Suzanne Farrell, July 27, 2013
On behalf of the school s administration, I appreciate the opportunity to comment upon reviews left at this site. We realize that no school is a fit for every student and no school is a perfect place. We welcome the appropriate sharing of opinion and periodically read the reviews so that we may learn and grow from legitimate feedback. Unfortunately, online review forums also allow individuals to launch personal attacks under the cover of anonymity. As a school, we prefer to resolve conflicts utilizing the biblical principle put forth in Matthew 18:15-19. While that is not possible in this case, we would like to address misinformation put forth in a couple of earlier reviews. The number one priority for our school is to provide a Christ-centered, Classical, college-preparatory education that prepares students to become future leaders for Christ. Our priority is not to increase enrollment. Our recent growth is the result of very high retention rates and a record number of applications, which are two indications of a quality school. We do not accept all applicants and regularly deny admission to a large number of students whom we do not feel are a good fit academically or behaviorally for our school. We do not tolerate bullying and have clear policies in place to deal with behavior issues as they occur. At times, parents who do not have all of the facts may disagree with our application of discipline policies. That is unfortunate, but we strive for fair and consistent application of the policies for the entire student body and cannot adjust policies to please the few. We are committed to being accessible to as many families as possible through our tuition assistance program that historically awards needs- based financial aid to approximately 20% of our student body. The school s administration has never falsely created or seeded reviews on this website. We do have a number of reviews that were posted during a brief time period when we shared information about GreatSchools.org with our school community and encouraged parents to go to the site to rate their experiences with Hill Country. We did not in any way coerce reviews or know what parents would say. I would assume that many parents promptly went to this site, and that is why a number of our reviews occur during a narrow time period. Each year we conduct parent surveys to provide an additional opportunity for feedback, and the vast majority of our parents rate that they are pleased or very pleased with their experience at Hill Country Christian School. We think that these ratings, plus our re-enrollment rate of roughly 90% this year, demonstrate that parents and students are pleased with the education they are receiving at Hill Country. We hope you will take the opportunity to read the large number of positive reviews from parents, students, alumni, and teachers posted on this site to learn more about our school.
I have 3 kids attending this school since pre-k. HCCSA is very strong academically and places a very high emphasis on Christian character development. Every teacher and staff member we have encountered has been a strong faithful Christan willing to pray for and come along side our kids. It's rare to find a private Christian school that succeeds so well in both academics and spiritual areas. The social and extra curricular activities are great with lots of diverse options. The patent network is very socially active. It's like a big family. The administration and faculty do a top notch job of communicating with parents.
Hill Country Christian School has been a blessing to our family for 12 years. The quality of education is excellent. The love of the teachers and administrators for every student is evident on a daily basis. They know the students by name even if they have never personally taught that student. The leadership skills, character, and biblical worldview our kids have developed are invaluable. My kids have been taught how to think for themselves, how to actively engage their minds, and how to evaluate and analyze information rather than just how to regurgitate memorized facts. Students at this school are being prepared very effectively to transition successfully into college and life beyond college.
Our experience has not been positive the last 2 years. We have been here for 5 years. The size of the school has outgrown the capacity and skill of the admistration. They do accept kids with behavior issues and difficulties and it is part of their mission. However, I am ultimately paying for my child to get an education that is better than what we would receive in public school. Public school actually handles the behavior (bullying, boundary issues, etc) better than than HCCSA because they are trained and have staffing for such occassions. Raising the concerns, not over how the issues are handled, but the lack of changes in behavior after "being handled" will be met with defensiveness, ridicule and arogance no matter how far up the admistration/church oversears you take your concerns. We have now spent 2 summers in tutoring, just to get to grade level - in addition to yearly tuition. Both summers it has been clear that it is not a learning issue, but an issue of not being taught (quote from the tutor). I am not willing to sacrifice my children's education (that I am paying for) so that other parents can turn the training/discipline of their children over to the "Christian school".
Well, this is interesting. My review, left this past June, is mysteriously missing. It wasn't good, but there are worse still on here. No language or anything like that, so where is it? Hmmmm. Well, I will just say this: we were here for a few years and I have to say, I agree with MANY of the things said in two previous posts from June 11th and May 20th 2013. Think long and hard before you enroll here. It's not all they make it out to be. Don't be dazzled by the tour and all the hype. You will be disappointed, and you can do better for the same or less tuition money.
I cannot express to you what a blessing this school is for my family. I have two of my children here, and I have nothing but positive things to say. So far we have had experience with PK and Kinder, and it has been wonderful.
