This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted February 10, 2014
- a parent
While no school is perfect, we have found that Ravenscroft is a great fit for all three of our children. We moved from a strong public school system in New England to Raleigh two years ago. The Wake County School system was overwhelming to navigate with children entering grades 9, 7 and 4. Charter schools are a wonderful option if you are lucky enough to "win" the lottery. Ravenscroft is expensive and there is certainly an element of privilege that runs through the grades. We receive financial aid and stretch/sacrifice to cover the rest. The "country club" feel that other reviewers have described has not dominated our experience. In fact, we have been pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the student body. Every teacher has gone above and beyond to support and encourage. Small class sizes, a challenging curriculum, a wide range of extra-curriculars (especially starting in middle school), and character development have all been a part of our experience. Any concerns have been handled in a timely, open manner. Our children's unique strengths are nurtured, their vulnerabilities are supported, and they are thriving. It's been the right choice for us.
My son is a kindergartener and this is our first experience with the school. We are halfway through the year and I am well pleased. Initially I had concerns with him being able to catch on because he didn't go to pre-school but, I was so impressed at his progression in only the first few weeks in school. Not only was he writing legibly but, was reading and sounding out words on his own and he enjoyed it! He loves school and looks forward to it daily. His math skills are steadily improving. He enjoys reading and, in his free time, creating stories and writing books. He has also discovered his creative side and now likes to make illustrations to go along with his stories. I have to give much credit to his teacher. I don't question that my son is getting a quality education. The staff and teachers I've encountered are friend and helpful. Communication is very open. I like being actively involved in my son's education experience and the community feel of the school. Diversity was somewhat of a concern at first but, this has not impacted my son's education experience at all and the school is growing in this area.
I made the decision to choose a private school in Raleigh due to the instability of Wake County's districting and narrowed it down to three. Ultimately the size of Ravenscroft (larger student body) along with the fact that it offered more athletic options swayed me. Also, I am not religious (that is not to say I am not respectful of religion). But did not feel comfortable with any sort of God curriculum. My big fear in sending my child to private school was that he would be surrounded people who were all alike because there would be a majority of kids from a certain socio-economic background. This was not the case for us. We have kids from different countries, different religions, same sex families, disabilities, ethnicities, etc. in his grade alone. That is not to say your traditional white prep school stereotypes (and their parents) are not present, because they are. But they are not dominating in my experience. For my son, Ravenscroft has been worth every cent. It has been a super nuturing community for him to develop academically and socially. After 8 years we have not had a bad teacher and every administrative issues was promptly dealt with. I've loved it, plain and simple.
It's unfortunate not to rate this school higher. The teachers can be excellent, they can also be the worst. Having said this, generally they do care and want your children to succeed. Here's the downside, the students are incorrigible brats- spoiled rotten- bordering on mean. If you are a church going family, very conservative and don't do anything out of the ordinary, perhaps this school is for you. If you have different views on the world, then don't put your kids through the torture. It's not worth it. Note: Many of the best middle school teacher have left for greener pastures and as I'm sure you know, the good ones leave first. (Grammar through Middle School, have since moved)
I have two children currently attending Ravenscroft High school. (We moved our children from public school when they started middle school.) Overall I am very pleased with the curriculum and feel like both of my children thrive in the more challenging environment since their enrollment. The majority of the teaching is caring and have done an excellent job in preparing children for higher level classes and college. They are always available if extra assistance is needed and have after school hours daily. I have one child heavily involved in HS sports who will also play in college, but I have never felt like it to precedence over her education. Regarding the "country club" mentality, sure there are people here that have money, BUT you would be surprised at the number of people struggling to keep their kids here as well. It was the right choice for my family and I've never looked back.
Three examples of a good school are its alumni achievement, its academic offering, and parents feedback. I must say RC with its type of school leaders, and parents comments in the community, is clearly a showoff and more of a country club setting than a school. If you compare by Wake County standards, RC falls to the lower category of area schools. The school may think being old is good, but it has lost teaching, education, and leadership direction clearly. This downfall transition has taken place in the last 15 years and more rapidly recently, since Triangle area schools have really shinned. Take a look at Raleigh Charter on the national ranking, and look at Cary Academy, or Durham Academy, or MC Math and Science. Maybe small town of Raleigh 100 years ago had a good school called RC, but this is not the case today, as Triangle has grown and has achieved significantly. More importantly, good schools are usually in the news with measureable achievements and not hype news. We have not seen academic achievements of RC in the news in recent times.
Ravenscroft has been an amazing experience for our family. We are THRILLED with not only the teaching and leadership (which brings to life a rigorous academic curriculum), but also the school's commitment to providing outstanding fine arts, technology, sports, and multi-cultural experiences for its students. Additionally, for an upper-tier private school, we have been extremely impressed by the ever-growing diversity we see across campus. We feel like Ravenscroft is striking an excellent balance between nurturing our boys and celebrating their gifts, while challenging and preparing them for the world into which they are headed. I
What a disapointment it was-truly grass is not greener on the other side.. glad we pulled our kid from the school. Lack of direction for school academics.. no challenge for kids- just average curiculum.. just wanted to say- glad we no longer there.. there are more greater schools then this and no need to pay all that money.. unless u are a mom who never held a job and just looking to show off between your friends- uhh my kid is at Ravenscroft whil i am at the spa or Crabtree mall.. please..no wonder this school still survives- these clueless moms..i got my education and the job i know what it takes to get ahead in life and this scholl .. -NOT IT.. only regret that i didnt lesson to reviews before we joined.. wow they were right..
We are a 3 generation Ravenscroft family and although we are very fond of the school and feel the teaching staff is far superior to public school, we have been very disappointed in the administration in recent years; its choices and apparent lack of ethics. We will likely be removing our middle school son before he reaches the upper school if things continue along this trajectory.
I was a transplant to Ravenscroft School at the beginning of my freshman year, having attended another private school in the area. I chose Ravenscroft because of its amazing academics and well rounded high school experience. And on that level, it has yet to disappoint. There are so many levels of classes that any student will feel challenged, and this academic environment is further heightened by all of the extracurriculars made available. However, the social side of this school has left a bad taste in my mouth. Obviously, with such a high tuition price, Ravenscroft attracts the richest families in the area. It is very much an old money school, and cliques are an ever present idea. As both a new student and a scholarship/financial aid student, I often feeel I am greeted with a cold shouler because of my family's tax bracket. Obviously, the numbers for this school don't lie, it is amazing in almost all of its pursuits, but if your child does not fit the Ravenscroft image of a future socialite, I would think about looking somewhere else.