Student leadership is good however if you have money you "somehow" get elected and the student government has little to no power. Administration runs the school based off of fear which isn't good for the faculty or students.
At Berkeley there is this commonly known phenomenon known as the "Berkeley bubble" and what that means is that everything that at Berkeley there is an invisible bubble separating you from the outside world. There is so much wealth at this school that the kids don't even have a concept of money there are multiple people at this school who have wealth in the billions, yes with a B! The administration tries to run the school based off of fear and the idea of an honor code that students are supposed to live by. If you have money or your parents are on the board then you won't get in trouble. One student cheated on an exam and got a stern talking to and another copied one answer on a quiz and got suspended the only difference between these students is that one of their parents is on the board...Pretty much if you have money you are fine. There is a certain guidance councilor who pretends to be everyone's friend so students trust him and tell him gossip that they hear in exchange for candy and cookies among other things and this councilor then tells the dean of students and then people get in trouble for things that end up getting blown way out of proportion like gossip tends to do. However besides the administration the faculty is pretty good besides the fact that most of the teachers are in fear of the administration. Most of the students are bright besides the ones that came in lower school and are dumb but cheating their way through. All in all if you aren't super rich or a genius then you have to watch your back at this school or one little mistake might cost you your spot here.
Great school, great teachers. Due to the nature of my husband's work, our children have attended schools in and out of the USA since kindergarten. We find Berkeley to be a well run school, with great teachers, a solid curriculum and nurturing environment. I am confident they will leave Berkeley well prepared for the challenges of university life.
Fantastic and caring teachers and administrators, greatest facilities, traditions, unifying initiatives. Prepares motivated students for the world's top colleges and universities. Great spirit and wonderful alumni network around the globe.
Our two children both attend this school in lower division. It was so stressful making the "right" decision for their education. I am sure they would of been fine at Mabry but we truly feel we made the right choice. This school is amazing. From the education to the culture to the warm welcoming parent community. This truly is a family and making this decision was one of the best we have made. To the reviews about money, yes the school is expensive and yes there are plenty of people with money, but no one there acts as if they are better then anyone else because of it. This is just an awesome place and the best thing you can do for your children if you live in Tampa Bay.
I attended Berkeley from kindergarten to 12th grade. I am a "lifer" and echo many of the sentiments that are written on this page. Berkeley is an amazing school, with amazing academics and a tight-knit community.
I am now in medical school (at one of the best in the nation) and truly believe I would not be here today if it was not for Berkeley. The teachers at Berkeley were amazing (shout out to Mrs. Deweese, who is THE BEST!). The teachers inspired me to learn, and the curriculum pushed me to have strong study habits. I felt extremely prepared for my AP exams and score a 4 or 5 on all of them, allowing me to enter college with many credits.
I would highly recommend Berkeley to high-achieving, driven, and involved students.
However, that being said, BPS is not for everyone. It is very academically challenging and the student must be willing to put in the work. If the student is not willing to put in the effort, I would say BPS may not be worth it. I know some students who were very stressed about the academics and could not handle the work load. If your child is struggling in school already, BPS may not be the best fit.
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!