We have two boys who transferred from their public school to University School several years ago, and couldn't be happier! The faculty/administration state that it is a place where "every boy is known and loved," and really do make every effort to achieve that dynamic. The class sizes are small. Teachers and students eat family-style together every day. Both faculty and boys are divided into "houses" a la Harry Potter for their entire tenure there, and compete all year in fun, athletic, artistic and academic competitions. All of these dynamics and shared experiences contribute to the building of a unique bond between the students and their teachers, and as a result, the boys are so much more engaged in the learning process. Our kids always say that University School is "life changing," and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. We love it!
The best! From the low student to teacher ratio to the general caring nature of the teachers. They take the time to know each and every boy. The teachers are far and away what makes US stand out from every other school I've known
My sons have attended US since Kindergarten and I am not a legacy. Our family couldn't be happier! The faculty and staff are caring and responsive to any concerns we've ever had (of which there have been very few). Each one of my boys has had a phenomenal experience thanks to the excellent teaching and mentoring that takes place inside and outside of the classroom. We are very proud to be a part of this community!
US is over rated. The academics are okay, but everything else leaves a lot to be desired. The playground is unsafe: it is understaffed, teachers stand together and talk, and bulling happens. Some incidents were horrific. The administration - particularly the head of the lower school - who insists there is no bullying at US stonewalls non legacy parents who ask for help. I have been waiting over 75 days for a meeting. My son is moving to a new school in the fall. I also experienced the stonewalling last summer before the school year started when I had an important matter to discuss with the teacher or principal: stonewalled. Even worse, most parents are afraid to challenge the administrators for fear of retaliation. Unless you are a legacy family, you will be treated like second class citizens at best here. If you are a minority, you may experience discrimination in my experience. Absolutely not worth the headache or heartache nevermind the tuition.
I think this is a mixed bag at US which is not unusual as it is most places. I was recently surprised to learn that one new lower grade teacher who was new this past year may have been hired more based on a friendship with an administrator than on qualifications which sound shaky now that a group of mothers have brought them to my attention. I do suspect that they may hire talented new teachers and not give them opportunities to grow. My suspicion is the good ones get frustrated and leave.