This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Buckingham Browne & Nichols School1
Posted October 18, 2014
- a parent
Our daughter went to BB&N for high school. It wasn't until her junior year that we realized what a mistake we'd made. She'd been the top student in a good parochial school and we were attracted by the reputation of BB&N as being a top school academically. During her junior year, her academic adviser was not on top of an issue and her grades severely tanked. We discovered one kid doing summer school classes and then repeating the class at BB&N...with an obvious benefit. Seemed to be somewhat routine. The college counselor dissuaded her from applying to safety schools that would likely have given substantial scholarships and made the choice of her final school very painful. It truthfully, and we fear permanently, changed her path and not for the better. We were naive and sold on this being a pathway to the top schools, including being told repeated that she was "strong Ive-league material". We, too, heard about kids not getting reprimanded, in some cases for severe offenses. One family was in the news two years later when his parents sued an academic consultant they'd paid $1M to get into Harvard...and he didn't. There is that level of wealth and influence.
The review about the admission staff being absolutely useless couldn't be more right! We just pulled our child out. If you like to pay for a Cadillac and actually get a Toyota then this school is for you. We agree there are some great teachers there, but the administration has lost touch with reality over the years. Good luck if you are planning on going here, constant problem with the buildings were a clear distraction as our child class was constantly interrupted for repairs or no heat issues.
Hi, as a current student of BB&N's high school I would like to input my two cents. This school admittedly has fantastic teachers. When you meet a good teacher here, I really mean you might a fantastic teacher, and I am truly proud to say that over four years at BB&N, several of my teachers have been truly my friends, people I can really talk to with any problem, no matter how small, embarrassing, or big. Great teachers, really. But this school is really horrible in other ways. It's incredibly well-kept on the outside, but enter the place and half the computers are broken. Last month there was gas leak and the whole place smelled like rotten eggs for a week. The administration is absolutely useless; they are so afraid of lawsuits from the parents that they refuse to punish any infractions undertaken by the children of the wealthy, whereas the "security head" at the school regularly harasses black students. The social environment is dominated by students who are two-faced, vicious, more than willing to gang up on other students. This school has almost exclusively caused all the misery of my teenage life, causes loss of family interaction, and so much trouble socially and emotionally
As an alumnus of BB&N I have both fond and not so fond memories of my time there. I cannot argue with the negative reviews that there is a certain amount of pressure and stress, however I feel that it is precisely that stress and hard work that prepared me for the real world. BB&N teaches students to take pride in their work and to push themselves hard. As a so-so test taker and someone with a learning disability, BB&N's competition pushed me to be more than I thought I could become, and I am certain that at another school I would have fallen through the cracks. Teachers are tough, but available to help. Academic strength is praised. Extracurricular activities are praised. I am proud to be a BB&N alum.
BB&N was the only school we looked into for our seventh grader last year after we discovered he was just not being challenged in his public school. We approached the search as trying to find the right fit for our son and knowing if it was not, we could always explore other options. Our family could not be happier with the Middle School and our son has thrived there, both academically and socially. I cannot say enough about the Director and the teachers. They are authentic and work hard to help students achieve their goals. They have built a campus that can pride itself on really knowing what middle schoolers need to succeed both as students and as people. Our daughter has just started 6th grade at the Lower School and has already made friends and has been welcomed into the community. It can be a little tough if you are the new kid on the block, but that is simply part of the transitional process. The school overall might not be perfect, but I can honestly say it has come close to perfect for our family and so far is a great fit!
Reading the negative reviews, we thought what a shame that the writers couldn't figure out sooner that BB&N was not the right fit for them and that they most likely would have been happier some else, but may have been too blinded by their own ambitions to see it. Since the very essence of private school, is that it is a choice, if they were really so very unhappy, why would they choose to stay. During the placement process, we realized that no school was perfect and that they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but since it was really about our student being in an environment, where they could do be their best ,our student chose BB&N!.Our student is there because they wanted to be. Life is what you make of it. To all the naysayers, if you think BB&N isn't for you, then follow your gut and it probably isn't. But if you visit and feel you want to be apart of all that this school has to offer, the camaraderie of athletics, the challenging academics, the diverse student body, and the many different, extracurricular activities, then this community will welcome you, for who you truly are and always respect that you are your own person.
My son is in the process of applying to the high school, and so far, we're all favorably impressed. The students were warm and engaging during our tour, and the admissions officer was fantastic. He really had a sense of who our son is after talking with him fr 20 minutes. BB&N may not be the perfect fit for everyone, but it seems ideal for our son. But he is academically talented (on track for National Merit Scholar recognition), and he's varsity athlete.
Our daughter just started 9th grade; last year was our first year at BB&N after spending K-7th in public schools. So far we are thrilled. Our daughter is extremely happy, and much more challenged than she was in public school (unfortunately). The academics are incredible and our daughter has been able to keep up with the heavy homework load. The sports are great. There is a warm and welcoming community which doesn't seem excessively preppy for parents or kids. Of course there is much less racial and socio-economic diversity than we would like, but there is a very strong commitment to financial aid, which helps. We have absolutely no regrets and are looking forward to the next four years with great enthusiasm.
Having graduated from BB&N a few years ago and now spent time in a different environment at College I can honestly say I did not enjoy BB&N. The academics are brutal and challenging and kids are pushed far too hard. I entered BB&N for high school and of course I expected to be challenged academically but not in this way. The atmosphere is incredibly competitive and kids cheat just to try to be on top, which is all that ever seemed to matter. I had some excellent teachers there that I miss, while also having some very lousy ones. What bothered me most however was the community and social environment. There is no community at this school. Kids are cruel, competitive, and arrogant and it really does feel like a stereotypical prep school environment. The administration does nothing to involve themselves and take a stance in the lack of community aspect of the school. Overall what can you say? It s your stereotypical prep school and it attracts those kinds of people.