Dear All, I have been a passive viewer of this forum for quite sometime, but it has been incredibly useful in planning for our son's LKG (PP1) admission for 2013-14. I am looking for any feedback on Hillside from some parents who admitted their wards for the 2012-13 session (this calendar yr).
I visited their campus and interacted with the teachers & the principle on Saturday last and was quite impressed with the infrastructure and the overall interaction I had. I guess it was also PTM that day at the School. I'm planning to complete the formalities and payment of fees tomorrow.
Also, I wanted to recount our experience on the other schools we tried. (spent close to 3000+ on the applications alone)
We did apply to BVB, Obul Reddy, Chinmaya and also applied for JHPS, Meridian (BH) and Hillside at Jubilee Hills. I went through several posts on parents on their views and experiences and can now understand the great anxiety and efforts put therein !
BVB - My wife is an Alumni and were hoping of a better chance, but my son was 1 month overage and I had to write a special application with the principles countersign to allow us to apply for my son ! They accepted the application, but I knew our chances were very slim given 1000+ applications for just 60 seats ! We were not not very perticular about BVBPS anyways. Not sure if they even considered out application.
Chinmaya - we were invited for a Parents interaction. I was really not sure why it was conducted since, they had clearly indicated that it would be a lottery system. When I asked the same question on the day of interview; the lady said that the school wanted to know why the parents had chosen the school over so many other 'international/popular' schools! They took my son away to a separate room by an other teacher and it did not go well with him and was weeping aloud - they gave all kids wafers, that kind of pacified him, but he did not like the sudden separation. The school may want to reconsider that for 3 yrs olds !
My sons name did not appear on the list either - but selection process was not very transparent as I hoped it would be. My neighbours kid goes there and they are quite ok with the school otherwise.
Obul Reddy - Based on several reviews here and the feedback from a couple of my wifes old teachers from BVB (yes!) recommending Obul Reddy we were keen to get our son there. But his name did not make it to the list either ! But what I liked is their lottery system where they asked all the parents to put their tokens in a jar and inviting parents to pick the lottery up. At least it appeared transparent to me. Of course my son could not make it given that ~600 applications were up against 55 odd seads. Slim chance - congratulations to the parents who made it.
Meridian (Banjara Hills) - A few of my colleagues have their wards in Meridian BH (some moved from Phoenix Greens to Meridian BH). We went there and met the principle and a couple of teachers. I also paid 1000/- for the application form (had several typos) and the a wonderful prospectus. The principle was articulate and we liked her detailed oriented explaination about the school and how we should talk more like 'co-scholastic' and not 'extra-curricular'. My colleagues had warned me about the high donations and fees. I had not problem with the fee/amount, but the donation part in 'cash' was quite unacceptable to me. Its ok to take donation, but why should I pay that in 'cash' only ? On top of it we felt that money-quality-culture balance was a little jagged and decided to submit the application, but not turn up for the fee payment !
JHPS - we filled up the application meticulously (too many details asked I guess), but never turned in the application given donation talk and the embrassing situations that some of the parents here have had to undergo. I was happy to note that in one of the post that a JHPS parent has said that all the money so collected is going to the children through good infrastructure and improvements - we wish the wards, parents & the school good luck.
Very good summary, OP. I tried all these schools for my kid, execpt for Meridian- and I agreen with all your assessment. I had the same feeling regarding the draw of lots at Obul REddy- it was very transparent, compared to BVB- though my daughter did not make it at either place.
That was an extensive recap and a wonderful summary. I concur with you on most of your views but to add a few points
They drew very few general applications from the lot. I mean, 30/1000 is very remote chance. Not very transparent as to how they would fill rest of the seats (after lottery, Jubilee Hills housing society reservations etc.)
0. Didn't you consider DPS (might be a bit far from your place) and BVB Atmakuri?
1. May I know why you were not so keen about BVBPS , after all it seems to be the top (over?)rated school in the city? :)
thanks. to answer your queries:
0) DPS is jus too far for us (beyond 12kms) , so we did not even consider it - we really wanted him to go to schools which were < 5kms. BVB Atmakuri is new and we were not even keen on BVBPS in the first place lest we wanted to go to an offshoot.
1) Well, I guess BVBPS is kind of overrated (purely our personal opinion) and we took our decision based on several feedbacks (60% of the kids in our apartment go to BVBPS and we were not personally impressed) of not admitting him even if he secured a seat.
