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Asheville School

School rating 4.7 / 5 by

360 Ashville School Road Asheville NC 28806 United States
Boarding
9th to 12th
Day
9th to 12th
Gender
Coed

Academic

Asheville School review by .

Asheville's academic program was rigorous and demanding, but it made my transition to college much more smoother than it would have been had I continued at my local high school. The school offers about 17 AP classes in Spanish, French, Latin and might also for Chinese, Stats, Calc AB and BC, Physics, Chem, English, Histories. Most students perform extremely well especially on the Calc exams due to the superb preparation we receive. The teachers do not teach to the test--rather they teach material that is harder than the AP test so that the test seems easy in comparison to our work throughout the year (at least that's how I saw it). Also, the midterm and final exams are required and written by the teachers; they are difficult, but I think it's a good idea that we had finals so that we didn't see the AP as the end of our learning experience. Few of the faculty have PhD's from what I can recall, but they were still stellar teachers--however the higher level classes, Honors and AP, were always taught by the "better" faculty whereas new teachers were often relegated to regular classes. Most importantly, the school's small size of 240 allows the teachers to give students unparalleled individual attention. Most of my classes were around 8-11 people for all four years. Teachers live on hall with students and are available for extra help and support, throughout the school day also. They are always willing to spend time with students to ensure that they perform to their highest capabilities--they will schedule afterschool review sessions or come in early to be available. There is a learning center for students that need help structuring and planning their homework assignments. Something new started this year is that all freshman (third form students) have required study hall from 8-10 in a conference room rather than in their dorm rooms, and from what I have heard it has improved their academic performance as a class significantly. I recall having about 4-5 hours of homework a night, every year. It was a little less my senior year because I was taking art and music which had smaller workloads, and an independent study course. Usually there was little homework on friday night for saturday classes unless we had quizzes. The school has always had speakers come for certain holidays of the year (Founder's Day, MLK day) to give speeches to the students; most students groan about them because they are required events but they are often influential, intelligent speakers with interesting messages for the students. Grading is pretty fair, there is no grade inflation or curving. A+s in courses are not rare, but they do take considerable effort. What sets AS (Asheville School) apart from other institutions is the integrated curriculum they have phased in; my class was not a part of it, but the class behind it was--English and History are integrated together into a class called "Foundations" that begins freshman year with world history, then european, then english, then american. I heard mixed reviews from it from students who complained about the grade for both being combined into one regardless of a student's strength in english over history, for instance, but the faculty stand by their program and are really proud of what they have developed. To me it sounds like a good idea, but students will no longer be allowed to skip ahead like I was; I took english 3 as a sophomore with the junior class, instead of english 2, and I liked that challenge. Now, all students regardless of ability follow the same curriculum in each grade. (Of course, Honors, AP and regular are still available.)

College Counseling

The college counseling department gives their students lots of personal attention while at the same....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

Asheville School has an early decision deadline now, as well as regular admission deadline. However,....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Singles for students are generally the norm, and the rooms are fairly large (larger than what I experienced in my freshman dorm room). Sometimes if the school accepts more people than usual, there will be doubles--but the reality is that usually enough students get kicked out that people can move to singles. (The Honor Code is probably the most remarkable part about the school--it upholds students to a high standard of not lying, cheating or stealing--and they can be expelled for not adhering to it. I was on the Honor Council, a group of six chosen by the student....

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