I was a freshman two years ago. I wanted to post something because I left after my freshman year and I wished someone had told me more about how the school works. I think it's telling that the students who write positive reviews feel the need to put down their classmates who left. It's an environment that's not supportive and the teacher's were not available. Overall I did not leave because I was not doing well in school, but because I felt like the school had some serious weaknesses that I didn't think I could live through for another three years. I am not at Commonwealth and am much happier- the teachers are more supportive. Before you commit- make sure you know what you are getting into- if you read the final two sentences of the previous comments and imagine a place where the teachers, your fellow students and the administrators are all saying that to you and see if that is an environment where you would thrive.
I graduated a month ago and had an extraordinary experience. I will miss BU Academy greatly. I have made some fantastic relationships with teachers that have always been willing to go out of their way for me. To see BUA's effectiveness, one simply has to look at the results that BUA's education, extracurriculars, and networking enable. Not merely SAT scores and college acceptances, but what my friends and I are doing the summer after our senior year. My friend and I are doing real work as engineering interns at very well-known defense contractors. Another friend is working for a consulting firm analyzing insurance markets. Some of my friends are just relaxing, but only because they wanted a last "summer off" before college. Essentially any upperclassman can participate at research at BU, if they want to. I will say that this school demands a great deal of work. If you simply aren't willing to do the work, then BUA is not the place for you: you'll get asked to leave. Some of the parent reviewers on this site need to realize that their child is not a "special snowflake". If your child was willing to put in the effort, (s)he would not have been ushered out. Simple as that.
I agree with the comments below that there are better options out there- BUA is a very tough academic school with uneven results. Some teachers are good and others are below subpar. The program can be pretty disorganized and at times unfair. I would look around if you have other options. This is a one size fits all education despite what they say at the open house. Ask lots of questions- you may regret it the way we have, now that we are stuck here.
Our son was recently accepted at this school. It was a decision between this and Commonwealth. Yes, Commonwealth has great reviews as a nurturing school, etc... but he felt that the instruction and the community was more to his liking at BUA. He's a fidgety kid and some of the revisit classes at Commonwealth were lectures which are totally not his learning style. For me personally, the admissions staff at BUA are great and approachable. For the parent interview, the interviewer was the most awesome interviewer we've ever met. Down to earth and engaging. A model for what all interviewers should be like. And we've done plenty of interviews during the past few years trying to get our kids into private schools to escape the dreadful public schools. The vast majority are cold and distant. So we'll see how it goes. I plan on posting again in the fall or early 2015 to let people know how it went.
There are better schools in the Boston area that will do more to nurture all aspects--both academic and non academic--of your child. For the very gifted, try RL, BH, windsor, Commonwealth or Milton. The school heads are approachable there and care about more than the bottom line. You'll be much happier if you shop around.
Amazing kids. Amazing faculty. It's a remarkable place. BUA is not for everyone. But for the bright and highly motivated student, it's without peer. Really.
So the truth is, if you are a smart kid, you'll have a great experience. If you are not willing to work hard, go someplace easier. Pretty simple equation. No, BUA is not for everyone--that's the point.
i think it is ridiculous the negative reviews that are one here. i can relate to where they are coming from, but they are a little extreme and generally submitted by parents. in my four years here, i have definitely faced some ups and downs (mostly due to my own personal habits), but BUA has done nothing but help me with them. granted, freshman and sophomore years are incredibly hard and not very flexible, but once you get over that hump, nothing is going to get in your way. the comments that say that the school is not flexible are obviously from parents of students that didn't last the full time here. by the time i graduate in 12 days, i will have amassed 56 credits from BU, and i got them in the classes that i wanted. i took music theory and economics at BU when everyone else chose to take biology and french or spanish or whatever they wanted. i took calculus at the university instead of the academy just so that my schedule would work so i could take all the classes i wanted. while i agree that the principal doesn't know what is best for any student, parent, or teacher, it hasn't really effected my experience. choosing BUA was the best decision of my life and it will be yours too
My child is currently a BUA student. The level of academics and the quality of the teaching are stunningly good. Really. The homework workload can be heavy at times, but if the student is smart and self-motivated, then it's not a problem. Honestly, I was shocked to read some of the negative reviews posted here. We have found the school administration to be completely honest and willing to work with us when issues arose. Our experience with BUA administration has been great. I strongly suggest that when choosing a high school, one should talk one-on-one to current parents/students- don't rely on anonymous postings (even this one!). And, importantly, let the prospective student visit the BUA, attend some classes, and decide if this school is right for them. After all, they are the ones who attend the high school... not the parents. I enthusiastically recommend BUA if a student is smart, self-motivated, and wants an exceptionally good education from excellent teachers- and, if the student enjoys the BUA community of enthusiastic/diverse/quirky scholars!
Though the two posts below find it odd that many reviews share a very positive experience and similar language, it is clear to me as a current parent that it is because many students and their families are having or have had a terrific experience at BUA, and not because the positive reviews are somehow insincere. Families considering BUA should apply and explore the school firsthand! My daughter was fortunate to have excellent choices in the decision process, and attended Revisit Day not knowing that BUA would be her first choice. After spending a day there, she felt that academic and personal "fit" that is so important in choosing a school/college. We have been extremely impressed with the talent and dedication of her teachers and the rigor of the coursework, and we had high expectations going in. We haven t had occasion to interact beyond social reasons with the head of school, but all the administrators we ve worked with have been very insightful and approachable. She is receiving a superior education and having a blast! Five stars means excellent, not perfect - no school is, but BUA is indeed excellent, in our experience, and we enthusiastically recommend it.
