As a former student, I have to say that the rigid, constrictive nature of the school allows very few students to progress and prove their true potential. The school is only good on paper, and is nothing but a lot of talk. In addition, students not only suffer from the poorly planned curriculum (Come one we spent my entire freshman history class learning useless facts about Roman and Greek history. What happened to the rest of the world?), but the people as well. To put it in simple terms, the people, teachers and students alike, are not normal.
I would like to say that as a parent who has had experience with this school, the administration is not candid and forthright, In my experience, and I find these statements to be misleading to potential families. People have had varying degrees of very positive (mostly) experiences with faculty. But to ignore the role that the administration plays on the part of the school culture, and ultimately your child's education, is not constructive. Our child was not "falling out'...quite the contrary. Our child was very advanced academically but was, for unexplained reasons, not allowed to progress. Everything at this school looks good on paper.
As the parent of a Boston University Academy senior, I have found the faculty and administration to be candid, forthright, and genuinely interested in doing what is best for students. On a number of occasions, they chose a more arduous path, rather than telling me what I wanted to hear, by speaking openly and honestly. At times we all faced unpleasant truths that, when confronted, produced a better outcome for the student. If you do the research, you will find that there is no better school in the Boston area for a responsible high school student to learn, grow, and mature in a university environment with a college curriculum tailored to the student's abilities. Be sure your child is capable of doing college level work, is enthusiastic about achieving academically, and enjoys being surrounded by an exceptionally talented group of students and teachers.
I'm a senior at BUA. I decided to google 'Boston University Academy' and found this site with its horrendous parent-reviews. Every negative review has focused its criticism on this idea of the 'administration' as incompetent. Hey, I won't lie; from what I hear, that's true. Guess what? It doesn't affect me as a student AT ALL. *I* spent four years taking classes at BUA from an amazing faculty who taught me how to THINK. *Parents* spend a good four years in a discrepancy with the administration. Consider that your kid, not you, is going to BUA. Also, most run-ins I know of have had to do with kids who happened to be failing out, so that'd explain the acerbity of some posts. They do take on more of the tone of a scorned lover than that of an objective observer anyway, don't they? Take these reviews with a grain of salt.
This school is a mixture of positive and negative. I do not think this school is the 'only place for gifted kids' , not by a long shot. In fact, there are many (and better) places in the Boston/Greater Boston area for gifted kids. Most teachers at BUA are very good to excellent. What needs overhauling is the administration (head) and admissions which are not parent inclusive. When will BU become more involved in improving this is still an unanswered question. Science and math teachers are committed, encouraging and do the best they can in the current environment. They deserve kudos.
The only place for truly gifted kids in the area. The academics are unparalleled and challenge even the brightest student.
My son is currently a sophomore at BUA. It has been an excellent environment for him. The quality and commitment of the faculty and other students is top notch. While my son was initially attracted to BUA for the science and robotics opportunities, the english and history courses have been among his favorites - he has really engaged in the classroom discussions and no longer dreads writing papers. Its a place where most of the students are motivated to do almost all of the assigned work almost all of the time. The small size limits the number of different activities, but also allows (encourages) the less than blue chip participant in sports. The students are very supportive of one another and actually seem to encourage each other to do well. We've been very happy with the school.
At BUA our experience was not with a qualified, caring administration. But, the teachers all seemed both caring and qualified. The administration is lacking and everyone we have spoken to associated with this school agrees. Do your research and shop around. You need to be very proactive and shrewd to thrive here.
We have been extremely pleased with BUA for our daughter. The teachers expect a lot from the students. It is very rigorous, and not for everyone. The teachers have been very caring and supportive. She has been involved in sports and enjoyed playing on the teams without a lot of pressure. In short, the school has wonderful facilities (BU), excellent teachers and a qualified, caring administration. We are glad to have found this school!
I concur with the less glowing parent reviews posted here for BUA. My impression is that the positive reviews on this site are, perhaps, written by staff members. The school is not that great and not that awful. It is not nearly as academic and flexible as it presents itself to be at the onset. I think it can be a decent fallback if your child resides in one of the lesser impressive school districts in the Boston/Greater Boston area. I am not that happy with the leadership administration.
BUA has been a great place for my child. The teachers are all excellent - and each has a unique flair. The rigor of the courses is exceptional. I am also delighted that my child will have completed a deep survey of the Western canon in literature and history, studied a classical language, and completed solid math and science courses. Since there is not a big focus on sports, kids who aren't jocks can have the experience of team competition which is a surprising bonus. The connection with the university allows students to explore literally without limit. Finally, for kids who love to learn for the sake of learning, BUA is a place to find friends. The work level is high, but the school - staff,teachers and students are all supportive.
