This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted January 10, 2015
- a parent
My daughter is a freshman at Barnard College at Columbia University who received straight A's in her 1st semester. I believe going to Ursuline was the best thing she ever did. She didn't start Ursuline until her sophomore year transferring from a public school where she felt students weren't serious about their studies or respectful of their teachers. At Ursuline my daughter was more of a loner but participated enough to succeed and feel part of the Ursuline community. I was recently proud that she chose to go to an alumni event at the school during her winter break to discuss college with members of the Ursuline senior class. I am divorced and didn't have any help with tuition from my daughter's father; however Ursuline worked with me and we received financial help from the school. The great counseling team was supportive and superior in helping my daughter apply to all the colleges and universities she wanted to (18!). Her teachers were patient and supportive with my daughter. My daughter is a self starter and was always on top of what was going on school. She wants to go into the medical field possibly as a doctor.
I have gone to Ursuline for 6 years now, I am currently in my Sophomore year. Over the summer I came to realize that Ursuline no longer cared about how well individual students preformed, it is all about the amount of scholarship opportunities they get in sr. year. I have ADHD, and while in lower and middle school, I got plenty of help. In my freshman year i felt i no longer needed the help from Ursuline, so I stopped asking for it. And this year (10th grade), I began to feel I needed it because of the class load, and I went to administration to ask how I should go about getting a tutor for my classes, and their response was something along the lines of 'That isn't our job.'. Many of our teachers have no respect for us students, I have been sick and in the hospital for three years now, and I never had a problem with making up work, and this year my teachers were so very uncooperative to help me out in any way. The English dept. hasn't held a position for more than two years in about 5 years, If i was to take the SAT English section, I am confident I would fail if I had not gotten extra help on my own. I have decided to leave Ursuline, because I still need assistance.
As an Ursuline grad, I can say Ursuline used to be a great school. Not anymore. Unless your child is perfect, uber organized, never forgets anything, & you, the mom, are driven to be the teachers' pet, then this school is not for you. They have forgotten that their students are still kids & are not perfect. Kids forget things, they make mistakes; everyone does. Ursuline does not allow for those mistakes. They have taken the idea of accountability & put it on steroids. You will not get sympathy or understanding. The curriculum is designed so the girls are buried under homework & have little to no time for outside activities, let alone time with family. And, That s okay. Ursuline needs to stop looking at SATs as the guideline for how & what to teach. Everyone has to take all the basics (& more) over again in college; why not teach the girls how to learn & to enjoy learning. I suggest Ursuline change its attitude. Start being a loving, welcoming, healthy environment again. Love the students, encourage them, & embrace their differences for real instead of just only on the website. These are all smart girls with wonderful potential. Why beat them down to teach them they are strong?
My Daughter just completed her first year at Ursuline High School. She is a very shy, smart girl. At the other schools she has attended she found herself not challenged academically and socially withdrawn. Ursuline challenges her academically and encourages her to open herself more socially. We were very concerned that the school would meet our expectations, but I have to say it has never disappointed us. The principal is absolutely amazing and doing a great job. One last comment, this school is on the cutting edge when it comes to technology which was very important to us. All the kids have laptops and the classrooms are state of the art. This school is expensive but worth EVERY penny for us.
Ursuline provides an excellent college preparatory education to girls. It offers a healthy variety of AP, honors, and art courses. Ursuline has an incredibly challenging curriculum and attracts some of the brightest, most academically competitive girls in the state. The strong academic rigor, the nine AP courses I have taken, the all girls education, and the personal relationships with teachers have enabled me to achieve all of my goals college wise. I am attending one of the most selective liberal arts colleges in the nation. My only gripe with the school is that it places a strong emphasis on memorization and spit-back rather than fostering a deep, intellectual love of learning. While rote review is important for the AP exams and contributes greatly to the students high scores, it can lead to boredom and a lack of desire to learn. Most teachers are at least solid but there are a few that need to be taken care of. The new principal is wonderful in dealing with students and parents and solving problems. I believe it is a wonderful place for any student looking for a serious college preparatory curriculum with the benefits of single-sex education.
Ursuline might sometimes be looked over because of its small size, but in my experience, my daughter could not have picked a better place to go. The teachers are always available to help her, but the school is focused on preparing the students for college. My daughter's classes feature a lot of long-term assignments and independent work. I believe this prepares my daughter well for college and the staff at Ursuline along with the counseling department are all very knowledgable about college expectations. A variety of AP classes are offered. The counseling department takes care of all applications to coleges and other programs and the teachers are always happy to write a reccomendation. The Ursuline reputation means my daughter gets looks from colleges that knoow the Ursuline program an understand that the students graduating will be prepared for college. While my daughter certainly wasn't looking this far ahead when she chose a high school, we are both extremely happy and less stressed about the college process. The new principal is accessble and friendly, and many parents volunteer ther time, an example of the Serviam attitude that surrounds the school.