REVIEW OF The Hill Academy BY parent, Brenda Burman
- Date of Review
August 28, 2023
- Child 1
Gr. 9 - Gr. 10 (Male, Current Day Student)
- Child 2
Gr. 7 - Gr. 8 (Male, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
Both our sons have had a terrific experience since starting at The Hill Academy. The opportunity for them to be in a program that combines their academic courses and their lacrosse training into their daily school day schedule has been motivating and exciting for them. The student-athletes are held accountable equally with academics and their sports training by their teachers and coaches. The prioritizing of both academics and their lacrosse training motivates our sons to meet their academic deadlines, and give it their all in workout sessions, and team practices. We also see the physical activity in their daily schedule meets their energy levels which helps them better focus in the classroom. For any young person who's willing to put in the hard work, this is the school for them!
(5) School Leadership
The Hill Academy puts out a weekly newsletter that gives families updates on the past week and schedules for the upcoming week. In addition, teachers and coaches reach out with updates throughout the school year on how your student-athlete is progressing. The school encourages the student-athletes to communicate directly with their teachers and coaches which is a terrific life lesson for helping prepare young people for independence and fosters a supportive school environment where young people gain experience talking to an adult about a problem and getting support to solve it.
The teachers at The Hill Academy are fantastic! We have been part of the Junior school program and the High School program with the age of our sons. The teachers use all different instructional tools to engage the students including technology to help the students organize their courses and track deadlines, small group assignments, and independent projects that let the students explore their individual passions. The teachers are professional, and energetic and it is obvious they love what they are doing. They know how to manage a high-energy classroom of student-athletes. The small ratios in the classroom mean the teachers can get to know the students quickly and support each student individually. Our sons' academic education at The Hill Academy is setting them up for academic success after high school.
The academic programming was a priority for us when making a decision for our sons to go to The Hill Academy. We have high expectations for our sons that they work just as hard on their academics as they do on their lacrosse training. The Hill Academy has this same accountability for their student-athletes. Our sons have had opportunities to be challenged when the work is too easy and been supported when they needed extra help. At parent-teacher interviews in the fall, about six weeks after the school year started, we were very impressed with how the teachers described either of our sons' personalities, strengths, and areas for focus so well, they had truly spent the beginning of the school year getting to know them each as an individual. The small classroom ratios mean the academic program can be adjusted to support individual needs for success.
The student-athletes have opportunities for fun days, activities, and events, that are not focused on their athletic goals. The Hill Academy sets up opportunities for older high school students to mentor the junior school student-athletes which is amazing. We've seen this mentoring extend outside of the school environment when these students see each other at other events in the community. We've seen first-hand the older high school students taking the time to check in with younger students on the field or at an arena in the community.
The opportunity for a student-athlete to attend The Hill Academy means they are coming into a space with other young people who have athletic goals and are focused on training to their highest potential. The school environment is energizing to say the least with all of these like students in the same space. Students in the different grades, junior through high school are constantly interacting with each other. Our sons are excited to go to school every day, I see the pride they show when talk to someone about going to The Hill Academy outside of school. They are excited to talk about their school, what they are learning, and the training they are doing. They also like to talk about the lacrosse games they have won representing The Hill Academy!
(5) School Life
The Hill Academy location is the perfect back drop for student-athletes to focus on their goals, training and academics. The students have full days at school and spend time outside as often as possible. The teachers use the nature on the grounds of the school year-round to deliver the curriculum, outdoor classrooms are common experiences, and the coaches set up many training programs using the trails on the property. The quality of student life at The Hill Academy exceeded our expectations. When either our my sons has talked to us about a challenge they are having at school with academics or their training, we have not hesitated to encourage them to talk to someone at school, we know they will be listened to and supported.
The parent community is wonderful and very welcoming. It has been terrific to get to know parents from all over who have children at The Hill Academy. Throughout the year, there are different opportunities for parents to come together and the school teaches the students to give back to the local community through donations and fundraisers, which parents also get involved in supporting. The Hill Academy demonstrates a commitment to teaching the students good citizenship and giving back to their school community and broader surrounding community with the fundraisers and donation drives set up during the school year. Parents have the opportunity to contribute feedback and share ideas on how to improve the school which is a great way to constantly focus on what can be better, the administration seeks out feedback from parents and student-athletes, and they act on the feedback.
(5) School Location
The Hill Academy has day students and boarding students which means day students get to know other students from all over the world and act as hosts in the local community for international students boarding at The Hill Academy. Our sons are day students and they have spent time outside of the school day with students boarding at The Hill Academy which is a win-win for both our sons and the boarding students living away from home.
Making the decision to move our sons to a private school meant a lot of questions for the school admissions office and coaches, equally important to us was a strong academic program and a lacrosse training program that would take them both to the next level. We found the admissions process very smooth. Both our sons had a chance to tour The Hill Academy ahead of starting school and we were very impressed with how the administration and coaches spoke directly to our son when touring and asked questions, they were truly interested in getting to know each of them, and we had not made a final decision on the school. It was exciting to see how easily both our sons talked to the administration and coaches on their first visit to the school. For any young person who is willing to put in the hard work and take full advantage of the opportunities by attending The Hill Academy, it is the perfect fit.