My daughter started in 4th grade and loves it. The teaching is much more interesting than in the Public School (she came from an A+ rated school in Tampa). The teachers are wonderful and the administration seems receptive.
I've lived and travelled all over the world and attended top rated private schools in the American and British systems. This school is amazing. I have three kids, two in upper division and one in lower division. The faculty at Berkeley go the extra mile so that every kid feels special, known and understood. That's an often missed foundation upon which to build academic learning. The school's academic qualifications are well known. Beyond academics, what I love about Berkeley is the way it focusses on the whole person, not just the academic development. We used to be in IB, but my child was doing homework until very late every night and had no time for extracurriculars. My child was growing academically, but what about the rest of her education? Berkeley has a no cut sports program and strongly encourages participation. The homework is not so heavy that kids can't take part in a few of the hundreds of clubs and groups. The result is a well-rounded, mature individual. You'll notice it immediately when you walk through upper division. The kids treat adults with respect. These are things you won't see in the brochures.
My child has attended Berkeley's lower division for two years now. She transitioned from another private school out of state, and had quite a bit of work to do to catch up to Berkeley's rigorous academic pace and standards of conduct, but the faculty and staff stood ready to help us equip her for the transition, and worked with us in order to help her to maintain her progress at home. The teachers are all eager to help students succeed. They work diligently to find interesting ways to present complex material. In my experience, more is expected of the parents here than at other schools-- I think this is a key to a child's success that is often overlooked elsewhere. There are adequate opportunities for parents of both genders to actively volunteer. The school trains its students to be leaders, and the children have a great example in Headmaster Seivold his faculty, his staff, and the many alumni that actively work to maintain and improve this school.
Experience is tied to expectations. At least this is how we have approached our experience with Berkeley. If your expectation is that your child will receive a rigorous college preparatory education, that your concerns will be listened to by a strong and caring faculty and administration, that your child will be held to high standards in academic performance and personal behavior, be provided with wonderful opportunities and leave the school with lifelong friends and connections, then this school is for your child. If your expectation is that you get to call the shots, that your child is perfect, that he or she could never break any rule, that his or her failings are someone else's fault, that he or she should be shielded from consequence of any kind, then this school is definitely NOT for you. In our experience (we have had children go through all three divisions), the vast majority of Berkeley parents are supportive of the school's mission and 'get it' about their child's strengths and weaknesses, the way the school staff are committed and dedicated to helping their child grow as a person, and what a privilege (not a right) it is to go to a school like Berkeley.
Definitely the best school in the Tampa Bay area. The community is tight knit; it is truly like an extended family. The teachers truly care about each student - they get to know them as people, love them for who they are and play to each child's strengths. With the competitiveness of the college process today, it is imperative that each child is known for their own individual qualities. The school takes its time making sure that each child has an appropriately successful outcome. There is nowhere else I would have my son in all of Florida
Of the reviews already written, it is obvious that Oct. 27, July 30, and May 30 were written by the same person: the same complaints, the matching word usage, repeated incorrect capitalization. You cannot please everyone. This is the best school I have ever seen. Perfect, no. Best in the southeast of the USA, yes. The talented and respectful students have wide opportunities. The supportive parents encourage the visionary faculty. The leaders never rest. The alumni return frequently to express their appreciation. Here is a glowing tribute: one hundred percent of all employees have given to the annual campaign for five consecutive years. The Berkeley community is a close knit family.
A recent grad, Berkeley opened up a world of opportunity for me. I came from a public school in CT, and never had been exposed to many opportunities. When AP testing came, I was prepared. Never once did I feel overwhelmed during the college application process. I never felt out of place. This school caters to each individual student; no one feels lost. The faculty and staff truly care about your well-being and your future. Maybe some other reviewers have had bad experiences with the school, but I truly believe that is an abnormality at that school. I loved my five years there (8th grade to graduation) and so did my brother, who was against moving to Florida in the first place, as he was moving in his junior year. He is currently interning at Goldman Sachs in New York, and continually, like me (studying biomedical sciences at a top research institute in Florida) states that he would not be where he is today without the support of Berkeley. Even years after graduating, we find ourselves returning to our school for the advice of past teachers. Please consider Berkeley. It's a great school: amazing teachers, happy students, and a deserving reputation other schools can only dream of.
I have never seen a more comprehensive curriculum. The students, faculty and administration are confident, capable and committed to excellence in everything they do. I have found the families and school community to be friendly, generous and supportive. I am extremely pleased that my child is attending such an outstanding institution.
This school has done an amazing job at building the public perception and fooling the community. It s a fancy school with an abundance of dysfunction. There is bullying, social engineering (implemented via teachers and faculty), and limited opportunity for parent-student involvement. Your child will receive an education (in the LD and MD) equivalent to the public schools (students use the same exact books and curriculum as the South Tampa public schools). It s a private school that bases its curriculum on meeting the FL state standards. Differentiation is a catch phrase they know parents love to hear (it s not implemented correctly). The UD Merit Scholars and Ivy graduates are not the lifers (it s certainly not published and I assume they attract/grant scholarships to these new UD kids for the school press ). The administration loves using clich s and holding pep rally type meetings; they will NEVER recognize or address serious issues. It is a VERY political school! Be cautious of your purchase (your student may be a full tuition seat-filler )!
