BHSEC is a fantastic educational environment and my son has thrived. The curriculum is thoughtful and challenging; teachers are truly inspiring; kids are diverse and talented. I want to take issue with the parent who says that kids who want to get A s must stay up all night once or twice every week. That s ridiculous. My son, a rising senior, is an A student who has never once pulled an all nighter; in fact, he has rarely done homework beyond midnight. No, he s not a genius. Yes, he works hard. But he also tutors other students, joins clubs, hangs out with friends, watches TV, and spends too much time on the Internet. (Don t they all?) His resume is terrific and I suspect he will go to a top college; clearly Bard has made that possible, not precluded him from that. All top NYC high schools are rigorous, and kids do work extremely hard; BHSEC is no exception. And it s not perfect: a few teachers have been terrible, the location is remote and kids don t have so many choices for athletics or clubs. Still, I think for smart, thoughtful kids it s the best public high school in the city. My son turned down Stuyvesant for BHSEC and has never once regretted his choice.
Bard is a great educational opportunity within the public school system, with a heavy asterisk. The teachers are excellent, and committed. The administration fosters a sophisticated environment. The kids amazing. Here's the rub. There's something they call "Bard Hard". The school has a culture of exceptionally difficult grading. In order for a kid to get A's, they need to do one or two all nighters per week. For the average kid doing 3-5 hours of work per evening, that's only good enough for a B average. The kids do learn a ton, and improve their writing and thinking, and by the time they finish, they will be ready to excel in nearly any university. But Bard kids have a hard time getting into top schools because, despite having already done 2 years of college courses already, their grades are usually low. And, since they get so much homework, they don't have had a chance to put extra-curricular activities on their transcript, either. Going to BARD means having to choose between a great high school experience and a full childhood. Or, between high school and a great college opportunity. If you want to enjoy your childhood AND get into a top college, try a different high school.
The curriculum is challenging but teachers give you at least a week or so for essays and its up to you to manage your own time when writing it. I acknowledge that there are many cliques and such but all schools have that. Sometimes I also wonder if it would be better if i went to a regular high school but i want a challenge. You are not forced to do anything so if you aren't up for a challenge then don't choose bard. If you aren't willing to pay the price for 60 credits and an associates degree then don't choose bard. If you think you can just slack off and procrastinate for four years then don't choose bard. The teachers are required to stay after school for thirty minutes so you can attend tutoring and get help. They just sit there and so nothing because no one takes advantage of such a great opportunity. There are also centers such as the writing and math center which can help you at any stage of your assignment. It is a school that sends you to college ready so that you won't get your face slammed by the first door you are going to go through. They aren't doing this for their reputation like specialized schools such as Stuyvesant and such.
As an alumna (2011), I can say with confidence that I would not be the person who I am today if not for the life-changing education I received at BHSEC. My professors really challenged my thinking and supported both my personal and academic growth. When are cliques not evident? Finding the right group of friends may be difficult, but the overall community at BHSEC is incredibly inclusive. I agree with all of the comments about BHSEC's difficulty, and it may not be for everyone. It is intensive, but the pace and density of the material in the 9th and 10th grade will prepare you for the "college" leveled work, which in my honest opinion, is comparable to 100-200 leveled classes at competitive colleges. BHSEC teaches you to read critically, which is the foundation for learning how to structure an argument and having strong writing and oral communication skills. I am currently a junior at a highly selective private liberal arts college, and I can say with confidence that my learning experiences at BHSEC were more rigorous and fulfilling. I will never forget how passionate my peers and professors were. BHSEC inspires curiosity and a love for learning; that is priceless.
Hello, I'm a freshman here in BHSEC and it is a hard school. After reading most of these comments I agreed with everyone. So far the atmosphere in Bard is a little intense for me. Sometimes I wonder why they even pick me. I'm very lonely in the school and yes there are cliques. But from what i notice from the older grades such things are diminished. Some teachers my appear not to care at first , but it is us the students to make the school, not the adults. We should take advantage of this opportunity actually.Maybe if Bard look a lot nicer so there would be more space and the teachers start adapting a slower pace BARD(esp with me around( will be number 10. Also Bard is not for everyone, nor is it a place for only logical,spontaneous, critical thinking kids -from the only weird lonely freshmen in Bard:) -also I'm African american and yes some racial sly comments do occur.
