There is definitely a dark side to this school. The academics are excellent but the school lacks in character development and open political discourse. The teachers for the most part have been very good. However bullying is rampant and the school appears to do nothing about it. We liked the school ok until our daughter became the victim of a cyber bullying incident on school grounds involving a student who was the child of someone once affiliated with the school board. The school destroyed evidence of the crime and tried to cover it up. When we learned about it we demanded that the student be punished or we were going to the police. The school then took up where the bully left off , blamed our daughter and sent her to the "Honor Council." She was completely innocent of what they accused her of. Our daughter was devastated and we have spent hundreds of dollars for her to have professional counseling after this incident. Meanwhile the perpetrator openly receives school accolades. We should have sent our daughter to Roland Park. Don't make the same mistake we did. I would never have believed this could have happened to us until it did. The headmistress clearly cares nothing about most of the students- just the ones that have $$ and the ones that share her political agenda.
Students who are compassionate do not bully each other. Community and compassion are only discussed in a large social agenda. The community of the school itself is not inclusive and bullying is rampant
Bryn Mawr is a great place for intelligent, confident girls to flourish. The academics are first rate and challenge the girls to think critically and aspire to be the best. My daughter has grown so much here and has made incredible strides in her leadership and having a bold voice. However, if your daughter requires additional support or assistance to do well, this may not be the place for you. The girls feel tremendous pressure to be the best in everything they do and that creates a lot of stress. Bryn Mawr doesn't have the resources to address learning differences, but there are many opportunities to lead, excel, and contribute for girls who don't need the additional support. While there is an appearance of sisterhood and camaraderie among the students, there is also a fair amount of bullying and exclusion, so if your daughter is especially sensitive or vulnerable, this may not be the best school for her.
My daughter LOVES Bryn Mawr! The teachers are great!! My daughter loves being in class with girls who are excited to come to school everyday. The girls develop very strong friendships and really support one another.
Bryn Mawr prepares girls to be confident, smart young women. I was so impressed after meeting the girls attending the Upper School (high school). They have a variety of interests from arts to athletics and community service to politics and go off to some of the most prestigious colleges in the country.
If you are not a big donor you will have absolutely no contact with Headmistress Maureen Walsh. She never acknowledged me or my daughter in 10 years. The school is a pressure cooker and very competitive. Coupled with its conservatism and fear of challenging authority, it is a soulless, joyless place.
BMS plays to a narrow band of student type: a certain range of math/science intellect, and the education in this mode is full and hard- hitting. Teaching is not creative above the lower school; there is almost no extra help for any one who needs it. Prepare to pay for tutors:; small hot classrooms without smartboards. In four years there were no interesting field trips. When my spouse had a bad accident and was hospitalized at length, neither of our daughter's counselors referred to it at any time to her, not did anyone else, until I spoke up again, and a principal managed a comment. A bully really did a number on numerous children one year until she was managed by being accompanied by faculty during lunch. Wow that was a strong gesture. The school cared more about managing the parents of the bullied. The arts were nearly dead in the water those years except for some dazzling dance. This is going back just a few years and BMS and Friends were the academically toughest schools in town. I'm personally not drawn to an institution that weakens so many students.
As a student artist, I feel very marginalized. There is a heavy emphasis on science, math, engineering, and technology that I find to be a bit unnecessary considering the strength of our English program and the weakness of our math program in particular. I understand that BMS wants to put strong women into these fields that have been primarily dominated by men, but when I came here, I didn't come to a science and math school, and it's almost become that since I've been in high school here. I feel that there is a bit of judgment towards students who aren't strong in these fields, both among peers and faculty. To be frank, I wish I'd gotten serious about my art sooner because I might have gone somewhere else. I don't doubt the fantastic quality of the education I'm getting, but I wish it came without the expectation that I should go to a top school for engineering or to medical school.