This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted January 07, 2015
- a parent
Dexter is an excellent school. We have two boys who attended Dexter, and they both credit the school for providing them with a solid foundation in academics and athletics. The Head of School, Todd Vincent is exceptional. He not only knows every student's name, but he takes the time to really get to know each student and actively supports their success. Dexter students are known for their command of English grammar, their polite manners, and their strong character and morals. Judging from some of the previous posts, perhaps some people do not value such attributes today. We do. Good manners, morals, writing skills and strong academics are timeless. Dexter has become even more attractive since integrating Southfield, particularly in the Upper School. Ask any boy iwho attends an all boy Middle School or High School. It gets old very fast. Boys need and want the presence, competition and opportunity to collaborate with young women in High school. We highly recommend Dexter-Southfield. The academics are very strong, class sizes are small, and it is a wonderful community with an excellent Head of School.
I attended Dexter for 8 years, from pre-k to 6th grade, and my experience there was mediocre. Inquisitive thinking and learning just for the sake of learning are not appreciated at this school. Rather, the school relies heavily on rote memorization and a multitude of tests and quizzes weekly. However, I do feel as though I learned a significant amount of material in all subjects. Another aspect of the school that cannot be overlooked is lack of socioeconomic, religious, and racial diversity. I think everyone in my class had a house on the Cape or belonged to a country club. There was also 1 black person in my grade and 1 Jewish student. When I left the sheltered society which is Dexter and moved on to my new school, I was quickly exposed to more diversity, which was good for me. Finally, Dexter needs to start letting the students actually use the telescope. In my 8 years at Dexter I used it twice.
Dexter Southfield has been an ideal fit for my son and daughter, in terms of fostering their academic, social, and personal development. (Note that Dexter and Southfield officially merged in 2013.) My children attended another private independent school in the Boston area prior to Dexter Southfield, and we've been extremely impressed with the caliber of the academics here relative to other schools. A few key elements of the school which really set it apart, in my opinion: 1) Single-sex classrooms allow for focused learning - and teachers who truly understand the distinct learning styles of boys and girls; 2) Strong focus on character development, with weekly interdenominational chapel, family-style lunches, dress codes/uniform, and constant reinforcement of positive values and respect for others; 3) Excellent athletics including weekly swimming lessons throughout the year, skating/hockey (weekly in the winter months), and tennis instruction -- providing multiple benefits both inside and outside the classroom. We've been highly impressed with the caliber of the faculty - experienced, dedicated teachers with an ability to truly understand each child's unique strengths.
Parents need to look deep into this school before thinking about sending a child. The school in many areas is still antiquated and despite a new head of school (that was appointed by the old head of school without student or parent involvement or any outside search process) both schools fall well below real world expectations and programs at other private preparatory schools. You are better off spending your dollars on a school that has had an established high school (for more than 10 years) that prepares students for our society.
Without question the best private high school in New England. The academics and pursuit of excellence are unrivalled by other schools, new or old. Dexter Southfield truly cares about its students, and passionately fosters their intellectual and personal growth. Not only do the boys and girls receive the best education possible, but they are also very happy. The world class facilities are such that other schools frequently come to use them. The school s motto Our Best Today, Better Tomorrow can be seen in beautiful evolution as it crafts the leaders and scholars of tomorrow.
As a senior at the Dexter School who has attended since 6th Grade, I have a great understanding of the school. After changing headmasters, the school was successfully accredited through the NEAS&C. Dexter and it's sister school, Southfield, then went through a marketing renewal. Now known as Dexter Southfield, the school's mission is still the melding of classic college predatory courses and character development from PK through 12. I can tell you that I have truly enjoyed my time here. As I apply to college and prepare for the future, I look at the preparation I've had by attending Dexter and writing a college application is nothing. I strongly encourage you to think about Dexter Southfield. The school offers tremendous academics, amazing extracurricular activities, and brilliant athletics. I hope I have made some sort of impression on you. Thank You.
There are many different things to consider when thinking about applying to Dexter. Looking at the school from an outside perspective is immensely different than actually attending the school. On my tour of the school, the administration showcased some impressive facilities, such as the telescope. In reality, less than 10% of the students have access to the telescope. The school was originally founded in 1926, grades 9-12 were just recently integrated into the school. The few people holding positions of power in this school abide blindly to old outdated traditions. Some of these old traditions don't adequately prepare students for the modern day world, technology isn't integrated into Dexters curriculum. The year I have attended Dexter has been absolutely miserable. Dexter rarely breaks from its daily routine of 7 40 min classes. Rather than developing a comfortable environment for the students paying $40,000 of tuition a year, the school provides an unsettled environment. There is little to no freedom for students at Dexter, and many students grow tired of the controlling staff. I would not recommend to a average student looking for a modern day education.
With great academics, a faculty who cares, and world-class facilities (largest telescope in Eastern MA, two hockey rinks, fields galore), this is perhaps the best k-12 school in the Boston area. Just as important as the above, this school teaches students about being a good citizen - something which most schools ignore. Dexter alumni are all courteous, good men with big hears - this is definitely the best testament of the school's good influence.
My son was part of the 3rd graduating HS class at Dexter, and loved the school. Excellent, caring teachers, fabulous resources for both sports and academics (two hockey rinks, and the best telescope on the east coast at the Clay Center Observatory).
Traditional all boys school which excels in teaching core subjects - reading, writing, math skills. Taught by commited and enthusiastic teachers who genuinely care about your child. Great emphasis on moral character, citizenship, and good sportsmanship. Athletics are integrated into all grade levels during the day and emphasize learning the sport instead of a sole focus on winning. The school has recently expanded into secondary grades - now thru 12th grade. School has done an excellent job of developing the upper school curriculm and hiring new teachers to effectively deliver it. Excellent physical facilities, (new science center with observatory, two hockey rinks, indoor pool, two artifical turf playing fields, etc.) and will only continue to get better as the upper school expands. We have two boys there and love it.