I had a great high school experience at Bolles. I see a lot of reviews mention things that I never encountered at Bolles. One reviewer said that it is hard for minorities at Bolles, but as a minority with many friends of various ethnicities, I never once felt that I stood out or had to try harder to fit in. Many reviewers mentioned socio-economic status and wealth, but, once again, I never once saw that. I loved my experience at Bolles and I think that it pushes your academic abilities so that you can be the best that you can. College was a breeze, and I thank Bolles for that!
This naturally varies by department.... Masters degrees are the minimum educational requirement and Bolles employs the largest number of PH.D. Educated faculty in this city. Having said that, the teachers have to tolerate and large amount of arrogance and willful disobedience among a wealthy "could care less" student population ! Faculty also has very little power here as in MOST public schools these days
There is an Honor Court... But like many of the school rule scenarios, there is no real power by this student driven Honor Court to effect a change or administer disciplinary measures for rules that are broken including drugs and drinking and cheating
Coming from another state we enrolled our son in Bolles 4 years ago after reading about all the nice things it had to offer. But soon we realized it was a big mistake. Although the school offers advanced learning in every field, it’s social environment is very challenging. It transformed our son from a happy, confident child into someone gloomy and diffident. He would come home sad and started having nightmares about going to school. The school along with the families promote a cliquey environment and favor their own people, it gets even worse for minorities. Even though our son is extremely bright academically, he was constantly picked on by the teachers, one even called him a cheat and one would purposely ignore him till the very end of the class session to mount up pressure on him. The homeroom teacher would constantly evaluate our socio-economic status and at some point asked us if our house was big enough to accommodate a study area for our son. We pulled him out after a year, although wish we had done it much earlier. Within a year, the school was successful in ripping out my child’s self-esteem, which I believe can be quite damaging in the long run. Glad it’s all over now and my son doesn't want to keep anything that reminds him of Bolles, not even the yearbook! Bolles was definitely not our cup of tea!
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."