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Experience with Prep Schools?? - Page 4

post #46 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
Just about every really good public high school (and I'm not talking Stuyvesant kind of school here), and there are quite a few of them, sends their top 2-5% to elite schools. My graduating class was one of the weaker ones and something like the top 10-12% were Cal/UCLA level.

I'd imagine the competition at elite prep schools are brutal nearly all the way through the class since its such a self selected pool; at public school I'd say there was only real competition in the top 5%.

Even if you compare Stuyvesant to the top private schools the sheer amount of kids from the private schools that get accepted to top schools is mesmerizing.

I went to Exeter and from what I remember acceptance numbers to top 10 undergrad programs were about 15-25 kids per school (i.e. 20 accepted to harvard, 15 to princeton, etc.) and this is out of a class of about 200 kids. If you look at Stuy they probable had the same numbers but out of a much larger class size.

It's not as crazy as movies make it out to be - no crazy drugs, sex, etc. Because if you get caught they kick your ass out regardless of who you (or your parents) are. As an example: getting caught for something as stupid as weed was an auto boot. There was only one kid that I know of who did NOT get kicked out of school for smoking marijuana and it was because it was the last semester of senior year and he was one of the best hockey players in the nation (at the time).
post #47 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEARTLESS-531 View Post
You guys are great - thanks a ton. I can't find this type of input on the web - everything is sanitized. Here's a little more of the skinny:
-She has another year in public school, then hopefully starting.
-Considering Choate, St Pauls, Phillips x 2, Deerfield, Roxbury Latin, Milton, Groton. Overlooking anything?
-Someone made a comment about DAY (meaning no boarding) and BOARDING. Any more ideas on that?
Thanks. Know you guys are busy so really appreciate it.

Those are all great schools but personally, I would pick one that's smaller than most of those to maximize the teacher-student ratio. Somewhere under or close to 500 students total.

Roxbury Latin is a fantastic choice and there are other schools within their league which are great and not as big as some of the others you mentioned.
post #48 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraiche View Post
Those are all great schools but personally, I would pick one that's smaller than most of those to maximize the teacher-student ratio. Somewhere under or close to 500 students total. Roxbury Latin is a fantastic choice and there are other schools within their league which are great and not as big as some of the others you mentioned.
Pretty much every school he has listed has a teacher student ratio of at max 12:1 - most of the "better" ones have ratios as low as 7:1. It's essentially what you're paying for when you send your kid to these places.. In the end it's not where your kid goes but what he/she makes of it.
post #49 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post
I think it's the whole big-fish-in-a-little-pond thing. A record like his might have stood out more at a public school in middle america.
Depending on the school, some will actually hurt you if we're strictly talking about getting you into an elite university. Where I was, grading was much tougher and classes were more demanding than at a public school (I attended both over the years through elementary and hs). They stuck only loosely to the regular hs curriculum and there was lots of extra stuff. We had a couple kids that won national writing competitions and yet they rarely got over 90% in english. I had an essay that was used as a model for years after I left, but i barely scratched 90 on it and it was one of only a couple 90s i got in my entire time there. My physics teacher saw fit to give us a sin test for our final exam (this is a test administered by the university of waterloo with an average grade in the 12% range). We were expected to write university level research papers in chem (we had access to local university for journal articles etc). We had an extra, for fun class, that counted towards our average, where we studied relativity and other advanced topics in science. After all that, the fuckers didn't bell-curve us so that we'd be on par with public school students. There's supposedly an understanding on admissions committees that you're coming from a tougher school, but I'm not sure how well that holds true in practice. Had I applied to the elite american schools, i'm sure i would have looked weaker than the hoards of kids with 90+ averages in english and everything else. Now, if we're talking schools like exeter, where the name recognition is VERY high, things might be a bit different, but there are lots of private/prep schools of varying quality and admissions committees won't know all of them.
post #50 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaO888 View Post
Pretty much every school he has listed has a teacher student ratio of at max 12:1 - most of the "better" ones have ratios as low as 7:1. It's essentially what you're paying for when you send your kid to these places..

In the end it's not where your kid goes but what he/she makes of it.

This.

I don't think your kid is necessarily going to be handicapped if you don't send him to private school. I am very glad I went, because it compensated for lack of parental involvement and was a lot of fun. I never saw my parents as a teenager. My mother was always at the hotel and my father moved out. Without the private schooling I'd probably be a mess right now. Actually, I was a mess for a while, but what was beat into my head about hard work and success in prep school ultimately got me back on track. I still maintain occasional contact with my two favorite teachers.

I think that if you send your kids to public but are very involved in what they're doing, they should be able to do just as well.
post #51 of 147
This thread seems to have the classic "SF members striving to be blue bloods" feel about it...

I understand wanting to give your kid the best opportunities and not wanting them to slog through a terrible public school experience, but some of you folks need to lighten up. I think there are pros and cons for both public and private school and it is highly dependant on what type of child you have. I would have completely flamed out at a private school and my parents knew that so they sent me to public.

Wanting your kid to get into a good university is fine but treating it as the endgame to their high school experience is pretty negative, in my humble opinion.
post #52 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
This thread seems to have the classic "SF members striving to be blue bloods" feel about it...

