Parent Lynette C.'s story

My family moved to Durham one year before my daughter was to start kindergarten. The timing gave me ample opportunity to obsess about the best school for my children to attend. I visited private schools, charter schools, magnet schools and a year round school. I spoke with parents, principals, teachers and did all the web searching I could do. After all that, I chose to send my children to our local, traditional school, Hillandale Elementary, and I don’t regret that decision. No school is perfect, and I could see varying advantages and disadvantages of every school I visited. That said, once I weighed pros and cons (and reweighed them multiple times; did I mention I had a year?), my husband and I decided that Hillandale was our first choice.

Hillandale is a socio-economically, ethnically and culturally diverse school. While in some situations this diversity might be difficult to manage, Hillandale is not merely “held together” but is thriving under the leadership of our principal, Ms. Sandi Bates. She respects, values and supports her teachers, staff, and families. This environment allows the teachers, and subsequently the students, to flourish. The results are magnificent. I can remember from my own youth, many long and boring years in elementary school. I was worried for my children, but in reality that has rarely been a concern. They are regularly challenged to meet and then exceed expectations for their grade level, but in ways that they generally find fun and interesting. I no longer have any concerns regarding them being fully challenged and engaged. Being that this is now our 6th year at Hillandale (K-5), it is time to start obsessing about the transition to middle school. Sure, I’ll visit a few of the public school choices, but without worry or dread. Just to see if one might be even better than the other.

from Lynette C. on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

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