The physical campus is amazing and so many of the faculty really care consistently about the students. The arts, sports as well as academics are all there to be taken advantage of by each and every student.
This school is really an amazing system. It is a beautiful environment, the schedule allows kids to thrive and grow independently, and majority (but not all) of the students are very nice and very intelligent. The downsides are the immense work load, the cold/strict teachers and the high demands/expectations are virtually collage level. I don't know how some kids can maintain a B/A average, do 3 sports and be involved with clubs and participate in extra community service AND have a social life. But overall, if you feel your kid is smart enough, mature enough, independent and stable enough, and you can afford it, I highly recommend this school. Many students get into well acclaimed collages by their senior year as well.
The quality of the teachers in the middle school is poor. It is not worse your money. The middle school principle keeps the grade principals and teachers in fear. Our child completed 3 years at Poly that we totally regret now. Safe your money for college tuition instead.
My son recently completed 6th grade at Poly Prep. This was his second year at Poly. I have found most of the teachers to be of extremely high quality, with a number of them having taught at Poly for many years. Their dedication to Poly comes through during parent / teacher conferences and school events. There is also a healthy batch of teachers newer to the school, providing a nice balance. Whenever my spouse or I had a question, the teachers were quick to respond to our emails. In general, the communication from the school is excellent, with the head of the middle school sending frequent, useful updates to parents and the head of school sending important school-wide updates. I feel connected to the school. There are numerous opportunities for parents to get involved (parent grade reps, admissions office, open house, auction, etc.) so all can be as active in the school as they want. Poly offers an appealing blend of academics, arts and sports. Kids are encouraged to challenge themselves in all three areas. Poly runs an extensive bus service, enabling kids to attend from all 5 boroughs. This results in strong diversity among the student (and parent) body.
The school has many nice things but too much trash is going there. A lot of the 8th grade boys are bullies. There is nothing nice about them. The administration seems to put them on display. But the nice young men get no credit. What message is Poly sending?
Good intentions from the administration, but uneven execution. The classroom experience can be unengaging. Homework was piled on for 2 of the trimesters only to have the third trimester be a complete waste of time. I was disappointed to learn that my child did not have finals and the last report card contained no individualized comment from the teachers. My child has found cheating to be all too common. The attention to sports dominates and if your child is not an athlete (or a superfan) they'll be a 2nd class citizen. The students tend to be overly concerned with status and possessions. A very competitive social scene as well.
My daughter found herself at Poly, in academics, in athletics and on the stage. She learned to write and carry out research, to interact with diverse classmates and to be confident. Poly prepared her to thrive in the world. She is now working in a humanitarian field, has significant ability using computers and in mathematics, but also a drive to be successful. She also has a conscience and wants to do something that will help the world. She also made friends that I think will be with her all her life.