Austin >Kirby Hall School
Both of our daughters attend Kirby Hall
School and we have found it to be an amazing school in every way. The teachers and staff at the school are wonderful and have helped our girls grow and develop in more ways than I expected. It has been amazing to watch them develop intellectually, socially, artistically and personally while at KHS and it is great to hear them talk about it as well. I think it really says something for a school when the children love it as much as the adults and you can really feel that at KHS.
I would, and do, recommend Kirby Hall School to anyone who asks me about where we send our daughters to school. If you are looking at schools in Austin it would be a real miss to not have KHS on your tour list.
University of Texas buys Kirby Hall Site for $10 million. What happens when Beverly Rase, the owner of Kirby Hall School dies? First, the University of Texas which is always looking to expand will make the new owners (Beverly Rase's two children) an offer they cannot refuse ($10 million). Beverly Rase's children do not want to run the school. The school will close in the Spring. Beverly Rase does not pay property tax on the land or the school even though it is a long term real estate investment for her estate because the school is a non-profit. However, her children will inherit the building and land tax free (no estate or income tax). So much for all the concerned parents who are worried about their children and are donating to maintain and improve the property. The parents are not aware as Beverely has cleverly excluded them from the board. Look into it.
Kirby Hall Objective review.
This review comes from a very objective parent and perspective from several school experiences around the world.
Kirby Hall is very involved with each student. The intent to provide the best academic experience is very clear and the lack of apology for unimpressive sports facilities is honest.
This school is about nourishing the academic, spiritual, and emotional needs of each child. My children have been in Kirby Kinder-Third and the experience has been amazing. Not only do they test in the top 2% of all students in ITBS testing, but they thrive in the warm family environment.
Kids are allowed to be kids at Kirby, but moral standards are also strictly enforced. School uniforms are required as are expectations that they students and parents will support the community goals.
I could not have asked for a better foundation for our children. The confidence and education supported by this school is everything we wanted. We were prepared to accept 60 minutes of homework and less facilities to achieve this incredible base in the early years of education.
I have a good idea who the vitriolic reviews are and hopefully they won't stand in the way of anyones positive experience.
happy with KHS. Kirby is a cozy, little place where everyone knows everyone so it feels good to leave your child there. I know they are in good hands. There are excellent teachers who really care about each child's success and well-being. The academics are excellent and the PSIA results and test scores prove it. As a parent, I have to teach my child time management and organizational skills so that we have time for extra curricular things after school, but we do manage to fit it all in. If you want a well-rounded experience for your child, you have to be willing to put in parental support to make that happen. They promise a loving atmosphere and academic challenges and that is what we have received.
Pleased KHS parent.
My son has been at Kirby Hall School since kindergarten (he is now in second grade), and I can say without reservation that I love this school! I am a former teacher in AISD, and the teachers my son has had at KHS are easily among the most gifted, passionate, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, talented educators I’ve ever encountered. My son’s first grade and second grade teachers have both been teaching at KHS for nearly a decade each; they have superior classroom management skills and know the curricula intimately. The small classes and individualized instruction create an ideal environment for all different types of learners. In terms of academic rigor, KHS is without peer – high expectations lead to exceptional performance by all the students. The proximity of the school to the UT campus is wonderful – it allows the students access to countless resources, and inspires them to become lifelong learners. I conducted exhaustive research on schools in the Austin area before selecting KHS, and I feel strongly that I made the right choice for my son. It is truly a family environment, and parental involvement is encouraged; I am at the school most days doing some sort of volunteer activity, and I feel so welcomed by everyone there. I am so happy knowing that my son is surrounded by people who truly care about his well-being and are partners with me in his development.
KHS is a remarkably diverse place, much more so than I would have expected at a private school. During the unit on ancestry and immigration in my son’s class, the students were so proud to highlight their ethnic backgrounds – everywhere from Africa to Asia to South America to the Middle East and Europe. Even socio-economically, diversity is apparent: given that the tuition at KHS is approximately half of what is charged at the school most academically comparable, I consider it a bargain. Our family has made some sacrifices to send my son to KHS, but I can assure anyone who asks that it has been well worth it.
Is KHS a perfect place? Of course not – no school is. True, there are no sports clubs, but there is a fantastic physical education program; participation in athletics is extra-curricular, and each child is free to pursue his or her own interests outside of school. Is it the right school for every child? No, but I guarantee that each child there comes from a family that cares deeply about education and wants to give that child a solid academic base from which to begin his or her life. Will we stay there through high school? I don’t know – we reassess my son’s needs every year, and if KHS continues to meet them, we have no reason to look elsewhere. My younger son can hardly wait to start kindergarten there in 2011.