I attended Berkeley and then went to one of the best universities in the country. My college results would not have been the same had I gone to Plant or Tampa Prep. While I was in high school, I worked very hard, and, although my parents were not "old boys," the administration always treated my family well. My two cents for all the parents looking for schools: Berkeley is the best you'll find in the Tampa Bay area. There will always be a few parents who claim that an institution is "political." This one isn't.
This school is not the best school in the area! Please talk to others that attend the school before sending your child. My son attended the school for 3 years (middle school). While attending the school, he earned Dean's List recognition EVERY grading period AND athletic awards for ALL of the various sports that he played. In spite of his success, he was still treated unfairly as it related to discipline (minor infraction) and was subjected to the inappropriate behavior of other students that went unpunished because of their parent's status at the school. Any child with a "real" sense of justice will have huge problems with the preferential treatment that is given to some of the students. The students are keenly aware of what is happening. In regard to the quality of education, most of the teachers (particularly in mathematics) do not teach but rather issue assignments. Because my son was bright and able to easily pass the testing required for acceptance, he did well. But, his skills did not improve while he was there. In addition, this school routinely retains its lower school (elementary) students. Why? Ask them about that! See beyond the fluff and ask the hard questions.
This school is not for everyone. Be careful to talk to people that go there and get the real scoop of what the school is like first. It is a very politically run school. If you are an old boy or old girl I agree the rules are different for those children. It should not matter who your parents are as you paid the same amount of tuition as the other person. This school does not care about their students. It is all about money and their reputation. Be sure to ask them how many students a year get suspended or kicked out and that should answer a lot of questions. I would never recommend this school to anyone.
This is a great school and far exceeded my expectations. We have a forth grader that started this year and it has been a great experience.
THIS IS PART 5. Those schools are no Harvard, but I don't know very many high schools [if any] where a student can get suspended twice and still get into those schools listed! By the way- this friend's family has never made any contribition toward the school, or any large donation for a new building. So even if money was a factor in this case, get over it. If we stay out of trouble we don't have to deal with that. As for the person who sent his/her child elsewhere for high school, I'm sorry you took your kid out of the best school around here because he/she didn't get the coaches award. Your loss, not Berkeley's. No harsh feelings in any of this- just the truth. I LOVE BERKELEY. GO BUCS!!!!!!!!
This school does not live up to it's reputation. There is a complete and unfair bias at this school. This is the first time as a family we have ever experienced racisim. Yet the school claims they are accepting of all enthnicity and religion. This is not true. There are two different sets of rules for certain people when it comes to discipline. If you donate huge amounts of money to the school or your parent is on the board, the school will look the other way. Even if that child has been charged with three felonies. This school's SDC committee violates your child's rights by not allowing a parent to be present. The school will force parents to withdraw their children if your child does not fit into their nice little box of what they want. The school will act harshly on some issues yet turn a cheek to others. It depends again who you are at the school. If you dare send your child to this school be prepared to fork over a huge tutition and a huge donation if you want your child to remain at this school. The school is a complete joke if they call themselves educators.
This is my daughters first year at the school as a freshman and unfortunately the school does not meet it's reputation. I heard so many good things about the school but because my daughter absolutely hates the school, we are currently looking to move her. The teachers speak to the kids in such a rude and disrespectful way I was truly amazed. I was expecting an atmosphere where there was mentoring, character building, and there is none of that. They just push for grades and with of homework. My daughter is a bright student who made the deans list, but the atmosphere is just terrible so we will be leaving.
My oldest son started at Berkeley in the 08-09 year in K. At the fall assessment, he was reading at 1.5 grade level. He is now at a grade 2 level. The individualized attention is awesome. The teachers and staff are very caring and involved. My youngest will start PreK in 09-10. In addition to great academics, there are numerous opportunities for parents to be involved. The few concerns I've had have been addressed in a timely fashion. There is no better school in this area. It is well worth every penny. All of my expectations have been exceeded!
Wonderful school. Great leadership from the administration. Strong faculty dedicated to helping each child fulfill their potential. Best school in the area.
It was the best time of my life. I felt extremely ready for College, and really appreciate everything Berkeley did for me, including the morals and ethics that Berkeley instilled within me. The academic integrity, friendships, and atmosphere at Berkeley will be with me throughout my life.
My son started Berkeley as a sixth grader and is now entering the eighth grade. He has had top shelf teachers who kept me abreast of any concerns and were always willing to take extra time to ensure his success. The staff is from very varied backgrounds and each showcases their uniqueness. The administration stays involved in the goings on on campus and knows each student well. When it was necessary to address a situation that came up, they were fair and effective at addressing it. The office staff is very informative and patient. I am fortunate to be able to afford to have my child attend Berkeley and feel that I am absolutely getting my money's worth. The same education in the Northeast would cost $10,000 more per year. Most importantly, my son has made friends with truly great kids. Some really good men are on the horizon.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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