Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from davita1111. Show davita1111's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Do347 - thanks so much for this! I am also a graduate of BLA and agree with you completely that BLA does not get the credit it deserves. The academics were rigorous; both the teachers and the student body reflected the diversity of the school's various neighborhoods. I cannot say that the buildings were always so great - I personally was always a fan of the huge, rickety Codman Square location. Something about that creaky old building with those huge, dark wooden stairwells that just felt right somehow.

    Anyway, thanks for the memories!

    "Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit"

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

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    All -

    Thanks for the feedback. It was helpful to get opinions from folks that aren't emotionally invested in the decision making process here. Our decision - Boston Latin School. It was tough to turn down the prestigious girls' school and some others, but we are comfortable with the decision and aren't looking back.

    Thanks again everyone!

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

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    That is the most important thing - don't second guess your decision - it nearly always turns out to be the right one.

    Good luck, I am sure your daughter will thrive and do well.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmacd1. Show jmacd1's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    We learned it as "Gallia est omnia divisa in tres partria." In Girls Latin before we had to mix it up with the boys. Going to GLS (only 4 years beginning in the 9th gr) was the toughest thing I have ever experienced academically. Everything else was made easier by the study habits I acquired at Latin. Yes, we did have heavy loads and lots of homework, but it prepared me to LEARN and I continue to be grateful for my foundation at GLS. And I can do a mean crossword!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from thing26. Show thing26's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I find it hilarious that people are referring to other alternatives in the Boston area as being great choices. If you are talking private schools maybe but public? what city are you living in? The Boston Public Schools with the exception of BLS are horrendous! I am from Boston, born and raised. I've had plenty of friends that went to different schools in the area, private and public. Hands down, if your children can get into Latin, send them there. It's free and it's whole purpose is to encourage students to get to college. Most other schools just encourage high school graduation. Saying you went to Latin carries weight wherever you are. You are practically guaranteed admission to some great colleges in the area. When I was in the 7th grade, I was studying things that 9th graders were learning in other Boston Public Schools. The BLS curriculum is more advanced and the students come out brighter and ahead of others their age. Sure a private school MIGHT offer a bit of that but for how much? way too much money! Keep in mind however that if you put your kids at BLS you need to be prepared to help them out. They do have to spend hours on homework but in the end it's worth it. Frankly, I loved BLS. I wasn't a "nerd" but I did well, had fun, loved my teachers and classmates. It was a truly fun and great experience. By the time I was 28 I had already completed my MBA and traveled around the world. The discipline I learned at BLS helped me achieve all that. I say go for BLS!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from DanKat. Show DanKat's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I am sending my children to an expensive private elementary school with an excellent academic record hoping that it will help them get accepted to Boston Latin School. I am willing to pay the high tuition for the foundation that I hope Boston Latin will build upon. I am a graduate of Boston Latin Academy and my husband is a graduate of Boston Latin School. Our children are very young but we are making the decision now to stay in the city, put up the investment in elementary school, and hope for 6 free years at Latin. It is that good.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hinesy. Show Hinesy's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    There are plenty of great schools in the area but BLS offers one incredible area of education which no others can match -- cultural and social diversity. RLS may have 1/3rd scholarship kids, but BLS quite literally has kids coming from every race, religion, ethnicity, economic and social background that exists in the city of Boston, and lots of them.

    You should never underestimate the impact that this experience will have on you over the course of your career. In addition to providing me with an academic education on par with any high school anywhere (ahem, for free) I was immersed in a culture where I was able to learn first hand about all the possible scenarios in life, from bluebloods to off-the-boat immigrants and everywhere in between.

    You cannot discount this in terms of life experience. As someone who went on to live all over the country, in many different settings, I've always felt capable of communicating and identifying with almost anyone with great ease because of all the people I met at BLS. I work in the IT industry and long before I did so I was familiar with many of the international names and faces that I now encounter on a daily basis that I'd have never been exposed to, certainly not in such a pervasive sense, at any other school.

    Private schools can work at building diversity but let's face it, they are still dominated by white upper middle class families (mind you essentially the type of family I come from). But Latin is diversity personified, and that is an experience that you cannot put a price on.

    Do not hesitate to send your kids to BLS and use the money you save on tuition to further augment their education through travel, etc. You will not regret it.

    And to the poster that pointed to the "sink or swim" culture that exists there - in my experience college and the real world are the same - don't coddle your child, especially not one bright enough to get into BLS - unless you have to.