Kirby Hall has been one of the best things that has happened in our lives, and it is an honor to share how pleased we’ve been with our experience there.
Kirby Hall School is a mess.
This school is rediculous. The two "great reviews" you see listed are from an administrative flunky who is desperate to keep her job and her tuition break, and a student who is the daughter of another flunky at the school. Thy are going around to all the sites and puting in "great reviews" of the school to manipulate potential parents and bolster their floundering enrollment problems. They are down 60 kids alone this year- over 25% OF THE SCHOOL.
Here is the real scoop. The school is run by a autocratic old biddy that is capricious, and vindictive. They run a "great dog and pony show" to get you in the front door- but once you are there you realize it's a mess. 14/25 staff and faculty have been fired or quit this year alone. Teachers have their benefits cut off, teachers are fired without reason, kids are thrown out without reason. There is no parent association or teacher association to curb Beverly Rase and her craziness. Instead Mrs. Rase makes snap judgments based on gossip from one or two nasty parents. This year a a few parents complained about a boy in kindergarden who (a student of color) was "too rowdy and unmanageable". Beverly then threw the child out of school along with his brother in second grade. No warnings- no meetings, no nothing. It was only the intervention of the second grade teacher and some parents like myself that enabled the second grader ( a wonderul child ) to return. This is typically behavior at Kirby Hall. Someone in administration admitted that there are even unmentioned race quotas - that Beverly "doesn't want too many kids of color and their parents in the school because... well you know how they are". Kirby Hall may look like a cheap alternative to public school- but trust me. Save your money .
Turnover/home school method/unsupervised. As some have stated, students are left unsupervised quite often. They can be found playing online games upstairs, making out in the "senior lounge" (where they spend most of their day), and most concerning is the terrible curriculum. Just walk around on your own, without their tour guide. People have to understand, the Shirley Method is a home school method in which the students simply recite back what the teachers tell them. There is NO critical thinking taught in any grade. No one uses the Saxon Math anymore either, simply more recitation. Look at the drop rate, nearly no student continues beyond 8th grade, and most drop before middle school. Just ask about the curriculum committee (there is none), how long the curriculum has been used, and if it is EVER reviewed. Please just be concerned and ask questions.
Kirby Hall is a stellar school. We have been at Kirby Hall since 2000 and now have all 4 of our children at Kirby Hall. We couldn't be happier with the faculty, education, relationships, and programming at the school. Our oldest child is our only daughter and we have seen her blossom every year in the nurturing but very challenging environment that is Kirby Hall. The curriculum is based upon fundamentals - fundamentals that pay off every year when Kirby Hall wins the state Private School Interscholastic Competition and when students apply to colleges boasting extremely high standardized test scores. In addition to academics, the samll, nurturing environments has allowed our older children to develop their own character free of bullying, clicques, or peer pressure, making them proud of both their academic accomplishments and their own personal charachter. It is not a school for parents who want to turn their children over to a planned and prescripted educational situation however. Rather, it is best suited for families who want to tailor their children's education and to play an active, committed role in the devolopment of their children. We can not endorse this school highly enough. It is an amazing, and rare, institution and we feel very lucky to have found it.
Bad, bad bad!. Unqualified teachers, ridiculously high staff turnover, unsupervised students, lack of evidence-based curriculum, and no continuity in any set curriculum (changes mid-year are common) make for a lousy school. Bad administration is at the core of the problem with Kirby Hall. The few ladies "in charge" simply have no idea what they're doing, and that has made this school a joke. Kirby Hall is not an appropriate school for your every day average child, and certainly not a child who is bright and/or gifted. Not at all! Kirby Hall is the least academically challenging school I've encountered in my years as an education professor. Utter chaos.
Narcotic, alcohol use and sexual activity take place inside the building..
The senior lounge is a den of inequity.Narcotics, alcohol and sexuality are rampant within the school building. Why? These seniors are unsupervised for several hours a day. They have 'independent study time' where they go to the senior lounges and do anything but study. Administrators turn a blind eye (but don't decrease tuition for the luxury of un-manned babysitting.
1/3 new faculty this year. Sad. Kirby Hall cannot hold onto it's teachers.
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