REVIEW OF Rothesay Netherwood School BY parent, Janet Thompson
- Date of Review
March 08, 2021
Gr. 10 - Gr. 11
(5) Student Experience
Our son had an excellent experience at RNS. The small class size and sense of community are the things he appreciated most about the school. We could see his self-confidence in his studies improve during the school year. Meeting with his Advisor every morning before class provided a very good support system. Likewise, the student body at the school proved very supportive and enhanced our son's overall experience. The academic side of the school was more demanding than schools he had previously attended but the daily study time and availability of faculty for help made the work less onerous than it otherwise would have been. The bonds that were made with peers and faculty will be lifelong. He keeps in close touch with many of the friends he made at RNS and he could contact a former teacher at any time for guidance.
(5) School Leadership
The leadership at RNS is excellent. The administration does an outstanding job of facilitating all of the necessary steps involved in registration, course selection and orientation to campus life. The staff and administration clearly outline what is expected of the students but also what the student can expect from the school in turn. Qualities such as diligence, honesty and respect are stressed by the staff which leads to a more cohesive student body. Throughout the year there is ongoing communication regarding the activities at the school, covering academic, co-curricular and the many extra-curricular events being offered. These communications are shared with both the students and parents.
There is a great advantage to having smaller class sizes. The teacher/student ratio is low. This is very beneficial for students to get the opportunity to participate in class, whether it be discussions, offering opinions or asking questions. I feel that each teacher is very passionate about their subject and, in our experience, that passion is passed on to the student. Our son developed more of an interest in Math and English when he was able to get the support that he needed and also be challenged in a way that wasn't intimidating to him. The teachers take opportunities to be creative and provide unique learning experiences for the students. They provide hands-on learning, things the students will never forget, like a "Zombie Apocalypse" day.
Academics at RNS are outstanding. There is so much thought and effort put into all the classes, the students are motivated to step out of their comfort zone and get involved with things they might not have in a class with twice or three times as many students. The personal attention given to each student is something that our son benefitted from significantly during his time at RNS. There is an Effort Grade report three times per year. We found this to be a very effective way for our son to recognize where he needed to apply himself more diligently and helped him to focus on specific areas of study that could use improvement. When our son received the second set of effort grades and could see that his concerted effort was making a difference, he felt very good about that. It helps to build confidence that the student can actually see and the results show.
We feel there are so many extracurricular opportunities that there would be something of interest to any student. Athletics are considered to be an important part of a healthy lifestyle at the school. As a hockey player, our son was able to continue his dryland training, which was very important to him, and the school saw the importance of respecting his interest. There are many opportunities for the students to get involved in extracurricular activities other than athletics. The school has an amazing drama club and encourages every student to participate in the school musical where they can contribute in any way they feel comfortable. This builds school spirit and on the personal side, builds self-esteem for everyone involved.
The student body is small. There is a sense of community. The senior students assume leadership roles. This benefits the younger students who have role-models to look up to and the more senior students who aspire to be excellent role-models. Our son really enjoyed life in residence and felt quite a bond with the younger boys who looked up to him like a big brother. I will never forget at the Graduation year-end ceremonies a group of the younger middle school boys came running up to our son and tackled him. There was so much laughter and this was a group of kids that you could tell had created some fun memories together. They get to know each other and are there for each other, they know they have friends they can count on. These are friendships and experiences they will always remember!
(5) School Life
Students are welcomed to Rothesay Netherwood School and they can feel the sense of community from the very first visit. The campus setting is beautiful and the character of the buildings gives it a very inviting feel. The enthusiasm of the Faculty and Houseparents is always apparent. They make an extra effort to really get to know your child and, as a parent, you really do feel comfortable at the prospect of your child going to school there. The safety of the students is also a top priority for the staff and faculty this is helped immeasurably by the small number of students and a very well-defined campus located in a beautiful residential area. There is a close bond formed between the students spending so much time together. There is always something or someone to talk to. Our son was involved in hockey and there are many other activities to get into
Parents are always made to feel welcome at RNS. The lines of communication are always open and parental input is encouraged. Parents are able to get involved in a variety of different activities and can volunteer at various events throughout the year. Local parents of day students were helpful in making parents from away feel welcome when they were visiting from out of town. Families involved with different groups or teams at the school hosted dinner parties for everyone to meet and get to know each other. There was effort made to make parents and siblings feel welcome. Being from out of town, we appreciated these opportunities to get to know other families when we were able to visit. This meant a lot to our son, as well
(5) School Location
RNS is set in a lovely residential area in Rothesay NB. The students are welcome in the community and the campus is within walking distance of Rothesay's business district. The students do go off campus for different supervised events and can sign out to go off campus by themselves for short periods of time. Specific guidelines are in place for students to leave the campus with friends from the community, for example, which our son has done from time to time. He had to provide specifics to his Houseparent and we needed to be notified and give permission. We felt these excursions were handled in a very safe manner.
Applying for admission was streamlined. There is someone readily available to answer both our questions, and our son's questions. Prospective students and parents are encouraged to go for a tour of the school and campus which is very helpful. We found that our son felt very comfortable after he spent time touring the campus and meeting with some current students. The earlier you consider going and starting the process the better, but, every accommodation is made to help the applicant, even if you are late applying, as was our situation. Our son was booked for an appointment to get fitted for the pieces of his uniform at our convenience. Everyone was welcoming and very kind. Our son's experience left him feeling very positive about his decision to go to RNS!