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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 .

Thacher School has amazing academics. Most classes are small with between 10-12 people with science classes being bigger on average with 15 people. That being said, some more specialized classes are much smaller with my smallest class ever being 3 people in a Robotics class, while my Latin classes ranged from 4-6 people. While I would say all the departments are excellent, the English, History, and Science departments are particularly strong. The art department is also excellent even though there are only minimal art requirements, there is a lot of wonderful opportunity and that department It is not uncommon to be taught a science class there by a PhD and most teachers have a masters or are pursuing it. The teachers are very enthusiastic, talented, and very helpful. They are available for help after class even after dinner in the evening since most live on campus. Language is also a very strong area in its academics. Since every student is required to take a foreign language and get to the third level of it, everyone leaves with some proficiency of a foreign language. Despite it being a small school, there is a great variety of languages to choose from with Spanish, French, Latin, and Chinese being offered. Despite being a small school, there are a great deal of wonderful classes being taught by excellent faculty that you might not expect at most schools. From Computer Science and Robotics, to Latin American, Middle Eastern, South African, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican history to Political Philosophy and African-American literature. The workload while intense is doable. Expect between 3-5 hours of homework on average a night by your junior year. Don't worry though, the school prepares you and eases you into this. The first year is spent making sure everyone is on the same level and ready for the increased academics of subsequent years. Students here do a lot more homework than their public school counterparts and have less time to do it than their private day school counterparts but managing this is an important skill that one develops that prepares one very well for college. Despite being a top level academic boarding school you will find that Thacher's students are not very competitive towards one another and instead are very supportive and help each other forward to succeed. Thacher gets its students to enjoy learning for the sake of learning and thus makes the whole academic experience much more rewarding rather than some dreadful necessary activity that many who go to public schools end up feeling. Thacher prepared me very well for college. While most of my classmates struggle with the increased difficulty of college material and struggle to develop their time management skills, I have been well prepared for my first year of college and comfortably got through it.

College Counseling

Thacher, being a college prep school, definitely helps you get into a great college but....

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

Taking the SSAT is required for admissions. You only need to take it once. The....

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

Going to Thacher was an extremely rewarding experience. It is situated in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, the Ojai Valley in California. So even just walking around you are inspired by the campuses natural beauty. The school own over a hundred acres so there are many beautiful trails to go on a nice run or ride. There is a great sense of community on campus and it is a very friendly place where everyone knows each others names and people say hi to you when you walk by. There is a great deal of trust between....

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