Bottom line: what is good about this school is the teaching staff, although many strong teachers have left over the past 2-3 years. Many at BUA will say that there are still many committed teachers here who strive to offer a stimualting learning community. What needs change is the administration. We were led to believe that our child would receive certain accomodations when in fact this was never the intention of the school. In our experience, their primary focus seems to be generating revenue by promising anything while the optimal education of the child is secondary.
I would like to add that as a parent, I feel my child was treated unfairly here and has suffered as a result. We were given misleading information before our child was enrolled only to fnd out that the criteria was reversed on a whim, for no logical reason. What this did to our child was inexcusable. I feel the school behaved unprofessionally and dishonestly. The administration needs to understand that they are dealing with children, not merely tuition checks.
I'm a current student at BUA and have had a positive although stressful experience so far. As a BUAer, I can say that the reviews I have read on this website by parents mirror the student body's opinions: some days we feel overwhelmed and stressed (sometimes physically, including panic attacks and lack of sleep), but for the most part BUA makes up for stress in the community which I have found completely different than any I have experienced. BUA is awesome because the usual stigmas and stereotypes that exist in public schools or larger schools simply do not exist at BUA. We define ourselves as 'the only school whose entire cheerleading squad quit when robotic season came around'. I disagree that BUA conforms in any way; I find that BUA's social climate is completely original. Here, I feel at home with first rate teachers and academically motivated and caring peers.
In my experience, BU Academy is more of a Math/Science school, though the school resists this label. The school is somewhat flexible when it comes to math. By 'aceing' an entrance exam (I mean, really scoring super high) you can move up to higher levels. The school does not allow this for any non-math courses (they give a Latin exam, if you choose, but it is subjective, imo) this si why they attract more math types. But the school is now trying desperately to be known as a liberal arts type school for talented students. I agree that there has been a major exodus of faculty in recent years which has caused issues. I think the leadership has an 'I know better than you' attitude. I don't know that they can attract the right type of student anymore.
I am a current parent at BUA and overall happy with the choice my child made to go there. Some folks indicated that facilities are not great. I disagee! This is a city school and if you want beautiful facilities you go to a suburban school. Despite being a city/urban school, BUA offers access to great facilities thanks to BU: access to a great sports center, food court, theatre and in Jr/Sr year actual college courses. What needs to improve at BUA is the management & communicaiton skills on part of the administration. There needs to be more open communication with the parents & parents Assoc. The headmaster needs to involve the parents more. Teachers are fantastic! Bottom line: there has to be a good fit between your child & the school, no matter which school. You should not choose a school for its name or who else went there.
I have been surprised at the handful of negative reviews about BUA posted on this site. I have been an active member of the Parent Association for 4 years. We meet once a month and are open to all types of discussion, but these negative comments have never come up. The retention of families at BUA is greater than 90%; as for the 'lonely building with no amenities', most students consider the academy building a cozy home base and remain at school to socialize long after classes end. It has a student lounge, computer lab and reading room, and is directly connected to a gymnasium for exclusive use by BUA students. The school has several wonderful clubs (the robotics club has a high national ranking) and offers a rich selection of athletic opportunities. Indeed there seems to be something for everyone here and most students and families are very happy.
BU Academy is a fantastic school for bright, inquisitive students. The focus is academics, the environment is supportive and nurturing, while giving students the opportunity to explore areas of study at Boston University. This is really a unique school.
We have been very Happy with BUA. The quality of instruction has been high in all his academic classes throughout. The other children by and large have been intellectually curious, collaborative, generous and nice kids. Our son has been allowed to take a course for gifted children outside of his regular classes and given help by one of his BUA teachers. It is true that BUA is not a 'sports' school. However, we knew that going in and that was not our, nor his, priority. That said he has enjoyed playing sports there and has increased his skill level.
In my experience as a parent, BU Academy is not an ideal fit for a motivated and very strong academic student with leadership ability. The 'newer' administration is more concerned with uniformity than individuality, despite what it reads in the BUA brochure. The turnover rate for staff is unusually high and has left many parents concerned. The best college counselor who was there for years recently departed too along with other strong staff and has left some parents of seniors and juniors worried. The school has lost it's niche and it's edge. I feel there are serious misrepresentation issues at this school.
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