I'm a student at Bard and I love it here. Yes it's a lot of work, a lot of students will get overly stressed out; I'd say about 5-10% of the students have to transfer out before Year One. But at that point everyone who is still there is able to manage the (at times disheartening) workload, and there is a really great appreciation for the school. To speak to the comment about bullying, I know there have been a few isolated incidents with the underclassmen, but the community here remains very welcoming. Yes there are 'cliques', but through every grade above and below me I've witnessed them slowly disappears as the grade gets older, until all that's left is a very supportive and friendly community. Additionally the college program is incredible. The electives such as American Education, Ethics, and History of Food foster really interesting discussions both in and most notably out of classes. With that said bard isn't for everyone. I would warn off those who seriously wish to pursue a specialized career. The art and STEM classes are definitely good but they are unmistakably intro courses and not specialized the way they would be at a tech school.
I have heard that there is excessive bullying at Bard. Can any of the students speak to that? Thanks.
If I can go back in time I would of saved myself and not went to bard. It's a horrible school and false advertised. It gives you so much work that it's impossible and the teachers are so unhelpful they wont help you they just make you"think about it" you go to meet the teacher and they just say you should write more. How does that help me write an essay. Anyways your stress level skyrockets at this school. The school work is unmanagable. A 6 page essay for Literature, with a Chemistry Lab Report, a math exam, and a history essay due all on the same day. That's crazy! This school is not diverse at all. Everyone has there own little cliques and no one comes out of it. It's very racist. All they white kids are together, the Hispanic kids are together. The black kids are together and then the Asians are together. Also this school is located in the projects so it's not a safe area for kids. I'm telling you kids the most I slept was 4hrs and I'm lucky that I'm able to even sleep for four hours. Make sure you kids really think about this school before you apply because I don't want you to go on the same road I'm going through.
For bright motivated kids, Bard is probably the best high school in NYC. The student body is as, if not more, accomplished academically than Stuy, Lehman, or Bronx Science. The faculty are, as a rule, superb. The resources available to students in the arts, travel, languages, tutoring, specialized classes, college placement, and so on are amazing and without parallel. Most kids leave Bard with 1 to 2 years of transferable college credit. The only downside is: Bard is not for everyone. It's true that kids are treated more or less as college students the day they walk in. Like most good colleges, the burden of keeping up and doing the work is put on the student. Being bright isn't enough at Bard, you also need to work hard and be motivated enough to take responsibility for your own eduction. Bard does not hold student's hands or hand out credit for trying hard or give brownie points for school spirit. The focus is on academics and individual student growth. It's much like attending a small highly selective liberal arts college. A hands down wonderful place for the right kid, tricky at best for an average or unmotivated kid.
I AM A FRESHMAN HERE. To be completely honest with whoever is reading this, I do not even know why I got into this school. My middle school was so easy its just looked good on my report card. Coming to Bard everything has started to change. Our first marking period came and I got my report card or what the teachers call "progress reports" and for the first time in my WHOLE entire school life, I got something under a B+. It was not a terrible thing but I just did not like it. The worst part about this is that, although I am still in school, I do not feel like I am learning anything AT ALL. The grades are really just grades and are nothing to me. Whats most important is that you know what you are learning. The workload is stressful and although you can have a "social" life, its hard to maintain your hobbies with the work. The teachers are helpful, but I just don't have the time to be going to homework help every after school! Now for those of you wondering whether this school is the right choice. If you are a very "smart" and "capable" person, come here ASAP. It will benefit you. Those who are ehh average like me. Dont even bother putting this school on your list. Its just not good.
BHSEC has been the largest challenge of my life. I have worked incredibly hard, but that does not always show up in my report cards. I do know, however that I have learned an incredible amount and although there are days when I hate it I have no idea where else I would have gone. It's hard because I am still experiencing it right now so I do not have great perspective, but I know in a couple years I will be so grateful to have gone to BHSEC. Every student spends at least a semester hating the school, but I'm pretty sure every high schooler experiences that. The teachers are pretty great, students are very independent, and everyone is smart in their own way. The administration is very against BHSEC having anything that is like a normal high school, so no dances, or pep rallies, or even school bells. This is probably my least favorite part of BHSEC other than the amount of work (i get at least 4 hours of homework on an easy night). We have almost no school spirit. It sucks, but thats because we all spend so much time doing school work.
