John Burroughs School review by Brown University student. Burroughs has a very strong academic program. While they do not offer many AP courses, most of their normal or advanced track courses prepare students better for the AP test than many AP courses at other schools. Teachers who teach juniors and seniors also teach 7th and 8th graders, so there is a great sense of community from an academic standpoint. Many teachers have PhDs in their department, and all classes are around 15 people each. Desks in History and English classes, along with some others, are often arranged in a circle to promote discussions. Burroughs offers an amazing high school liberal arts education and prepared me extremely well for college. Additionally, the 3rd floor is dedicated to academic counseling, and the teachers who work in that department are exceptional.
The quality of life at Burroughs is great. It's a day school, so the only meal served is lunch. Lunch is high quality, with family-style serving and sandwich/salad/soup/vegetarian options every day. For upperclassmen there is also snack provided in the late mornings and extra goodies for lunch. The neighborhood is the most expensive suburb of St. Louis, and while this is represented in some of the student body, people come from as far west as Lake St. Louis and as far east as Belleville, IL, and over 20% of students receive financial aid. The library and the science labs are all state of the art, and resources are available for any academic, artistic, or extracurricular pursuit. The culture at Burroughs is very relaxed: no dress code, free periods for high schoolers, many social gathering places, and a casual relationship between students and teachers. The political ideology is very liberal as with most elite colleges, but conservative students also thrive. Students often organize parties, concerts, and movie nights and the attendance is usually very high, from 7th graders to seniors. Dreyland, a property in southern Missouri owned by Burroughs, is another really important aspect of Burroughs. The school runs programs in 7th grade, 9th grade, and 12th grade for a number of reasons, creating a great getaway from school and an incredible bonding experience. The Burroughs community is very strong and tight-knit. By senior year, students know every member of their class like siblings and are willing to stand by them like family.
Extracurriculars are an extremely important component of the Burroughs education. While athletics are not emphasized in the manner that they are at many other schools, Burroughs students are very athletic and excel at all different sports. There is also huge school spirit for such a small school. There is a sports requirement for all students. As for other activities, there is anything you can imagine. If there isn't already a club in existence, it is really easy to start one. Montgomery Plan is the biggest student group and houses most of the community service opportunities, which is a lot. There is also a community service week for 8th graders, but most students continue to do community service in their free time throughout high school. The balance between extracurriculars and academics was perfect for most students because you can decide how much or how little extracurriculars you want to do. Our rival is MICDS, and while students get really riled up about the rivalry and are quick to tell you the horrible attributes of "the evil empire," almost all Burroughs students are good friends with people at MICDS and the rivalry remains mostly friendly.