Our 3 children have all been enrolled at Hill Country Christian School since they started school. Our oldest will graduate soon. We have been privileged to walk with the school through both challenging and exciting times, and we would have our children no where else. We have found that the school is attentive to the safety and security of the students, and real issues with bullying are addressed commandingly. One of the things we value most is the school's commitment to KNOW our children and partner with us to see them grow in their relationships with God and man. At every level, from teachers to administrators, school employees invest themselves fully in not just academic development, but spiritual and emotional development as well. Hill Country does an amazing job of responding to the individual needs of the learners as well as the corporate learning environment. Thankfully, the school does not insist that all learners or families fit into one particular mold in order to be accepted here. If you are looking for a school environment that is a community of learners, parents, educators, and administrators who work together, this is the place for your family.
If you are able to contribute thousands of dollars for the Booster Club or the Annual Fund in exchange for special "insider treatment" then this is your place. If you have to voice a complaint about something and want to be ignored, this is your place. If you have a child who is a bully or highly disruptive, this is your place. If you want your child to memorize reams of useless history facts instead of learning valuable writing and critical thinking skills, this is your place. We thought we were the only family with issues at Hill Country this year! There is a strict rule about talking to anyone about your issues with the school, so imagine my surprise to come to this website and see that we aren't alone! Over time,we have seen a decline in education our children received, from the change from Saxon to Singapore Math that involves no skills reviews and the ridiculous amount of rote memory things that fly right out of their brains after each test. Also, the bullying situation at this school is completely out of hand. Mean girls, mean MOMS and out of control kids are creating real problems for this school, including families leaving. Ask the hard questions before enrolling.
I would take the reviews for this school with a big grain of salt. Notice how all of them are mostly 5 stars and they all were logged within a 30-45 day period in 2010 and several were even on the same day. What are the odds that actual organic reviews by actual parents would all occur in this very short time period with none since then? I smell a concerted effort by the administration to purposely seed these "real" reviews. My reason for being skeptical is I am actual real parent of a child at this school that has seen the administration lie, blame everyone else but themselves and be extremely sensitive to any hint of criticism. No school is perfect but they seem to feel they are while sticking their heads in the sand about serious, systemic behaviors and bullying problems with kids in many grade levels. They pay lip service to wanting only the best for your child but really they just want your money in their bank accounts...it is all about enrollment growth and not growing and nurturing kids. Giving grace is great, but praying over a discipline problem in lieu of actual consequences breeds chaos...and chaos has grown like a weed the past 2 years.
Our kid is in their fifth year at Hill Country We definitely recommend this school! I have watched a wonderful transformation of this school over the past few years. Our high school kid feels very comfortable interacting with the staff. There are different academic curriculum tracks. The Learning Center is offered for kids needing extra help academically or a GATE program for kids that needs to be challenged a bit more. The homework load always seemed appropriate (study hall is offered for upper school). The opportunity to play multiple sports has been nice (coaching staff is great). The guidance counselor is there for your kid! She is knowledgeable about the college process and eager to sit with you. Other activities include academic clubs, drama, fencing, a music conservatory and FCA just to name a few. Our kid is very involved in school both academic and athletic activities. Even with this being the case, we still have time for church, family, and community service. I feel it is important to say that this, or any other school, is not Utopia. Hill Country is though a wonderful school where your kid can get a great classical education with Christ-like values.
We have been part of the Hill Country School of Austin (HCCSA) family for the past 9 years and can confidently say that HCCSA s admirable emphasis on education with Jesus Christ fully integrated in every part of the curriculum, has been a blessing for our girls. Not only do they provide exceptional Classical teaching but they also are focused on maintaining a Christ-centered environment. We have an amazing group of teachers and administrative staff members who genuinely love our kids, truly live the Christian life and care about teaching them to strive for excellence while growing their relationship with the Lord. If you are looking to bless your children with the proper balance between spiritual inspiration, development and academics - one of our Core Values, look no more , you found the right school! We love our school and by 2014, both our girls will have graduated from Hill Country Christian School of Austin.
Hill Country Christian School of Austin is an amazing place. The teachers are committed to the education and training of each student. They do not abandon the students but embrace and support them.The teachers incorporate practical biblical principles into the daily lesson so the children learn to include God in every task and activity. Hill Country Christian School of Austin supported my family while my wife was deployed in Iraq. The administration has a dedicated staff with high standards and relentless work ethics My wife and I searched for the perfect school. HCCS has been a perfect fit for our family. The learning center and experienced diagnostician are rare assets. Having a son with ADHD this program has been very helpful for him. HCCS sports program creates opportunities for all to participate.Our children are 1st and 2nd graders and are die-hard Knight fan.We know our children are being taught to do everything in excellence for God's glory and to never leave a Knight behind or alone. "Go Knights".