    It's a real world education in every way. (and ftr, I was nowhere near the top of my class)
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from hbutterfly. Show hbutterfly's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I have a daughter who has been at BLS since 7th grade, and all I can tell you is that she is miserable there. The forced years of Latin, in addition to the Italian she's taking, the hours of homework, etc. For a child with no obvious academic inspirations, BLS can be a very tough ride, and my fear is that this has now put the fear of God into her about attending college. I mean, as good as BLS is, what use is it to a child who is then scared away from post-secondary education? That's why I chose BLS in the first place! I haven't gotten one call from a counselor, despite the fact that her father and I communicate regularly with her teachers. They don't appear to be too concerned with her lack of inspiration, they just assign, grade, and move on. I'm seriously considering changing schools so that she can have a less competitive, stressful experience before deciding on college. Of course BLS has an outstanding reputation; but pay attention to your child, or it can be a punishing experience, especially coming from Boston Public Schools previously.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from TBill14. Show TBill14's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Strongly consider ISL or BC High (if your child is a boy, they now have a 7th and 8th grade program and BCH is arguably a better rounded school). Latin isn't what it used to be. It's a very urban school that still has a top notch education but other negative influences that should play heavily in your decision.

    ISL still has the IVY League pipeline, that should be considered. For the price (~$12k/yr.) I'd go with BC High given the prominence of the alumni network, quality of academics and athletics.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from mistergman123. Show mistergman123's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    [Quote]


    Private schools can work at building diversity but let's face it, they are still dominated by white upper middle class families (mind you essentially the type of family I come from). But Latin is diversity personified, and that is an experience that you cannot put a price on.

    [/Quote]

    So...you dislike upper middle class white families? Or you can't get a good education by going to a school with middle class white students?

    What are you trying to say?

    Frankly, I care nothing for "diversity". What I want is the best education that I can afford for my children in a safe and challenging environment. I really don't care what the makeup of the student body is since it doesn't matter. They are they to learn from the teacher, not other students.

    Rather than celebrating diversity, let's celebrate excellence.

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_diversity
    http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10249


     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from jpmama. Show jpmama's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    If you can afford a $30k a year private school, I say go for it! Leave the Latin slots for the deserving, talented and less affluent students that don't have the luxury of your "problem".
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from aynnie. Show aynnie's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    [Quote]If you can afford a $30k a year private school, I say go for it! Leave the Latin slots for the deserving, talented and less affluent students that don't have the luxury of your "problem".[/Quote]

    That is one rude, nast comment.  I have many nieces and nephews attend BLS and two of my own who were accepted but attend ILS schools, with substantial financial aid.  Latin is overwhelming for many kids - not because of intelligence, they wouldn't have been accepted, simply because of size and staff ratio.  It is sink or swim.  thw ISL are just as challenging.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from aynnie. Show aynnie's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    [Quote]I have a daughter who has been at BLS since 7th grade, and all I can tell you is that she is miserable there. The forced years of Latin, in addition to the Italian she's taking, the hours of homework, etc. For a child with no obvious academic inspirations, BLS can be a very tough ride, and my fear is that this has now put the fear of God into her about attending college. I mean, as good as BLS is, what use is it to a child who is then scared away from post-secondary education? That's why I chose BLS in the first place! I haven't gotten one call from a counselor, despite the fact that her father and I communicate regularly with her teachers. They don't appear to be too concerned with her lack of inspiration, they just assign, grade, and move on. I'm seriously considering changing schools so that she can have a less competitive, stressful experience before deciding on college. Of course BLS has an outstanding reputation; but pay attention to your child, or it can be a punishing experience, especially coming from Boston Public Schools previously.

     


    What grade is your daughter in?  Latin is simply too big for some kids - it is sink or swim?  I have two kids in ISL schools with substantial financial aid and it has been such a great experience.  Any problems are caught right away.  [/Quote]
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoldmanSacks. Show GoldmanSacks's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I went to that S-hole BL. it sucked in the 90's and is even worse now!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoldmanSacks. Show GoldmanSacks's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    [Quote]I am so happy for you and wish you all the best in this quest.

    I am an American women with a 10 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. My husband is Egyptian and we presently live in Egypt. We made the decision to come here to teach the children to appreciate what we have in USA. It has not seemed to work out that way for the children as we live in a very posh and western part of Egypt. Ironically, My husband (also American) and I have learned, overwelmingly how foolish we have been to leave New England as far the public school system is concerned.

