Saint Andrew's School - Review #2

Saint Andrew's School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Vanderbilt University
Home Town, State (Country) Key Biscayne, FL
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School International Thespian Society (Vice President) Young Republican'sClub Drama (14 productions in total) FOCUS (Christian Fellowship) Resident Life Hall Monitor

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Saint Andrew's school is not just a stellar institution and a supportive facility of faculty and friendship. It is a home. I lived there for four years in the boarding program where I not only developed strong friendships with both the faculty and my peers, but also independence, responsibility, determination, and time management. Saint Andrew's had a wonderful balance of work and play as well - and by play I mean activities in and out of school. There were constant sports games, theater productions, off-campus activities ranging from service opportunities to district competitions, and even on-campus events, like Homecoming, Winterfest, and class get-togethers. Saint Andrew's truly is beautiful, as well. There are impressive new facilities, classrooms, not to mention the lovely chapel across from the lake. Even when the sun doesn't shine (which is hardly ever), the wonderfully friendly and diverse faculty and students give Saint Andrew's a shining personality and reputation that goes far beyond any other college preparatory institution in Florida.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I'm proud of everything I experienced at Saint Andrew's. The greatest thing that happened to me was my Junior year roommate, who was from Jamaica and is for sure going to be the bridesmaid at my wedding. I never imagined that the faculty and friends I lived with at Saint Andrew's would truly become a family to me -- I deeply love them all and am grateful for who they helped me become. Saint Andrew's is firstly a college preparatory school, which it succeeded in preparing me for college unfathomably well. I grew at Saint Andrew's: I learned to discipline myself, to challenge myself, to open myself up to others, to share, to love, to help, to work, and most of all, to succeed.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
The only advice I can give is to come to Saint Andrew's knowing that these will be four OUTSTANDING years of your life. There is no need to be nervous, you will love the students; you will make life-long friendships. There is no need to worry about academics, because you can place yourself in classes where you feel most comfortable or challenged, and know for a fact that your teachers are willing to help you to the best of their ability in and out of class. And you needn't worry about missing your family: they will always be there for you. In the mean time, you have your Saint Andrew's family to care for you and be there for you in the way any other family would.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I loved the spirit of Saint Andrew's. It's there when you drive in through the main gate, it's boasted in the superior academics, and it's in every student's will and heart.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
These are just a few more random, but fabulous things about Saint Andrew's: The cookies are better than your grandmother's, guaranteed. You even make friends with the staff who serve you your food -- Leon is the best! Funniest guy, always has a smile on his face. If you ever need to let out some steam or emotion, there is a beautiful grand piano waiting just for you in the chapel any time you want. You will find that the week revolves around Wednesday Night Snacks -- yeah, it's that good. Definitely go jogging around campus for extra exercise -- it's safe and beautiful. Faculty Families are the greatest thing to happen since Biological Families! Your family will feed you home-cooked meals, take you out to dinner, give you presents for holidays, invite you into their home, and give you all the assurance you need. Faculty Dinners, which are formal dinners once a month in the dining hall, are so much fun. There's first-rate cuisine (sushi, lamb, lobster, pasta stations...), elaborate desserts, and the chance to catch up on family conversation. Prom is always the best. It is so elegant wherever it's held. If you ever need a quiet place outside to meditate, Dick's Garden is serene and private. Saint Andrew's goes all-out on Halloween! And last but definitely not least: The College Guidance Office is the best place to be Junior/Senior year. Make sure to get to know your CG Officer well, he or she will do their very best to get you into the right college for you.