Beaver is an excellent school, yet is is one that is quite flawed. In my opinion, they are not selective enough when it comes to admissions, so there are a plentiful amount of slackers. Staying in Honor's classes helps this, but those who are Honor's students in a humanities class (English, History, Languages) share the same class as these slackers. Also, the commute sucks if you don't live nearby. But so many of the teachers are great, as is so much about it. Therefore, five stars!
As I prepare to send my daughter off to college, I was thinking about the decision to send her to Beaver. It is one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made. While my oldest daughter went to our highly-rated public high school in town, and my initial thought was that my second daughter would follow, I realized that it wouldn t be a good fit for her. Beaver however was a perfect fit! To say that she has flourish in this supportive yet demanding environment would be an understatement! Beaver is a great school with a unique balance of structure/openness, a place where creativity is celebrated, where students are motivated to work hard & excel. Don t be fooled by the progressive approach - it is not a code for an easy ride. Quite the contrary, the academic demands are substantial, but the emphasis is on learning, not repetition. The students are taught to think independently, not just repeat thoughts that are memorized. If you need any confirmation of a serious academic program, look at the list of colleges that Beaver students attend. As my daughter leaves for college, I am confident that she is better prepared and more focused - all because of her education at Beaver.
The school is concerned in attracting parent's money and kids would just earn grades with little to no effort. No structured content... if you are son is in a class where their classmates are struggling, he will not get any quality education, since there are no clear content expectations for a course to be covered at the end of the term. Science and math classes are a joke with teachers being hired for only a couple of months, before we get yet another unexperienced teacher. No real academic support. If you want it, you have to pay even more for a private tutor. Sports are given great importance, and money is invested in that vs actual quality education. It's all shine and bells, but no content. Not worth the money.
Beaver is a place for kids who don't necessarily love school. If that's you, then this place will be great. However, I am not one of those kids. I love to learn and wish to be with people who are enthusiastic about learning. Beaver is definitely your typical rich kid school - it's all about the clothes, cars, and parties. Although I think using laptops is a wonderful idea, laptop use isn't monitored. Kids are very often on Facebook during class. Probably my least favorite thing was the amount of group work. As a bright and overachieving student, I was always put in groups with the slackers in what I believe was an attempt to bring their grades up. Long story short, I did all the work and they took a lot of the credit. I'm not saying Beaver is bad for everyone, but it is not the school for an intellectually-motivated kid. If sports are your thing, and you'd like to get good grades for doing little to no work, then this is the school for you.
My son attended BCDS for 5 years, from 6th through 10th grades. Sixth grade was great. It got worse every year. The implementation of mandatory laptops was a nightmare. The decision to recruit for soccer and basketball as my son entered high school changed his high school sports experience totally. Requests for support around racial identity and academic achievement were largely put back on him. We went there looking for an inclusive experience and left feeling unsupported and isolated. The fact that no one from the school reached out to find out why we were leaving says it all.
Beaver is an amazing place ... having been on both sides of the school, (I am a former student and current staff member) I can truly attest to how wonderful Beaver is. 1) The students respect one another, and applaud each other s talents 2) The teachers are engaging and dedicate 3) the curriculum is challenging and innovative In short, Beaver is really a unique school Those who have the opportunity to experience it are very lucky!
Responding to Dec. 20th review. Clearly you're confused. Beaver IS a private school. Did your child actually review the school you're reviewing? My child attends Beaver. We've found it to be a tremendous experience. Our son is getting a great education and is flourishing. He's never been happier.