    As we so not work for an oil company with endless perks and paid tuitions, we are expected to pay for the private education. I can tell you that the best ,most expensive, most famous school here is no comparison to a public New England school. I home school now and I am satisfied with my decision as it is the best I can do here. ( Calvert with ATS) 

    On our return to the US I have vowed to use every fiber in my power and by the grace of God to get my children into BLS . I have two years to prepare for the ISEE and get established in Boston.

    I would appreciate any tips, instructions ,guidance, help or criticisms anyone has to offer.

    Quite frankly I believe the educational system provided by the egyptian government is superior to that of Boston. My advice w/b to stay in Cairo.
    [/Quote]
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ihavemyhats. Show Ihavemyhats's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    [Quote]
    Do347 - thanks so much for this! I am also a graduate of BLA and agree with you completely that BLA does not get the credit it deserves. The academics were rigorous; both the teachers and the student body reflected the diversity of the school's various neighborhoods. I cannot say that the buildings were always so great - I personally was always a fan of the huge, rickety Codman Square location. Something about that creaky old building with those huge, dark wooden stairwells that just felt right somehow.
    Anyway, thanks for the memories!
    "Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit"
    [/Quote]

    I am also a GLS/BLA graduate. I keep in touch with the school, and the Headmaster and teachers. What a great school it is! They do an incredible job with no resources, and a student body that is way more diverse and lots poorer than BLS. And, they are much more nurturing to the sixies and fivesies!

    "Tua vita sit sincera!"

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

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    i'm not sure if people are aware, but Boston Latin & Boston Latin Academy are ONLY for RESIDENTS OF BOSTON. in other words, you need to LIVE WITHIN CITY OF BOSTON LIMITS in order for your child to attend either school.
    the academic standards of both Boston Latin & Boston Latin Academy have also slipped since I was in school. Back then, (late 70's) both Latin & Latin academy were two full grade levels ahead of everyone else. Now, they're not.

    with all the violence going on in boston, i wouldn't live within city limits, whether or not I had a child..especially if my only reason for living within city limits was so my children could attend either latin school..

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

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Laryan, there are many neighborhoods in Boston with zero violence. I am sitting in one. And you may want to check out the SAT scores of BLS before you say it has slipped. It has not.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from gracecq. Show gracecq's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I know I am coming late to this game but here are a few of my comments about Latin:

    I have worked in private industry and government in the Boston area for over twenty-five years. I have worked with many BLS graduates in various positions. Many of these people have not graduated from college although all of them are intelligent people. I find this troubling. I think BLS is good for the the top students but it beats the "average" students down.

    I do not know if I believe some of the postings about "25 percent go to the Ivies." If you look on the BLS website, they list the various colleges placements for the 2007 grads. A lot of the schools are pretty ho-hum.
    If BLS students read 90% of the classics at B&N, why are so many attending colleges with zero language requirements and really easy entrance requirements?

    I went to a fairly good public high school with some very smart students. I was slightly above average, went to a slightly above average nationally ranked university. Some of my classmates are rich and well-known in their fields, some are down and out. Such is live.

    Many of the BLS graduates I have worked with go on and on about their rigorous education. Frankly, many are adequate writers, do not read very much, and are not fluent in other languages. They worked really hard for six years but are not terriibly intellectual. I think BLS labelled them as "also rans" which is so damaging to a student. I think BLS is good for some students but toxic for others.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from hotmama. Show hotmama's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    We are happy with the choice of BLS in lieu of an ISL. There is a reason why BLS is ranked one of the top 20 public high schools in the country and 97% of it's graduating class received the John & Abigail Adams Scholarships.

    I have worked in both the private / public sector for almost 20 years. The BLS graduates that I know either via work or college are all fairly successful in their own right (doctors, VPS at lg corps, attorneys, youth program directors etc.) All of these people are intelligent, well-spoken and generally well-educated people. The comment from Grace is not a fair statement at all.

    The old "beats the average kids down" comment doesn't really make sense since everyone at BLS is above average. 1800 kids applied and only 400 were accepted - straight A kids with great ISEE scores. From what I hear about BLS - it's what you put into it that determines where you land. Life Lesson!

    Foreign Language - BLS students are required to master 4 years of Latin as well as 4 years of another foreign language, which I know is more than required by 1) other schools and 2) by college for admission - thereby making BLS students potentially more fluent then their peers at other schools.