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics at Saint Andrew's are rigorous. Every student at Saint Andrew's is motivated, so every class is expected to have much participation and insight from every student. I loved how every class, no matter the subject, opened my mind to the world outside of the town I live in, made me ask questions, and gave me reason to inquire and succeed. Every teacher dispels magic in his or her class: the teacher is there because there is a genuine and devoted love for teaching, and that is felt at every hour of every day. I also appreciated how there was no such thing as "busy work," homework that consisted of useless repetition. Everything that is given out is interesting, so there is always positive learning occurring. There definitely is a lot of homework -- expected amount each night was from four to six hours, but that also depends on the students' own motivation and determination to succeed in regular, honors, or advanced placement courses. In essence, Saint Andrew's made learning an adventure -- fun and inspiring. At every table in the lunch room, students are discussing what they learned that day, the hilarious analogy a teacher mentioned, their ideas for essays or projects, or even how a teacher or friend is willing to help them through any small bump in the road, either personal or professional.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Saint Andrews' athletics is competitive, diverse, and very easy to become involved in. Ranked year after year in basketball, lacrosse, golf, track, and more, Saint Andrew's offers athletics (including student club athletics) that are a real pleasure to be a part of. In an effort to keep students active in both mind and body, after-school programs (which are required for every year) keep students healthy, and offers a few hours of stress release and team bonding. The facilities are, to say the least, absolutely gorgeous. The new gym and pool are incredibly impressive and clean. The South Florida weather cannot be beaten either, especially during the spring season, when in many states, students are reluctant to play sports in the snow or bitterly cold weather. The fall semester weather in the late afternoon is very nice, and the spring semester's is refreshing, and never overwhelmingly cold.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Saint Andrew's takes its Arts program seriously. The Visual Arts building frequently holds shows displaying student and faculty artwork, and has a fabulous art program during the day where you can always find students, from the introductory level to advanced placement levels, enjoying the classrooms, digital darkroom, display areas, or simply chatting with a teacher about the latest work presented in the Museum of Modern Art. As for music, Saint Andrew's is once again unbeatable. Having won multiple competitions in a capella, jazz band, orchestra, percussion, and more, you will always find the musical talent filled with passion and an enduring spirit to impress and achieve greatness all for the sake of love for music. The Theater program has once again risen to a new level of potential with a brand new Performing Arts Center, which is grand in scale and truly a pleasure to be in, for either the casual or passionate performer. What you will find in the Theater program is a group of students who share a joy in performing; there are incredible bonds that are made in the theater, from the Fall's dramatic production, to the winter's musical, to the spring'smost popular farce. The directing is always savvy, creative, and productive, and after every show, the audience is guaranteed to leave touched and thrilled at the outstanding performance put together by a group of very talented amateurs.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are countless extra-curricular activities offered at Saint Andrew's, some of which are sponsored by students, teachers, the state, the government, and even the nation. All of these activities allow for further delving into important and interesting subjects that colleges are certainly to be impressed to see. I would name some, but essentially, if you can imagine a club or any extra-curricular activity at all, it is probably at Saint Andrew's, or can easily be created by you (which will further elevate a college's interest). These clubs and extra-curricular activities offer after school, on-campus, off-campus, weekend, spring break, or even summer programs that are sure to arise within you a real passion for what you're doing. Many, many times Saint Andrew's is given honorable mentions and trophies for these activities because the students themselves are determined, excited, and happy about what they do.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorm life was exceptional at Saint Andrew's. There was always an extraordinary effort made to make living comfortable, FUN, and unforgettable. There would be van runs every day to the mall, the pharmacy, the book store (anywhere in the immediate area, pertaining to need) and more. On weekends, there were planned trips to outlet malls, the beach, concerts, art shows, skating arenas, Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, restaurants, sports games, religious services, and more, of which many of these activities were recommended by students. There were snacks constantly available, from Wednesday night's official Snack time, to weekend pizza, desserts, and more. Most rooms in the dorms are double rooms, giving students the chance to experience the responsibilities and amazing