I agree with the reviewer below. There is so much confusion on this site and every positive review for this school has the same flavor. To have 4o or so reviews on here defending the school with the bulk of the them 'saying' basically the same thing, using the same terms and platitudes and all posted around the same time of year--admissions season! BU Academy is a mixed bag. Those of us with very advanced and highly able learners are just as displeased as the parents with the typically developing kids. Ask many questions before signing that contract. The administration can be unfriendly, to say the least. Our child was not treated with respect for who he was. Try Commonweath, Roxbury Latin, Belmont Hill or Milton if strong academics, challenge and good college matriculations is what you desire., BUA charges the same or more, but doesn't offer the same advantages. Ask admissions for names of parents who are not only currently at the school, but who have graduated children. Dig deep. Once the student gets to venture on to BU for classes in Jr and Sr years, it gets better. Dealing with the head can be quite an experience and an exercise in patience. Very egocentric culture.
I would caution all potential parents and students to do their homework before enrolling at this school. I will echo what many have already said here: this school looks better on paper. Everything, in theory, appears to be in place but what actually happens in practice is quite a different scenario. The administration is deficient in many areas and not interested in what is best for the individual students needs. A lot of time is wasted on studies that are repetitive, and the depth of real learning takes a back seat. BUA, while small in size, is not equipped (or willing?) to challenge the individual student's needs, unless the student is below the norm academically. Don't be fooled! Each year during admissions seasons we see the same people coming back to regurgitate the same reviews on this site singing the supposed praises of this very average school. Recent overly complimentary reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt! Our child is often bored with the lack of depth and challenge within the curriculum and the over abundance of tedious 'busy work' given as homework. There are much better options out there parents! Consider very carefully!
I am a freshman this year and have nothing but fantastic things to say about this school. One of my biggest fears I had coming into my freshman year was that this school was more focused on math and science than it was on humanities. While the math and science programs have been the most challenging and engaging classes I have ever participated in, English, History, and classical languages bring on the most riveting discussions that I had never experienced before BUA. The teachers are all the most focused, dedicated, and passionate people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are always around for us students, whether we are looking for personal or academic help. Although language and math classes are leveled, the students in different classes have no problem interacting with their own grade. On numerous occasions I have looked up to my peers for homework help, and find myself giving as much help as I can. The students at BUA are like a second family. We have a community of sharing and friendship that I have never experienced before.
I'm a new freshman at BUA this year, and it's been a great few months. The work is exceptionally fast paced; I slave over homework for four plus hours a night, and I have received more B's than I have ever gotten before. It's completely worth it though. My peers are interested in learning just as much as I am, and the teachers are excited to teach us.
This is a great school. My son has really loved school for the first time ever this past year. The teachers are really wonderful and it is a great, classically oriented curriculum. The only downside I have noticed at the school is that a very high percentage of the parents (more so than the students) hold the illusion that Junior is the most ultra special genius ever, rather than just a reasonably smart and industrious kid, which can be a little wearing at parent events. The kids themselves are not as bad as the parents in this regard. Most of the pressure is applied by the parents rather than by the school itself, since usually Junior has been getting all A's until he got to BUA and ceases to get all A's once he gets there. I have had no problems with the administration and highly recommend the school.
BUA is a great school. The student-faculty ratio is ideal, the teachers are well-educated and engaging, and--most importantly--the kids are able to explore subjects that actually interest them. I transferred my son here from a public school when he was a freshman, and it was a fantastic decision. Beyond the quality of the education, there is a real intellectual environment here that you just don't get at most schools in the area. Highly recommended for kids who might need a more challenging curriculum than is available at your average school. But be warned--if your child is not up to the task, it can make him/her miserable. If you're considering BUA, make sure that your kid is not only intelligent, but also motivated to work hard. Otherwise, there will be lots of tears.
My daughter is a student and loves BUA. Her teachers are dedicated and caring. Peers are interested in learning, and it does not stop when class ends. Sports are not pressure filled. She is having a great experience, but you have to be willing to work hard.
I find this school to be restrictive, rigid, and all-around unsupportive. I feel the administration is lacking in several key areas and that parents applying need tread cautiously. This school looks good on paper ONLY, imo, but in practice, you are dealing with a litigious business. The decision you make could affect your child's academic career. I also believe most of the positive posts are not being submitted by parents, but by school staff. There was one negative parent post removed here because the school probably complained. Let the truth come out, BUA! During admissions period, we always see a slew of slanted reviews here--supposedly from parents (but most likely from worried staff). This is MY opinion. Please consider very carefully.
We have had an excellent, all-around experience with this school. My child is very happy there and is thriving intellectually.
I am a freshman at BUA, and I am appalled at what all the parents are saying about BUA. I love it here. Yes, I do have two hours of homework every night, and yes the classes are tough. But I enjoy it. I enjoy being able to learn about something without feeling any pressure. There are no boundaries here. All the negative reviews are from parents about the administration, but what do they know about their child's day to day lives at the school. I have not seen a single student at BUA who is disgruntled that they have to be there. Do not believe everything the parents have to say about BUA, it's the child's reviews that are actually the most helpful. They tell you what's actually going on.
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