Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Hudson College (2021)
Hudson College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Jane, Brian, Taylor had to say about the school.
- 1:51 - Why you chose Hudson originally? In what ways is Hudson what you expected and what maybe surprised you a little bit about the school?
- 7:53 - What do you think the biggest impact has been on your child?
- 11:01 - What in your experience do you think differentiates Hudson from other schools?
- Show Full Video Contents
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Jane — current parent
Jane has a son who attends Hudson College as a Grade 9 student, and a daughter there who is in Grade 11. She sees a lot of growth in her daughter's confidence, and she credits the school with that growth. She believes that the teachers truly care about her children’s education, and is thankful that the school is preparing them for university and beyond by exposing them to technology as a learning tool.
- “[My daughter] was really a changed person [at Hudson College]. She came out of her shell. She was a little bit more chatty about school, and so we really realized that we made the right choice. She was coming home and telling us about the conversations she was having in the classroom with her teacher and other students, and how engaging everybody was. I think we came to the conclusion that even though Hudson is a little small, it actually created a really great forum for her to be able to express her thoughts and opinions.”
- “For [my daughter], she really came out of her shell. I don't know how to express that even more strongly. At the other school that she was at, [my daughter] didn't feel like she had a voice. As a female student, she didn't feel like she had a voice. She always felt that there was a sense that she was being taught at, and not taught. There wasn't this inclusive sense of learning. So when we came to Hudson [College], one of the things that she really loved was how engaging the teachers are.”
- “They asked her for her opinion, and sometimes [my daughter] can have very interesting points of view. [My daughter] felt like she was validated [at Hudson College], and it was okay to have those different points of view. I think that's what really made her feel more confident. … She expresses herself verbally to us very eloquently. However, when she was writing things down, she was always second guessing everything. So she was always thinking that she was going to be judged for her writing, certain kinds of points of views or opinions, but because she was given that confidence, she was able to really express herself well. I think that came out in her writing, and her writing did improve. I did notice that.”
- “One of the things that always is important for any parent is a high level of learning, especially when you're going to a private school. You're paying for the education. So you hope that you are getting a return on your investment. With Hudson [College], we can't say that we have anything to complain about as far as the level of education. … We really appreciate that [our kids are] challenged. Each of the teachers, it seems like they get to know our kids and see what really motivates them. Using that, they use certain techniques to help them, and really push them to their limits.”
- “I think what we can see is that Hudson College values a high level of education, but they're also really inquisitive and get to know the kids, and they're caring. I see those as the values that I observed that Hudson [College] has.”
- “The words that I came up with [to describe Hudson College] were insightful, caring, and intelligent. Insightful, because the teachers really get to know the kids. I think the teachers themselves, perhaps it's because it's a small school, seem to all know each other. If [my daughter] was in one teacher's class, another teacher might talk about [her] and say, ‘okay, she's having a bit of a stressful day, or she was stressed about having three papers due in the same week.’ It's like a kind of collaborative teaching amongst the teachers, and they get to know the students and they ask the right questions to the students to pull out the answers that they're looking for.”
- “[At Hudson College] it's always about really, even if she's doing well, how they can help her to do better, or how they can make sure that she doesn't burn out. So they're very caring. ... I said intelligent because this is something that I didn't touch on. Hudson [College] has so many things that are a little bit unique from other schools, things like all the kinds of STEM equipment, the way that there is a lot more collaborative discussions in class.”
- “There's different tools that [Hudson College] is using, like having the laptop program. I think that's really amazing because one of the teachers mentioned to me last year when [my daughter] was taking math with him, said, ‘Well, we allow the kids to use computers and cut calculators because this is what they'll need to do in University.’ Hudson [College] is really preparing the kids not just to finish high school, but to be able to use the tools that are out there, and not pretending that they don't exist, and then allowing them to become proficient in it.”
- “When [Hudson College graduates] go to a university, they're able to take notes on a computer. ... To have that learning curve be stamped down so that they already know those skills going into university. I think that's something that's highly intelligent for a school to already have in place.”
