Dalton School review by Harvey Mudd College student. Dalton's biggest strength is definitely its teachers. Because of the Dalton plan, students have complete access to their teachers' time, and most students take full advantage of this. The school definitely has much more in depth English and History programs. Students tend not to do as well on standardized tests in math and science. This is partly because the seminar style classes are much more conducive to discussion based subjects. Dalton prepared me very well for my humanities and social sciences classes at college, but not at all well for my maths and science classes. The class sizes are never larger than 18, and a lot of senior electives have closer to 12 students. My largest class size was 18 and my smallest was 4. The average work load is very heavy, mostly with reading. Although there is preceptorial assistance available, student's greatest resources are his teachers. The teachers are always willing to help you out if you find your workload too challenging or not challenging enough.
The school has its own 12 story building with excellent facilities, and a separate gym building. The library is huge with a gorgeous view, and there are computers for students to use all over the building. The upper east side is a very safe neighborhood. The cafeteria has great food, although most students still prefer to go out for lunch. The administrators are a total joke and don't do anything. I would characterize the student body as indifferent. Most students get along with each other just fine, and there isn't really a clique problem, most students just don't really care what is happening at school. We have better things to do. The liberal attitude of the schools pretty much allows the students to do whatever and leave whenever, which the students take advantage of.
Dalton does a very good job at allowing its students to balance school life with extra curriculars. Students get hour and twenty minute lunches so student groups meet then. Dalton has all of the typical activities (government, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, political groups, ethnic groups, sports, etc.). There is a community service requirement at Dalton which is essentially 80 hours over four years. One of the more popular activities was Model UN. Most students probably spend 10 hours a week on extra curriculars. Most students end up fairly well rounded.