Freshman at Bhsec and it only took the school the first 4 days to amaze me. Bard is a good challenge. We're different. #Bard: A Place to Think!
In answer to some reviewer's comment, we have a great singing program! I took chorus at BHSEC for 2 years and loved it more than words can express. Every semester I felt challenged, and by my final semester I spent over an hour every week with the chorus teacher, working in a group of 2 or 3 students or working on my solos with her.
As an alumna of this amazing school (Class of 2009), I can confidently say that the education BHSEC provides is world class. When I matriculated to a prestigious liberal arts college in New England, I was ahead of my peers because Bard made me solid writer, eloquent speaker, and a critical thinker. My four years at Bard were challenging. I cried many nights from exhaustion because of my long commute and never-ending homework. However, the challenge that Bard provided me strengthened me. It is not a place for everyone and please believe that not everyone makes it to Year One or to commencement day, but if you do, you will feel great pride and finally realize it was all worth it. If you are thinking of going to Bard, make sure you are committed to seeing it through and always remember your hard work certainly pays off. And if you want to send you child to Bard, make sure you are supportive of your student because they will need your help and your assurance.
this school isn't as perfect as it seems but its still a wonderful school. I am a year 2 and I've grown soo much in the past four years, intellectually and socially. I've met all types of people here and the friends that I have made, we are very close. I love how all of the teachers are very dedicated to their students and their work. A teacher is rarely absent here and they often stay after school to help their students. I wish that there was more school spirit here and I wish that we had more social events although some people do try to foster a sense of community. Academics are important but at the end of the day, we are still teenagers and it would be nice to have some of the typical high school experiences (dances,etc). Overall I enjoyed my time here and I wouldn't change my experience for anything in the world. The pros definately outweigh the cons. But think hard before you come to bard because it is not your typical high school experience. A lot of kids that started out with me in 9th grade transferred or were asked to leave because they struggled to adjust to the environment, academically and socially.
I love acedemics, but I also like the arts (singing, acting, etc.) Is Bard a good school for me? Is there any programs for, say, singing? Is there time to do stuff out of school? Thanks!!
I attended BHSEC Queens. Was I overworked? Yes Did I enjoy the workload? Absolutely. Very rarely in one's life can one admit he/she is happily enjoying writing 8 page papers on Frued, reading political philosophy, and reviewing the elasticity chapter in your microecon textbook. While admissions counslers from other colleges might not see it, we are college students. We are treated as such, expected to deliver as such, and embrace ourselves as such.We are transformed into these "social nerds" who don't care about the stigma because we actually enjoy what were learning and develop amazing ways of maturity and can hold hour long conversations with our peers and professors about any topic. Our work ethic and character become immensely different. I currently attended Haverford College in Pa, and I love it here. Quite a few of my classmates are stressed and a little disillusioned, but once you've done year 1 and year 2 at bhsec, everything else becomes manageable (or even a little simpler!) I have friends from both bhsecs that have gone of to Williams, Brown, Vassar, Pomona, Carelton, and Rice that I'm sure they would agree with me.
Best School Ever. Competitive but amazing! I will have free classes, cool teachers and many more students!
I went to this school a couple of years ago and although the classes are challenging and the students are dedicated to their work it has it's faults. Most teachers don't care if you suceed. There isn't a great support system for the students who are struggling and I would say about 15% of students transfer out before their junior year. There also seems to be a huge divide in students interactions. Most students hang out with their own races and thats all. Overall I wish my experience at bard was better but I was in that 15 % that suffered. Bard wants to be so inovative that they forget to pay attention to the needs of it's students.
i just started going to bard and so far i LOVE it! i love the people, i love the classes, i love (almost) all of my teachers, i love the enviornment, i love the way we're treated, i love that we have free periods, i love that school starts at nine, i love the class sizes.... im just so happy! i rave to all my out of school friends about it and they're all really jelous. yes, there's plenty of homework but we get plenty of time. i feel like everyone really knows what they're doing and it's SO nice to be challenged for a change.
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.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Bard High School Early College on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for Bard High School Early College, including performance data and recently posted user reviews.