My family is newer to the Jacksonville area, coming from a larger metropolitan city. I had heard good things about Bolles and spoke with an admissions representative and toured the lovely campus. The admissions representative I dealt with took quite an unsophisticated approach in questioning my husband and I about our careers, what neighborhood we were considering settling and our family backgrounds. My husband and I both felt that we were being evaluated on our economic status. Further, this representative and another school administrator gave an elaborate dissertation on how many prominent professionals send their children to Bolles. Finally, the admissions representative (maybe with the intention of trying to impress us) shared where she lived and that she is only in this position because it does not require a large time commitment and she is free to travel extensively. These encounters left us with the impression that Bolles places a heavy emphasis on a families socio-economic status. That may be appealing to some families. Not so for us.
I am so pleased with my son's experience here it is everything I've looked for in education. The staff is attentive, dedicated, and hard-working. The coursework is rigorous, but presented in a way that doesn't discourage the students. And the campus is incredibly beautiful. I can't believe my child gets to go to school there.
I was very disappointed when I brought my child into second grade. Every day he would come back crying because the teachers yelled at him or the children were mean. I was also disappointed in the academics. They made sure he did all the sports. When I went to talk to the teachers and principal, they all had an attitude. We left the school right after that year.
The school is very rigorous. Many AP classes.Great variability in the skills and level of passion of teachers. Many teachers pride themselves on being "hard" teachers rather than "great teachers committed to teaching." Although there is zero hour to meet with teachers, many teachers are not willing to help explain the material. Some teachers are excellent teachers very committed to teaching. Others are not. There is SO much homework, it is difficult to fit in social activities and sports. This is a very sports oriented school. If you want your child to spend all night and weekend and holiday breaks and summers studying, this is the place for your child. But all of that homework does not translate into becoming a strong writer, critical thinker or compassionate person. There are many super wealthy elitist kids who go to Bolles as well as many regular kids. There is a strong emphasis on popularity, probably similar to other high schools. Also, do not believe the myth that going to Bolles will get you into an elite college. My point is why should kids be forced to give up their childhoods--why not wait until college to have that kid
My child is a sophomore at Bolles. I am very impressed with this school. Prior to Bolles, we utilized every opportunity in the Clay County gifted program. Even so, the rigor at Bolles is substantially beyond the best the public schools have to offer. The honors classes especially are simply excellent. My son's wit and conversational maturity improved within 2 months of being there. The only concern I have is related to high school in general. If playing sports, my son is truly gone from 6:30am until 7:30pm. I feel as a mom, I'm not done raising him! I need more time. :) The other day, I reminded him he could go to the local public school and be home by 1:45. He said, "But then I couldn't learn like I'm learning now. And nothing's worth that."
I was new to Bolles this year and it has got to be the best school you can attend. First off, people are not "spoiled rich brats" I have met some of the sweetest most down to earth people at this school. For the people saying that athletes at Bolles are stupid and they just get by because they are athletes, you clearly have no clue what you are talking about. Teachers are there to help you, they make themselves available to you and are always happy to help, whether you use that or not, its up to the individual students. Bolles as a community is extremely welcoming and close. Most of my friends went to Bishop Kenny and they all tell me about the upperclassmen hazing the underclassmen, physically hitting them, and verbally insulting them. At Bolles the upperclassmen are helpful and generally very nice. If you want a school that prepares a well rounded student than send your child to Bolles.
I attended this school for one year before transferring to Bishop Kenny. Bolles was over run with rich brats, who all felt they were Gods gift to the world. The classes at Bolles lacked real challenge due to the large amount of athletes who were not smart. I found Bishop Kenny to be a much more accepting, challenging, and and cheaper environment. Students were not treated equally at Bolles, at Bishop Kenny everyone follows the same rules. The students at Bolles have no morals, and are materialistic. The students at Bishop Kenny demonstrate strong Catholic values. Do not waste your money sending your child to Bolles.
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.