Hickory Hill Academy (formerly Kids Express Learning Center

Our Vision: Cultivating Compassionate Leaders Our Mission: Hickory Hill Academy cultivates children`s growth in a stimulating and compassionate environment. Our supportive teachers engage the curiosities and needs of each child, fostering self-esteem, the confidence needed to benefit from our robust academic programs, and the interest to embark on a journey of lifelong learning.
Our focus on empathy, character, and individual well-being encourages our children to envision how they will serve their community beyond the expanse of our campus.

Upcoming Events and News

  • Kids Express becomes Hickory Hill Academy - 12/10/2020 - Kids Express Learning Center has rebranded to become Hickory Hill Academy, according to a company statement.The infancy through eighth-grade program, which is provided on a 10-acre campus at 3276 S. ...moreHigh Point Road, has been in operation for 25 years. hide

Top Placements

Hickory Hill Academy (formerly Kids Express Learning Center places among the top 20% of private schools in Wisconsin for:

School Overview

Grades OfferedGrades Nursery/Preschool-5
Year Founded1996
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students223 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 31%
Students by Grade Hickory Hill Academy (formerly Kids Express Learning Center Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers45 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio5:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size20 students
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorPenny Nangle
Admissions AssociateJenny Dahl

School Notes

  • Hickory Hill Academy (HHA), formerly Kids Express Learning Center, is the only independent, private school in Dane County serving children as infants through 5th grade. Located in the Madison Area on 10-acre campus providing quality education and strong academics for infant and toddler childcare, preschool and 4K, private elementary school, and a summer camp for children up through age 12. Our unique enrichment programs and qualified teachers help children to build strong foundations in pre-academic/academic skills, as well as in social aptitude, self-esteem, and much more. We are a family-owned school offering children a myriad of remarkable learning experiences.

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Nearby Private Schools

The nearest high school to Hickory Hill Academy (formerly Kids Express Learning Center is St. Ambrose Academy (3.1 miles away)
The nearest elementary school is Our Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran School (1.1 miles away)
The nearest preschool is Raymond Road KinderCare (1.0 miles away)
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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (8 reviews)
I can't say enough about Hickory Hill Academy. Both of our kids have been in the public school system, and we honestly never thought about sending our kids to private school. However, both of our kids went to preschool and 4K at Hickory Hill (formerly Kids Express Learning Center) and had an amazing experience, so when we found out about their Elementary program we were so excited! It was definitely a big decision to change schools, but we have been so incredibly happy with not only the quality of the curriculum, but their entire mission and vision. I am continuously impressed by the communication and the feeling of community in the school, even throughout the pandemic. The teachers are wonderful, and I absolutely love that they focus on being compassionate leaders. We couldn't be happier seeing our children thrive in such a wonderful school!
- Posted by
Both of my children are attending Hickory Hill Academy, and I could not be more pleased with the experience. I have a 1st and 3rd grader both receiving personalized care in a small classroom setting with two teachers. At Hickory Hill, my children are both thriving academically, and offered opportunities through the curriculum that have far exceeded my expectations. From being on a campus that allows them to learn and grow outdoors (there is an old bus in the wooded area their team and amazing science teacher retrofitted into a classroom) to learning Spanish & Mandarin in the program, to expanding their love of reading through the classroom focus. We have seen confidence gained in both of our children through attending HHA and are extremely pleased to be a part of this community.
- Posted by
Kids Express has exceeded our expectations. The teachers are awesome and personalize their care toward the children. They are always giving us updates on our 17 month old regarding words she says, connections she makes, food she likes/dislikes, and shares pictures/video frequently. The campus is beautiful. It's relatively expensive and doesn't have a meal program like other places, but you get great facilities, fantastic teachers, and great care for your child. Worth every penny.
- Posted by
This is the best place to bring your child in Madison! My son has been attending Kids Express for several months now and I am more than pleased with my experience. The classroom is clean and inviting. I have had great communication with his teachers and they have been extremely helpful with any questions I''ve had. When I''ve had the chance to sit in my son's classroom and observe what his day is like, it just warmed my heart! I could see that he was enjoying his day, learning and engaging with both his peers and his teachers! I would recommend this school to anyone!
- Posted by
KELC is an amazing place for daycare in Madison. When we moved to Madison with our one-year-old, we scheduled appointments to visit as many daycare facilities as we could but stopped our search after visiting KELC. The teachers in all of the classrooms so far have been superb you can tell in your child's reaction to saying a teacher's name just how much they like the teachers as people as well as educators. Additionally, the grounds themselves are awesome the emphasis placed on nature, animals, and gardening is something that we value and KELC thoroughly provides. Some days it is hard to leave because our daughter wants to keep feeding leaves to the goats. Amusingly, a relative keeps commenting on how our children won't have anything remaining to learn once they get to kindergarten the teachers and curricula are certainly effective. All in all we love KELC for our children and couldn't imagine sending them anywhere else.
- Posted by
We are so lucky to be able to send our son to Kids Express! He's 2 1/2 and has been attending Kids Express since he was 3 months old. All of his teachers have been amazing and he is so excited to go to school every day! He's made great friends and loves Mr. Rich's nature class. We love the weekly emails and constant teacher communication, always sharing photos and letting us know how our little guy is doing. We couldn't ask for a better place to send our son.
- Posted by
My 2 kids have attended KELC for 5 years. They both attended the preschool program as well as Summer on the Farm for school aged kids. There is no better place on the planet to place your kids throughout their developmental years. From the teachers to the front office to the facilities and to the curriculum, it is a world class operation.
- Posted by
KELC is a fabulous learning environment for pre-k children. It provides multiple subject learning with extra activities to enrich their day. The teachers are always open to discussion and offer a thorough review of each child. A wonderful place for kids to grow.
- Posted by

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The average private school tuition in Madison, WI is $6,865 for elementary schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).