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Hillbrook School Reviews

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I have two kids at Hillbrook, and couldn't be happier. The school's Core Values are Be Kind, Be Curious, Take Risks, Be Your Best.

Be Kind: Hillbrook teachers are able to meet my kids where they are at, and work with them to be more empathetic. Teachers and the Lower School Head partner with parents.

Be Curious: Both kids have time to pursue their curiosities. From explorations to Reach Beyond Block, Hillbrook does an amazing job of giving students choice while also teaching them the things they need to teach them.

Take Risks: Flag is the Monday morning all-school assembly. 8th graders lead, they share announcements, and then we tell jokes. It is an amazing thing to see young kids stand in front of 380 peers to tell a joke.

Be Your Best: The Hillbrook Writing Continuum supports students where they are and challenging them to be their best. Rather than a letter grade, this document tracks dozens of writing milestones, and is incredibly useful for students, parents, and teachers.
Hillbrook is a compassionate, nurturing and inspiring school. It’s the kind of school where the Headmaster knows every child by name and the faculty greets every child with a smile. Students discover how their actions can impact others. They learn the power of being persistent and overcoming challenges and how working together can benefit both themselves and the group. Each child is encouraged to take risks, celebrate failures, be creative & innovative and be the best they can be.
My nephew is in 1st grade at Hillbrook, and it has been the absolute best experience for him--educationally, personally, and socially. Hillbrook does an amazing job of balancing academics with real-world critical thinking skills, allowing their students to be successful in high school and beyond. I am a counselor at a local private high school, and I have the opportunity to work with Hillbrook students when they arrive here. They are some of the most academically prepared, but more importantly (in my opinion) they have the skills that we hope all of our students learn to possess. They are respectful, independent, self-starters, who are looking at the world beyond just the class they are sitting in. When past Hillbrook students are applying to college, they are presented with some of the best colleges in the country to attend. I love the opportunity to work with Hillbrook students in my job and feel grateful that my nephew will receive the same experiences.
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My family has undergone dramatic changes during my two boys' young lives and Hillbrook has provided a constant base that I've seen my son rely upon. He truly sees Hillbrook as a safe haven. His teachers, both in homeroom and in "specials" like art, music, P.E., and science, know and care about him and our family. They are proactive and reached out to partner as we navigated family changes so that they could best support my son academically and social-emotionally during school. As a parent, I am humbled by the expertise and care of the school community and the resources that have been shared with me for the betterment of my child. My son is a strong academic student and I have seen him make leaps in his social-emotional growth. He is confident in skills that I never knew a child his age could master. I love hearing him tell me the projects and ideas from school and seeing him carrying his learning home. I truly couldn't be happier with the "home" we have found at our school.
The strength of Hillbrook was its unique ability to combine strong academics with progressive arts. This is no longer the case. The level of academics is below public schools & significantly below most of the private schools in the area. The art program is much weaker than what it used to be. The music program has also gone down hill. The students recite the same songs year after year.

The admission team has been accepting too many students with social emotional challenges as well as kids with special needs. In theory it is great to be an inclusive school but this is only valid if the teachers are trained in special education and if the remaining body of students are not affected and being challenged to their potential.
They make great promises but struggle to deliver. They dodge inquiry into curriculum citing the individualized learning journey & emphasis on collaborative project-based learning. In reality they struggle to break away from traditional teaching methods & lack goal setting & assessment methods of how they intend to achieve their goals for each child. It’s a nice experience if you happen to have a great teacher, if not, then it fails where most regular schools don't. Administration is not receptive to constructive criticism refusing to entertain the idea that they can do better. They are condescending & do not enlist a feeling of partnership, rather are only interested in your donations. Its student body is pretty uniform despite recent efforts to improve diversity & the social life can feel very cliquey at times. Policy towards bullying is non-existent. It takes a lot of parental involvement to make the school work for your child