My daughter is in her fifth year at Hudson College (she joined in Grade One from a French Immersion public school). In that first year, she was behind in maths and reading, and didn't believe that she would ever be able to master those skills. She was so down on herself, she almost didn't want to try. Her Grade One teacher was incredibly encouraging, and over the years the school staff have built up her confidence by celebrating her strengths (sports and social skills) and supporting her through any difficulties. It's been wonderful to see my daughter blossom into her best self, gain confidence academically and make great friends. The class is small - 15 this year - so she has a lot of attention on the academic side. One very small thing she would change: she would like to have more girls in her class!
It starts every morning when I drop my children (grades 7 &2) off at school in the morning. They run into the school (and not because of the cold!). They both love going to school. They have tremendous bonds with their friends and peers and very strong relationships with their teachers. They feel that the school is a family. Our children are made to feel like they matter, that the staff care about them and are interested in their lives. Of course they wouldn't use the word "empowered" but that is how I would describe their overall feeling. They feel confident to try new things, not afraid to fail (although it does suck!) and rewarded for achieving.
My experience at Hudson College has been nothing but wonderful. Coming from a rather large school with upwards of 1800 kids, the transition couldn't have been smoother. From the first few seconds I entered the school everyone was welcoming and supportive. Hudson has endless support to offer in areas such as university, program choices, and personal support. I personally love the structure and feeling that Hudson provides you with on a daily basis. Throughout my past two years at the school I've been beyond content with my experience. When I come to school every day I feel as if I'm walking into my second home. My fellow classmates and students are always smiling, happy, and engaging.
It took some time to settle into Hudson, but it was the best feeling when I realized I was talking with more people, and everything seemed a bit more casual. The people here are really nice, and even though I came in grade 10, there were a lot of new students just like me. As the student body grows, I think the school would benefit from a more formal student government. Currently, any interested students have the option of joining the Student Council, which is responsible for planning most of the school events and activities. I would love to see these opportunities expanded, with the election of a student body president, treasurer, and so on. On a personal level, the commute to Hudson has proven to be a challenge, as I spend an hour on transit each way. That said, I do feel like the travel time is worth it because of the quality of students, teachers, and staff available to me at Hudson.