I have to agree, the Academy is a wonderful place to live and learn. It is a school that embraces its history and mission of helping student become global citizens and offers an array of opportunities; academically, athletically and extracurricularly. They offer unique travel opportunities every year as well as programming that you cannot find on every campus.. No, it is not a school with a massive endowment or shiny new buildings but what the school does have is a Head that believes in its mission and is working hard to build a community that embraces it - historic buildings and all. As a matter of fact, work is being done to Rich Hall as we speak. Energy is high. I believe the Academy is a school to watch.
Overall, our experience has been extremely positive. The campus is a traditional, New England campus, and since the school was founded over two centuries ago, we would expect to see some of the historical charm shine through. In general, students, faculty and staff are happy, friendly and welcoming. The curriculum is engaging and diverse. The athletics and activities offered are enough to keep a student busy, challenged and stimulated. People genuinely care about the students. In the end, isn't that what you would want from a school?
No. Students often mimic (subconsciously or not) the actions of the faculty with whom they interact. Subpar individuals behave in subpar ways. Grade inflation is rampant, indiscretions are swept under the rug and "fair" is but a pipedream.
Unfortunately, this is a substandard school. The faculty is poorly trained, undereducated, not professionally encouraged and behave much like adolescents themselves often in front of impressionable students. Grossly unprofessional faculty members are retained, while good ones leave (or are fired). The primary boys dorm has nine - NINE - toilets for 100+ boys, rooms without lights, and improper ventilation. The piping in the older two dorm facilities are out of date and are in desperate need of replacing. Administrative staff is seemingly chosen at random, do not have proper background or training and lack knowledge of both adolescent behavior/learning and proper business conduct. Appropriate and thorough background checks on faculty and staff are not completed; therefore, personal safety is a concern. Curriculum is not in line with any basic sentiments of other educational institutions (public or private) and woefully lacking in terms of content, efficacy and rigor. Ostentatious gates and benches are put up; however, there is one building without indoor plumbing, mold is pervasive in another's basement and it's overall unhealthy and unsafe.
What the school says and what the school does are two completely different things - they don't practice what they preach. Students steal, cheat and lie and consequences are less severe for students who pay full tuition. If you get a scholarship, expect to be treated differently, disposable - unless you're a star athlete. Athletes are not at all scholarly. They only care about money and athletes. Teachers don't have master degrees. Many aren't even trained to be teachers. It shows in the classroom. The administration is corrupt (lie, cheat, steal to get ahead). They go without leadership in keys areas for months and months at a time. The leadership runs staff like the military. The staff is constantly at each others throats. Parents do not participate. The haven't had a parent group of more than 2-3 people in years. Alumni events are poorly attended. And there's practically zero endowment. They can't afford to make any real changes to the campus and when they do, they make unwise decisions. They would rather put fancy clocks and benches around campus than use the money for heat and air condition. The school assembly space is a small chapel that barely fits the school population and seems to be a fire hazard and it has no heat or air conditioning. When you invite your family to an event that's held there, it's embarrassing. They say they are making it better but they just put band-aids on. Classroom space and bathrooms are also atrocious. No heat, old, dirty - just yucky! Good students/teachers end up leaving. This review lists all of the bad things, but they are all true. I know from my own experience and the many stories of staff and students. Just ask anyone that goes there or works there.
Wilbraham & Monson Academy employs administrators, faculty, and staff who are not only academically and professionally well-qualified, but who care deeply about students, education, and furthering WMA's "global school" mission. This is evident in the array of academic programs offered, emphasis on student travel, on-campus programming, and Residence Life's commitment to students' overall well-being on campus. While Web reviews may offer a glimpse into a particular school's environment and credibility, they are often one-sided and unverified. Therefore, to truly understand and experience what WMA has to offer, it is essential to visit campus and talk with current students and Academy employees.
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Wilbraham & Monson Academy employs administrators, faculty, and staff who are not only academically and professionally well-qualified, but who cares re deeply about students, education, and furthering WMA's "global school" mission. This is evident in the array of academic programs offered, emphasis on student travel, on-campus programming, and Residence Life's commitment to students' overall well-being on campus.
While Web reviews may offer a glimpse into the a particular school's environment and credibility, they are often one-sided and unverified. Therefore, to truly understand and experience what WMA has to offer, it is essential to visit campus and talk with current students and Academy employees.
Absolute waste of money. The reasons are well explained in reviews of others, especially those who gave one star. Faculty members and most of the teachers are very unqualified, thus generating very poor school system and academics. The focus of admission is solely on money and sports recruit, meaning that the school picks rich international students just to obtain sufficient money to recruit athletes who mostly are academically not qualified at all to attend a "private boarding school;" in fact, those athletes often distract and definitely lower the quality of academics of WMA. The superficial mission of the school is 'to be global,' but that is only because the school is incapable of attracting "typical preppy students" who are, realistically speaking, rich, well-educated, well-mannered, and also both -not 'either'- academically and athletically excellent. To put it shortly, this Academy, as perfectly shown by the list of alumni and amount of endowment, has always been weak school, and thus is incapable of -and even unaware of- operating the academy as a PROPER private college-preparatory boarding school.