This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted October 02, 2014
- a community member
the campus is amazing, and so is the networking and social connections for the children and the parents. There is a lot of old southern money at Lovett, so be prepared, the students and parents can be cliquish. I have heard rumors of some not so PC treatment of minorities, perhaps out of ignorance. Like assuming an african american parent was a server at a fundraiser. Lovett is a great status school, and children do have access to amazing materials and opportunities. Just be aware of what you are getting into with the non academic aspects.
My son has been there for half a year and so far it exceeds our, and more importantly his, expectations. He is genuinely excited to get out the door. He loves all his teachers and takes advantage of many of the after school programs. The whole student approach is not a marketing tag line as they spend real effort to insure he gets life lessons in topics that matter but aren't typically taught.
We have two children here since kindergarten. They are now 7th and 4th graders. Both my kids love the school, teachers, social environment (we are not Caucasian). Both are thriving academically. We were advised by people in our community to apply them at Westminster for more challenge. My kids never want to leave Lovett. One of our kids took a test for gifted students and WAY outperformed some of the Westminster kids that took the same test (I know because the same people that told us we should transfer were bragging about their kids score, even though ours were much higher). So bottom line is that send your kid to whichever school as long as it has a solid reputation and your kids are happy. The rest is YOUR kids personality. All school have some strong points and some not so strong. But the best "schooling" is done at home...these places are there to build on that.
The negative reviews around oppression, conformity, narrow-mindedness are all correct. This school has been this way for decades and from friends currently there has not changed since we sent kids there in the 80s.
My son has attended Lovett for 3 years and started as a kindergartener. Lovett has high expectations AND gives lots of support ie: reading and writing tutorials after school. I am a teacher and have taught third grade-my son comes home with independently done work that my 3rd graders couldn't do. In addition, they have great character development classes, science classes, art, drama, etc., etc. We are thrilled with this exceptional liberal arts education! The only down side are the monthly "materials" charge-the notebooks, markers, books, etc. are around $100 per month...really?
This is an oppressive school; there is a STRONG instance on white, male-driven conformity. Girls are "girls": long hair, pretty, thin, will make good wives. Boys are men: leaders, decision-makers. They've also had a revolving door of children of color for years. Administrators implicitly communicate that admission is a "gift" for non-white families. We paid for 3 kids for 6 years and were treated like guests. Once there the burden for diversity is placed on the families. They ask children & parents to represent at open house or to give a speech in chapel, like props. Most diversity "efforts" exclude the majority of the school (whites). Admins held an evening meeting for non-white families ONLY to "give tips" on how to help their children succeed. It's the culture, not the child. Another ex. of managing vs authentic engagement with full community: Admins created student groups by race lead by black teachers ONLY, taking kids from lunch & class to talk & support each other as if they are the crux of the issues. It was like AA for children of color, their confessional. Like AA, their issues and complaints never left the room. In an increasing diverse U.S., they have a long way to go.
The highest values at Lovett are conformity and class consciousness. Putting your child in this oppressive and stressful environment just when they should be developing confidence and intellectual curiosity is a huge mistake. Students constantly compare houses, cars and vacations. Resentment from the underpaid teachers toward these children of privilege is palpable and they treat the students with hostility and contempt. The administration turns a blind eye to this and focuses instead on 'green initiatives, raising money and capital improvements. Many teachers are sub-par and don't use proper spelling or grammar. Most of the kids are at Lovett because they couldn't get into Westminster, which is down the road, and the institution has a real inferiority complex about the issue. An inordinate amount of energy spent on the under-performing football team, who is regularly beaten by small public schools without nearly the resources. During the civil rights movement, Lovett denied admission to the son of MLK, Jr. and now the institution is racked with guilt and spends a great deal of time with self-flagellation and political correctness. The result, very few high-achieving alumni.
What planet is the parent on that says Lovett students are there because they couldn't get into Westminster? One that wanted her child to go to Westminister and didn't get in? Westminster is a great school. So is Lovett. They offer different things to different people and that is the beauty of it. My children don't spend their time comparing cars, houses and vacations. They enjoy all the other students, regardless of their background --- something they learn at home. One child isn't athletic but finds lots of other school activities to be involved with. The teachers as a whole are great. Every school will have some teachers who aren't up to par with others. Tainting them all is absurd and unfair. The campus is limited in its building footprint. Some of the buildings are/were very old and it would be more expensive to renovate than build from scratch. You obviously had a bad experience and that is unfortunate. But throwing all students and faculty "under the bus" is immature at best.
First let me say that Lovett is a great school. Your child will enjoy being there. There are a lot of activities, extra curriculars, etc. The curriculum is very challenging. It is advanced and the work load can be quite heavy at times. The headmaster is terrific, open minded and available. My only issue is with the middle school - some great teachers, some not so great. There were a lot of middle school changes made this year, so hopefully things improve. The upper school is said to be terrific. If your child graduates Lovett, he/she will most likely be very prepared to do well in college. More diversity would be nice in terms of the student body and staff. It is a great school although it is not right for everyone.