and writers. The gifted child in math has the opportunity to attend math classes with higher grade levels. The curriculum also covers areas that are left out by many other schools, such as U.S. and world history lessons from first grade on. The Spanish language curriculum is rigerous and fun. Class sizes are small, teachers are very engaged with each child, and the children are polite and respectful. My three children have thrived under this environment both academically (shown by ITBS and PSIA scores) and socially.
Kirby Hall is a great school for children to grow not only academically but socially as well. I have 3 boys going there now and I am enjoying the transformation that is happening within them. The teachers there care about each child in their class and work with them so they can reach their potential. Not all children are the same so their potentials will be different. The school expects the most out of each student as well as each parent. Besides the obvious what has impressed me was how much the upper class students get involved with the lower class children. They play and learn together. For me and my family Kirby Hall is worth any sacrafice my wife and I have to make to keep our children there.
I have two children at Kirby Hall, and we have been very pleased with the school. Our children are getting a top-notch education. The teachers are wonderful, and my children have been challenged/ I believe that they are getting a solid foundation and have been encouraged to love learning. They feel safe and comfortable. No school is perfect, but I do not think I could find a better place for my children.
Overall, Kirby Hall is an outstanding school. I have an elementary age child, so I can only address this level, but the teachers are dedicated and excellent. The curriculum is challenging and the environment is warm and welcoming. My child could not be happier there.
I have been a student at KHS for some time and have finnally decided to leave. I belive that during my time as a student at KHS I have learned to work much more effectivley. My first year when I was little was a nightmare. however, being a person who loves a challenge I stuck with it. It forced me to find my inner time manneger and to not make my parents do everything for me, so I learned a lot of responsibility. My creative writing and annalysis skills have rocketed as have my math skills. I have met teachers I will always remember as great, lessons wich to this day I remember as awesome and friends will have forever. It is not for the feint-hearted though and takes perseverance. I will miss it, but think that now it is time to go.
This review comes from a very objective parent and perspective from several school experiences around the world. Kirby Hall is very involved with each student. The intent to provide the best academic experience is very clear and the lack of apology for unimpressive sports facilities is honest. This school is about nourishing the academic, spiritual, and emotional needs of each child. My children have been in Kirby Kinder-Third and the experience has been amazing. Not only do they test in the top 2% of all students in ITBS testing, but they thrive in the warm family environment. Kids are allowed to be kids at Kirby, but moral standards are also strictly enforced. School uniforms are required as are expectations that they students and parents will support the community goals. I could not have asked for a better foundation for our children. The confidence and education supported by this school is everything we wanted. We were prepared to accept 60 minutes of homework and less facilities to achieve this incredible base in the early years of education. I have a good idea who the vitriolic reviews are and hopefully they won't stand in the way of anyones positive experience.
I have two children in Kirby and they absolutely love it! It is not perfect, but what school is? At the end of the day my kids are happy, healthy, and enjoy learning. The school's curriculum is leaps and bounds above the public schools and many of the more costly private schools. The teachers and administrators are very supportive and nuture the children. If you are looking for a school with small classes and great academics (heavy on math and reading/writing) then you definitely owe it to your child to at least visit the school. You won't be disappointed!
Our two children (now in 1st and 3rd grade) have been students at Kirby Hall School for a total of five years, and we regard this as the best decision by far that we could have made for their intellectual and social satisfaction. From our own experience at our local, well-regarded public elementary school and from reports of friends regarding other private and public schools, we believe that Kirby Hall offers the most academically rigorous curriculum available in Austin. We and our children have loved each teacher that they have had, and we have been pleasantly surprised by what they have been taught at such young ages. No, the administration is not perfect, but that has never affected our children's educational experiences or their happiness at school. Our children have made some wonderful friends with their classmates, and we with their parents. Kirby Hall students are from a surprising variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, with families who are not homogeneous except in their dedication to and high expectations for academic excellence. It is certainly not appropriate for every family, but if your priorities include a nurturing environment in which your children will be held to a high standard and challenged each day (beginning in kindergarten) with their class work and homework, then we wholeheartedly recommend Kirby Hall for elementary age children.
Our son went to Kirby k-7th. Then the school just got too small. There were times I wanted to leave: homework load was tough starting at 2nd grade. We stayed and while it isn't the school for everyone it did serve us well. Son went on to the magnet science public school. Kirby could teach him about World History but he needed more in depth study of such subjects. What Kirby does well is that kids are expected to be readers. They are safe. They are expected to be respectful. Due to size you know what is going on with all your children's friends & influences. The 3rd week of public school I got a call from a teacher complimenting our son on his 'excellent work ethic' and politeness. 'He always did his homework'. That came from time at Kirby. It's not perfect but it was good for us.
Withdrawing by previous endorsement of this school. Teacher churn is too extreme to guarantee a good experience year-after-year. A school that does not support its teachers can not support its students.
I can only speak about the high school as my daughter transferred to Kirby Hall in 9th grade. She is a gifted student and we wanted her to attend a college-prep, adacemically challenging high school. She always had top ITBS scores, and that has continued. As a freshman she had very high SAT score on Biology. She began AP courses in 10th grade, and will have about 6 AP courses completed when she graduates (and nearly all the students score very high on the AP exams). There aren't many extracurricular activities - but that's not why I send my daughter to school. There are plenty of opportunities outside of school in Austin. And Kirby Hall does encourage students to organize their own activities if they choose. We have been very happy with the new friends our daughter has made as well. We recommend Kirby Hall.
There are wonderful things and not so wonderful things at KHS. You can have an incredible teacher one year and the next you won't know. Wonderful home environment and community, but if you seek a consistant environment it might not be a fit.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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