Andrew Kasprzak, December 13, 2012
As a school, Berwick always appreciates hearing feedback from parents. Berwick is a school that is doing incredible things, yet we are also a learning community committed to always growing and improving. So your comments help to affirm what we do well and think about what we need to be doing better.
My son graduated from BA several years ago. It was one of the best experiences of his life. An above average student, bored in public school, he truly found his calling at BA. From day one, he made new and lasting friendships, enjoyed playing sports and music and looks back at his experience at this school as the basis for his success. Yes, it is very expensive for an average family and we struggled with the costs, yet we would do it again. Our son now has both an undergraduate and graduate degree and is excelling in his profession. He truly could not have done it without the wonderful teachers and faculty who work day and night teaching, coaching and mentoring. Public school would in no way have prepared him for his chosen career. Please take a tour of the school, let your student take a tour without you, and you both need to ask lots of questions. You and your student will get out of it what you put into it. I am the proud mom of a BA Alumni.
Parents, all I have to say is no matter how great you think this school is, it is not. Just because you get contacted by the teachers and are being invited to luncheons at the school, and just because you get a good impression from the faculty, doesn't mean at all that it's nearly as good as what it comes off to be. If you had to spend every day at Berwick as a student, only then would you come to see what this school is really like. It's really not great academically, the school costs way too much for the type of education it gives. It's not worth it, and the vast majority of kids end up going to some pretty bad colleges for people who've paid as much as they have for this private school. Their little program that helps kids get into college is pretty useless. Even if your public school is a pretty shabby one, I would choose it over Berwick any day.
This school is definitely not what it advertises itself to be, and is not what parents think it is. The school overcharges for quality that is barely ahead of public schools. Is $35,000 per year really necessary for this type of school? Especially one that is so obsessed with athletics yet probably wouldn't care if their music/arts department was completely taken out. It's almost an impossibility for any kid to graduate this school and go into the arts or music. And the student who wrote the immature review below PERFECTLY demonstrates what Berwick turns kids into. Is calling everyone who disagrees with you a "fat butthole" really what this school teaches you to do? And also, does this school teach you to ignore all facts and make up your own? Because the snob (typical for Berwick) apparently thinks that every single person who goes through Berwick goes into Harvard while every Public school graduate goes to juve. In reality, about 1 or 2 kids go on to Harvard, while the rest of the kids tend to go to particularly sub-par colleges. And as an additional note, the teachers think it's a good idea to rant about terribly-misinformed and idiotic right wing politics to the kids.
I have to say that if the student who wrote the following review truly is a student then the English department must be lacking. Review also clearly indicates snobbery at the school our child was accepted to. Not sure I want her in an environment like that. "Posted February 14, 2010 I completely love it here!!!! these people on the site are giving it low ratings. whoever the heck you are, I hate your guts. You haven't even been to the school let alone learn there. It is more than 50 times better thn any privite or public school. They do care about their faculty and their students. The only people they don't care about, are the fat old buttholes who have no life other than to sit at the computer and rate schools based on completley nothing. For pete's sake people.... get a life. This school pushes us and makes us learn from our mistakes. They challenge us and encourage safe risks. Public school fattys on the other hand take the easy side of life and end up in juvey or working minium wage at burger king. We'll be the ones who end up in Harvard. get the picture?! Submitted by a student"
I attended BA years ago and found it to be a "new money family's answer to PEA". A lot of the students were smart but not bright enough(or "old money enough" ) to attend Phillips Exeter and so their parents sent them here. That said, it was full of insufferable snobs. Academically, I found that the same classes were offered in my local high school. Why spend a king's ransom when you can get the same thing in your public school?
What they say is NOT what you get. Don't waste your money. The school plays favorites.
I went to Berwick Academy my freshman year of high school. I couldn't have faced a more difficult transaction, even coming from a private middle school. Not only was the work an unbearable amount, but I was presented with students that grew up together in the middle school. Being an outsider was an understatement. I found the students in my grade to be rude, stuck up, and not accepting of new students at all. It was almost impossible to fit in, which made my academics even harder to achieve. I woke up every morning dreading the school day. My parents thought it was a great idea to send me here, but towards the end of the year we decided to move to public school. I am now a senior at a public school, and loving it. I didn't know anyone my first day of sophomore year, but by the second week I had already made tons of accepting friends. A total culture shock. I was amazed. My grades were below average my freshman year, which significantly lowered my GPA. Even though I have been a honor student since sophomore year, my GPA suffers because of my freshman year. I am disappointed with the school. If you want whats best for your child, socially, and academically, do not send them here.
