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Bentley School

Student rating 3.8/ 5 by University of Chicago student
1 Hiller Drive Oakland CA 94618 United States

Academic

Bentley Schoolreview by University of Chicago student. Bentley School is a great small sized school that caters well to the individual learner. With class sizes no more than twenty kids (with about 17 being the average), one on one relationships with the faculty is one of the strong points of Bentley. Every teacher is kind and caring and genuinely wants to help the student's learn to the best of their ability. Besides the obvious math and science classes, no other classes ar lecture based, making learning fun and organic. Nothing is forced because the child is interacting with the teachers and student around him or her to develop a fuller understand of a subject. In English and history classes, class or group discussions are regularly part of the curriculum, something I, as a student, found very helpful. Rather than have the teacher bark at you for hours on end, you are able to communicate and interact with the entire class and share your own insights. The teachers are also always available if student's are ever in need. There are always scheduled office hours for teachers, and they are even willing to stay after school to help a needy student out. Although I personally haven't had much need for seeing a teacher outside of class, I have seen fellow classmates meet and it has seemed to help them quite a bit. The teachers are always there for the students.

College Counseling

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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

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Sample insights on admissions
  • "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 transfered from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard's were two of the larger feeder schools…"
  • "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. Don't ask their questions for them because their evaluation will be affected by the fact that the guides didn't hear a thing from the kid…"

School Life

Bentley is a very tight-knit school. With barely over 300 kids, the sense of community is overwhelmingly strong and students are almost kind and compassionate towards on another. With clubs like peer counseling (where upperclassman help incoming freshman) and the honor council (students who help students deal with cheating), the school is bent on helping one another to maintain a strong feeling of community. The school's approach to discipline isn't too bad, but it can be a little rigid when it comes to dress code. Although we do not have an official dress code, student's aren't supposed to wear certain fashions/garments, and more often than note, students are asked to discontinue wearing something due to it breaking the "dress code." Many of the students that come to Bentley are higher up on the socio-economic ladder just because the school is so expensive to attend. Although, there are still many middle to low income students that receive financial aid to attend. Bentley is truly divers in all aspects of its students.

Bentley has a community service requirement of 60 hours before you graduate. Although, they don't do a very good job of giving students too many opportunities to get the hours taken care of. Students are left a little out on their own, but almost every single student finds a place to work for a while and gets their hours in. There are a good amount of extra curricular activities offered at Bentley with most students participating in some sort of sport. Bentley isn't know for it's sports program but the majority of kids put 7+ hours into sports a week. Other than that, many students also participate in the theatre program. Bentley produces 4-5 dramas and musicals a year that really anyone can become a part of. In general, the mixture of academics with these extra curriculars produces very well-rounded students.