I have been reading some of the negative comments and cannot believe we are talking about the same school. I love the school. I have three children attending and all of them love the school, as well. You would be hard pressed to find a better education in this city. Contrary to earlier comments, they do NOT increase class size over 20, teachers are not harsh toward the children, and they do not just admit anyone whose parents can line their corporate pockets. Ask the people still on the waiting list. Is the headmaster warm and fuzzy? No. He is busy growing our school and he doesn't suffer fools. He does, however, care about our children and their learning, safety and welfare, which is what we are paying him to do. Another comment suggested that most parents are unhappy and that is absolutely false. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
This school has a small bullying problem in the high school. The high school staff does nothing about it, except as a talk with the bully/bullies, tells them they are not allowed to attend/participate in an event/activity, etc., that lasts for a week, and then the school forgets about it. If it is the same bully, I believe the school should have an idea and should have a firmer disipline policy.
Having attended pvt international schools in Europe and Asia, I feel 100% at home sending my child here. The Midwest can be quite insular culturally and this school offers the 'full' international experience, both academically as well as culturally. Children thrive at this school because they are exposed to a challenging curriculum in an international environment. And children are remarkably more adaptive and open-minded than the parents that have posted the negative comments here surrounding the British admin and staff. I believe that these 'customers' are in culture shock. They want the benefits of a world-class education system, without the strain of adapting to other cultures. Anyone that has done business internationally knows the British have a different style of communication than Americans. Learning to navigate cultural barriers is an asset that your child will automatically pick-up here. This school is exactly what Chicago needs and we're excited about it's growth.
The school is neither as good nor as bad as the reviewers suggest. The quality of teaching is the big positive. My kids seem way ahead neighborhood catholic/public schools, and they have developed a real love of learning. The downside is the school's heavy profit motive and utter lack of understanding of issues that are important to American parents and high schools. As but one example, BSC has no counseling on high school admissions. They do not even give students the types of standardized tests that they need to apply to the City selective admission high schools. The school is also ridicuously expensive. It is funny to see another parent compare the school to Lab, Latin, and Parker because this is exactly how BSC tries to justify its tuition. Lab, Latin, and Parker are some of the most selective schools in the City. BSC takes any kid able to pay.
A friend directed me to this sight and I've been reading with some amusement. I had my children at BSC but switched into Parker. Our personal experience found the classroom environment to be great but the administration horrible, and quite frankly disrespectful to parents. While I agree that one's school choice should be about the children, many families value the sense of community schools foster. Our experience now is rich with a strong sense of community and tradition as well as a focus on community involvement. We found BSC to be souless, maybe due to growing pains or cultural differences. If you are a family that values community you will likely be dissatisfied. As to the comment that schools like Parker, Latin and Lab focus on parent's income and giving above the child, that certainly has not been our experience at Parker, quite to the contrary, we've experienced an incredible attention to each child and their particular learning styles. I agree with previous posts that the school has great potential but is being held back by it's administrators.
We need to be a little bit more objective. I don't believe the school to be either perfect or poor. Of course the school has some areas for improvement. Classrooms can be cramped, there's little outdoor space and the administration can be tetchy. However, that does not get away from its many strengths. It is a good choice if your child is bright and willing to learn. It is a safe, secure learning environment for your child who will have fun with wonderful, motivated little classmates. It has been going for only 6-7 years, and yet in that time it has made an incredible impact in Chicago. It is ranked alongside Latin, Lab and Parker and yet unlike these, focuses on the child and the child's learning rather than how much the parents earn and can donate to various fundraising drives. BSC is one of the best private schools in Chicago.
I am truly shocked at these comments! The education provided by the school is by far the best that I have ever seen, and no other school in Chicago can come close. I can appreciate that security of our children is at the forefront of the school hence the initial requirements of parents not entering the building. I have noticed of late that events are now being introduced so that we can enter the building during the school day. The elementary section of the school is thriving! The school offers many great extra curricular programmes after school which helps us working moms a great deal. The Music and Language school on a Saturday is excellent. My child and I attend French classes together and he takes piano Mini Mozart piano lessons which he loves! I would recommend this school to everyone with kids aged 3 11.