I understand wanting to give your kid the best opportunities and not wanting them to slog through a terrible public school experience, but some of you folks need to lighten up. I think there are pros and cons for both public and private school and it is highly dependant on what type of child you have. I would have completely flamed out at a private school and my parents knew that so they sent me to public.

Wanting your kid to get into a good university is fine but treating it as the endgame to their high school experience is pretty negative, in my humble opinion.

Why do you say that? I think that people that haven't attended have no idea what it's really about. They rarely get an accurate portrayal in movies or on TV. There is so much variation between private schools that it really is hard to generalize.

I went to 4 different private schools over the years, from one that was probably top 3 in canada, to a couple pretty mediocre ones, to the one i graduated from which wasn't an elite school academically, but was better than avg. for a private school and provided a very enjoyable experience.

You do make a good point though. A parent should choose a school that's the right fit for their kid. I'd always go private given the chance, but i'd shop around for one that had the right feel. The first school i went to, starting in grade 4, was EXTREMELY competitive on the verge of being nasty at times. Teachers were very hard on us. Honestly, I was an introverted kid and wasn't cut out for it at that age, though I looked back fondly on it later and wished circumstances would have allowed me to stay there longer.
post #53 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Why do you say that? I think that people that haven't attended have no idea what it's really about. They rarely get an accurate portrayal in movies or on TV. There is so much variation between private schools that it really is hard to generalize.

I went to 4 different private schools over the years, from one that was probably top 3 in canada, to a couple pretty mediocre ones, to the one i graduated from which wasn't an elite school academically, but was better than avg. for a private school and provided a very enjoyable experience.

You do make a good point though. A parent should choose a school that's the right fit for their kid. I'd always go private given the chance, but i'd shop around for one that had the right feel. The first school i went to, starting in grade 4, was EXTREMELY competitive on the verge of being nasty at times. Teachers were very hard on us. Honestly, I was an introverted kid and wasn't cut out for it at that age, though I looked back fondly on it later and wished circumstances would have allowed me to stay there longer.

I knew plenty of kids in private school and a few of my siblings went to private school so I knew how it was and I knew that it wouldn't have worked for me. I had borderline ADD as a teen and needed a place where I could sort of bounce of the walls without it being too much of an issue. My parents realized that and let me get through high school my way, for which I'm very thankful to this day.

My point was mostly that where a kid attends high school is a very personal decision that almost always demands more thought than simply asking "what prep school is a feeder for Yale?"
post #54 of 147
Thread Starter 
Lord,
Thanks for your comments, but blue blood in America is quickly turning to brown blood. I'm simply trying to give my daughter and kids the best. If it means putting off a mercedes or another rolex, then so be it. We have been duped by the American public education system and completely ripped off by thug-teacher unions. To quote one of my favorite actors from the movie 'Falling Down', '...I'm just standing up for my rights, as a consumer." Seriously, thanks for your comments. The feedback I have gotten has been invaluable and I would love to buy all these guys a beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
This thread seems to have the classic "SF members striving to be blue bloods" feel about it...

I understand wanting to give your kid the best opportunities and not wanting them to slog through a terrible public school experience, but some of you folks need to lighten up. I think there are pros and cons for both public and private school and it is highly dependant on what type of child you have. I would have completely flamed out at a private school and my parents knew that so they sent me to public.

Wanting your kid to get into a good university is fine but treating it as the endgame to their high school experience is pretty negative, in my humble opinion.
post #55 of 147
What city would you be looking at if you did day schools?
post #56 of 147
Thread Starter 
Probably Boston for Milton, Groton, or Lawrence Academy. Groton for Choate, and Newport for St. Georges. What do you think? Not all inclusive and certainly open to other ideas. Thanks.
post #57 of 147
Are you planning to move? I can't think of a lot of towns where being a day student at Groton, Milton, and St Georges are all options.

Also, you should take a look at where you plan to submit applications and make sure your daughter would be a good fit. There are many kids who might do very well at one or two of those schools and hate the others. They are NOT interchangeable.
post #58 of 147
Thread Starter 
How true. That is the message that I am getting. If we don't like the schools or the 'feel', then we won't apply. Logical?
post #59 of 147
^Id try to find any of your friends/contacts who have kids there. Then have your kid talk to their kid about the culture. Personally I never got anything out of walking around campus. They are all nice.
post #60 of 147
I think my experience in prep. school was hugely important. I was 7 day boarding (international student). I grew up and educated in Taiwan, I learned subjects, but never truly loved any, but my school bring that out of me. I have never met better teacher than the ones I had in high school, and none cared as much. The math and physics teacher I met were absolutely great and they really have passion in what they teach as well as the "right" method to deliver.

I personally wouldn't count public school out though. It kind depends on where you live, there are some excellent public school as well. As far as college admission goes, it's better to be the best in mid-tier school than mediocre in best school is all I can say.

You don't have to send her to prep. school at 12, you can do it at 9th grade, just about enough time if she got the drive to pull everything off. Also you can let her be 5 day boarding rather than 7 day boarding (or just day student, depends on your comfort level).

p.s. I went to Worcester Academy, while we certainly don't rank as high as any of the school listed, I would still rate it excellent. In fact if I got the money, I would rather donate to my high school first than to my undergrad. the experience I had in that school was live changing. Though my case was definitely special since I was international student all by myself and didn't really speak English to start with. There was a lot cultural shock element in it. College was more like continuation of high school to me in some degree.
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