After all this search and so called 'research', I still beleive that there are several wonderful schools and its not just BVBPS, JHPS, Chinmaya, OR and the likes. This is not sour grapes stuff - but these schools should definitely be given good PR skills (for free as a social service) not to play around with parents emotions and enjoy the feeling of overpowering desparate individuals - we really should not fall for it !
Can you please share the fee structure of Hillside Academy for LKG ?
Thanks for your inputs @adrao. Good luck with Hillside Academy. Looks to be an impressive center for learning.
I agree with adrao, shaastra. Hillside Academy is quite impressive. We've been there on saturday for application of my friends five year old. Also we met few parents who were really satisfied with the school. If I'm not wrong fee for LKG would be 60K(Only tution fee)
@shaastra - thanks a lot for your wishes indeed.
@theprince - here is the fee structure for LKG:
So, this will be the calendar of payment:
It should cost you approximately 77562 to about 80000 INR (if there is a revision of charges for transport & food and you opt for it)
I paid 18,000 today and took the admission for my son.
@adrao, Congratulations! I bet it must be a real big relief for you!! The journey has only just begun and I wish you all the very best in your efforts in skulpting a beatiful future for your son.
Is there any interview kind of thing for this? My kid is a bit shy in speaking in front of unknown persons. Also, is this a CBSE affliated school? I looked at their website and I am not sure of CBSE. they said they have IB PYP for kids and I am not sure what is this. Can you please shed some info on this? from which class, they have CBSE affiliation?
I had pretty much the same experience as you (applied for the same schools and had the same experience). I had also visited Hillside, met the principal and teachers - and had liked it a lot but had many concerns given that it is relatively new and that it has undergone so many management changes (3 changes in as many years?)
But given that I had little luck elsewhere, I am giving Hillside some serious thought.
Have you enrolled your child for IB or CBSE? I got the impression that they have only recently started CBSE and that the teachers may not be very experienced for that?
Need some information on whether we can enrol kids from the start into CBSE or will it be IB PYP? From their website could not understand. Parents who have had their wards admitted this year, please clarify. Thanks a lot.
Sure that its IB PYP only until Grade 5
VS123- I think, Roots Montesseri was acquired by Manipal a few years back, and then Pearsons acquired some stake in Manipal Education Services- and that way theyhave come to manage this school. So the transition from Manipal to Pearsons might not have been a complete change of hands. We visited the school and came to know that they have been around since the 1990s and in the present building since the last 11 years.
A few things we noted:
1. To us it seemed like a well managed school. THe school has been around for a while (actually lot longer than most of the schools in the Gachibowli/ Kondapur and nearby areas) and the experience in managing the day to day affairs shows. The teaching staff have been stable, we were told. But that feedback needs to come from parent who have their children studing presently there.
2. They have very limited strength even in higher classes- they have had 17 batches take 10th exams, and the last one had only about 18 students. This to me seems surprising for a school of this age. I understand the individual attention part, but for a school that has been around for so long, would have had a much larger class is what I would thing. Consider DPS Gachibowli- around for abut 9 years and has about 200 students who took 10th last year. Hillside said they have on purpose not tried to expand.
3. The fees are pretty reasonable- about 36K tution fees and that is about it. The sprouting of international schools have so messed up my mind, that I am thinking whether can they provide good education at 36K when other schools are charging 60K and upwards for tution :) Ofcourse schoools like BVB, MVM, JHPS have fees less than 30K, so it is not unheard of.
Hillside might really be what they are promising to be- a school that does not consider schooling purely as a business and have on purpose remained small and not expanded- so they can provide good education at affordable prices. Since the student strength is less, it is difficult to get first hand feedback- atleast as to how the academics are. Anyone that has evaluated these aspects, please ahare information. Thank you.
SPOI- Hillside will offer choice of CBSE or IB from grade 1 onwards. After 5th, it is all CBSE as of now.
from grade 1??? I doubt. Called up Mr. Tazuddin who took his daughters admission in the school.... He never told me this.... anyways good to know that the choice of IB and CBSE is from Grade I. Though its good to be with IB untill grade V
SPOI- yes, we had asked this question specifically. So they said, now they have CBSE from Grade 1. Infact I just spoke to a colleague whose kid studies in CBSE grade 2 now.
ok... We happened to be at school somewhere in December and then we were not told this. Infact Tazuddin wants his daughter to be in CBSE from Grade I. Anyways... good to listen... thanks for the info schoolhunter1
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