Regis High Schoolreview by Yale University student. When you make the decision to attend Regis, you are doing so because of their academic reputation. In my four years, it lived up to and exceeded that reputation in all academic areas. While all departments are exceptionally strong, I would have to say that I found Regis to be a more humanities based school, which is the norm for Jesuit schools. The English department is the most outstanding at the school, featuring several of the best teachers, including multiple who graduated Regis in the past 15 years, allowing them to connect with students very deeply. The history and theology departments are also full of incredibly smart, talented, and dedicated teachers that students learn immense amounts of knowledge from without even trying. These three departments also offer some of the most well-rounded courses, which have been refined continuously for decades, rendering them enjoyable for nearly every student. But the thing that makes Regis High School such an outstanding school for the humanities is the interplay between these various departments. These three different departments are in constant conversation with one another and, because of this, the courses are connected in such a way that students are encouraged to think in an interdisciplinary manner and get an panoramic view of whatever era or topic they are studying. This interplay in heightened by supplementary courses, such as the art history course in junior year, which ties into the European History, European Literature, and Ethics courses which the students are taking concurrently. It's important to note that the math and sciences at Regis are also very strong, if not quite as coherent with one another. I've felt extremely well prepared at Yale in Math, Science, and Humanities classes alike. I feel like I was especially well prepared by Regis for the writing required in college, both for papers and for essays on tests/finals. The one negative point is that there is not much room for class selection until senior year. Freshman, sophomore, and junior year students are all on essentially the same track, although all of those courses are fantastic Students are also encouraged to think for themselves by the classroom style that pervades the school. None of the classes at Regis are lecture based; they all are founded upon discussion, and many, especially in english, are exclusively based upon group discussions. Even science and math classes take an interactive approach to learning, and it's nearly impossible to find yourself bored in class. Many of my teachers remarked that their goal for the class was for it to simply be a discussion among peers, with the teacher just being another student, contributing thoughts, but still open to learning. The courses that ended up like this--of which there were several--were truly incredible. However, this classroom philosophy can only be carried out if there are two things present: fantastic teachers and intelligent, motivated classmates. Luckily, both those are the norm at Regis. The teachers are all experts in their fields, excellent at teaching, and able to authentically connect with students. The students, by virtue of admissions being so selective, are also all incredible. Even Yale included, I have never been in a community where I was surrounded by such intelligent peers. Classroom discussions never failed to be outstandingly enriching, and they are unparalled, even compared to my ones at Yale. It's also a virtuous circle since so many alumni come back to teach after college. Class size is about 13 students per humanities class, and a very manageable 20-25 for math and science courses. The teachers are all easily accessible and willing to lend help to any student who simply asks. The "resource center" structure, where a department has one large room, completely open to students, where all the teachers have their desks, makes it easy for students to get help from teachers and also to connect with them outside the class room. Help is also available from several peer tutoring groups. Students looking to augment their studies at a more advanced level can also find outlets, especially in the science and math departments, which offer advanced courses and credits for year-long research projects. The workload is quite heavy, especially if the student is commuting. Students can expect to be doing a minimum of 3 hours of work per night, and upwards of 5 hours per night during busy times. That said, the work is manageable and pays off in the end. Most students come back from college firm in the belief that Regis was more difficult, which says something about the preparation it gave them.
Regis is located in a wonderful building nestled in the Upper East Side of New York, probably the nicest and safest area of the city. The building is upkept wonderfully, and the classroom, library, and lab facilities are always state of the art. The cafeteria is undoubtedly a cafeteria, although the food is decent enough to keep you from bringing lunch from home. There are numerous study spaces throughout the building and students' schedules are set up with free time so as to encourage them to manage their time wisely and try to get some homework done during the school day. As far as the approach to work goes, I thought it was handled well. There was a lot of it, and there were no excuses if you didn't get it done. That said, it didn't feel as if you were being coerced to do it. Regis created an atmosphere in which you wanted to learn and in which you wanted to please your teachers, so the work didn't seem like a burden. Students come from a very wide range of backgrounds, both ethnically and socio-economically. They also commute from all over the five boroughs and the tri state area. Diversity isn't a gimmick at Regis; it's genuine and the students are truly immersed in it. The staff is the same way, although the neighborhood Regis is situated in is almost exclusively upper class. Students have no shortage of support or guidance. There are several guidance counselors, a handful of priests, and an entire faculty who are always willing to help, no matter what the issue is. Once you are admitted, the entire school cares for you like a family. This comes from the very strong sense of community within Regis. The school is unique because it is all-scholarship; every student's tuition is paid for through the generosity of alumni. This not only says something about the success of alums, but also creates a very strong loyalty to the school among students from the day they step foot in it. Every student wants to be there, is thankful to be there, and makes every effort to make the best of his time there. Couple that with the fact that all these students are incredibly talented and intelligent, and you get a truly amazing community and culture that stay with students long after graduation.
Even though many students commute more than an hour to and from school, the vast majority are involved in multiple extracurricular activities at Regis, simply because they are so numerous and engaging. The school really makes an effort to foster extracurriculars among students, and the administration and faculty makes an effort to provide an environment where students can comfortably balance their academics with their activities, and still have time for themselves. The largest and most impressive extracurricular at Regis is the speech and debate team, which more than one third of students participate in. The team is one of the top five in the country almost every year, and is a rewarding experience for everyone who participates. However, not all extracurricular activities at Regis are so academic; the athletics department is also strong. There is not a terribly wide range of sports (varsity Soccer, Track, Basketball, Volleyball, Fencing, and Baseball are offered), but they are consistently competitive in the NYCHSAA league. There are also numerous cultural groups, interest groups, and others that are started by students each year. While there were some students who chose not to participate in extracurriculars, your average Regian would be a member of either and athletic team or the speech and debate team, and would probably be spending about 5-10 hours per week devoted to that extracurricular. This may sound like a lot, but it provided a wonderful balance to my life as a Regis student, and has helped produce myriad well-rounded students. Being a catholic school, and particularly a Jesuit one, Regis has a strong focus on community service. The school makes sure that there are always opportunities for students to volunteer through various organizations , and has high requirements and expectations for student community service during their four years. In fact, the most rewarding element of the Regis career was the senior Christian service program, where seniors spend two days per week volunteering at a site of their choice (mine was a public elementary school), giving them an immersive view and an incredible opportunity to help others that you cannot find at any other high school I know of. Regis produces students who not only just do community service, but also care about it and recognize its value.