This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Rutgers Preparatory School5
Posted November 19, 2014
- a community member
As a graduate of RPS I can say that I received an excellent education at RPS. The quality and depth of my education was apparent after the first few weeks on UPenn's campus. I was prepared not only for the workload but also confident that I could produce the caliber of work that was expected of the student body at UPenn. I began RPS in the middle school and started to understand what it felt like to move towards my academic and athletic potential. By my Junior year at RPS I took upper level classes, earning grades I was proud of, and excelling athletically. Before attending RPS I barely dreamed of excelling academically or athletically. Before RPS I felt lost in the crowd, yet while at RPS I felt nurtured, challenged, and valued as a person. Now, years after graduating, I see the path that my RPS education made possible for me. I know I am a more confident, empathetic and a well rounded person for having gone to Rutgers Prep.
RPS Thank you for being the place that gives our son - confidence, a voice and a sense of pride. It was very hard for a shy kid to take a chance and go to a school away from his friends in public school and where he didn t know anybody. It didn t take long for him to blend in and take advantage of everything that RPS has to offer academics, athletics, supportive and available teachers, diversity, independence, and I could go on. He wears his RPS clothing with a smile and the ride home is filled with conversation about his day. This is truly incredible considering that the teen years, we heard, are typically a time when boys stop sharing information with their parents. We look forward to next year when his younger brothers will join this amazing community. We only have one regret Why did we wait so long to send them to RPS??
I am a proud parent of a Rutgers Prep graduate (Class of 2014). We all found Rutgers Prep to be a warm and nourishing environment. The teachers were always willing to provide assistance and/or guidance even if this time is needed before school or after school. Rutgers Prep truly cares about the whole student, not just an academic test score. Our son is a fine young man who became a leader in the classroom and on the athletic field. Due to the phenomenal, well-rounded education my son received at Rutgers Prep, he is now attending a top college recently recognized by the New York Times as, "Better Than Ivy..." Once again, it was the teachers/coaches who guided my son to this fine secondary institution. He is well prepared for and flourishing in his first semester of college. We could not be more proud of our son. Having our son attend Rutgers Prep is one of the best decisions we've ever made for his future. We are forever grateful!!
Rutgers Prep is a phenomenal educational and professional environment. Students have opportunities to learn, collaborate, grow, and lead; and faculty are extremely well supported in their endeavors to facilitate these opportunities. As a product of an independent school education, and a child of a teacher, I have a tremendous respect for, and awareness of, the things that are so easy to take for granted in an independent school. A sense of community. Mutual respect among faculty and between children and adults. Collaborative efforts between divisions to foster connections between students of all ages. Access to cutting edge technologies. These attributes are built in to Rutgers Prep, and they make a huge difference in the lives of its teachers and students. They are at the forefront of the School s mission, and yet they are not forced; it just comes naturally. And that result is the product of a caring and compassionate community, who is invested in its students, teachers, and administrators at every level.
The school lacks strong leadership, suffers from a stale, poorly articulated curriculum and inconsistent (at best) teaching quality. The MS English curriculum consists of dragging out three books over the full year and giving quizzes on those books. Our eldest did no creative writing and little writing at all after grade 5. The math curriculum is a year behind that of peer schools. The science curriculum is also out of step-neither a legitimate accelerated traditional approach, nor the physics first alternative. Rather, students are provided a diluted life science course in 8th grade to give the appearance of an accelerated traditional sequence. The elem curriculum is driven by semester long projects that are not thoughtfully integrated learning experiences but rather an opportunity to put on a daylong show for parents (created by parents). Finally, the high turnover of students, increased behavior issues, unwillingness to manage them appropriately, and the school s attempts to stay financially viable by expanding their Chinese exchange program signal a school facing serious challenges. Current leadership seems unwilling to tackle these challenges and faculty largely incapable.
We had two children in the lower school - initially we were very happy, as the teachers in the annex are wonderful. Over time problems arose - there were a few kids with severe behavioral issues and our kids were becoming increasingly nervous about going to school. The teachers did everything they could and the administration was clearly concerned more about revenue than solving the problem at hand. As a less competitive school, there is not a waiting list of kids hoping to get those slots so the administration allows things to go on long past what is reasonable. While the diversity of this school is wonderful, the administration does not give the required support to the teachers in tough situations. We were very disappointed and moved our kids to another independent school with a better track record of support and tone from the top.
We are proud parents of a son (RPS class of 2010) and daughter (RPS class of 2014). Each entered RPS in the Middle School, and then completed the Upper School. Their RPS experiences were excellent and very gratifying. The school and staff provided the intimate and nurturing environment that allowed our children to develop into self-confident, mature young adults. With the wide range of advanced academic offerings, each of our children created rigorous schedules emphasizing their interests. Both our son and daughter found the educators ALWAYS willing to avail themselves for any help or guidance needed. Our son is about to complete an undergraduate degree at a notable Northeast engineering school. Later this year, our daughter will begin the journalism program at a prestigious Eastern college. RPS taught our children to become leaders in the classroom, and on the sports fields. These outcomes would not have been possible without the well-rounded education afforded them at RPS. We could not have made better investments in the futures of our children than sending them to RPS.
Extremely disappointing and highly over-rated. While there are some genuinely caring staff members at the school, overall we found the Lower School teaching quality mediocre to quite poor, while the administration was high-handed, authoritarian and uncooperative. There seemed to be a strong emphasis on conformity versus creativity. They were neither kid- nor parent-friendly, and our child was manifestly unhappy there. Considering the small class sizes, which should have been a plus, there was an astounding level of psychological bullying. If this school spent as much energy on providing a supportive learning environment as they do on public relations and fundraising they might someday live up to the carefully crafted image they like to put forward. Once parents sign the contract, the tone can change quite quickly.
As a parent of two graduates of RPS, I am extremely grateful for the education they received. They both found their passion (one for science and one for law), were admitted to their first choice schools, left HS with self confidence, and were better prepared for college than many of their peers. They are now successful young professionals in law and medicine and I'm convinced that their RPS experience was critical in their success. RPS has teachers who love to teach and a diverse student body. Their RPS education was a great investment, probably the best my wife and I have made for our children.
Rutgers Prep is one of the hidden gems in a highly competitive independent school market. My children have attended Rutgers Prep for the last eight years and have embraced the academic rigor and the core values offered by the institution. There are so many opportunities to carve out your niche and follow your passion. At Rutgers Prep, not only do faculty members know my children, they are advocates for them and know their best selves. I could not be more proud of my kids and know that the Rutgers Prep community deserves a large part of the credit.