As a student that graduated recently in the top 7% of the class, I can whole-heartedly say that Ursuline transformed me into the young woman I am today. I might not have enjoyed every single moment as it was happening, but, looking back, Ursuline really does mold us, makes us think for ourselves, and appreciate our self worth. Socially, it can be clique-y. However, that's to be expected when most girls are coming in from the Catholic feeder schools (Prince of Peace, St. Rita, St. Monica, etc.) so a majority of the girls already know each other coming in. It's not a terrible thing that there are cliques because everyone has their own clique; no one's left out, but inter-mingling is rare. Furthermore, there's no animosity between cliques. As for the academics, there are areas that could be improved upon. The humanities department is pretty fleshed out and most of the teachers really helped me improve my writing. I will say, however, that I had a teacher that stuck out like a sore thumb and considerably worsened my writing and I still struggle to understand why she teaches there. The school needs to make sure that the teaching quality is consistent because, while socratic style teaching is interesting, other aspects of the classroom and curriculum need to be upheld. The math department is a toss-up. Half the teachers are fantastic and the other half...not so much. Again, consistency. The science department really needs to gain more faculty. There's about only 1-2 teachers teaching physics and the one that I had didn't really teach so I had to teach it myself. I thought the religion department took itself too seriously...did not like that faith classes took up spots where I could've been taken other AP classes. Art department needs MUCH more faculty. Homework is manageable; I took all the honors/AP I could, did well, and I still had friends so it IS possible. Overall, Ursuline has a place for everyone and really matures girls into women, but the academics need some more consistency.
A lot of people comment about how much homework Ursuline girls are given. I would say as an Ursuline student that they give us just enough. I actually thought it was very little compared to my expectations. You are required to study and studying takes a lot of time because the tests are challenging, but not impossible. It is all about how you manage your time and your priorities. Most of the girls get outstanding grade despite the amount of homework given and are still able to exceed in sports and in arts. Also girls come back saying that their college experience has been a lot easier for them then for other college students because Ursuline prepared them and taught them to manage their time and know their priorities.
Ursuline greatly emphasizes the honor code and a lot of people follow that. It is a community where people work hard to get what they want; they wouldn't cheat to get something that someone else earned. It's the community spirit that keeps us intact. Also there are strict rules against cheating. It is taken very seriously but also fairly. Ursuline has an honor council so that if any student or teacher suspects of someone cheating they turn it into the council. The council will then interview the student, the teacher, the student who turned in the notice, and other students or teachers that may be involved. Then the whole council will decide on a punishment. This rules out possible biased opinions teachers and avoids misunderstanding of the situation.
I have learned so much during my first year. I was challenged as a student and inspired as a person. I had to learn how to manage my time and to really put school first before any after school or social activity. I learned to be proactive and to take initiative when talking to my teachers to get work I have missed or to ask questions about a topic I didn't understand. I learned study skills and found my study method on how I study best. I was inspired by what Ursuline stands for as a school and that is to train young girls to change the world even in the little ways. We discussed current events which inspired me to make a difference in my community. I went to seminars during teen issue weak which inspired me to be kind to the people around, to be encouraging to all and to recognize their gifts, and to listen. I was inspired by my teachers to be myself and to speak my mind. I learned not to let anyone dim my light. I have grown not only as a student but also as a person and I will forever be great full for what Ursuline is giving me.
I love Ursuline! Ursuline is designed for the female student who wants to succeed academically and have a good social life. I did not come from one of the Catholic feeder schools (St. Rita, St. Johns, All Saints, Prince of Peace, etc.) but all the girls accepted me immediately. The extra-curricular activities are excellent. There is pretty much a club for everyone at UA, and if you can't find one that's right for you, you can start one! The teachers are fantastic at their subjects and are helpful to every student. It is true that teachers/administrators do not want to hear from parents, but that is because they want to girls to learn to speak up for themselves, as a part of becoming mature. Like the last commenter, I did not get any honors classes my first year, but they are willing to help anyone who shows interest in advancing further. Their math and science department are fantastic, so I'm no sure what those comments are all about. Overall, Ursuline is a kind, challenging environment where girls are interested in learning and doing their very best. If you have a daughter and are looking for a good private high school, do not pass UA up!
I graduated from Ursuline back in 2011 and it seems like just yesterday I was there. For parents/students who didn't consider Ursuline as a first choice for your child, don't worry. Ursuline wasn't my first choice but I went there after getting financial aid. I can honestly say now that I'm happy I chose to go here. The classes were challenging but they are do-able. Go into the Academy with an open mind. I was so happy to find that people at school were helpful and really cared. I'm still in contact with some of my former teachers and I absolutely love the friends I made while I was at Ursuline.
From day one of freshman year, teachers are prepared to work with students. Each year, teachers teach differently according to the student's grade level. Ultimately, Ursuline Academy high school students are college level graduates who can work independently off of texts and can handle academic discussion. Additionally, they graduate from a school that values tradition and their motto of "SERVIAM" or "I WILL SERVE".
I graduated from Ursuline and loved every minute of high school and, because I was prepared and ready for it, I have loved every minute of college. Ursuline trains students to take pride in their work, to be independent citizens and to balance their academic and social lives.
I LOVE URSULINE. Although it is challenging, I'm so peppered for college academically and socially. I have made life long friends here. I was the only person from my school to make it to UA and absolutely loved it. Yes, its true if you don't work hard, you definitely won't make it but it builds character. Plus, everyone else is in the same position you are. As for the administration not caring, i find that to be false as well. All my teachers dedicated time to my understanding of the concepts being taught. Its a great place, great environment and prepares students for the future.
My daughter will graduate from UA this year in the top 10% of her class, with great grades and fabulous test scores. But she paid a steep price. She had no life outside of academics. Ursuline prepares them for college by immersing them in 4 years of competitive college level work. (I teach college.) Parents have no voice whatsoever. The rules and curriculum are unyielding. The administration does NOT care to hear from parents at all except to donate money. Teachers do not have longevity, and the math and college counseling dept are exceptionally poor. My daughter will be prepared academically for college but not socially. I would not send another child there, despite the excellent academic preparation. It's not worth it.