Our daughter has attended HCCSA for five years since Kindergarten, and our son is in Kindergarten at the school and has attended the Pre-K program here. When our daughter was in preschool , we researched various private schools and private Christian schools hoping to find an academically rigorous school that promoted Christian values. HCCSA has fulfilled them both! We have been extremely happy with the level of education they are receiving. The staff and teachers are absolutely wonderful! The teachers are very nurturing and they do a great job teaching academics as well as helping them grow in character. Our children love going to school everyday and absolutely love their teachers!
We've had children at the school for 13 years. At first I was content that my children were getting an education at a Christian private school to help reinforce the morals we were raising our children to have. Over the years, I began to understand the value of the classical education. I began to see that Hill Country Christian School didn't just instill good morals in my children. It also didn't merely teach my children to memorize information in order to pass a state mandated test. Most importantly, Hill Country tought my children how to think. How to use and build upon the gifts God has given them and be prepared for life.
One thing you get in this school that is just priceless is a partnership. As a parent, you get a partner in your child's education and spiritual maturity. You also have a community of parents to do life with and encourage you as a family!
HCCSA has provided my child with a nurturing and supportive learning environment. Above all, the school and it's faculty are providing a spiritual belief system from which he will draw his core values and continue his quest for knowledge and faith. We have no question that HCCSA will provide our son with not only an education standard that will prepare him more than adequately for life and it's many challenges, but most importantly the knowledge and spiritual gifts for a compassionate, well balanced individual within a society that is need of more and more individuals possessing these qualities. We plan to keep him through 12th grade and believe the classical education, along with spiritual and loving support will prepare him for his higher education desires and further.
We have been at Hill Country four years and are very pleased with the school. Our kids are able to participate in multiple sports and activities, something which would not be possible at a public school. Our kids are able to develop great relationships with their teachers and coaches who feed into their lives both educationally and spiritually.
We have had children at Hill Country now for 7 years and have been very pleased with the outstanding education our children are receiving. Not only is the academic curriculum strong and challenging, but our children are learning about Christ and how to "see God" in all aspects of learning. We love that the school is our partner in raising up our children in the way they should go. The teachers truly care about the students--they do an excellent job of teaching as well as helping them grow in character and Christ-likeness. We also love how the teachers get to know the children so well that they are intentional and prayerful about recommending which class each child is placed in the following year. We have outstanding leadership at Hill Country that is constantly seeking to improve the school and has implemented a strong vision and strategic plan for the school. We thank God for the blessing of having our children educated here at Hill Country.
I am currently a student in the 5th grade, and I've been attending since Kindergarten. Our school is very advanced in academics, my teachers and principal are fair. It is very easy to have fun here. New students don't have to be afraid on the first day because others are very welcoming. There is a wide range of personality from athletic to artists and anywhere in between, so it is very easy to find your own circle of friends. There is also a boys 5th-6th grade flag football team so you get the chance to have fun competing for your school. I get to take guitar lessons at the school conservatory, too. If you are looking for a school, this is the place to choose.
Our family has had one or more of our children attending Hill Country Christian School for 10 years now. OUr son began attending in Kindergarten and is now a freshman. Our daughters have each been in attendance since Kindergarten as well and are now in 6th and 4th grade. We have been very pleased with the school and feel very blessed to be part of such a great community of people. The academics are rigorous, and yet they manage to keep things balanced remarkably well. The quality of teachers is superb, and the staff is always friendly and helpful. We love that our kids are each known by name and that we know almost all of the teachers and staff at a personal level. We also love that they are allowed to openly talk about God and He is integrated into all aspects of learning.
HCCSA has exceeded our expectations since our children joined the school. Our son has attended HCCSA for five years since Kindergarten, and our daughter just started attending Kindergarten this year. Our hope was to find an academically rigorous school that promoted Christian values, and HCCSA has met those needs. Our children are thriving in the school environment, that is challenging but not overly burdensome. Our kids still have time for other activities, like athletics and scouts, and rarely have to stay up late for their work. On a personal note, I am inspired the school's vision, which is a product of the HCB church. Not only is the school inspiring our children to model Christ, but the school community and values are inspiring us as a family to model Christ as well.
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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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