This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted January 31, 2015
- a parent
Two of my children have attended Darrow - one graduated a few years ago and another is currently enrolled. The educational experience at Darrow is exceptional -- engaged and creative teachers and staff, small classes, meaningful and innovative curriculum are all part of the educational atmosphere of the school. My older child was very well prepared for success at a competitive liberal arts college and my younger child is being intellectually and creatively challenged each day both in the classroom and beyond. The community at Darrow makes the school what it is. Faculty, staff, and students all create an environment rich in opportunities and support.
Darrow is a school for creative young people with high but unconventional aspirations who have not been well served by traditional private and public schools. Over my years of association with the school, I saw student after student experience the joy and fulfillment that comes with success in academics and the hands-on projects that are the hallmark of the Darrow experience.
I went to Darrow in the 70s and it was the most formative educational experience of my life. I left a very traditional, well respected private school in New York City for what I hoped would be a more progressive, intimate approach to learning, and that's exactly what I got. The teachers were very engaged, educated and creative, and they took a very active interest not only in imparting knowledge, but in making me the best version of myself. In fact, they were the first to identify my talents and guide me toward what became a very successful career. I am only writing this review because the same educational values are very much at work at Darrow today. Great teachers, great traditions in their Hands to Work program and an absolutely gorgeous campus combine to make this a gem of a boarding school.
I went to Darrow years ago as I was unchallenged in public school and my boredom was impacting my studies. My arrival on campus was a turning point, as I found an environment that cultivated intellectual curiosity both inside and outside of the classroom, and critical thinking that put me ahead of my peers when I got to college. I'm happy to find that the school is even more solid now than it was then. I'm six years into my 2nd Presidential administration and I owe it to my time at Darrow.
I was a student at Darrow about 5 years ago. It remains one of the fondest memories of my life. I was inspired by truly fabulous teachers to pursue new interests and to excel both academically and socially. I'm not sure why there are so many reviews on here that are ultra-critical. Darrow is NOT right for everyone--no school is. Parents that are overly concerned with bragging to their friends and neighbors about the number of AP courses their child takes and the Ivy League placements they get are going to be bitter about the equally if not more wonderful education Darrow gives compared to a more traditional preppy school. The progressive nature of Darrow's educational philosophies mean that AP courses aren't offered, because why teach to a test? The parents who base their judgment of a school's quality on those types of things are the same parents who think standardized testing is a sound indicator of intelligence or capability. They're wrong, and quite frankly, behind the times. Don't listen to all of the haters. Darrow is a wonderful place for the right kind of kid. Visit it, take a tour, sit in on a class or two. It changed my life, so why not see for yourself?
I graduated from Darrow in the 70s, and our son graduated in 2011. The school boasts the best of many worlds: rigorous academics taught in a way that works for each student; a supportive community that gives kids the room to grow; lots of adults who mentor each student and encourage their exploration of topics that interest them. When you go to Darrow, it changes you in a way that stays with you for life. It is located on a gorgeous campus, infused with history and natural beauty. Kids that go to Darrow are the lucky ones.
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!