I was directed to this site by another parent who was shocked at the bad reviews. I, too, am surprised. This is a wonderful school--perfect, no, but overall we have been very happy. Some problems have come since a recent (1/08) move to a new location. With new security, there is limited parent access--but I feel they are trying to find solutions to satisfy parents. My children are receiving an outstanding, well-rounded education. The teachers are motivated, energetic and extremely skilled at helping all children attain their potential. There are some communication issues with a few members of the administration, but I do not think any of it has harmed my children's education. Like the last reviewer, I am happy they focus on the children and not the parents--not all schools do. My children LOVE going to school everyday and their education has exceeded our expectations in every way.
At the end of the day, do you choose a school for yourself or your child? This school is fantastic educationally. I have been very impressed with the level the children have attained in all areas. Many of the parents writing the reviews on this site seem to expect that they should be the school's main focus, but instead the focus is actually on the students. What a nice surprise. And good news for my child.
As a long term parent at the school I echo most of the comments shared by the other parents. I however would recomend that you 'do' send your kids to the school as the educational standards are excellent and children thrive at the British School. My child is very happy at the school and is doing very well. I, however, fully support other parent's views on communcation by the school adminstration and leadership. They need to remember that the parent's are customers and be treated as such. Work needs to be done here by the school adminstration and leadership. This IS where the parent's frustration arises. I only hope the leadership learns from these messages. Apart from the communication this is a good school.
Poor leadership of the school limits its potential. Parents are not allowed in the new building. OK for England, but it certainly doesn't work in Chicago.
The school has fantastic qualities such as moticated teaching staff, a good budget and resources and small class sizes. Negatives are the leadership of the school. They can be extremely rude and limit the success of the school as they are not focused on the children's learning but solely on profits. Shame as it could be a good school, but it is simply average under its present leadership.
I have 3 children at the school with different personalities, learning styles and capabilities. I have found the curriculum to be excellent and individualized. The teachers are energized, motivating, talented and really nurturing. I have been very impressed the results and what my children have learned. As with most private is more important than that? The new school transition has been challenging for the staff but they are responding to parental requests. Shocked by some of the other reviews. I know many, many happy families.
One of the best school in Chicago : outstanding curriculum including French,Spanish and Latin and differentiated learning. Caring teachers. Americans might not be used to the European style where parents are less involved and curriculum is more loaded with varied subjects even at a young age. Discipline and respect are also taught. My daughter is learning at her own pace not at all emotionally distressed. But the elite education comes at a very high price tag and unfortunately because of this there is hardly any racial diversity.
The academic standards at this school are vry high. Each child is taught to his/her ability. the teachers are over all enthusiastic and caring of their students. It is a school suoa bit with growing pains but will become a sollid educational choice int he city of c with many fun rogjects
We had very high hopes for this school. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed with the harsh treatment of the children by the teachers and staff and unreasonable expectations from very young children. The cirriculum is notably outstanding, however, we did not believe it was worth the emotional toll on our child. The headmaster and the administration as a whole are authoritarian and patronizing toward parents. It is very unfortunate that there is little availability in private education in Chicago. I would strongly dissuade parents from choosing this school. Many children are unduly stressed and unhappy.
There is no high school here and doubtful that there ever will be one.
My child started at the school in September. His teacher is wonderful and he has a nice group of classmates. The learning and curriculum is rich and we are very pleased. There are some issues regarding parent communication and involvement around entry/exit into the new school. This is an issue, but the the overall education the children are getting should not be overlooked.
Profit not student oriented. Parent interaction is kept to a Minimum. This could be do to the current administration or be a 'British' phenomenom, however, the actions of the school conflict in many ways with the basic tenents of American education. Most parents here are very unhappy with the school but have no where else to go...
Headmaster and senior staff are arogant and rude. Parents have no input here. Chose another school for your children.
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