Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from hotmama. Show hotmama's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    My child has been accepted at Boston Latin School for Grade 7 as well as several other top Independent schools in the Boston area. We are struggling with making the decision on where to go as multiple schools are a good fit. How do others make this decision, putting cost aside? We don't want to make the wrong choice.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from msts-1. Show msts-1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I agree with you. I am a graduate of The Latin School and it has cachet in more than Boston. Even high school students in suburban "good schools" recognize its exceptional nature. To your point, why would you send your kids to a private school for more money when kids and their parents try to move to Boston so their kids can go to Latin gratis (See I did go there!). If one lives in Boston, Boston Latin is the prize for staying.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lccprez. Show lccprez's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I went to Roxbury Latin in the 1960's and got an outstanding education in a very small class enviroment (the graduating class size was 26). Most of my friends went either to Boston Latin or B.C. High and got outstanding educations - with BLS being essentially free!!!

    I think you'd be hard pressed to get a better education (at the top end of the class) than you can get at BLS. My daughter went to Nobles, got a fine education for which we paid about 30K a year. If BLS had been an option, I would have been very happy to have her go there. Our other daughter went to Brookline High and got an excellent education as well, for free (other than the high Brookline taxes).
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    In my opinion BLS is truly a hype. There many good free schools in and around Boston.
    BLS I am sure is a fine school, but it has also been made so by the media. I would not want my child to go to a school that is always in the news - but that's just me.
    Both my children would have gotten into BLS if we had lived in Boston. But we did not. So we opted for private schools, because at the time our suburban schools were known for drugs and alcohol.
    Do what you think is right for your child. It s the most important time of their lives. Good luck in your decision. I am sure you will make the right one.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from msts-1. Show msts-1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    BLS is no hype. Look to its success rates of the children who graduate. It is a very difficult school to get into and very difficult to get out of. The media did not create its success, the students did. When I went there one refrain I would hear from people was that "It isn't like the old days there". Amazingly, the refrain only came from people who didn't go there.

    Also, what other good schools in Boston, grades 7-12, would be an alternative for someone whose children were accepted to The Latin School. I left Boston and my only real regret is that my kids won't be able to attend.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    No doubt about it, BLS is a fine school - one of the finer in this area. But what is this "success rate" compared to? Other Boston schools?
    I have to admit, I don't know much about the Boston schools, but from what I have heard and read I am glad I did not have to send my child to one of them.
    I appreciate the success rate the BLS has - it is just wonderful. Education for our children is one of the most important issues in our society. But then again BLS deals with the top of the crop. They should succeed. Or they are not doing something right.
    However, BLS is not THE best school. I understand you do not live in the Boston area any longer, and therefore cannot apply for your child/children to go there. The burbs have many wonderful schools. Don't be afraid to send your children there.
    Our sons attended public school until their high school year - then we switched them to a private school. Why? BC we felt this school met their needs a lot better. They are both succeeding in life - and that is important. One of my sons will defend his doctorate in a few months. And he only went through the routine school route. Yes, we are indeed so proud of them both.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from msts-1. Show msts-1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    If you live in Boston, you are faced with having your child attend a private school for six years or having them attend a sub-standard (using the 7/8 grade standard at Latin) middle school and then a substandard high school. You pay taxes to the city and you are being afforded the jewel of the state for free. As another poster states, "There are wonderful suburban schools" but having stated that you live in Boston, they are out of the equation. Of all the marvelous suburban schools, only two, Dover Sherborn and Wellesley, make USNews' 100 Gold Medal list. This list is of both public and private schools. I worked with kids in my town and my town is a silver medal winner. The KIDS in suburbia recognize the special nature of The Latin School.http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/high-schools/2007/11/29/gold-medal-schools.htmlI would suggest that you enroll your child (ren) immediately and if you find the school lacking in some way, remove the kids for the beginning of highschool. Then they can go to one of the private schools and relax because their three to four hours of homework will have them ahead of their peers.�

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from sandybaby. Show sandybaby's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    In my opinion BLS is truly a hype.

    Wow...that's quite the statement. BLS is everything it says it is and more. I don't see how the media plays into it at all, I went there and remember media coverage only during our 350th anniversary.

    But if you don't want your kids getting into a school "hyped" up by the media, I sure hope they don't want to go to BC, Harvard, MIT or any other top tier school known and celebrated for its academic excellence.

