This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Campbell Hall (Episcopal)2
Posted October 28, 2014
- a parent
Our child was a prospective student to CH who chose to go elsewhere for a variety of reasons. First, they have no STEM curriculum, no robotics, 3-D printers, advanced labs, etc. Science faculty lacks innovation and passion. Second, outside of the performing arts building, the facilities are tired and in need of upgrades. Third, new headmaster is a wet blanket, very cynical and didn't see interested in innovation. Fourth, they cater to celebs who throw money to CH. We learned that after they announced classes were all full that they accepted Sharon Stones kids, hmmm, can you say money? Finally, our tour guide told us that it isn't a very academic school and the kids don't get into top schools. Strange thing for a tour guide who is supposed to be promoting the school to day.
Campbell Hall is exactly what it says it is -- a community (emphasis on community) of inquiry committed to academic excellence and the nurturing of decent, loving, and responsible human beings. This school develops well-prepared and well-rounded students that will find success now and later in life.
Campbell Hall offers a rigorous academic curriculum combined with outstanding Performing and Visual Arts, excellent sports programs and a strong sense of community. The small class sizes and the dedication of the faculty provide the opportunity for individualized attention not commonly found. We feel so fortunate to have our kids in such a great learning environment.
Great leadership in the middle school combined with enthusiastic and caring teachers made for a very successful transition into the rigorous high school. Excellent music and arts programs as well as strong sports. A wonderful place for your child to develop and grow.
We switched to CH from an all girl's school and my child is happier. The school does not believe in endless homework and testing. My child has learned to love science at this school and the campus is filled with funny vibrant kids. A much more creative atmosphere than the drone mentality at our former school. I am not as happy with the administration, however. They are not nearly as responsive or involved. For that I only can give them four stars.
While they emphasize 'community', Campbell Hall has a very, very uneven teaching staff, either stellar or horrifyingly bad, with no middle ground. I agree with previous posting about STEM. There is a deep academic weakness at CH in science, math & technology, from the teachers to the courses offered to the lack of support for students interested in those subjects. The problem is you don't find this out until High School, so your child has the option of getting a better education elsewhere or leaving all of their friends and its heartbreaking to be forced into this position, especially when you are paying $30K a year. As for wealthy yet underwhelming students being admitted, it is a shameful episode in the School's history and it has never been properly explained.
I owe everything in my career (professor McGill) to my education at Campbell Hall. I was taught fundamentals of education and given encouragement to think outside the box. I took classes in Art, Music, physical education (as well as the standard ABCs); these courses are critical for stimulating brain growth and independent thinking. The classes were small, and every student got the attention required to develop their potential regardless of apparent ability. We were encouraged to accept people who had disabilities and to foster relationships with these individuals so that both of us would grow. When someone might have been classified (in today's world as ADD) as hyperactive, the student was assessed for intellectual aptitudes. If they were found to be ahead of the class, they were promoted; if they were found to have a learning disability, they were given extra help, and the students in the class were encouraged to help them. I feel that my acceptance of all capabilities and my interest in rehabilitation stems from my experiences at Campbell Hall. I loved school when I was there. I cannot recommend this school enough.
DO NOT go to this school if your child has any interest in STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) or majoring in hard sciences in college. These academic areas are not valued at Campbell Hall, they are not encouraged, they are not developed in any way. They are not even aware that hard science majors have different college entrance requirements. That's how bad it is.
I feel bad for not posting on this site right when we took our child out of Campbell Hall. But maybe I can help someone from making the same mistake we made. The sad truth of the matter is that academics simply are not important at this school. The heads of the school proudly says that Campbell Hall is not "academic" or "academically rigorous". It is "academically diverse", which sadly just means wealthy kids that are not super bright. It is really sad. A school that values money and wealth, but truly is uninterested in educational excellence. The proof is in the sad array of colleges that the students are accepted to and the exodus of bright children year after year. There are some great people at the school and some teachers that still care about education, but the emphasis from the top is all about wealth and luxury. Your child will not develop academically and they do not know what to do with bright students other then let them get away. This was hard to write and I genuinely wish it was not the case.