This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 20, 2013
- a community member
I am a current senior at Stratford, and couldn't have asked for a better place to attend school for 14 years. Stratford Academy is by far the best school in Macon. The academics are unbeatable- and the faculty and staff provide an atmosphere that, although extremely rigorous, makes you WANT to succeed. The athletics are outstanding, and each sports team becomes like a family throughout their season. Although I am not a member of the band or arts department, I absolutely wish I was! They have so much fun and always do so well, whether it's pumping up the football fans on Friday nights or putting on the Winter Musical. Socially- some reviews say that it's so hard to fit in at Stratford, but I have to completely disagree. There's a place for everyone. It may take time, but everyone finds their niche here. Students that come to SA from other private schools in Macon always tell me that they're so surprised at how kind, loving, and accepting the Stratford community is. Sure, there are "mean girls and guys" but you'll find those at any school. I would feel comfortable having a conversation with anyone in the school because everyone just gets along. It's SO great to be a Stratford Eagle!
Academically Stratford is by far the best school in middle Georgia. Socially it is great, but the girls are very cliquey, as a guy I don't have to deal with this, and have I have friends that are athletic and somewhat nerdy, and they all have many friends in and outside of their groups. However every year there is always an new antisocial student with overbearing parents that blame everything on the school and other children. Due to this those particular students being antisocial and their parents trying to be involved in everything, they are shunned because if any student accidentally hurts there feelings, the child will go home and tell their parents who will start something entirely to big. Usually these students only attend Stratford for only one or two years. The teachers are mostly great, and want to test you, while making sure you succeed. There are a couple of teachers that shouldn't be teaching at the level that they are and should be moved to a lower grade, while others should do the opposite. The college office should be expanded, my brother recently finished with a 3.7 GPA and 1290 SAT and struggled to get into UGA, while friends from other schools got in with 3.5 1120
Stratford has great academics, but the only students who do well are the ones that have the social connections and have been attending for most of their life. There is no diversity here, and if you don't fit the standards of what the students believe to be acceptable, you will be bullied. As a student here, I do well academically but since I don't fit the social standards I am considering transferring to Howard. It also seems as if the administrative staff care more about the color socks someone is wearing, or dress code violations, and choose to let bullying occur. Even though this school has virtually no violence, the students are relentless if there's something about you that they don't like, and the staff ignores this and instead focuses on the most nitpicky things. This school is only good for those who have been attending for a long time and who fit the standards of other students. The school has a terrible atmosphere.
Great academics- loving, caring, and dedicated teachers. My child has had great experiences with them.Students are really pushed to excel. The social atmosphere can be rough, mainly for newcomers and minorities. And yes, kids can be brutal! However, in the past few years, there has been a remarkable positive shift in administrative efforts at integration- a lot more awareness and efforts to discuss global cultures. The Global Forum has done wonderful things. The Internationa Dinners and the multi-cultural holiday celebrations have been fabulous! What is adding strength to the school community is the increasing number of culturally diverse students and parents being welcomed into the Stratford family. The dynamics are slow to shift but change is now very obvious. Also, it is not always the school's job to to mend everything that is wrong. It is equally important for all parents to enlighten their children of the vast and culturally diverse world around them that is waiting to be explored! Narrowmindedness will persist as long as parents don't educate themselves first in order to teach their children about the beautiful world around them. We all have a responsibility towards that.
As a Stratford graduate, I can easily say it is the best private school in Georgia outside of Atlanta. Student placement in colleges exceeds that of any other school in the area. In my grade alone, we had students attend Harvard, Brown, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Columbia, along with many major state universities. Our academics are extremely vigorous, the teachers very caring, experienced and intelligent. Our sports program is excellent as well, with many brand new, top notch facilities. The campus feels like a college campus, and is spacious and beautiful. While many say it's socially hard here, I came to this school not knowing anyone right before middle school, and made many great lifelong friends. Not being affiliated with any church/religion means it IS actually more diverse than other schools in the area, as I had friends who practiced Judaism, Hinduism, and many different denominations of the Christian faith. Very proud to be a Stratford alum!
Although this school preforms wonderfully in the academic and athletic arenas, it is an all too true example of how narrow mindedness and lack of diversity in the student body can effect inter-student relationships. As a previous student at Stratford Academy, I can personally vouch for the brutal cliques that form at private schools, more importantly, Stratford. If you as a student, or your parents are not friends with the right families, families mind you, not people, you will find yourself ostracized and left out of many opportunities and events. I transfered to the academy in first grade and by fourth grade had learned which people had which connections and that i lacked them. Fortunately, I transfered to a public school during high school and received an equal education in the Honors/AP program there. The only thing it lacked from Stratford was the standoffish attitude possessed by the administration, students, and alumni parents. I would fully reccomend this school, if you have the right social connections; otherwise, expect your child to be ostracized.
A school should be reviewed relative to its local competition. There are several good private schools in Macon, but when you looks at the balance of staff quality, staff commitment to student /family, extra curricular activities and family/alumni involvement this is an excellent school. The school produces the highest number of AP Scholars in the area and places more students in the top 25 colleges than all the others combined. The school is commited to student opportunity/inclusion and this policy is enforced from the highest levels of the administration. We have two children who graduated from another Macon private school and our youngest is at Stratford and the academic quality and nurturing environment are remarkably superior here.
Very close minded community. Students who are not athletic or come to the school as a transfer will find it hard to get by. The teachers are wonderful, but the social atmosphere is horrid. Diversity does not exist here.
My experience with Stratford has been 50/50. Academically the school is supreme and for the most part the teachers seem to really 'care' and be very involved with the student(s). I would advise parents seeking for a Macon private school not to make a hasty decision. Stratford has a great reputation but 'buyer beware'....do your research before enrolling your precious ones.