One of the best things about Hollin Meadows is its emphasis on Math and Science--the STEM teachers are fantastic. The school organizes a Science Fair every year and the children are very excited to participate. The office staff is very nice; the teachers are caring and friendly and most of them have worked for the school many years and know the students' families very well. The PTA organizes fun family events, such as Bingo night and the Wii Dance Party, among other programs.
Dont be impressed by the surrounding million dollar houses. Its the leadership /Principal bringing the school down. Do the rating comparison of the other public schools in the neighborhood to see what i am talking about.
Our family spent 14 years at Hollin Meadows, we were able to be involved in th creation of the Outdoor Education program, thanks to Peggy Bowers, Shawn Akard and so many other people, especially Jon Gates our Principal who was enthusiastically supportive of this very ambitious project which has now been at the school for 10 years. HM is a very special place in our Neighborhood community and our family was fortunate to be a part of it for so many years.
HM is not a fit everyone but my children have so far done well there. It is a diverse school in every imaginable way, which is not something to be feared! Every school has less than stellar teachers but my children have been fortunate to get the occasional average teacher to the most amazing and inspiring teachers over our years there. I am blown away by the topics of conversation at our dinner table and what my children have learned and more importantly the process of learning they have been taught. My kids love going to school. There is a very engaged and welcoming community at HM. (And the PTA does not beg for money for the garden - when FCPS cut off funds for our outdoor education and science/math teachers, the parents created a separate non-profit to raise money to keep those resources - that partnership fundraisers so yes they ask for money.) Please give appropriate weight to reviewers who are not actually involved in the school, haven't set foot in our school in 15+ years, or have ever taken the time to understand the unique aspects of our school.
I am getting ready to end my career at this unique community school. I have a Sophomore in HS and a 6th grader. Both went all the way through and one had the opportunity to attend the local AAP Center but chose to stay at HM. HM is a cross-representation of our society---economically, racially & ethnically. My kids benefitted from this experience In more ways than I can say. Academically, my daughter in high school excels in honors and AP (college level) classes. Make sure you consider more than test scores.
Our oldest is in fifth grade and our youngest will be at Hollin Meadows shortly. We have loved our experience at Hollin Meadows - top-notch teachers, individual reading help, STEM lab and outdoor learning program, and a true community feel. The administrators and teachers know all 652 students by name - it's that kind of place. And yes, we love that Hollin Meadows is diverse and that our oldest has learned at a very young age that not everyone has the same upbringing. Come by for a visit, spend some time in the lobby in the morning, take a tour, and see for yourself what Hollin Meadows is all about and how we're preparing students for academic success and life in the real world.
We've been at HM for three years and had a good experience; FCPS in general is grappling with lots of issues and we see the ripple effect in classroom size and programming, but our oldest son has had an excellent experience here. Our youngest struggled at first with the transition from a play based preschool but we are expecting a great year next year. I went on a field trip to the National Gallery of Art recently and the docents were blown away by how well our students performed in the art discussions. Really proud of our teachers and students!