After many years of walking the halls of Webber Academy I have decided to finally write an accurate account of my experiences there. Firstly, why you should trust this review. I attended Webber as a student for nearly a third of my life, half a decade, and saw countless people come and go. I dove into the school’s academic and extracurricular life since my start in elementary and never stopped trying to excel. I have volunteered multiple times, made countless donations, and been a major part in more than 80% of their offered clubs and activities for my entire stay. I was a “Gold Honor Roll” student for several years while keeping up on my out-of-school passions and social life. After all of my years spent attending this school I can’t defend its atrocious treatment of all who come in contact with it.
When I first started at Webber Academy I came from a much less academic background and was working hard to catch up on what I had ‘missed’ in previous years. After only six months at the new school, trying to make new friends, find my way around, and desperately fit in my mother received some troubling news. My grades were too low to keep Webber’s ‘standard of excellence’ appeased so administration started questioning whether this school was a good fit. During this questioning period I spent hours upon hours outside of school with tutors rushing my way through a vast curriculum before I was to be banned from my new school. This anecdote is a perfect summary for Webber, as whole, a group out only for their own interests.
The hefty (roughly) $15000 bill to send one child to Webber may seem ridiculous as is, however it gets worse. To gain admission to the school you must first be proven to be able to uphold their ideal grade average, which is fair if they wish only the best to attend. Then you must enter into elaborate contracts with the establishment to cover every eventuality possible in which the school could not receive your tuition. For instance, in multiple noted cases the administration has denied returning of funds to students who were unable to attend due to a plethora of reasons including moving. These funds are not stated as non-refundables within the contracts however the admin. advocates for lawsuits to be taken against them in hopes to deter the distraught families.
Once you enter the school and become part of its culture you gradually realize how the entire school system is a self-advocating machine. A living embodiment of an annoying advertisement. I found, among hundreds of students I know, two who genuinely enjoyed the school and its structure. It could be passed off as teenage angst for a heavy workload, however this isn’t some dislike for the building they must attend, it is a festering hate for their school. Endless discussions flood any spare time about how every student feels betrayed, and disregarded by their school. There is no community or support web within Webber Academy, it consists of teachers and students who think of it as a prison. They want to do the minimal time possible and return home as quickly as they can. This is ever evident within the social lives of the students as even inhouse dances were largely boycotted and skipped for leisure time at home. As a student it was one of the hardest things to find anyone who was interested in leaving their house to spend time with their ‘friends’. I have tried to throw many casual parties attended by several of other high school students, however the attendance of my Webber Academy friends was moote. This comes as a result of an ever pressuring and competing atmosphere that Webber has created to boost their own statistics. Many of what I thought were my friends only saw me as competition, as if I was the enemy keeping them down. This feeling is ever present within the school as students will take nearly any measures possible to raise themselves above others, and if possible disadvantage those others extensively. You are cast as an untouchable if you are unwilling to share a grade you received on an assignment or test with everyone around you. But when you sucum to pressure the feeling is only multiplied as you are now judged by your grade whether it is too high, or too low.
A student in any grade is nothing but a number to many of the students, teachers and admin. at Webber Academy, potential and promise are not factors.
Many of the teachers who once worked for the school are still in contact with me, and would likely fully support my view of the school. Only some of them were fired, not because of merit but demands for a fair salary, and many of the others left in “outrage” at the school’s conditions. Webber Academy qualifies for government ‘help’ and as such up to three fourths of any teacher’s salary is paid from taxes rather than tuition. It leaves one wondering where that $15000 is really going. Teachers are also fired and replaced literally yearly, with only compulsory staff, generally carrying ‘Webber’ as their last name ever guaranteed a job. The school also does not offer contracts to teachers, so anyone seeking security in their job has moved on to greater schools. They are replaced with quickly hired, freshly-taught individuals who hardly have any experience in their supposed field. In many instances the head of school doubles as a teacher, currently the head of senior school teaches the class with the lowest physics average within the school.
I spoke earlier of my extensive involvement within the school before my departure, however I should clarify what that entails. The school I currently attend offers well over 50 clubs and activities, if you can’t find something you’re interested in you are more than welcome to create your own. Webber Academy offers roughly 15 including all sports teams. The teacher’s involvement within these clubs is a dismal minimum, except with the Student’s Council, where even the elected president holds no real power to the supervising teachers. This may seem slightly reasonable until you consider that an elected body of students has absolutely no say in the events that transpire within their school. In fact a majority of the elected don’t even attend the meetings, because they’re a pointless cycle of student attempts and admin. denial.
One of Webber Academy’s main joys at the moment is the construction of their new dramatic arts auditorium. Having entered it a few times I can say that it is a lovely facility, however it is scarcely used. Upon it’s opening I visited the theater hoping to get a good look around with some of my friends, I was split up from them, however, because while viewing a drama rehearsal they were escorted out of the building. They were told essentially that they, students, are not allowed within the building, as it was to be kept pristine. As a former drama and art student at Webber I can undoubtedly state that the arts are all but dead there. As if lacking a qualified drama teacher isn’t enough many students opt out of ‘option’ courses to get a spare. They take this time to cram in what homework is due for the next few classes as not to fail. The reason for this is as humans, children need sleep too and all too many times students have been forced by their bodies to bed at 5AM before finishing a homework assignment that is nothing more than a one out of one completion mark the next day.
Since I could write about about the travesties I and others have suffered at this school for literally a day I will conclude and summarize with a few bullet points.
At Webber Academy:
I appreciate you reading my review and truly hope you heed my warnings before considering Webber Academy an option for you or your child. Too many propaganda ads and reviews are available for anyone looking so I trust my view based upon merit will be noticed. This review is not to offend the individuals within the school, however few, who are strong, good people.