    Reading - The other comment about "don't read much" is also hogwash. I know my daughter had to read 5 books for summer reading and report on them as well. These exceeds anywhere else I know of. Based on the curriculum, BLS students read approximately 20 classic books a year.

    College Matriculation - BLS sends more kids to Ivy Schools (10% last year - 2008) than any other school in the country annually, many of which to Harvard. Yes, some BLS kids opt for less prestigious schools - some of which may be tied to financial aid as not everyone has an extra $150K to send their kids to expensive private colleges.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from gracecq. Show gracecq's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Wow, you really misinterpreted my remarks.

    I never said that the BLS graduates were "average", I said that they were labelled as "also rans." I did not say they were unsuccessful at all. I just think they were beaten down by the school. I know many highly successful grads but I have met many others who have huge inferiority complexes.

    My Harvard-educated brother in law is a science professor at a local university. He has observed similar behavior among many of his BLS students. " I could not get into MIT or Harvard, so I am average." Of course this is garbage but it is hard for a young person to shake.

    I have many relatives who have attended the Ivies. Many of their classmates came from inner-city and rural schools. You do not have to go to a "top 20" US high school to get into Harvard. I still question the 10% Ivy figure. Where does this come from? And the 97% Adams scholarship? Huh? Ninety seven percent went to Mass state schools but 10% went to the Ivies? It does not add up.
    Education is a life-long process. I was not talking about mandatory summer reading lists. I was talking about middle-aged graduates reading habits. I am not saying these graduates are unsuccessful morons. I just do not see them much at the local library. I often hear, " I read enough at Latin. blah, blah, blah. The homework load was hell,......"

    About the language requirement: big deal. I know a little
    Latin and can read French and German. Sorry, most of the grads I know are like me.. far from fluent.

    I am not saying that BLS is a bad school. It is a very good school for some but not for all.

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

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    Some of your comments are off topic as to the original question. As a now BLS parent with other options for our child - we had thoroughly done our research but were looking for general feedback during the Spring.

    The comments above are simply comparing apples to oranges - As I stated 97% were recipients of the Adams Scholarships - but that doesn't mean they ultimately chose to attend a Mass State College to use the scholarships. 10% is a fact of Ivy League acceptance is based on actual numbers - BLS sends more to Ivy and any other school. I believe Phillips Andover is 2nd. Question all you like but the facts stand for themselves.

    Any thing is can be good or bad - a good fit for your child is the key to success.


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

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    hotmama wrote:

    10% is a fact of Ivy League acceptance is based on actual numbers


    I graduated from BLS. I do not know the Ivy acceptance rate but I do know that just over 10% of my class did attend Ivy League schools. There was also a fair number of students who attended non-Ivy schools like Williams, RPI, WPI, Tufts, MIT, etc...

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    I have a daughter who has been at BLS since 7th grade, and all I can tell you is that she is miserable there. The forced years of Latin, in addition to the Italian she's taking, the hours of homework, etc. For a child with no obvious academic inspirations, BLS can be a very tough ride, and my fear is that this has now put the fear of God into her about attending college. I mean, as good as BLS is, what use is it to a child who is then scared away from post-secondary education? That's why I chose BLS in the first place! I haven't gotten one call from a counselor, despite the fact that her father and I communicate regularly with her teachers. They don't appear to be too concerned with her lack of inspiration, they just assign, grade, and move on. I'm seriously considering changing schools so that she can have a less competitive, stressful experience before deciding on college. Of course BLS has an outstanding reputation; but pay attention to your child, or it can be a punishing experience, especially coming from Boston Public Schools previously.

    Wow! You sent her to BLS - and you're now surprised she has to learn ... Latin? She doesn't like school so you ... tie up a slot that could go to another student? There's a lot of homework at ... BLS? Well, knock me over with a feather!

    Please, you don't like homework; you don't like the Latin and another required language, so, do pull her out, and save the space for a student whose parents actually value an education.

    reindeergirl
    daughter of ... [insert name here]. BLS math teacher mid 1960s; BLS alum [late 1930s]
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from gracecq. Show gracecq's posts

    Boston Latin vs. Independent Schools

    ..save the space for a student whose parents actually value an education.

    OK, here is your logic:

    A mother thinks the homework and mandatory requirements are too stressful for her daughter.

    Ergo, plebian mother does not value education.

    (Oh wow, I used a latin word in the previous sentence. I am sooo erudite.....)



     
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