BOD is ALL about compassion and respect. They seem to be careful in accepting students who have a strong moral compass, and they celebrate one another's differences each and every day. It's one of the most caring and nurturing environments you could imagine, especially for a high school.
My son claims he learned more in two days from his Geometry teacher than in two years in middle school. All of his teachers are very different, but each is invested in their respective subject, and all are very helpful and care about the students' success.
The block schedule allows time for students to learn more deeply in class, and homework is relatively light. Free periods are offered in FR year in lieu of an elective class, which my son utilizes for his homework. His Honors Geometry class is based on a flipped model, so research is done at home, and most work is done in class.
My student is absolutely loving his freshman year at BOD. As the only student ever to apply to BOD from his middle school, he walked in knowing virtually no one. He met several great guys during summer sports programs and often meets up with them during lunch breaks, etc.
The inclusiveness and welcoming vibe was evident from the moment we stepped foot on campus. Everyone is welcome regardless of religious background, and everyone cares about the students. The school president met with our son and another boy one day to simply check in with them, as they were the only students from their respective middle schools. Dr. Phelps personally offered his support, and encouraged the boys to join clubs of their interest. My husband and I were profoundly touched and incredibly grateful for Dr. Phelps' efforts to reach out to our son.
Although our son is taking three Honors classes as well as an advanced World Language class, he finds homework to be manageable thanks to the block schedule. Good time management is key, especially if students participate in sports.
The coaches have high expectations of the athletes but they also care very much for the athletes' academic success and well being.
Environmental Science and Computer Science opportunities are fantastic, far exceeding many of the other top-tier private high schools we considered.
I cannot end my review without a shoutout to the school cafeteria. For better or worse my son simply enters in his student ID, and regularly blows through $50-$75 a week on the various breakfasts, snacks, lunches and afternoon meals offered on campus. Food grown in the Living Lab is prepared for the students--my son even eats some of it. Given that my son begins many days on campus at 6:30-7am for basketball, and often ends his day after 5:00 for sports or other activities, I'm relieved to know he will not go hungry. We couldn't ask for a more positive beginning to our son's high school journey.
The math program is challenging if you don't already have a great grasp of mathematics, but my son seems to be excelling in all of his classes. The environment is competitive and students with drive can succeed here. Athletes are provided with additional academic support including weekend study halls. The athletics program is very disciplined and the coaches are passionate. However, their skills and coaching styles vary. My son hasn't been exposed to any drugs or alcohol on campus and he has a pretty big and diverse friend group. There are teachers (and students) that he likes more than others, but that's normal for any school. Overall this has been a pretty good experience for my freshman and he's looking forward to taking on more advanced placement courses, running for student office and hopefully making the varsity football and basketball teams his sophomore year.
Horrible mathematics department. I'm not sure what I'm learning. I feel as though the math teachers do not genuinely care about your success. It is definitely not worth the money. However, I do enjoy the social aspect of the school. The English is superb as well as the Social Studies and the Science Department. I would recommend sending your child here if they're naturally good at math. Otherwise, you will face problems. The work load is manageable but when there is lack of quality teaching, it becomes stressful. I've made some decent friends and have also encountered duplicitous people. Great learning experience.