My son has been a student at this school for four years now. We have been amazed with the experience and the attention to detail by the staff, faculty, and administration. It is hard to put into words what exactly makes it stand out above the rest, but it comes down to a "feeling." An atmosphere of love and responsibility and a dedication to excellence -- both in terms of academics and character. We are blessed to be a part of this community.
I graduated from this school in 2010 and immediately attended college only to find myself completely and entirely unprepared. I blame myself for obvious reasons, but also I can't help but say that the faculty has some room to grow in the way they teach their students about the real world. It truly is a wondrously fantastic school, but in all honesty the work load was average, and it is an exceptionally secluded "bubble" community. I met some great friends there, and I haven't heard from them since. I stay in touch with some of my old professors and will visit from time to time, only to find out that the students there have become increasingly rude, and spoiled. The student body had always left much to be desired in my opinion. The kids that go there are your typical rich kids with no sense of responsibility and very few of them actually recognize the value of not only their education they so casually dismissed, but the value of a dollar. Myself and my siblings all went/go here on scholarships, and it pains me to know that my siblings come home every day downtrodden because some entitled punk picks on them for not having the latest gadget. The attitude at ODA makes me sick.
Great looking school and great PR and marketing. However, for $14,000 a year in cash you would expect not such a long Thanksgiving vacation topped with some teacher's day off on Monday following such a long vacation. Too many days off for the teachers at the children's expense.
This is my sons 6th year at ODA and this school has really become an extension of home. The staff an extension of family. It is such a warm and nurturing environment, yet the academics are second to none. Wonderful after school activities and great summer camp.
Our twin daughters started at this school when we moved to the area 6 years ago. They were entering 6th grade. I am proud to say they are now entering their senior year. They have loved this school so much, and so have we. The environment is so warm and comfortable. All students are welcomed and appreciated for their particular gifts and talents. And because of the size, they have been able to participate in so many extracurricular activities that they would not have been able to participate in at the larger schools. And most importantly, the academics are second to none!
The Out-of-Door Academy is a wonderful place for kids and families. The caring teachers are the heart and soul of the school. I know they will be life long friends. They genuinely care about every student. My sons look forward to going to school. The challenging curriculum is taught in a warm and nurturing environment. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the ODA community.
My son was a brand new student to ODA last year and we relocated from a large city in the South. Coming from an intense big city private school environment we were not keen on finding an acceptable school but rather a school that achieves excellence. We found it. We are currently at the lower school campus which has buildings dating from the turn of the century to modern day architecture with a central courtyard. The reason I'm mentioning this is because the environment of the outside of the school is indicative of the environment inside the school, which is warm, kind and alive with learning. Just this year my son's teacher told me she felt "lucky" to have been hired at the school some 20 odd years ago and has a love of teaching that knows no bounds. How refreshing from a seasoned veteran of lower school. Our experience has been so profound in general that we are now Ambassadors for the school and are thrilled to personally welcome the many new families coming to Sarasota and Out of Door Academy. On another note, we are a family of mixed faith (Jewish-Christian) and we have felt welcomed and included in every facet of school and social life at the school.
This will be my child's 10th year at Out-of-Door, and I could not have asked for a better experience for him. Even as a middle school student, he loves going to school. He has a wonderful group of teachers who know him intimately, both in and out of the classroom. He is friendly with everyone in his class, and his classmates come from a variety of different countries, cultures, and socio-economic groups. The core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, honesty and service are integrated into everything at the school from the classroom to the athletic field to the stage. We work hard to send him to Out-of-Door, and it is worth every penny. It is an incredible school, and a second home for my son!