I have two children that have been students at the Belmont Day School and, while my children are very different from each other, they have both benefited greatly from the Belmont Day School. In addition to learning the basics reading, writing & arithmetic (which are taught very well) they have learned how to work in groups, how to conduct original research, how to analyze and think critically about information, and how to communicate effectively. My children have studied The Odyssey, Supreme Court decisions on civil rights, the 12-bar blues as a form of poetry, and genetics--the thoughtful teachers deliver a compelling curriculum. On top of its very strong academics, the school offers enriched athletics and arts programs. All of this wonderful learning is wrapped up in a bigger lesson about how to be a good member of a community. I think that it might be because of this strong focus on community that such a disproportionately large number of the Belmont Day School graduates, including my graduate, go on to take leadership roles in their high school governments and high school clubs and the Belmont Day School graduates are at all of the best high schools in New England.
Wonderful school. Broad and interesting curriculum, great teachers and staff, wonderful students, engaged community that seeks to include all. Have been especially impressed by how tuned in they are to the learning needs of all of their students, in particular boys (for instance allowing them to use alternative seating). The school doesn't just pay lip service to the school's core values - they are discussed and woven into every fabric of the school. The students are bright, warm hearted, joyful and fully invested in their school. The school works with parents to meet the needs of their child, and the school is open to feedback. Unlike some other schools they don't just assume that they know what is best for your child. My kids are excited to go to school every day. Wish I could have gone to a school like BDS.
Do not (Repeat: DO. NOT.) send an unconventional child to this school. There. I just saved your whole family years of agony.
My son is a HS student after spending his elementary years at BDS. He greatly enjoyed his years at BDS but he now seems astonished that he actually has to work hard for his grades and he sometimes resents putting in the needed effort (he's a B+ student). He agrees that his attitude was instilled by the "every child is wonderful and special" regardless of the quality of their work outlook at BDS. Instilling good self-esteem is important but so is instilling a strong work ethic and a rigorous curriculum--these latter 2 weren't done effectively at BDS. So be warned. It is a very good school in many ways but they don't ask enough of the students.
The academics here are not that strong. It is an ok school. If you child is a high achiever or an honors student, they will not be challenged. I don't think they value those who think out of the box.
Thankfully, my family cannot relate to the review just below, which I'm guessing was written by the parent of a younger child. BDS inspires near-reverence among the parent body because of its extraordinarily thoughtful and rigorous curriculum, caring teachers, bright kids, channeling of kids' creative energy, and welcoming community. BDS kids routinely get into the best secondary schools, and are impressively well-spoken, confident, kind, mindful of their responsibilities to the community and larger world, and superbly educated without ever having been pushed to be anything other than kids. It is too orderly and structured to feel like an earthy-crunchy, peacenik school, and too accepting and encouraging of individuality and creativity to feel like a prep. school. It's something in between the two (think uniformed sports teams on manicured playing fields AND self-assembled rock bands). Sui generis.
I would say OK, but not great and for the $$ we were hoping to be closer to great. For the $$ paid I'd like to not be greeted by a teacher with a mouthfull of cereal at 8:30am in the morning, to not have unrelated videos shown during class time, and to have some mind of benchmarks. Overall we've found the school to be middle of the road academically (and we are not alone in that feeling). On the positive side, the atmosphere is warm and nurturing. The parent body is nice with not too much "attitude" which can be found at these schools. The head is retiring so we will see what comes next.
As a student in the middle school, I would definetly rate BDS as an EXCELLENT. THe teachers there have encouraged me to go farther then just finding the right answer and memorizing facts, but to challenge myself and be creative. The campus is beautiful and the upper-school and athletic facilities have been recently re-modeled. I would recommend BDS to anyone who is: ibright, active, and ready to have fun!
This school is top class. The teaching staff and heads are superb, creating a beautiful balance between hands on and rigourous academics, nurturing the children while teaching them to be independent. the middle school years are fantastic with a strong social skills weekly program, teaching budding teens to naviguate the treacherous world of their emotions and relations with others. Athletics are excellent and accept both athletic and less athletically inclined children. Emphasis is put on the whole child as all types of intelligences are welcome. Musical and artistic talents thrive here, as do children geared towards science, math, language arts or social studies. A lovely lovely unique school. Campus is gorgeous.
My child loves, loves, loves this school. She is very bright with a high energy level. Lots of other bright, active kids attend. The teachers do a good job of focusing the children's abundant energy rather than stifling it. A great school for smart, active kids. Graduates of the school are prepared to take on the world.
A small, supportive and intimate school. Focus is on character building and academics. Music, art and technology options all first class and enriched by accomplished teachers who love what they do. Dedicated leadership with strong influence over all aspects of daily life.
School teaches consideration and respect as well as strong academic work. My young children are learning not only to write letters but also how to construct a meangnful written argument. They are learning how to do fractions thru cooking. Children learn reading and math in small (6-8 kids per teacher) groups geared toward their abilities. Each child becomes comfortable expressing him / herself to adults and to large groups such as the weekly all-school assembly. Indicators of quality are that a high percentage of graduates go to top high schools, and the amount of demand for each incoming student slot is growing. I have been delighted with the school.
strong and challenging academic programs. High number of graduates go to top private high schools. Parent involvement strong.
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