I'm currently in grad school studying computer science, but went to Bolles for middle and high school. I frequently thank my parents for sending me there, as it prepared me academically for college. The first 2-3 years of college were significantly easier than high school. Academics are the only area where I will praise Bolles. The social atmosphere at Bolles was brutal and certainly not helpful as I was growing up. Money and who has it is at the forefront of pretty much everything, from the school's response to honor code violations to who hangs out with who. The teachers are varied - some are awesome, some are of the "teach yourself" variety, either way you'll learn because the standards are high. For better or worse, that helped me when I got horrible "read the slides" professors. My parents gave up a lot to send me to Bolles, and I do think they made the right decision. Keep your kids feet on the ground, expose them to life outside of the Bolles bubble, and they'll do do great at Bolles.
My son came in in the 8th grade this year.. It has been an amazing experience. The culture for excellence is making him a great leader and honestly he loves it. I am looking to have all three of my children to attend next year. We are greatly pleased. It is a champion culture with loving staff.
My son is new to Bolles this year. He attends the Whitehurst Lower School Campus. Coming from Catholic schools as the youngest of three, we weren't sure what to expect. What we have encountered is a loving, safe, friendly and challenging environment that makes me proud and happy to have him attend. When we asked him what he thought of his new school he said that he absolutely loved it and he felt the teachers loved him back. The school has a reputation as one for only wealthy students. I can report that there is a wide mix of student types and socioeconomic circumstances represented at Bolles. The education is top notch and we are very happy to have our child there.
As a parent of two current Bolles students, I feel compelled to correct many of the inaccuracies, in previous reviews. Both of my children absolutely love this school. They love the rigorous academics, the outstanding facilities, the excellent engaged teachers, and the emphasis on developing the total student. (academics, arts, sports, community service) Bolles is a college prep school in the truest sense. It constantly challenges students to reach for the stars, demanding a certain amount of independence and self sufficiency, while always being ready to assist in any way. Is it for every student? Definitely not. It's much tougher academically than any of the Duval County Public schools, and this includes all Duval County magnet schools, of which both my children previously attended. If your child is average, or used to getting by giving average effort and commitment, then save your money, and stay away from Bolles. They would surely be quickly overwhelmed, and you will be unhappy. For that, Bolles makes no apologies. But, if you have a bright, talented, hard working student, who's looking for opportunity, challenge, and personal growth, look no further then BOLLES!
I will be a junior this upcoming semester at Bolles, and I have attended Bolles since 7th grade. Honestly, I have no complaints at all about this school. Most of the people are more than friendly (of course it has its few, as every school does...but all you have to do is avoid them). The teachers and staff could not be more helpful and friendly. The only time it seems as though they aren't helping you is when they really want you to work on your own and be independent. As for the review that claimed that Bolles allows smoking in the dorms and does not enforce policies, you cannot be more wrong. Bolles is very adamant about following school policies and they enforce them constantly. Many people think that Bolles is only a place for "rich brats", but I can tell you that I am definitely not rich even though I attend Bolles, and many of the "rich brats" are not brats at all. Bolles houses and teaches some of the nicest most giving people I have ever met. in fact, the people I met at Bolles are much more welcoming than anyone I met when I was at public school.
My son started Bolles last year, and loves the school. He is a boarder and he has been welcomed by the other students since the first day. He is highly involved in sports (swimming) and his grades have improved a lot since he started the school. He is actually challenged, and his self-esteem and enthusiasm to do well have increased every day he has spent at the school. It is a very expensive tuition, but worth every cent. I wish I could afford to send my other two kids there as well.
This will be my first year Bolles i have not even stepped foot in a classroom but have already been to multiple sports practices and meet most of the girls and i already love the atmosphere there and i would recommend sending your child here.
It's an okay school. They have a good sports department. The social atmosphere left a negative impact on my daughter.
I have to point out that the majority of bad reviews from this school are coming from the parents. I feel that is not right. I attended Bolles EK-6th grade, and I am returning for my senior year. I recently toured the school. The faculty and students welcomed me back with open arms, and all were very friendly. People say Bolles is known for having stuck up kids... I find that is said mainly by those who think that students with the high level of manners that Bolles students have are stuck up. I do not think there is a school that could prepare me better for college than Bolles. The headmaster is one of the friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Please ignore these negative parent reviews, they either send their children to rival schools (Bolles is very competitive) or their children had a bad experience. Bolles is not for everyone, but if it does fit, go with it. Best school I ever attended.
If you're considering this school, here are a cuple tips. Ask for SAT scores. Ask which colleges accepted 2011 graduates. Ask what percentage of staff are Bolles grads. Finally, Google news stories about Bolles students.
