I have three students at BSM and am very happy. BSM does a great job balancing traditional academic rigor with innovative, real world programming. Some of their distinctive programs like Engineering, Biomed, Journalism, Theater, Speech, Business, Model UN, etc. have a great focus on engaging students in real world experiences and fostering real world skills. In addition, the small class sizes compared to public schools allows the teachers to create stronger more helpful relationships with the students.
My son attended BSM for junior high and is currently in the senior high. He has truly thrived in the small class environment at BSM. The junior high provided the structure he needed and the academic preparation for high school. The teachers really knew him and cared about his growth, both academically and as a person. Getting involved in extra-curricular activities helped him meet kids right away and helped him (and us) feel part of the community. BSM has been a good fit for our family.
Like the rest of the world today, Benilde has its challenges, and is by no means 'perfect'. Like all schools, it is wrestling with where boundaries between school and private matters start and stop, how to keep kids safe at school in both a physical and digital sense, and how to create a learning environment that allows all students to reach their full potential unique to their capabilities (not the 'perfect student formula' that has been suggested). If you want your student to have a strong academic experience, grounded in faith and values (catholic teachings are not forced upon students), this school should be a top consideration. But, don't trust either the positive or angry posts, see it for yourself...fit isn't the same for every student, and you'll know it when you see it and feel it.
The Benilde High School Community has many issues going right now!! I would highly suggest that you do your homework and ask lots of questions before sending your student here. If you do consider sending your student to BSM be very aware that the school uses their school supplied student laptops for more than assignment distribution and teaching! They hand you a very nice MacBook Air when you enroll but that sweet little laptop can be a curse! My A-B Honor student was pulled in by the principal to discuss an embarrassing private Facebook conversation which resulted in detention. During my meeting with the principal I learned that the school monitors keystrokes (which is legal) and they were able to see one side of what my student thought was a private Facebook conversation. The stories at BSM get much worse! The laptops are used as much for investigation purposes as they are for learning. I don't believe that it is the school's business to worry about what my student says in private to another person. I say this to make you all aware of something the school will not tell you when you enroll. If your student is perfect you have nothing to worry about!
For the child that posted about religion. Guess what it's a catholic school, did you consider this may be why you have religion in your school day. It's that attitude of negativity that this school doesn't need. Benilde hasa very good balance of academic with some religous studies. Not by any means overly religous as a matter of fact compared to other catholic schools in the twin cities it has much less, which to some means there is not enough. It is always odd when one who attends a private Catholic School that costs a lot of money to go to and is Private and Catholic which means there will be some religion, complains. Just leave and go to a public school. These statements are just silly and have no relevance to the quality of education and the values parents are trying to instill by having a supportive academic experience for their children. Benilde is a good school and yes it has religion and has values and high standards for it's students. If you want a stellar academic life with a nice balance of religous education with an excellent outcome for your child to attend the best colleges and universitys is the country, then BSM may be it.
This is the worst school I have ever been to in my life. And believe me, I have been to many schools. I am currently going to BSM and can't wait to leave. The teachers are O.K. but the way they put so much emphasis on religion just makes me mad. We could be spending time doing other things that are a lot more educational than RELIGION. The sports are more of a joke than anything else and the school still has so much faith in their "Red Knights" that they don't even seem to notice (or care). It makes me furious that the parents giving out these reviews are saying that this school is awesome and worth going to when it is really terrible. The only reason why the parents are saying it is a great school is because they do not go to it themselves. I am tired of this school and can't wait until the school year ends so I can go back to my old school. To conclude my "angry" review I have 5 words for you. DO. NOT. GO. TO. BSM.
I was in 9th grade at this school, and just transferred to wayzata. I went to BSM for 7th, 8th, and half of 9th grade. I absolute hate it here they have no good classes and the teachers don't care about you and don't care how you do they just want to be paid. Waste of 12,000! Do not go here/ send your kid here - former student
Here is an objective, unbiased view from a recent graduate (class of 2011). The administration does genuinely care about students, their experiences and success. Principal Skinner more so than President Tift. Many teachers, especially in the English/liberal arts programs, care about students and are willing to go out of their way to help. The math and science programs are just average, we only have 1 AP science class where Edina, Minnetonka, etc. have many. Overall, BSM is a very easy academic school for the gifted student, we don't have IB, not too many APs (the social studies AP classes are awful, look at our AP test scores), but if you are just average, then go here. The kids overall are great. There are many kids who are very smart and just not challenged enough, even when taking all the hardest classes. Luckily our college counselors are pretty good. The reason we have good college placement is because we have motivated students, not good classes or teachers. The sports scene is fantastic, no doubt about that. Oh and the ACS program is a joke. It looks good when applying to college but you don't actually do anything. Overall, a good school, but not $12,000/year good.
Benilde prepared me for college, as I knew very well how to study. I had at least 3-4 hours of homework and studying every evening. And, I participated in sports, right after school. I had some of the best teachers I could ask for, especially Math, English, Religion, Social Studies, French. The sports were so-so, but I was there for the academics anyway. I met some great, life-long friends at BSM. The one drawback that stands out the most, is the competitive nature of the social scene. Most of the students come from affluent backgrounds, with a lot of disposable incomes. I felt "out of the crowd" because I didn't come from alot of money, and I didn't drink and "party" like many of my classmates. Overall, I did get a fabulous education, which prepared me for a great college. The social aspect is one thing I wish were different. - Former Student
BSM is my dream school. The teachers really care about their students and their success. BSM has a range of classes which includes very challenging courses. BSM is my family and anyone is welcomed into this amazing community.