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Thacher School

School rating 4 / 5 by

5025 Thacher Road Ojai CA 93023 United States
9th to 12th
9th to 12th


Thacher School review by .

Extremely close relationships with teachers. Teachers are very supportive, often very passionate; classes are extremely small (my senior year, I had an average of five students in my classes). Very strong humanities program, fairly strong language program. Math program is also fairly good; quite weak in the sciences. Weak in drama department (at least in my opinion). Encouraged a lot of critical thinking, independent reasoning; emphasized good writing. Very discussion based (thanks in part to small classes). Lots of AP classes offered. Reasonable workload.

College Counseling

College counseling is taken very seriously. Begins in sophomore year (junior year in earnest). Lots....

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

They are looking for very well-rounded, friendly, "good" kids. The school emphasizes character, so they're....

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

It's paradise, actually. Quality of life is extraordinary. The most beautiful setting I've ever encountered; wonderful weather; extremely strong sense of community; emphasis on living a life of meaning and purpose (not on resume-building or college admissions); emphasis on trust (not a single locked door on the whole campus) and kindness; tons of support from caring, trustworthy adult role models; no drug or alcohol problems to speak of; daily exercise, delicious food, and focused intellectual activity. Facilities are not particularly unusual or spectacular (although some of the new dorms and the new campus center are beautiful) but the surrounding mountains....

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