friendships that come with having a roommate. All students are carefully paired before they actually move in so that there will be an instant camaraderie set up when they arrive. The rooms are very adequate for high school dorms (Saint Andrews' in this case, is better than some other universities I visited before matriculating), including lofted beds, chairs, dressers, drawers, closets, desks, air conditioning, carpeting, window shades, and exceptional locking protection (swiping a card is required to get into the room, and whenever the door is shut, the door is locked). The lounge areas are spectacular: there is a lot of room for people to either do projects on tables, make food, watch TV....there are even outdoor decks for barbecuing, tanning, talking, dancing, or just relaxing. The dorm becomes the home, and it is easy to think of Saint Andrew's as home because of the wonderfully supportive faculty that lives on campus and is willing to help at any moment for any reason. Saint Andrew's also makes a great effort to keep the students safe, so there is constant security across campus, as well as check-in times.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining at Saint Andrew's is not simply adequate, IT IS GOOD CUISINE. There is little more that can be said about that. It is SO GOOD. Freshly prepared, healthy choices are available at every meal, including a salad bar, sandwich station, buffet-style serving (that serves, no joke, amazingly delicious food), and great desserts (frozen yogurt, ice cream, cakes, pies, pudding, etc.) For the boarding students, are you in for a treat! Breakfast is amazing. There are eggs and omelettes prepared FOR YOU -- you choose how they're done. There is oatmeal, potatoes, sausages, grits, muffins, cereal, bagels, toast, coffee cake, and varied and delicious fresh fruit that is constantly being refilled. You are for certain going to enjoy freshly prepared, healthy food at Saint Andrew's that you are definitely going to miss when you go to college. The dining center is also extravagantly presented in Scottish taste, that is filled with windows and light, that look across the lovely campus. It is just minutes away from the dorms. Students find that meal times are the best times of the day, as they can relax and talk in a beautiful atmosphere about the events of the day.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Boca Raton is a beautiful and pristine town that Saint Andrew's is lucky to be a part of. While the town itself is very trendy and cultured, there are plenty of places available to go besides the mall and high-end fashion retailers: there are restaurants, cinemas, bookstores, popular hangouts (Jamba Juice, Coldstone ice cream, Starbucks, the gym) that are sure to be explored during your years here. I really love the atmosphere of Boca Raton; it is very well-kept and safe, which were important factors for me in choosing my high school.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Saint Andrew's was full of diversity: people from all around the country and the world associated together. Friends are made in every class and extra-curricular, and are frequently seen chatting outside the library, eating lunch outside in the warm sunshine, or just walking around, chatting about intellectually stimulating topics to the common teen discussions. There are lots of events that help bring people together throughout the year (Homecoming, Winterfest, Java Jams, Prom to name a few), where lasting friendships are made, and where a good time is definitely to be had.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:00 AMWake-up bell for boarding students
7:00 AMBreakfast for Boarding Students
7:45 AMAdvisory Period
8:00 AMFirst Period
9:00 AMSecond Period
10:15 AMThird Period
11:00 AMLunch or Fourth Period, followed by Fifth Period
2:30 PMEnd of School or Chapel (Mondays, Wednesdays)
5:45 PMEnd of after-school activities, Dinner for boarding students
8:00 PMStudy Hall (8:00 - 10:00) for boarding students
Weekend
11:00 AMBrunch begins
12:00 AMActivities (Van runs to off-campus locations)
3:30 PMVan pick-ups
5:30 PMVan pick-ups
5:45 PMDinner
6:30 PMActivities (on-campus or off-campus)
11:00 PMCheck-in for freshmen and sophomores
11:30 PMCheck-in for juniors
12:00 PMCheck-in for seniors and monitors

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Swarthmore College
    St. Andrew's has a unique community atmosphere. Unlike other high-caliber high schools, students are not competitive with one another and look to each other for assistance and guidance; this includes interactions between seniors and freshman. . .
  • Vanderbilt University
    Saint Andrew's school is not just a stellar institution and a supportive facility of faculty and friendship. It is a home. I lived there for four years in the boarding program where I. . .
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
    There are so many wonderful characteristics of Saint Andrew's that I don't know where to begin. One of the strongest points that can be made about the school is the influence of the Honor. . .
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