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John Burroughs School

School rating 5 / 5 by

755 South Price Road St. Louis MO 63124 United States
7th to 12th


John Burroughs School review by .

John Burroughs was a great experience. Though many of the classes themselves tend to be on the rigorous side, the teachers, advisors and environment itself provide the supportive, friendly, and relaxed environment necessary to keep students passionate about school. JBS begins in 7th grade, though there are always a few who transfer in later. For most, it's a pretty tough adjustment because everyone's new and trying to make friends on top of managing a new and increased workload. The adjustment into 9th grade provides another challenge, again because of increased workload. It's all manageable it just takes some time to get used to it and to figure out which classes need the most attention. Burroughs has a very unique student body. The Big Sibling/Little Sibling program pairs a new 7th grader with a senior as a catalyst for their adjustment to a new school. A group of seniors, Big Siblings, usually invite their Little Siblings to movies, bowling, or dinners to give the kids time to get to know one another before 7th grade begins. The students themselves are all very clever, witty and creative. It is not uncommon for students to carry a conversation out of the classroom once the bell rings and continue it in the Commons. It is the students and the faculty that truly make Burroughs such a happy place. The bond students share with the school rarely ends after graduation as evidenced by the strong relationship alumni continue to share with the school. The English department is great--very relaxed and caring. The mathematics department is more demanding but the teachers are all very passionate in making sure their students understand the material. As an example of this the Calculus teachers like to boast that no Calculus student has ever received below a 4 on the AP Exam (a 4 or 5 qualifies for college credit at most universities) and in most years only one student earns a 4 while everyone else earns a 5. In the class of 2009, not one student received below a 5. The history department, much like the classics department is full of some hilarious characters and going off on tangents during class discussion happens regularly, though never at the expense of the students' learning. The science department, too, does a great job. In every department it's important to note that all of the teachers are very passionate about what they do. In my experience, I've never met a teacher unwilling to meet with a student outside of class, whether it be to ask a quick question, review a difficult concept, or help a student prepare for a test ahead of time. There is also the Academic Support Department on the third floor where students can receive extra tutoring or preparation if need be. Burroughs has a very unique philosophy in that it values academics equally with arts and sports. Students are required to fulfill an arts credit minimum as well participate in at least two trimesters of team sport each year of high school (unlike in 7th and 8th grade where students must enroll in Phys. Ed class). This has undoubtedly shaped me for the better. Participating in different team sports allows you the opportunity to release stress from studies and outside pressures in a healthy way and most importantly bond with fellow schoolmates during games and practices. The arts classes allow students to follow a more creative pathway amongst an extremely nurturing faculty and environment. Because classes all classes are relatively small (12-16 students), students not only receive a lot of attention from teachers, but also tend to form close bonds with them. Achievement, Honors and AP classes are offered throughout the six years. The only downside is that AP classes are offered only in 12th grade, and even then there are fewer options. Nevertheless many students take the AP exam at the end of non-AP courses (like US History) and still perform exceptionally.

College Counseling

Students are assigned a college counselor around springtime of 11th grade but before then (starting....

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

The admission process is made up of a few parts: 1) The application including short....

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

Burroughs has a lot of traditions including Field Day at the end of the year, morning assembly at the start of each day, special Thanksgiving and Halloween assemblies that the seniors run, family style lunches, Blue & Gold Week culminating in rivalry sports games against MICDS, and most importantly Drey Land. Drey Land is a beautiful piece of land given to Burroughs by alumnus William Drey out near the Ozarks. Seventh Graders spend a couple nights there in the fall divided into different cabins and participating in a number of activities, summer camp style. It's a really great way for so....

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