"Strangest school visit ever! DC was "dropped off" at her first class by her "host for the day", then told at the end of the class by the teacher to go wait in the hall, that her host "would find her" Things went downhill from there. She sat alone in the lunch room and ate while the CS kids talked amongst themselves, oblivious to their visitor. Mayhem, disconnection, and isolated were used to describe her day. Wow. As for me, after arranging our interview time, in advance, with the AOO, who agreed she would have us done in time for me to get to work I would (I work second shift), I arrived in the afternoon 10 min. before our scheduled time, and then waited over an hour. The AOO sauntered down the stairs at the time we had pre-planned we would be done. She said nothing of her delay. Wooow. It was all for the best. To see the school for what it is in such a short window saved us time and energy in the long run. Weaknesses in communication school-wide, common courtesy school-wide, care, authenticity, warmth from faculty and student body, happiness in students, etc. - this package, not for us."
"I've been at Commonwealth School for two years now. While I love some things about it, I've also had a really hard time there. The academics are super challenging, which I like, but the amount of work leaves it so I have literally very very little free time. The school gives students a good amount of independence, which I also like. However, I've had trouble fitting in with the school culture. There's a heavy intellectual-nerdy, wealthy, privileged population that dominants school culture. If you don't come from that background or are a bit "mainstream," it can be hard to fit in. The athletics are really bad, too. Everyone makes the "varsity" sports and the level of skill on those teams is really low. If you want a good in-school athletic experience, don't go to Commonwealth (unless you're a fencer)."
"I just stumbled upon this website so I couldn't resist adding my praise to the pile. I have a son who graduated and one who is a current student. This school was "life changing" for them. It's intense, but boy oh boy do you come out of it with a strong intellect, great study habits and a mature and respectful attitude towards others. As others have mentioned it's a fairly self selected student body, but there is a huge diversity of interests among them. Last thing...the sports are not huge, but they can be intense if you want. The students take the team sports and fencing very seriously."
"Commonwealth is really a place like no other: it's one of the most intense experiences of your life. But you'll come out with an amazing education, as well as a great sense of who you are and what you're capable of. I wanted to make a comment about the parent's review of 12/10/10, where s/he says that there are some very unqualified students. Commonwealth has always had a suspiciously high admittance rate for the level of student that the graduate, because the student body is largely self-selected. You have to really WANT an intensive environment. There have always been a bunch of students who are not, to be polite, the ones that make Commonwealth have the highest average SAT scores in the country. But they always have something else to offer, and make Commonwealth a richer place. One man that I graduated with might not have been getting straight A's, but he was an amazing artist, and his post-Commonwealth career has garnered a lot of very positive publicity. Commonwealth is known for its academics, but it's really so, so much more. You won't find a more interesting group of students at any school."
"For a day school In the greater Boston are, it doesn't get any better than this! Committed teachers and administrators who instill passion and a love of learning in your child! Intellectual outliers thrive here--truly a well rounded education for Boston's most gifted! My only negative comment is that in very recent years they have allowed a very small number of unqualified students admittance, with an exception of at least one seemingly highly unqualified student matriculating here. For the most part and with very few exceptions, the students here are stellar intellects and their 'uniquness' is respected and appreciated. It's not an easy school and you will work harder than you ever imagined--but you are fully supported along the way."