    To the original poster - send your kid to Latin. Sumus Primi.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Sandybaby, I am truly sorry if I offended anyone - you included. BLS is definitely a very fine school, no doubt about it. But IMO - because it is one of the very few "exceptional" schools in Boston - the media loves it. And thus it has been hyped to more that it is.
    Out of the blue, I can think of the father, who had a lawsuit b/c his daughter did not get into BLS. How much media attention did that get?
    There are many wonderful and exceptional schools in and around Boston.They may not be free like BLS, but if you want your child to have a good education, you may have to pay for it.
    As I said, my children went to private schools and we sacrificed a lot for it. But the way we felt, that a good education for our children, was important to us. They have since worked their way through college (Northeastern and UPenn). They have several Masters and one is just about ready to finish his PhD. I doubt they would have have gone this far if we had left them in our town's public school. (Seeing their peers today). The base they got for studying in college, they got from the strict programs they had in their middle school and high school. It was definitely not easy for them. When their friends and neighbor kids were out playing, they had to study. But it didn't hurt them any either.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from msts-1. Show msts-1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    You keep stating that it is your opinion that BLS is hyped, that there are wonderful schools in Boston. BLS is rated #19 in the country by USNews in its Gold Star ranking. That is fact, not opinion. To report fact is not hype. To sue because your child is denied entrance to an exam based school while your child outscored and outperformed children who gained entrance in her place should be reported.

    You have also written that you are not very familiar with Boston schools so what do you base you opinions on?

    The original question was not whether the family should move out of Boston to a suburban school. It was whether anyone thought that BLS was the school they should send their kids to, having already been accepted. Anyone familiar with the reputation and results of BLS living in Boston would assume this a no brainer question. Send your kids to BLS.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from msts-1. Show msts-1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    If you were there during the 350th, when did you graduate?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from sandybaby. Show sandybaby's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    87...Dr Desmond was Acting Headmaster that one and only year. What an outstanding man he was.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from msts-1. Show msts-1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    1982. He was a very good man. I think that most teachers I had were excellent, disciplined and graduates themselves. I still use a line from Mr. Leary when describing how school should be taught:

    "This is a dictatorship, not democracy. It will be a benevolent a dictatorship as you students allow it to be"

    I also tell my wife and friends about the absolutely deplorable physical plant we went to school in, windows that didn't fit in the windown well, mice, the athletic facilties (Black top parking lot), stress cracks that graduates fifty years before remember and heating that refused to heat. This for a school that was one of the best in the US. I then tell her how immensely proud we were of our accomplishments in that rat trap because if we could succeed there we could not use surroundings as an excuse.

    "A school is not a function of its environment. It is a function of the motivation of its students" Plato

    Another line I learned at the age of 12. If anyone wants to know the level of achievement of the BLS student, go to Barnes and Noble Books. Go to the Classics in Paperback racks and realize that as a student, you would have read 90% of those books. Sumus primi.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Sandy, I hope you know, I would never say that BLS is not a great school, I definitely think it is. And you should certainly be proud to have graduated from there.
    But there ARE other great schools around. They just don't get the same media attention. Since we don't live in Boston - our children never had a chance to get into BLS. But if we did, we would certainly have tried everything we could - to have them been accepted there. They are both very bright, so getting accepted on their merits should not have been a problem - but politics??? Not sure.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from sandybaby. Show sandybaby's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Imagine that! We probably crossed paths in the halls when I was a terrified Sixie.

    Read the classics is right. When I think back on the reading material I was assigned at age 12 I admit to being truly impressed with myself for being able to not only read it, but to truly comprehend and appreciate it.

    I was just telling a friend yesterday how happy I was to read Cicero's letters to Pliny as a treat; we had just finished his orations against Cataline so personal letters were a cakewalk. (Mr Sakey - are you with me?) General note folks - this was all in Latin.

    I know that not everyone understands how I can be this fiercely defensive about my alma mater. But I didn't work my butt off for 6 years and push myself way beyond what I saw as my limits to have anyone put her down. And yes, I'll say it, we were the elite, the cream of the crop, the best and brightest. It is not bragging, it is a fact for which I make no apologies.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lccprez. Show lccprez's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Close .. but Roxbury Latin has been even better!!! Although BLS was founded slightly earlier, the school was closed for a year during the Revolutionary War, but RLS was not .. so we still lay claim to be the oldest "Continuously" operating school in North America.

