The Masters School - Review #5
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2000-2005|
|Sports and Activities:||During high school I was involved in the following: Gold Key (gives prospective student tours); SADD; AIDS Awareness; Special Olympics (One-on-One Coordinator); Yearbook (Editor); Student Government (Class President, Freshman through Junior Years); Masters Activities Committee (President); MLK (Martin Luther King) Day Celebration; Theater (Hello Dolly); MISH (Community Service-Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping); UBUNTU (South African Education Fund); Disciplinary Committee;|
|College Enrolled:||Columbia University|
|Home Town, State:||New City, NY|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Masters is unique because of its wonderful relationship between students and faculty. Because many faculty members live on campus as dorm parents or faculty in residence, teachers and students are apart of the same community. It is not unusual to see teachers eating with students in the dining hall, playing outside with their own families, or interacting with each other during sports games. Even as a day student in the boarding community, I established connections with my teachers because their doors were always open, and they were more than willing to provide extra guidance and attention. The student-teacher distinction is not blurred; instead, there is a mutual respect that allows teachers to treat students as adults when the respect is reciprocated. My relationship with teachers has continued beyond graduation, and I still go back and visit and remain in contact with those who made an impact on my life.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I never thought a teacher or a school could have such an impact on me, but Masters truly changed my perception of learning and education. My high school experience was incredible because the people around me, including teachers and administrators, were incredibly supportive of me and all the students. The bonds I made with students and teachers made it incredibly difficult to leave when I graduated, but I still talk to most of my teachers and the underclassmen I left behind--and I when I visit, it's still hard to leave.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I did co-curricular option for 3 years because I danced outside of school everyday. I would definitely have done a co-curricular, because thats a great way to make friends and meet tons of people. It also opens you up to all the different opportunities on campus.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I think the fact that I want to go back to high school speaks for itself. It was an incredible place for people to be themselves and grow as individuals--there was no pressure to be something that you're not. Teachers and students supported individuality and encouraged people to propose changes to the school as they saw fit, which really makes students feel part of the institution.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Definitely visit the student activities center, on the bottom floor of the dining hall. Be sure to say hi to Ms. Crane, the student activities coordinator...she is the most enthusiastic person ever, and she will instantly attract you to the school. She is AMAZING and makes every student feel welcome.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The use of the Harkness Table enabled active participation in class, as opposed to lectures or "busy work." Students, once comfortable with the Harkness Method, were able to begin and sustain conversations regarding texts on their own. This provided a challenge, since in some classes teachers expected you to come up with your own questions and theories about the texts and ideas. However, it was amazing preparation for college--it allowed individuals to develop their own ideas on literary works and required one to fully support your idea using the text. It allows you to carry on a conversation without someone giving you guidelines.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I was not an athlete, but the athletics at Masters accommodated this nicely. If you are on a sports team or do an athletic co-curricular after school, you do not have to take gym during the academic day. Also, if you are actively involved in something athletic outside of school, you can get an "Athletic Option" which also allows you to have a study hall instead of gym during the academic day. However, you must fill out a form and have your instructor "grade" you in order to receive P.E. credit. It is a great option for people who want to continue their commitment to an activity outside of school.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Masters thrives on the arts. The visual arts department is incredible--the teachers are inspiring and help you cultivate your own artistic abilities. They grade not on ability, but on effort. All types of art are encouraged in all medias.Students at Masters are incredibly talented in all realms--but the Music department has stood out over the past few years. There are tons of opportunities for people to get involved in with the Music department- jazz band, choral music, plenty of accapella groups, orchestra, private lessons, etc.The theater department provides opportunities for all different types of drama-there is a fall drama, a winter musical, and a spring comedy. There are also plenty of additional opportunities for students to put on their own performances as well as join student directed pieces.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There is an extra curricular for everyone at Masters. The co-curricular period goes from 3:30-4:45 Monday through Thursday (or Friday for varsity sports or shows). They sometimes vary by season, but in general there is: ultimate frisbee, photography, theater, writing workshop, yearbook, tai chi, dance, computers, study hall, open art, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, volleyball, fencing, ice hokey, aerobics, cross country, weight room, yoga, science research.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The food was incredible! I miss it. Everyone eats lunch at the same time, which is great because it allows you to catch up with all your friends who you might not see during the day. Day students can stay for dinner or even come for breakfast--it made staying after school enjoyable, and it was definitely worth it.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Dobbs is a great location, because there are plenty of places to eat in town and everything is within walking distance. The Stop and Shop is a favorite, and its just at the bottom of campus.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I loved the close knit community--it made me feel at home every day, even though I was a day student. People stayed after school to hang out with friends, and came in on weekends for shows, activities, etc. Masters created its own social life for students who weren't able to go home on weekends.
Alumni Reviews Review School
- Review Description
- Brown University The Masters School can be quickly distinguished from other schools by the style of teaching that takes place. After a quick tour of classes, one will notice that there are no desks. Instead, each classroom. . .
- Boston University The Masters School prides itself on using the Harkness method of teaching. Rather than sit at individual desks, students face each other around a large table. This style prompts discussion and keeps each. . .
- Middlebury College One unique aspect of the Masters School for which I was personally very grateful was our Morning Meeting. This was a gathering of the entire upper school and faculty in the theater, three times weekly. . .
Several things make boarding school special. The learning, the community, the sports. All these and more.
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.
Sending our children off to boarding school in the fall of 2020 raises questions about their safety and other corona virus issues. We address some of your concerns here.