The Direct Network

Greenhills School Gives All Students Individual Attention

Posted by Lori Reese on May 22, 2017 5:30:00 AM
Topics: School stories, K-12, online bookstore

As Controller Liz Barber puts it, Greenhills School is a place where “no kid falls through the cracks.”

Greenhills School Gives All Students Individual AttentionThe Ann Arbor, Michigan independent school serves grades 8 to 12, committing itself to each student in a way that sets it apart — especially from the large area public schools. Classes at Greenhills are small, with about 14 to 16 students in each, and all kids are assigned an advisor upon entering.

“There’s a lot of layers of people that all help to assist the student in every part of their life,” said Barber.

One of those layers is the school’s commitment to diversity. It has a financial aid program that attracts both ethnically and economically diverse students.

“Our admissions department is very aware of the benefits of having a diverse population and that’s part of our mission here — that [Greenshills is] not just a rich kids school,” said Barber.

Another layer involves the faculty’s devotion to creativity. Many teachers offer course packs instead of traditional textbooks. Tailor-made course materials ensure the classes are always up-to-date and individualized.

“Being independent allows our teachers a lot of flexibility to be innovative and to try different teaching techniques,” said Barber.

 The results of this flexibility are clear: the average ACT score is a 29, and a large percentage of students attend their top-choice college.  

“Our kids are very well prepared for college. They’re great writers. They’re great citizens. They’re great speakers. They’re very well-rounded,” Barber said.

The school’s relationship with MBS Direct allows it to serve students, faculty and parents well, ensuring no one gets confused about how and when to buy course materials each year.

Before turning to an online bookstore, Greenhills arranged its course materials sales each year, a process that busy parents found inconvenient. They could only purchase books in person and at particular times. With an online bookstore, parents can even buy course materials while vacationing at the end of the summer.

Handling course materials independently was also very taxing for Greenhills’ small administration. 

“We’re well over 500 students, and that whole process would basically take away the entire summer for one of our staff in the business office,” said Barber. “Plus, she would have to hire a small army of students to help her.”

Now, all Greenhills’ administrators can attend to what matters most — individual student needs.

About Lori Reese

Lori Reese has more than 15 years’ experience teaching in college and K-12 classrooms. She studied philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, earned an MA in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University and an MFA from University of North Carolina - Greensboro. At UNCG she won the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award and received a Fulbright to conduct research for a novel in Sri Lanka. She has taught undergraduate creative writing, composition and literature as well as seminars for the Lloyd International International Honors Program. She worked in private K-12 education for two years as an English teacher and Academic Dean.

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