    Our SATs and National Merit students achieve higher scores.

    So there !!! Ha.

    P.S. As an RLS person, I am also fiercely proud of my school, but also know from personal experience with my friends that BLS was far and away the best in the public school arena .. perhaps in the whole country.

    We can both be equally proud.

    Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.

    Sixies rule !!!! (I wished).

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ksammakko660. Show ksammakko660's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Class of '87 Yeah! I had some great experiences at Latin and certainly met with many charecters. I can look on my high school days with more good memories than other who describe their high school days as hell.

    I do agree with a later post that given the cost of college education, financially it would be smarter to save on the high school fees. Since BLS does provide a solid base for any univeristy, it could be a better choice financially.

    Before someone jumps down my throat, I know that it isn't always just about the money, but it more often than not is a factor.

    I do remember Dr. Desmond as acting head-master. A great guy, but I still prefered Mr. Contempatas as head-master.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from aynnie. Show aynnie's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Sorry I am answering you late - I know the deadline for letting the ISL schools know was yesterday.

    We were faced with the same dilemma two years ago and opted to go with the ISL, in our case, probably the best all-girls school around. We did receive a good financial aid package, without which we could never have sent her. We have never looked back. I would never take anything away from BLS, and would have happily sent my daughter, but what she is getting at the school she is at cannot be matched.

    BLS is still a very large public school, and I know for a fact it is sink or swim. My oldest went there and did very well. I feel my daughter has an opportunity that is once in a lifetime and I am grateful for it every day. And she has been exposed to kids from every walk of life - from the very wealthy to kids who live above restaurants in Chinatown. She loves going to school every day.

    I am sure whatever your decision is will be the right one. It is a great problem to have!

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrkleen2002. Show mrkleen2002's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    While I had several friends that attended and enjoyed Roxbury Latin, there is no way it compares with BLS.

    Roxbury Latin is full of advantaged students handpicked from the best of the best private school educated students. These kids come from families of means, with the ability to get them private tutors, exam prep classes etc. etc.

    The vast majority of students at BLS are products of the Boston Public School system, and come from families of working class people that have had to scratch and claw their way towards an education like one that Latin offers.

    The real reason BLS is a fantastic institution is the perseverance of its students, many of which attended a sub par elementary school and mediocre middle school yet were still exceptional enough to pass the Latin School Exam.

    This breeds the kind of diversity and true sense of accomplishment that no private school can match. You are surrounded by the smartest kids from every neighborhood in Boston - not just the rich or privileged.

    The people that try to claim Latin isn?t as good as people make it out to be, wereobviously not smart enough to gain entry?.for if they had, they would have gonethere ? and would know just how special a place it is.

    Pat M.
    BLS - Class of 1989


     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lccprez. Show lccprez's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Actually, RL has almost 1/3 full scholarship students ... without the economic advantages which the others have. This has been true for many years ... plus, students from the original portion of Boston known as "Roxbury" get 1/2 off. The following is from the RL website, and is true!!

    "Roxbury Latin is a democratically gathered community, a School where individuals from a great diversity of backgrounds are brought together by shared goals and common ideals. Among those are a dedication to excellence and a desire to become men of character focused on public service.

    Roxbury Latin

    We maintain a need-blindadmission policy and need-blind enrollment policy whereby students are admitted and enrolled without regard to their parents ability to pay. True to Roxbury Latin's roots, boys are enrolled today on merit. This commitment allows us to attract a hardworking and able student body drawn from dissimilar social, economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. We encourage boys to discover the joy of knowing and understanding others whose circumstances, beliefs, and interests are unlike their own.

    In order to maintain a richly textured student community, we also seek out boys with arresting personalities and interests and with a capacity for deep and broad involvement. We pride ourselves on accommodating the distinctive individual who is uninfluenced by the crowd, committed to his particular interests, and able to stand up for what he believes."

    There's no question that many students come from families of means, but it is also true that RLS has a far larger percentage of students of limited means than any of the other schools in the ISL.

    I completely agree with you concerning those who don't believe that BLS is the top public school ... I think it's a question of envy. There are plenty of kids at BLS whose parents are upper middle class, and plenty who not only have little money, they don't have two parents ... or not even 1, sometimes.