School is very hard, teachers treat you like garbage, and coaches ignore you. This school is a JOKE.
I went to public school for freshman year, then back to Bolles. The biggest downside is definitely the very expensive tuition. The public school I went to was an "A" school and also known to have plenty of "rich snobs." Comparing the two schools, I can say that Bolles' regular level classes are much more challenging than the public school's honors classes; colleges know this. Many Bolles graduates move on to Ivy League and other top-tier colleges. I will also say that social enviroment is much friendlier and academically-focused than that of a public school. There are still some party-ers but also a considerably fewer amount of druggies. As for what the parent was talking about with the boarders... well, every boarder that actually speaks English and makes any effort to be a part in the community at all is completely well adjusted.
I was going to write a thorough review but I am limited to 150 words. I will hit the high points. -I attended Bolles for many years. -Elementary school is not worth the money. In middle and high school... -English/athletics education is excellent. -Math/science education is average. -The general culture of the school is warped and superficial. Money runs the campus. Those with a lot of money can get away with a lot more. -If your daughter does not conform to the superficial standards of catty Bolles' girls then she will be a social outcast. It is not so bad for boys. -They have a bad habit of hiring former Bolles graduates and family members of current staff members who may not be the most qualified for the job. -Some students study hard, while many party hard. -Graduates will leave the school very sheltered.
I have 3 children that attend Bolles...one in lower school, middle school and one in upper school. All three children have attended Bolles since Pre-Kindergarten and we have been extremely pleased with their progress. The academics and athletics are extremely rigorous and Bolles may not be a fit for a child. that is non competitive or anxious child. It just so happens that my children thrive in that type of environment. The advisor communication in both the uppaer middle school is great and I love that the fact that the teachers are availabe for extra help every morning for zero hour. The Lower School is wonderful too. The only flaw is that it is lacking in state of the art facilities/technology. Overall, there is no school that can exceed Bolles in providing opportunities for outstanding academics, athletics, fine arts and community service.
I attended Bolles for 9 years, graduated, and now am a senior in college. This school prepared me in every way acedemically to excel in college. Bolles' emphasis on writing really helped me during my college years. As I am now applying to graduate schools, I realize that being assigned a college counselor in my 11th grade year there was an amazing service I took for granted. The only downside to Bolles is that it is a very sheltered community and does not prepare you for the diverse atmosphere large universities have. I urge students to become involved in activities outside the Bolles community. It is true that students are not treated equally at Bolles. As a student, it was obvious that your parents' wealth was directly proportional to how much you could get away with. However, that's life and the academic background Bolles provides you with cannot be matched.
We have 2 students at Bolles and we are very pleased. This school turns out very well rounded students ready for college curriculum. The academic rigor is very, very high--and 2-3 hrs of homework for our middleschooler is about avg. Our highschool student has about the same amount, maybe more with all the AP classes. Besides academics, Bolles offers every student options in sports, fine and performing arts and community service. Most students try new things and find a passion in a sport or arts option that is entirely new to them. Our students are getting an outstanding education and taking advantage of the opportunities to grow at Bolles. It is a financial commitment but financial aid is available. Students that leave, do so because they cannot compete at the academic level or because they are invited to not come back because they are behavior problems. Bolles has high standards.
I'm now in college, but I went to Bolles a few years ago. Pros: Excellent teachers, beautiful campus, great athletic facilities, lots of school spirit, and the boarding students are all Olympic caliber swimmers from around the world Cons: The Honor code is a joke at this school, it doesn't apply to the super wealthy kids who's parents donate, or kids who have connections on the board of trustees. Football players are also pretty much immune from discipline as well. Also, Bolles has the 'every class, every day' schedule. Eight classes every day @ 45 mins each. This doesn't prepare students for the long lectures and big papers that await them in college.
Superb school with a physical plant that would rival most colleges and universities. While there were a few merely average teachers at the middle school, the teachers at the Whitehouse lower school and the San Jose upper school have uniformly been nothing short of exceptional! A number of the teachers even have doctorates. The school focuses not only on academics but also on sports, and a very high percentage of students play at least one organized sport. If your child is not an athlete, though, there are other avenues in which he or she can excel: theatre, band, service clubs, etc. Each high school student is assigned a 'college counselor' in 11th grade (separate from the regular academic counselor), and many graduates go to elite colleges and universities.
My child attended this school for two years. The academics were good. The administration had priorities in the wrong place. The campus is nice. The students also are not treated equally.
Small class size. The social climate at this school was difficult. This school is geared for students who excel in sports.
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