I am a ninth grade new student and I love Bryn Mawr. I have been to a what is supposed to be the best Baltimore County public school, and was miserable there. At Bryn Mawr, academics are the priority, and the students are interested in learning. The teachers are always willing to help and meet with their students, and really want us to learn. Bryn Mawr has a lot of great tradition, all the girls are really nice, and I have definately learned a lot this year. This isn't a rich girls' school, for a lot of families, education is just a priority. Finally, Bryn Mawr offers it's students so many opportunities from crew, squash, and ice hockey, to chinese, russian, and millions of electives, clubs, and after-school activities. Bryn Mawr is definatly not for everyone, but for girls who love to learn and work hard, it is a great school!
This is a school for wealthy debutantes-in-training. The school has gorgeous campus, but there is not much going on inside the classroom. Lots of movies. Lots of days off. Plenty of trendy curricular fads, such as the awful 'Everyday Math' curriculum (see http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_3_7_03mc.html for more information). But not much emphasis on the basics. Parents who are interested in rigorous academics generally will be much happier sending their kids to a good public school in Baltimore County or Howard County.
My daugter has been a student at Bryn Mawr for 3 years. It is a wonderful school with a focus on academic excellence in a truly nurturing environment. Girls who are very bright and families who put education first do very well at Bryn Mawr.
I have been delighted that my daughter is a student there, but as she has gone through the Middle School, the rigor and quality of her education has dropped. I am worried that she will not be well prepared for the Upper School, where rigor and quality once again matter.
From the Little School through the Lower School, each day our daughter can't wait to go to school. Bryn Mawr helps establish the skills and discipline for these girls to become powerful young women. The academics are rigerous, but the competitive nature is mostly self-imposed. It is not a school for everyone, but a school to develop leaders.
Our daughter has attend the Bryn Mawr School since little school and she is currently in the lower school, in 5th grade. The academic standards are certainly rigorus at Bryn Mawr, but isn't that one of the criteria that you consider when you select a school to 'vend' services from? At admission the school rep. made sure to include academic rigor as one of the school's assets. It has been our experience that the work gets increasingly challenging as the years pass. We love the idea that she will have the opportunity to establish long term relationships with students and staff/faculty. Being a child of color, there have been some unique challenge. She has often been one of very few girls in a grade level of her race/culture. However, overall, the teaching and head of school staffs have handled these infrequent events expertly. We look forward to her lower school completion ceremony this year with much anticipation, and await middle and upper school graduations as well. The only draw back we find is the increasing tuition costs!
While Bryn Mawr provided a wonderful base of learning and pushed the girls to do well, it almost pushed them too hard. There were countless nights when they would be up doing homework until midnight, or later. School is not meant to be non-stop, constant work. Bryn Mawr is a good school, it's just one that might not fit everyones needs.
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