Academically the school is strong in many areas, but is very hit-or-miss in areas such as math and science. Technology education is virtually non-existent. There is a great interest in "recruiting" strong athletes under the guise of giving lower socio-economic students a chance at a better education. While i am happy that the student body is diverse racially and socio-econonically, I feel that the interest in having a strong sports program is too great. When my son was looking at high schools i was apprehensive about a catholic military school, but i was assured that theology and leadership were at the core of these two aspects of the school. Unfortunately I have found that with the current administration this is not the case. My son has been taught that catholicism is the superior religion and that their conservative dogma is what he should believe. This goes against most of the beliefs of our family. Also, the military program does not teach the leadership characteristics that we value as a family. It teaches the military leadership ideals of do as you're told, then if you are willing to suck up to the cadre you will reach the highest level of leadership within the corps.
Once upon a time I would have heartily recommended this school, but it's most recent incarnation has been a sad letdown. The school claims to have excellent academics, but that is not the reality. Course offerings are meager at best, and the methods and resources are woefully outdated. Their "classical" model is more suited to a medieval monastery than the modern world. For example, the choices for foreign languages are Latin and Spanish - nothing more. The technology department offers one elective, website design, which is there to provide time for their one technology person to update the school website. At the moment (Fall 2011), they don't even have an on-site senior guidance counselor or a full-time nurse (the nurse they have splits her time providing administrative help to their advancement office). Not a lot for $15K a year. Many of the faculty are very dedicated and qualified, but they've been stretched and abused by the new administration. The new headmaster is oblivious and aloof to the student body and seems more interested in hobnobbing with wealthy would-be patrons and boosting his own marketability. It can change, but it will mean a change at the top.
Benedictine is a top-notch school unlike any other in the Richmond area. It is full of rich tradition and offers valuable and excellent academics and athletics. The character and camaraderie that thrives in the school as a result of the military aspect and the religious influence is a unique experience that develops young men of discipline. My son loves it and is proud to go there.The current headmaster, Jesse Grapes, is the finest of examples for the students, and his vision for the future of the school is one that is easy to rally behind. We have been pleased with our experience.
Benedictine provides young men an excellent opportunity to grow on mulitple levels. When I attended, it was a smaller school than today, but I really feel that the atmosphere nutrures the growth of a younf man in a way no other school in Richmond can offer. I would not trade my education from Benedictine for anything else i have accomplished in my life.
Benedictine High School is a great choice for any young man who wants to seek the mantle of leadership and truly grow prepared for college. The Catholic and JROTC mix truly creates wonderfully rounded young men.
BHS lives its mission - to prepare young men for college and for life-long learning as they integrate strong academics, Catholic values and JROTC leadership training. Benedictine welcomes young men from all races and creeds. My son excelled at BHS, graducated from UVA and then received his Masters at North Carolina...wonderful friends and family atmosphere. check it out for your son.
Benedictine is a wonderful school. It teaches boys discipline, respect, and excellent academics.
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