- “[Our daughter] recently told us that she actually misses going to [Hudson College]. She can't wait for school to start, which is really strange for a 16 year-old to say with her parents in the middle of summer vacation.”
- “[My daughter] really enjoys the fact that she has friends in all the different grades. She was really sad last year, when a couple of friends that she had in Grade 12 had graduated, and they were from overseas and they had gone back overseas. Because [Hudson College] is an international school [my daughter] had some friends that were from other countries. She had friends from all the different grades, and I think that was really great for her. She also feels that Hudson [College] is the right place for her.”
- “We were having a bit of a heart to heart, and [my daughter] said, ‘thank you for changing schools. Thank you for allowing us to do that.’ [My daughter] feels that she finally landed at the right place, and she feels like the whole [Hudson College] student body and the teachers are very caring. When she's in school, she feels like she's part of the family there as well. She loves it.”
Brian — current parent
Brian has one daughter who attends Hudson College, and another daughter who is enrolled for the upcoming year. Brian appreciates the academic standard, as well as the structure and discipline at the school. Brian’s daughter is thriving academically and socially at Hudson College, and looks forward to attending class each day.
- “We met one of the kids who actually went to [Hudson College], he was saying how there's a lot of homework at Hudson [College] and they support you, and they're very structured. We went and we watched a few presentations. … We were just impressed. [Hudson College] was a small school and it seemed family-oriented, but everything that we were hoping for in a school, we got it.”
- “[Hudson College] has done really well for my daughter. I used to tell everyone I used to be at home, basically teaching my daughter different stuff, and following up with her [academics], and she never used to like that that much. Ever since she went to Hudson College, I am now able to be a parent. I have not had to sit down with her once since she joined Hudson College [to teach her], and I've been completely a dad. We don’t have the tears that we used to have, so it's very good.”
- “It made [my bond with my daughter] strong, and made me be a parent. That's the number one thing I tell everyone about Hudson [College]. I'm able to be a dad, not a teacher, and that's what I'm most grateful for.”
- “The biggest impact that [Hudson College has had] on my daughter is that it has gained her confidence. She has a lot more confidence now to speak up. ... She never used to speak up and she's speaking up now. She's very independent. I do not need to ever ask if she has homework or she's done her homework. She wants to do her work, and she makes sure she gets it done, and she follows the rules. She's more confident and independent now. The teachers are being so supportive for her, they have done wonders for her.”
- “[The teachers at Hudson College] made [our daughter] feel comfortable and they made her shine in what her talent is. So we're really grateful for it. All the money we've spent on Hudson [College], everything has been worth it today, completely.”
- “The teachers [at Hudson College] care, that's number one. They mandate structure and mandate discipline. Growing up when I was a kid, all my schools demanded that, and I don't see that here [in Canada]. ... But Hudson College demanded it... I believe structure is very important in any school, structure and consistency.”
- “When you have the wavelengths of good and bad, depending on which teacher you get, how they teach, what their values are, how much homework they're given, I find that confuses kids. I think it brings inequality depending on which teacher you get when you get that teacher. Hudson [College] is pure consistency. I know what I'm expecting to get from my kid. I know what I'm going to get out of school and the teachers.”
- “I think that it’s very important for a child to learn that there's an expectation, and it's going to stay like that every year. I think that's very clear at [Hudson College], and I personally wish all schools will follow that construct. ... I think [Hudson College] is a family school. … All the values that I grew up with match the values at [Hudson College], I appreciate that.”
- “[The three words I would use to] describe Hudson are consistent, structured, and supportive. Those are my three words, and I think everybody needs that. Consistency is very important not to confuse the kids. You don't want to be going from different teachers within the same grade, or from one grade to the next grade and have a whole different level of expectations.”
- “All the teachers at Hudson College follow the same requirements of the school. So there's no confusion, and I think that's very important. They give homework, give tests, and give exams, they expect them to be done. They expect people to be obedient to behave in school. There's that structure there. Everybody knows what's expected from them at [Hudson College]. There's no guessing game. So that's awesome. ... If the teachers see that children need help, they help them if they need to, and give them extra time.”
