Haverford School review by University of Virginia student. One of the annoying things about the school academically was, honestly, its lack of AP classes, and how its so-called "Honors Classes" are, from my experience talking to others, virtually like AP's in rigor, but they simply don't count for college credit. Imagine my frustration, then, when it comes to my attention that in order pass certain requirements, I would have to once again take pretty much the same classes that I did in high school, and learn essentially the same things. If you would like to take an AP test, it's totally possible to sign up, but just be aware that if you want a teacher's help, you'll have to go outside of class to make up/learn any new material, as they won't be going over it in class. That is, unless you have an excellent Calculus II teacher as I had, who ran his class as close to an AP class as the school will get. Like I said, in terms of rigor and the amount of homework, you'll have enough to occupy your time, and help you learn study skills for college. Each class was different, but the majority of the classes were directed and taught by the teacher. However, there were plenty of opportunities in pretty much every class to work in/among peers (e.g. writing and giving presentations on infectious diseases, working with others to come up with a solid argument as to why a particular country was innocent for starting WWI, talking about the most recent chapter in classic novels, or even prepare a lesson in math and teach it to the class). The learning environment was very comfortable, for each class usually had no more than 20 students per teacher, and teachers were always available for extra help after class or during free periods, before/after school, or any time, really. There was also a tutoring department for anyone who was struggling so no one would be left behind.
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My class was actually very competitive and dynamic, with everyone majorly excelling in some way or another. That was a defining characteristic of my class, but I'm not sure about the other ones. The school is a very conservative school, with many students coming from very esteemed backgrounds. But the school also really emphasized community service to us students, alerting us to many fun community activities.
The school had sports/extracurricular requirements, so everyone was at least expected to go to at least one per year at Haverford. There was a multitude of different choices that could be made with regard to how many extracurriculars could be chosen per trimester, as Haverford's academic system was structured around. Students would typically spend about two hours a day on sports, after their normal dismissal time, which was either 3:15pm or 2:40pm, depending on the day, as well as depending on the extracurriculars they joined. For example, the swim team usually had a two-hour practice six days a week, but only for the winter season while the Haverford Glee Club met for fifteen minutes two or three times a week throughout the year. The commitments varied by the type of sport/activity done. The balance with homework and schoolwork does get tricky, though, but Haverford does a good job of making sure that you can get everything accomplished.