This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Berkeley Preparatory School5
Posted November 15, 2014
- a parent
Our 2 children have attended this school for the past 2 years. We couldn't be happier, best school in Tampa Bay Area - especially with regard to academics. Parents and teachers are wonderful people, not "rich snobs" or anything like that. By the way, of the 5 1-star ratings I found on this site for Berkeley, 4 were written in 2011 and sounded very similar. I suspect they were from the same disgruntled parent. Since these reviews are anonymous, we will never know!
Wow... parents talking about how much money they make in reference to school reviews... doesn't sound like the character development this school claims to instill has generalized to the home. Not sure I would want my child exposed to anytthing like that
I toured this school while looking for private education for my three children. Everyone said this was the place to send your children, if you could afford it. While I found the grounds to be nice and the marketing staff friendly, I was put off by what I saw in the classrooms I toured. I spent some time in a first-grade classroom while the teacher was giving a test. She gave the questions verbally, so I was able to hear them. I found her questions to be very poorly constructed and lacking quality. We then went to the science room where a documentary on monkeys was being shown. The students appeared bored and the science teacher disinterested in their level of interest. We then went to the library. The students were being taught how to take notes while reading. Again, the students seemed very disinterested. Several asked to use the bathroom. Notes were being passed. I could tell my tour guide was unhappy with what we were seeing, hardly a good sell for three-children's tuition. I still considered moving forward with the application process, but after reading the literature on the average SAT scores, I chose not to do so. I found the scores and school to be mediocre, at best.
To the last comment about "beening rich and snobby, stay that way". If that's how you feel you must have monsters for children and you are a very sad person. Your comment was the first I seen, and now I will not send my child to that school. I make over 600,000 a year net income and my kids couldn't tell you that. Its about the person you are and what you do for others, Not about wealth. Please write that down.
Super excited to attend Berkley next year ! Sounds like a great school. & person who said there snobby kids. Whatever. It's because were rich and so r u you don't need to stick up for the poor Hun your one of us!! Stay that way !
I attended this school for my last two years of high school and I was very pleased with my progress. The school helped me in all areas of academics because I was certainly lacking when I enrolled. I did not fit in socially but that was not why I was there. I was certainly not among the elite but felt I was treated fairly. I am thankful to all involved in my educational journey. There was one math teacher that was full of himself but he was a good math teacher nonetheless.
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.