I was a student at Darrow 20 plus years ago. As a very young and shy girl, private school seemed incredibly intimidating. What I discovered in myself in those 4 years has been invaluable for the rest of my life. Darrow is an amazing place that nutures young people and allows each student to be who they truly are. I was shocked to see a 2 star rating for my beloved school on this website which has prompted me to post this. Looking through the comments I cannot appreciate where this "average" rating comes from.. Certainly I can tell you for anyone who has a child that loves to learn, loves the outdoors snd may need a little boost to come out of their shell, Darrow was and I believe still is a wonderful school!
A great school that gave me so many opportunities to discover myself. I look back at the four years I spent there and wish I could go back!
Last year our son who previously showed intellectual curiosity and a love for learning shut down in the public school setting. Darrow has been the lifesaver for our son. He is excited about learning again. In addition to excellent academics the community promotes respect in a nurturing environment.
Darrow is a place where every kid can shine!! My son has truly discovered his best self at this extraordinary school. The teachers help students to become motivated learners, they engage the students in and out of the class, and just care about each one so that he/she feels valued. I know that he will graduate in a few years with a curiosity about the world that will serve him for the rest of his life.
As a parent of a graduate of Darrow School, I would like to commend the teachers, especially those in the the English and History departments, for their excellence.
The Darrow School's principled approach to learning and living in a caring community has had an enormous impact on our son. He has grown and developed into a person who now has a clear idea of who he is, what he values and where he wants to go. It is hard for us to ask for more than that. Darrow's small size and energetic, supportive staff and teachers- many of whom also serve as dorm parents, tutors and advisors- promotes and encourages a way of life where self-respect, respect for others and personal responsibility are the rules and not the exceptions. It is a community where doing one s best and playing by the rules trumps your won/lost record and trash talk. Darrow has been a life changing experience for our son.
My daughter has been at Darrow for two short months, and already I am completely impressed with the school and grateful for its impact on her life, both academically and personally. Our daughter began to thrive immediately at Darrow, where opportunity has been the hallmark of her experience. Her coursework is rigorous and challenging. Yet, guided and encouraged by her student advisor and academic tutor, she made high honors in her first semester. She has been happily engaged from morning to night in theatre, music, sports, academic projects and social activities. Darrow has offered the right environment for our daughter to step forward as a leader. . The combination of nurturance and challenge at Darrow has been ideal for her growth and happiness.
My son was failing in school and hated all his teachers until he went to Darrow. In the small challenging classes he blossomed, doing well and became president of his class. He loved the bright young teachers. I found Darrow to be a caring, supportive and safe environment for my son. The structure and discipline helped him to succeed. I did not feel that parent involvement was encouraged. I was always welcomed on campus and ate many meals there with my son. I also took him off campus for visits on a regular basis. The extra curricular activities and sports engaged him and were of excellent quality. I owe Darrow a debt of gratitute for giving my son a chance to succeed.
The educational consultant who told us about Darrow called it that 'strange little school,' which should have been a warning to us. Tiny, isolated Darrow doesn't know what it wants to be: a nurturing community (which is what we thought we were getting), a second-chance school for kids with learning or substance abuse or emotional difficulties, an international school; or maybe they don't care: They'll basically take any students they can get and toss them out if they can't keep up or if they deviate from the many rules the administration imposes to try to keep control. Many of the teachers are creative and dedicated, but as is common at private schools, most of them are inexperienced and don't stay very long. The administration is arrogant and rigid, though capable of turning on the charm for prospective families. Parent involvement is encouraged only if it entails recruiting and/or fund-raising.
As my son approaches the end of his career at Darrow School, I can say without a doubt that it has changed his life. He entered Darrow hating school, disliking his teachers and hiding behind his learning disability. He is about to move on to his next school confident, in love with learning and fully aware of how to take responsibility for his own learning issues. They certainly never coddled him, and he loves them for that. He had to fight to graduate. He is now a tough, disciplined, driven young man, but also kind and gentle and full of the humanity shown to him there. Darrow and the staff and faculty will always be a part of him. As parents we felt we had partners. His adviser checked in with us more than we called him. The Shaker setting, though challenging at times, was inspirational.
This school does have many good qualities. However, I also have to agree the school does not handle the needs of students with learning diabilities well. Most of the teachers are wonderful and go beyond what is required and expected of them. The school did not live up to its promises.
Darrow is very proactive in their approach to learning. Their attention to each child is phenomenal. The staff is dedicated, although many are young. The campus is beautiful, but remote. Parents are active participants in their child's education. Lots of sports and community service.
Darrow has many fine qualities but giving students a second chance is not one of them. They are also unable to deal with children with any special learning needs. They say they provide support but wait until a child fails to put it in operation. I was disappointed in learning that what I thought would be a supportive, individualized environment for my son put all of the responsibilities for accessing information and asking for help on the child. Where are the educators that are suppose to understand teenagers and help them deal with stress and transitions.
The combination of outstanding faculty, exciting and challenging curriculum, private tutoring, fair discipline, and mutual respect between students and faculty has made Darrow a life-changing experience for my child. 'I love school' was never in my child's vocabulary prior to Darrow.
Small class size and individualized attention make this school special, as does the strong hands-on learning/service learning approach. This school has a particularly strong arts program (they just built a new art building last year). Darrow also has a very strong science program. They process their own waste water on campus via The Living Machine. Students, alongside faculty, run the machine and give tours to visitors. Darrow is the only high school in the country to be processing its own waste water. The faculty are warm and embracing and clearly dedicated to the students. Students are empowered to create their own extra-curricular programs with full support of faculty.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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