Sidwell is a great school for a lot of kids. It is great for very smart kids who want to go on to do great things. But if your child has some learning disabilities or seriously is thinking about being a professional athlete, this is probably not the best school for them. It is an extremely academically challenging school. But the athletics don't do so well and the theater is just okay. It is a great school for a lot of kids but not for everybody.
Very challenging academics. Students will have already experienced college level academics by the time they graduate from Sidwell. Lots of high achievers. NO grade inflation here. Not for everyone but a great school.
I'm a highschool student at Sidwell, and I'm here to set things straight. A parent cannot base the school on their own child. Individuals have drastically different experiences from one another, based on personality, courses, and friends. Their class/grade will have a large impact, varying greatly year-by-year. The true basics: - expensive! - very intensive academics (depends on course levels) - liberal - very conscious of its image (Who can blame them? Diplomats'-children galore.) - Quaker-based (with plans currently in progress for furthering Sidwell Quaker values) - a vacuum/bubble (If you take advantage of all academic, artistic, and athletic opportunities given to you, there is little time left over) Sidwell seems quite idealist (google Quaker "S.P.I.C.E.S.") and there's MUCH room for improvement, but students are given the opportunity to have a fantastic education and flourish with dedication. The ride is up to the student, and a good fit.
Easy to be ' wonderful school ' when you identify and keep those students with the right 'inner light' and the chance to do well no matter where they go. Sidwell's focus is on making sure it keeps it's name rather than the energy required in putting Quakerism truly into practice for all students. Sidwell Teachers are far from being top rated--the school continues to shine because of handful of outstanding students (not because of sidwell Leadership/teachers!). Sidwell outstanding cadre of volunteers who work around the clock to support the system. There are far better school that provides truly diverse environment for students rather than the far from reality bubble that Sidwell provides. Ratings: Lower school--nothing more than glorified day care. middle school--poor leadership; lack of individualized support/loss of critical years. high school---kids survive --school keeps only the self driven outstanding students. PS. kids love the school and we think we could have done better!
Wonderful school. The school really does make an effort to ground their students by seeking the 'inner light' within all individuals. Does it magically transform the children? No. Does the process have value? Yes. However, the school does not aspire to exalt or show recognition of individual accomplishments, either in academics or sports, because of that Quaker restraint. Hence if you are looking for your child to get recognition (i.e. the brag factor) this school may not be a good fit for you and truly, there are many other excellent independent schools in the DC area to choose from that do not have this restraint. Re: bullying, it should be noted that there has been a change in Principals for the Upper School- for the 2009-10 term, the interim principal, a veteran teacher and administrator, has been excellent and the incoming Principal looks to be extraordinary as well.
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