- “If [Hudson College] realizes that a [student] needs a confidence boost, they'll do what they can to give the confidence boost. So they're always supportive. My daughter has never felt scared to go and approach the teacher about anything. … The [students] are willing to approach the teacher about anything and any mistakes. The teacher is able to explain things to them and give them extra time.”
- “Nothing makes you happier as a parent than to see your daughter come home and be so anxious to tell you all these stories about school. So [my daughter] comes home, we'll be eating dinner. ... And she'll have all these stories. She'll be telling us about what happened in class, what happened with the friends, what happened with the teachers. … You just see the glowing on their face, the blushing.”
- “It's so exciting to have your child love school and enjoy it, rather than coming home and crying and not being happy, and to have them be happy and excited and tell you stories. Why would we change schools? To be honest, we were actually going to look at different schools after Grade 8, but after seeing how [our daughter] had done at Hudson College, we didn't even bother to go to any other school.”
- “[My daughter] gets to be my daughter rather than my student [because of Hudson College]. It's just her big smiles and stories just say it all about what she thinks about the school. She's very happy. I do hope that it works out as great for my younger daughter as my older daughter. That would be great as well. I'm looking forward to that. She loves Hudson [College] a lot.”
Taylor — alum
Taylor is a recent graduate of Hudson College, and is now in her first year at Guelph University pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in philosophy. She was able to make many friends from around the world because of the international aspect of the school, and is thankful for the academic rigour that was expected from her. She believes that Hudson College has prepared her well for university and the career that will follow.
- “There's so many things that I loved about [Hudson College]. I'd say what I appreciated most was probably the community. It was a small school, and everyone kind of knew each other. It didn't really matter what grade you were in, you could be friends with anyone. I remember [the teachers] saying that would happen, and I didn't believe them until I went, and it happened. I'd say that really stuck out to me, and the education quality was also very good. I found I was getting really good grades in most of my subjects and understanding the material, particularly English.”
- “Grade 11 English [at Hudson College] changed everything. Even my dad said my essay writing improved like crazy. After leaving Hudson College, in some ways, my perspective has changed in realizing how unique the school was. ... The kinds of stuff offered at Hudson College], like the Greece trip, was definitely not something that you'd find at other schools, and that was incredible.”
- “As I meet more people, and learn about other people's experiences, I just become grateful that I was able to go to Hudson [College] and have such a cool high school experience.”
- “[What differentiates Hudson College form other schools] is how accepting the students are. That's something that is interesting, because there are social dynamics, but everybody is friends. That's something that I didn't experience at school prior. It was very cliquey, not a very comfortable environment. When I got to Hudson [College], I was actually initially very guarded, because I didn't understand that people would be so nice, and everybody could be friends. ... I think at my old school, while it was a private school, the teachers were a little bit hesitant to push the students to their full potential, especially if they liked the student.”
- “I was initially getting bad grades [at Hudson College] and I was shocked. [Hudson College] really motivated me to care about school and to care about improving the quality of my work, and my grades, and that's something that has carried with me both through my academics at university, and also when it comes to writing resumes for jobs and stuff like that, I think that in addition to how personalized the learning is. I got so much out of the school.”
- “[The three semester system at Hudson College] gave you structured independence, which was really cool, because I think that taught me how to manage my time and how to have a good work ethic, so that I had time to do things I enjoyed as well.”
- “I think the first word I would use [to describe Hudson College] is thoughtful. ... I think the way that Hudson College has structured the semesters, and a lot of its classes, made it a lot easier to transition to university. I have a lot of friends who were shocked when they found out they had to do so much reading every week, and that it was a unit every week, because they didn't go to a semestered school.”
- “I think the way Hudson College] has chosen to focus on the students, and really prioritize the success of the students instead of doing things the cookie cutter way, is extremely creative, and I think you need that to really create change. I don't think the education system is incredible as is, I think it's kind of barbaric in a lot of ways. I really love when I see high schools thinking of new ideas about how to do things, and to educate people, because education is very important.”