This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Boston University Academy1
Posted August 11, 2014
- a student
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.
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.