I am a student at John Burroughs School. It is everything I could have hoped for. All the students and faculty are kind and, as was previously said, you can really "geek out" with anyone from the school. It is a wonderful opportunity to go to this school. Although the admissions process is rigorous and difficult to make it through, a student at John Burroughs is ultimately set for life. This school is my #1 recommendation when looking for a private school for your child to attend!
Burroughs was not easy to get into, and once you arrive there you can see why! It is very academically challenging, with only the best curriculum. Even though the academics are very demanding they offer so much more than just a flawless education. At burroughs you became a well-rounded person. Intelligent, exceptional in the arts, and athletic. It's the whole deal. Although, popularity counts, especially in the lower grades, that isn't a reason to skip this opportunity!
As a recent graduate from JBS I would have to completely disagree about the social situation at Burroughs. It is very difficult to get into Burroughs and once you get in it doesn't get much easier. I came from public schools unlike most of the students and it took me a little longer to get used to things. Almost everyone at Burroughs is brilliant and I would argue that the whole school is full of nerds and I loved it. They also encourage you to do anything you want, play sports, participate in the arts and be social. I learned how to be a good person more than how to be a good student. I always say that Burroughs is an experience, not just school.
John Burroughs prepares its students for the academic portion of college very well, and most graduates do well academically, but it does nothing for a child's self-esteem, social skills, etc. It encourages kids to push themselves and do well in school, but if for some reason they don't do as well as hoped, they are considered a failure in the eyes of their peers. The social state at Burroughs is awful as well: it is a huge popularity contest, more so than at other schools. If one is not popular or genius, he or she has no hope of survival at such a difficult school.
As a recent graduate I am able to say that I honestly enjoyed every minute of my time at Burroughs. I could not have asked for a better education, it was worth every penny of the tuition. Burroughs's one downfall could be it's diversity. It hypes itself as a diverse school. Statistically this is somewhat true, however when the class size in only 100 students it is hard for the diversity to stand out. I appreciated the diversity much more at JBS having experienced a much less diverse college. Even so, those in the minority are not singled out. I myself was in the minority economically. This did not negatively effect my education or social experience in the least. I rarely felt left out of oppertunities that my wealthier peers had. If anything it made me a stronger person and taught me life lessons that I would not have learned otherwise.
I am a recent graduate of John Burroughs. I attend Morehouse College on a full ride academic Scholarship and am in a top research program (all in my freshman year). I cannot thank John Burroughs enough for all the support and care that they have provided me with over the past six years. Many may say that this school is too rigorous and too demanding. Let me tell you first hand: so is college! If it was not for the John Burroughs community, I might not have pushed myself as hard to achieve and strive for only the best. Yes, the curriculum is challenging and the teachers are demanding, but it's all worth it when you get into the college of your choice and are able to experience life without the hassle of having to adjust to the new standards of work ethic expected.
John Burroughs is unrivalled in sheer academic excellence. The merit of the school is its learning philosophy; it focuses on growth, not restriction, and gives willing students a wealth of freedoms and opportunities that optimize any educational atmosphere. As for diversity, however, its goals are a complete farce. I would have remained quiet had Burroughs not trumpeted itself so. Do not fall victim to photoops, programs, and inane newsletters. Burroughs is obsessed with the image of perfection, and will not volunteer the true nature of things of its own volition. If you opt to send your black child there, he had best develop thick skin - and quickly.
You will never get a beter education anywhere else than John Burroughs. I have lived all over the country, met almost every type of person there is to meet and I can say my community of friends, students and teachers at Burroughs puts them all to shame. Everyone there is a superstar. You are SO educated and well prepared, I have literally coasted through one of the hardest universities to get admitted to on my Burroughs education with all A's. It really lets you cut through the busy work at school and instead create an integrated base of knowledge for yourself with the new liberal arts/pre med information to add into your already vast arsenal of knowledge. Socially, it is very close-knit which is a double edged blade. You will miss it after you graduate. Saying you went there is like saying you went to Oxford, Yale,or Princeton .
Speaking from a student's perspective, Burroughs is an amazing school because it prepares its students for both the academic and social aspects of life. Not only does it offer cultural, racial, and socio-economic diveristy, it has a wide range of students with a wide range of abilities. Not only the top of the line 'select few' are admitted. I know many students in my class alone that slack off and are unable to keep up with work in the non-AP classes. You will find this same type of student at an MICDS, Chaminade, Viz or anywhere but truth is that at Burroughs there are fewer. Burroughs offers the best environment for a student to recieve an amazing education and still have a social life. I know too. I am a senior with a 4.1 GPA, taking 3 APs, president of 3 clubs, playing 2 varsity sports, and I party like crazy.