The parents who give big donations get preferential treatment as do their children. Bevause the curriculum is so demanding & competitive it creates an unfair competition for children who aren't as sharp when awards come because those children are singled out.
I was excited about our family joining Lakehill. At first it was exciting being new and seeing how close the kids are. Each grade encourages participation from the parents and it makes you fill welcome. But then it becomes over bearing. With the school being located in an affluent area of Dallas, some of the parents are quite snobby but some aren't. The teachers are the same, some are good some aren't. Mrs, Riggs is the best that they have. We love her. But others profile the students by race and economic status. If they know you're on financial aid they try to assume that your child isn't a good student. The comptroller is the most insensitive of them all. He told us once we couldn't sit in some certain seats at a show bc the parent paid $5k to reserve them. I asked one parent and he told us the seats were reserved by a $20 donation. So he just lied to us. His kids go there for free then he's judgemental if you bc you're on financial aid. The overall experience can be good if your child is a sharp student, isn't black, and isn't poor. Otherwise find a really good charter good.
I have been a parent at Lakehill for five years. Our children have had nothing but a quality experience both in terms of their education, and social and emotional well-being. The teachers have gone above and beyond to help my children when necessary, and demonstrate an inclusive and welcoming environment. I highly recommend for an academic environment that provides rigor, but is also nurturing at the same time. The parents are allowed to be involved, and we often read in the library and eat with our children during lunch.
Lakehill is a wonderful school with quite a bit to offer. Elementary school was a very positive experience. Middle school is just as wonderful! Our child reports that her grade is like having one big family. When one student needs help understanding, they all pitch in. Her grade is extremely cohesive and supportive. They kids in her grade were also extremely welcoming to the new kids. Starting Lakehill at any grade appears to be a relatively easy transition. The homework is very manageable this year but the academics and content remain challenging in a very positive way. Administrators and teachers are always working to find a healthy balance between academic preparation and opportunities to have a life outside of school. It has simply been a great experience!
Lakehill is a incredible school and one of the few with no religious affiliation while also offering k-12. We love the diverse group of parents and kids in all of the grades. We have met families from a variety of countries and areas of town. The academic requirements are intense, but doable. Teachers really work with the students to ensure their success. Overall, Lakehill is a positive, healthy, and supportive environment.
The comment below "You don't see Lakehill seniors moving on to the very top schools as you'd expect for the $ (very rarely do you see a Duke. Stanford, Ivy League)" was obviously written by someone who did not attend Lakehill's graduation ceremony: Lakehill's 26 graduates received 174 acceptances to 137 colleges and universities, and earned $6,500,000 in academic scholarships - that's an average of $250,000 per graduate! Ivy League - you bet - including Brown, Columbia, Penn, and Yale - as well as Duke, Williams College, Oberlin College, and Cal Berkeley, just to name a few!
Sent two kids there K - 8, both wanted to go on to larger schools for 9 - 12. Pros: - Very small school - small classrooms, good teacher interaction - Diversity in student body for a private school - Seems teachers have a lot of free rein for creative instruction methods - Did a fantastic job preparing kids for high school. Instilled creative and critical thinking skills - Great focus on encouraging reading from K - onward Cons: - The "family" aspect noted in other reviews becomes a bit inbred over time - not a lot of variety of thought/social difference tolerated by the tribe by the time they hit 7/8th grade. This is a critical developmental time and it may be hard to find acceptance if your child is different from the gene pool - Some teachers are there for their kids' free/discounted tuition - School can't offer the same depth/breadth of classes, athletics and extracurricular activities of larger schools - Some parents and kids believe themselves large fish in a very teeny pond and try to wield undue influence - You don't see Lakehill seniors moving on to the very top schools as you'd expect for the $ (very rarely do you see a Duke. Stanford, Ivy League)
This is an outstanding independent school with excellent academic programs in the lower, middle and upper schools. The academic programs are designed to fit the needs of the students who attent this small private school. Dedicated teachers and administration along with strong support from the families make this school one of the best in Dallas. I have children who have graduated from Lakehill and a current student. These students are challenged academically and have so many opportunities to participate in the arts, athletic programs, community service programs and take part in leadership opportunities. You name it. These students work very hard and are well prepared to succeed in college and to be future leaders when they graduate from Lakehill. The respect the students have for their classmates and for teachers is very admirable. The headmaster is one of the most respected headmasters in the country. He greets each child as they enter the school every morning.
The school can be a good environment for some classes/grades and not for others. I have heard this consistently from the teachers, administrators and the parents. We made a decision to move our child because they did not thrive and bloom as we expected and hoped. They entered the school a happy, healthy child but withered there over time. The administration really does not make the effort to instill character and kindness in the students and do not intervene when it's needed. Our child was not bullied but many are and very little is done to address those types of issues or inappropriate behavior toward eachother. It's a bit of a gamble here.
I have attended Lakehill since 3rd grade. In lower school, I had amazing teachers and I enjoyed school. In middle school, however I was bullied, and because of the size of the school, I could not make any new friends or escape bullies. Rumors also spread fast in a school so small. I am more excited than I should be to attend a different high school. There are some amazing teachers, but I would not recommend Lakehill for middle or high school.