Our child is a senior at HRA and has been there since middle school. This prep is superb in every way and not only the best in Tidewater Virginia but likely the best outside New England. The only negative criticism I have seen on this site is from a middle-school parent who is either a troll from a local public school (and who can blame them for being jealous?) or dates back before our seven-year experience. Recently we spent six weeks in London, including a little over three weeks in the home of a university dean with a daughter in the elite Westminster academy. Clearly HRA ranks with Westminster, wonderful as it is, and such US elites as Groton, Dana Hall, and Middlesex. But without the snobbery, and ain't that grand?
My daughter started 1st grade at HRA. We made the switch from public school to private because we were getting frustrated with all of the budget cuts and programs disappearing. We also had concerns on the disparity among the children. In kindergarten, some children didn't know the alphabet while others were beginning to read. There also were concerns over the "teaching for the test" mentality. Our daughter's learning absolutely took off at HRA and I attribute it to amazing teachers, small class size, and more of a hands on experience. She is learning Spanish and has opportunity for many wonderful afterschool activities. We have been very happy at HRA. It was a difficult decision both financially and emotionally but it was the best decision my husband and I made for our children. Our son has since started kindergarten and he is reading and loving school. Great things about HRA: the teachers have been amazing, the staff is so supportive and caring, it definitely has a community feel which was a concern of mine with private school, the level of learning has exceeded my expectations, and there is no teaching to the test, the teachers have freedom to teach. Highly recommend HRA!
I have three children at HRA. One in each level, LS, MS, and US. There is continuity through all the grades and the teachers really get to know each kid's personality, which allow them to steer them in areas of interest to the child. While the tuition is expensive, we feel that it has been worth it to see our children develop academically, socially, and exceed our expectations. They really challenge the kids to excel. Worth a look.
HRA is a fantastic school. I have enrolled two children this year and have found the staff friendly, supportive, and eager to facilitate my children's successful integration into the school. The academic standards are high and set an excellent expectation for achievement. In addition, the staff also care about each child as an individual and celebrate students' nonacademic strengths and talents. I am extremely pleased with the decision for my children to attend HRA. Please visit, take a tour, and meet the staff. You will be impressed.
I recently moved my youngest child to HRA after having two children graduate from another private school. I cannot say enough good things about the school. The teachers are accessible and engaged. I feel that my child is receiving an education that is worth every penny of the tuition. The althletic and arts programs are outstanding, celebrating all students for their special talents. The students and their parents have been extremely friendly to our familiy making us feel welcome. We are very happy we made the move.
I could not disagree more with the review below about lack of diversity. A critical reason we chose HRA was becasue of the diversity and the great openness and discussions about all types of cultures. Plenty of Asians - 28 new this year in a resdiential apartment setting in additon to the local families and exchange students, plenty of African Americans, Hispanics,Jews, Christians, Muslims etc. You need to walk in and take a tour. The school is certainly not predominately one race nor is a rich snobby school. It is a well balanced placed for learners!
My child attended this school for middle school. The teachers are enthusiastic and the students seem happy to be there. The challenge that this school has is bullying and entitlement issues among children and the lack of experience that younger teachers have in employing different learning styles with students. Much of the actual learning takes place at home, due to the fact that much of class time is spent on "enriching" activities such as movies, comic books, computer media, field trips, elaborate projects, and discussion. Heard from many parents who are highly educated that their students are getting "C"s and "D's" . Not enough African American, Asian, or Hispanic students relative to the community. Racist remarks were frequent among students behind closed doors. Community environment was stuffy hard to crack. Music program is tiny and loosely organized, but the drama is phenomenal.
My child has attended since middle school (6th grade) and is about to graduate. The academic work is challenging (in a good way), the activities are numerous and diverse, and the kids are great (they have an honor code and students don't use locks on their lockers), and the teachers smart and supportive. Also, the counselor has been wonderful during the college search.
My child has been attending HRA from K, and we are just thrilled with the school. My daughter looks forward to going to school every day, the teachers are caring and the academics are superb. Class sizes are small, with about 15 kids in each class in the lower grades.
I switched my 3rd grader to this school this fall and have been overlly impressed with the quality of the education leadership and community service spirit. The principal is outstanding and is available and visible at all times the environment is challenging yet developmentally appropriate. The parent involvement is great and very welcoming to new parents. A great choice worth every penny.