This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Hill School1
Posted October 17, 2014
- a parent
My daughter was bullied daily at The Hill School. After many desperate attempts to stop the relentless abuse, I removed her mid-year from the school. I was later told by one of her former teachers at Hill that I was smart to remove her when I did because the bullying has not only continued but exponentially worsened. " Girls will be girls " is what I was told. I disagree. Mean girls will be mean girls only as long as that behavior is tolerated by adults.
As a parent of two recent graduates from The Hill School, I couldn't be happier with the overall experience at the school. Our children were challenged academically, learned to support their classmates, had opportunities to engage in sports, chorus, drama performances, and in mentoring lower school students. The program is designed to build confident students that love to learn and that is exactly what we see in our children. Both are recognized leaders in their out of school activities and received academic merit based scholarships to leading private secondary schools in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Hill School invites parents to partner in their child's education experience. Participation in field trips, assistance with major school projects, holiday activities, annual cultural study programs and sporting events allowed us to get to know all of their fellow students and many of the other parents. The faculty was highly responsive to our requests for challenging but age appropriate book recommendations and often provided personal copies for our children to enjoy. The caring atmosphere at The Hill School made this a fantastic experience for our children.
Hill School has a serious bullying problem. The parents are too self-focused to care and the faculty turns a blind eye to it. Of our class of 24 children, 8 left due to bullying related issues. Once I moved my son to another school , I discovered he was so far behind academically that he needed to be tutored yet he was an honor roll student at Hill. The best thing I ever did was to pull him out of there and get him on a track for emotional and scholastic success. My only regret is not pulling out of Hill sooner!
A Hill School parent for four years now, I continue to be impressed with the way the school fulfills its mission and philosophy. The school asks children to try everything in order to know what it feels like to succeed and struggle. How many schools do you know that teach someone how to manage disappointment or failure? What a gift it is to be given the time to work hard and see yourself succeed at something that was once difficult for you. The rich academic program challenges my children to think deeply. The sports program teaches personal best not only on the field but in life. There is a vibrant, integral arts program that encourages creative expression with music, drama and sophisticated art. The overall culture promotes kindness, self-awareness and good citizenry. I feel like I am in a true partnership with teachers and faculty and that my children are loved and respected by every adult at their school. We feel very fortunate to be a Hill School family.
This is an outstanding school. My son enjoys the school and works well with students and teachers. He is made to feel important and feels the sense of an extended family. Academically, he has reengaged in the enjoyment of learning and is improving at a pace that he has not seen before. The low pressure, wholesome approach really works for him.
The Hill School is the kind of grade school my husband and I wish we had attended. There is an amazing combination of excellent academics, caring staff and faculty, incredible arts, music and sports, and perhaps most impressive, a mutual respect between faculty and students. Our children went on to competitive college preparatory schools and immediately did well. They were prepared academically and emotionally, very self-confident and eager to learn. They played various varsity sports both in high school and in college. There was not a single day that they awoke not wanting to go to Hill. It's an amazing place.
First, a review from someone who's only visited, isn't a review at all. The Hill is an outstanding institution, that has helped make my children not only outstanding members of the community, but students that any parent/teacher would be proud. The Hill allows, and expects children to be.....oh no, CHILDREN! They allow exploration, education through trial and error, with high expectations, but low stress. And a love of both school and education are evident in the student body.
Upon visiting the school, it was clear that they received support from a major benefactor as the facilities are gorgeous. However, it is the credentials of the teachers and the hire from w/i connections that will prevent this school from reaching the forefront. The last thing I wanted to do was pay the cost of tuition for a beautiful facility vs. the ration of a quality education my kids would be missing out on. The school also does itself an injustice by praising other childhood developmental programs that are ill-prepared. The area itself is beautiful, but can still use a high-quality, innovative, and solid educational example with low student/teacher ratios.
This School has been a wonderful experience for my children. Small classes, excellent teachers and an interesting, stimulating curriculum combine to create a great atmosphere. They've brought out my kids confidence and love of learning and tailored their classes to play to their strengths and gently improve their weaknesses. Their teachers are available anytime by phone, and they really don't mind when we need to call for help -- they encourage it. The only down side to this school is that it is expensive and consequently out of reach for some people.
It's a great school for average children. Both those above and below the bar are left behind by lack of academic opportunities, or resources for individual learning needs. At Hill it is a love of school, not learning, that they are cultivating. Their co-curricular programs are their strengths and marketing points. Their curriculum and educational philosophy is a bit behind the curve.