This school is my life. I graduated last year and I couldn't even imagine where I would be without having gone to Berwick for the past 13 years. The faculty are always, and will always, be there for you with anything you need. Your peers are people who will inspire you and push you to work hard, and most will form life-long friendships. Classes are small, which creates a great learning environment where each student can take part. The Berwick community is one so focused on inclusion and acceptance, everyone is comfortable and can be involved. My only regrets involving this school are the few years I took for granted. Now that I have graduated I don't understand why I didn't cherish this school like I should have every day I stepped onto the campus. Berwick Academy is an incredibly special place.
I entered BA as a freshman from a local public school. The difference is vast. A "bad" teacher here is at least average at a public school. Extra help can always be seemed if you are struggling. This school is much better for some students than others. If you are an academically motivated kid who likes small class sizes, this is definitely the right place for you. The only problem(s) happen socially. Since the classes are so small, everyone knows everyones business. The grade is usually socially split between the students who have attended here from the start, and the hockey recruits who normally arrive freshman year. Sports are a big part of the Berwick experience, and varsity athletes are very well liked by the administration and students. But overall, this school has very few flaws and is a great place to send your children.
Berwick Academy is an excellent place for your child to blossom. They have fun, make great friends and the education is spectacular. I have been attending for 3 years now and I love it! GO BULLDOGS :) -Class of 2017
Our child is in the Lower school in their second year loving it. From the moment we toured the campus, to all the teachers, staff, headmaster, principal we have been delighted with the care and sincerity we have found across the board. Even if the campus were only half as great as it is, (the facilities rival some college campuses), it would be a fabulous education and experience. The school is very communicative with parents, Teachers are kind, fun and expect a lot academically and in creating a great learning environment. Athletics are fantastic, equal billing for both girls and boys sports. There are lots of extracurricular programs starting at an early age, like private music lessons, dance or movement class. In the Lower school literacy, math, history, science, art, gym, computer, music and French class are the norm starting in kindergarten. You have the greatest sense that your child is very well cared for. My child has learned so much and looks forward to every day, not something we saw when attending previous schools.
Berwick Academy sadly had declined because of its insular focus. It is dominated by a Dean who is more interested in his own power trip and process than about the students. Check the stats. There is a big dip in the number of students who start high school and the number who finish. Cliches, poor administration and little support for what is really important - the kids. Favortism abounds.
Run, don't walk away from Berwick! The school is a disaster. The schools that are advertised for college admissions are only ones that a few smart kids get into. Rest got to not that great of schools. It's not worth the money. Administration is petty and self-absorbed. Go anywhere but here.
Our child has gone from the Lower and Middle Schools and is entering as a fully prepared Freshman this fall. His public school peers in our hometown are far behind his overall development as a student and as a young adult. Today, his entire grade is off to an overnight orientation campout on a lake in Maine. Extravagant perhaps but, very cool stuff. Contrary to other posters here, our Head of School is open, resourceful and responsive beyond our imaginations. Fair warning, the standards here are strict in this age of mediocrity and tolerance for the lowest common denominator. Consequently, the Berwick administration's approach makes it a safe and drama free atmosphere. The campus and facilities are spectacular and rival any institution in the area. Finally, faculty and staff demand the most from the students and that is the true critical factor that we appreciate as parents.
There is no doubt that Berwick works for some students. There are some very fine and caring teachers. It should not surprise anyone that there are some weak and sadly inept teachers as well. Relatively new administration is surprisingly vindictive , petty, and intolerant towards any hint of difference from the 'norm.' Morale is definitely a problem. Do not go here if you tend toward original thought or want your children to turn out in any manner other than white-bread ordinary. Very poor communication with parents in the upper school. Nice buildings. Definitely not worth the money; it survives because it's the only private, non-boarding facility in a region of poor public schools.
Berwick continues to offer an excellent education K through 12 and provides strong college placement for its graduates. Those seniors who leave find themselves well prepared for college academics.
BA changed my life. I was attending a public school on the way to nowhere and poor grades. I transferred to BA and there I learned the value of hard work and a great education. It really prepared me for college. I had a much easier time dealing with the workload than my fellow classmates in college because of BA. I highly recommend attending if you are given the chance.
I completely love it here!!!! these people on the site are giving it low ratings. whoever the heck you are, I hate your guts. You haven't even been to the school let alone learn there. It is more than 50 times better thn any privite or public school. They do care about their faculty and their students. The only people they don't care about, are the fat old buttholes who have no life other than to sit at the computer and rate schools based on completley nothing. For pete's sake people.... get a life. This school pushes us and makes us learn from our mistakes. They challenge us and encourage safe risks. Public school fattys on the other hand take the easy side of life and end up in juvey or working minium wage at burger king. We'll be the ones who end up in Harvard. get the picture?!
Don't move here then apply. It is a private school. If they do not like your child you will not be welcomed or treated in a respectful professional manner. Your child must be perfect, even at the age of 6.
I attended Berwick Academy and had an amazing experience. I was more than prepared for college after my years at BA, and the excellent and supportive teachers inspired me to pursue my own teaching career.
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