    The kids I work with in the inner city are all middle school kids who we are helping to prepare for the "Exam" schools in Boston ... they are a true melting pot from every part of Boston, every color and language.

    The kids who stay in our program have achieved an astounding graduation rate of over 95% in the past 8 years ... with the vast majority going on to college.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from aynnie. Show aynnie's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Iccprez:

    Glad you posted that - the previous poster did not know what they were talking about. My daughter attends what would be considered the girls' equivalent of RL, and it is very diverse. We could never, ever send her without financial aid, which we are very grateful for.

    Are there very wealthy families there? Yes, and they are extremely generous and committed to the school, which allows girls like my daughter to attend.

    I think Boston Latin is a great school and would have sent my daughter there if she hadn't had the opportunity she did - but it is a different experience and is often too overwhelming for a 12 year old, no matter how intelligent. I have seen a lot of kids that just hate it.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from lccprez. Show lccprez's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Appearances at a school, like much of life, can be deceiving.

    My experience, with my two children, and those of my friends, is that the top public schools are every bit as good academically as the top academic private schools (RL, Winsor, Milton, Nobles, Belmont Hill, BBN, Andover, Exeter, St. Paul's). In fact, due to the size of some of the largest public schools, they may offer even more as far as extracurricular activities are concerned. Where they don't equal the ISL is the individual attention given to all of the students in the middle. The publics tend to be great at the top and low ends, and may often leave everyone else behind, especially those who are overwhelmed by the size of a big school - especially for the younger students who aren't quite as self assured.

    I went to RL as member of a solid middle class family, as were most of my friends. RL made me aspire to achieve more ... I tend to think that is a primary reason for a good school - whether it is private or public.

    It is true that many of the top boarding schools enjoy the "Creme de la creme" of the monied class, with multi-generational legacies. It is also true, however, that the ISL schools have become much more socially conscious and offer opportunities to smart kids who have the desire, but not the bucks.

    Good for them !!

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from do347. Show do347's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I'm the daughter of a BPS teacher and a graduate of Boston Latin Academy, so my perspective is different than most who have spoken. BLS is a great school, but its not the only one. BLA was a great academic and social experience for me, and I don't think it gets nearly enough credit for being another great school. I would just put that out there to remind people that although BLS is a great school, its not the only one. BLA prepared me for a top college, gave me an amazing understanding of diversity, while also instilling in me values of public service. Don't overlook the other BPS schools, I wouldn't have traded my experience at BLA for anything, even BLS.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from FCivian. Show FCivian's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Hyperbole correction: RL is ALSO full of middle class and disadvantaged students ... of the current class of 285 kids, 105 are on scholarship ... tuition is $18k, and the average scholarship award is $14k ... hard to compare BLS and RL because their missions are so different ... but BOTH aspire to and to a large extent achieve the goal of providing an excellent education for a wide range of students ... is BLS's range wider? Well, as part of a public school system it would be a failure if it were not.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_525491. Show user_525491's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I HAVE A CHILD GRADUATING FROM BLS THIS YEAR. GREAT ACADEMIC SCHOOL AND AGREE, THE PRIZE FOR STAYING IN BOSTON. NOT THE RIGHT PLACE FOR EVERYONE HOWEVER. YOU HAVE TO BE SELF MOTIVATED AND INDEPENDENT AS YOU ARE LEFT OUT ON YOUR OWN TO GET BY....DON'T CARE WHAT THEY ADVERTISE. THE GOOD NEWS IS IF YOU SURVIVE IT, YOU'RE READY FOR ANYTHING COLLEGE WILL SEND YOUR WAY. THE ATMOSPHERE IS PROBABLY WHAT THE REAL WORLD SHOULD BE. AS DIVERSE AS ANYPLACE I'VE EVER SEEN. EVERYONE IS IN THERE ON THEIR OWN MERITS AND HAVE PLENTY OF RESPECT FOR ALL OTHERS. DO NOT GO THERE FOR SPORTS, YOU'LL BE DISAPPOINTED. AT THE BACK END OF IT, I WOULD SEND ANOTHER CHILD THERE, THE FINISHED PRODUCT IS VERY GOOD. ACCEPTANCE TO ALL COLLEGES APPLIED FOR, EVEN THE REACHES.....

     

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