I am a proud Calvert alumna. My Calvert education provided me with a solid foundation and a love of learning I that would not have received at any other school. The history, tradition, and approach to teaching truly make Calvert a world-class education! I am so grateful to my parents for sending me to Calvert!
September 27, 2013
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
While Calvert still has a good reputation, certain issues are beginning to turn into larger more systemic problems. Teachers seem to not feel supported by the leadership of the school and some of them come across as pretty exhausted. One main reason is the lack of a consistent discipline policy across the grades. Current practice, even for troubling infractions such as consistent bullying of others or blatant academic cheating, does provoke nothing more serious than the proverbial slap on the wrist. Instead, teachers are left to their own devices, having to find their own ways of dealing with difficult students. In this process, some are more successful than others in implementing their own approach to discipline. Some seem to be close to giving up. Serious issues remain unaddressed because the individual teacher may only do that much, even with the best of intentions. For example, there are some well-known difficult students, some would call them bullies. However, instead of making every attempt to reign in the bullying behavior, the leadership did nothing much. Instead, the victims of the bullies decided to leave the school because they felt harmed and not supported. This sets an awful precedent. Parents are worried that their concerns will only elicit a “then go to another school” comment and teachers are worried they might get fired when addressing their concerns. The belief seems to be that change might only come through the leadership of the School Board. Yet, people, including myself, are scared to speak up, nobody wants to go against the grain. The whole situation is a result of weak leadership and "in-breeding." If you are a new parent who is interested in enrolling their child at Calvert, please ask the administration, admissions, the teachers and current parents about their thoughts and approach to discipline. It is a great school but needs some tweaking to remain so for years to come.
Calvert provides students with a solid foundation in the academic fundamentals while also emphasizing the importance of good citizenship. As a K-8 school, middle school students have numerous leadership opportunities that would not be available to them in large K-12 setting. A Calvert education set students on a path of lifelong learning and success!
some teachers are GREAT (I can not identify them without identifying myself!). Pilot, 6th age, 7th age, 9th age--we had some great teachers. Some small subject teachers (like math and reading in the top levels) are great as well. 10th age is a big problem.
I agree with the previous person who posted. The administration changed 2 yrs ago. We used to love this school (under Drs. Martire and Trusty). The new head of the lower school is inept. Recently there was a case of a 10 yr old girl who posted horrible comments about the physical attributes of a classmate using a shared computer account and did so under another girl's name. After interviews, it became obvious who the culprit was, but she became conveniently "sick" before Xmas break. The lower school head Elizabeth Martin (who was promoted from reading specialist to lower school head; not even a search was conducted!) never discussed the situation with the parents involved. Instead she told the girls, "It will take too much time to figure out who did this using the computer records, so don't do this." There are also a few VERY weak teachers whom Martin can not or will not address, and the head of the school Holmgren is rabidly against any discussion. When parents raise concerns, the attitude is, "Then go somewhere else." This school now works hard to appease parents whose kids complain there is too much work that interferes with sports. The middle school open house featured three inarticulate kids who said as much. We had so much hope for this school when we started a few years back under Drs. Martire and Trusty. We will likely be leaving at the end of this year. We are transplants to Baltimore, and this is a place that seems to be regressing into gender roles of old and attitudes of the old South, not advancing into the 21st century.
I chose Calvert for my child because of the structure and the rigor of the curriculum. The administration and curriculum changed in the past 2 years. Now Calvert is headed in the direction of being just another independent school that will not produce the same level of students as it did in the past. The school is nurturing and the facilities are great but I can find that at any independent school. What made Calvert great was that Calvert made students love to strive for excellence at a higher level than other independent schools.
So, if you want an average independent school experience Calvert is a fine choice. If your child is advanced or excels when the bar is high then Calvert is probably not a good fit.
Where do I even start. Calvert has formed who I am. I am graduating this year and have been at CS since kindergarten. You can tell if it is a Calvert kid from a mile away. Every morning the student walks in and gives the principal a firm handshake and look in the eye, yes, from pre-k all the way to 8th grade. Not even including the rigorous academics, that will help one in the real world. Public speaking, and so much more subjects besides the normal. The facilities are quite fantastic for a K-8, and every student has the ability to play on the sports field, in gym, recess, and interscholastically starting in 6th grade. Calvert teaches co-ed and single sex, which is one of a kind. Now that I have one step out the door, I am truly honored to have gone here, and I will be able to pick where I want to go to high school. The high school placement process has an over 90% acceptance rate for first choice schools. Going through this process, admissions at other Baltimore private schools would say, "Oh, you're from Calvert." This school is amazing, and I don't know who I would have formed to be if I didn't go to this school and had the amazing classmates that I did.
I am a Calvert School graduate from the lower school. I understand not all of you will agree with my opinion, but Calvert put me through some really rough times. While providing the structure I needed growing up, I found the school very lacking in artistic and creative encouragement. I made some long lasting friends and many good memories there, but all in all, it was a harsh, rigid, extremely structured environment. I would recommend this school to anyone for the first few years, but I needed to get out. It may have changed since I attended, but this is my experience.