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Acton-Boxborough Regional High School Reviews

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The academics at ABRHS are great, but only for the kids who spend all their time studying. It is extremely difficult to balance schoolwork with sports, friends, a job, or anything really because the workload (and homework) takes a lot of time and energy. There is also very little school spirit, and many kids actually resent the school for various reasons. It is very one-track minded; there little variation or accommodation for different learning styles, and thus some kids are kind of just screwed.
A really competitive school.
You can usually only see Asian and Indian kids in the H/AP class.
People are really friendly but it really hard for you to blend in into their group if you are a new transfer. As most of the students come from the same junior high, It seems like they don't want any new friends. This is really hard for the newcomers. However, I think this is a great school for preparing for the college. The teachers are great and they teach us in a really patient way. I had a really rough year in AB as a new transfer.
Academically rigorous and challenging, most teachers truly care about students and want to help them excel, but the administration doesn't seem to quite understand the students and the school's atmosphere is very competitive, stressful, and conducive to poor mental health.
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ABRHS is a very traditional school, with early start times that have never been moved back, and extremely high rigor compared to other American schools. Although everyone is highly prepared for college, it is very stressful and competitive. There are many reforms ABRHS could go through, some of which may happen in the next few years, fortunately.
So stressful school
If you are not in Honor's class, then you are considered to be not good.
ABRHS's Honor class means "Super" honor to other normal HS.
COMPETITIVE. There's a lot of good and a lot of bad. GPA Deflation seems to be the norm. Come prepared to study, study, and study.
Academics are still very rigorous, although some like to say the stem department is weakening since they're getting rid of the math skip test (to go to Algebra II instead of Geo as a freshman). I'd say Honors math courses are still Very Hard for those who don't learn math outside of school or do competition math. The science team is a national-level team, earning top 15 at Nats the past three years in a row. The english department and history department are also very good. One major bad thing about the school is the lack of ability to help students' mental health on the side of the administrators. They don't handle tough situations well at all, and there is also TOO MUCH stress.
I'm trying very hard to be objective here, but my experience at AB was downright terrible. As a new student, you get 0 resources to help settle in and you're forgotten about after a day or two. Good luck making friends! It's literally impossible. Besides that, the homework load left me working from the moment I got home to around 11 most nights. Forget weekends, I was studying and working the entire time. Mental health deteriorates extremely quickly at this school. Several suicides occurred last year alone. The only things I found good was the clubs and theater program, as well as sufficiently challenging classes. (If only those classes hadn't given ridiculously unneccessary amounts of busy work every night.) If you're looking for theater, this is the school you want- just DON'T sign up for honors classes, or else you'll end up with too much work to have time to be involved in theater.
The academics at AB are really amazing for preparing students for college and later life, the students have access to many resources that other schools do not, and the teachers are excellent. Unfortunately, the stress-levels overall are slightly high.
The facts about how many AB students get nearly perfect SAT scores, graduate, and go to amazing colleges sound great, right? Well when everyone who goes to AB is miserable, those facts mean nothing. AB is a place where you will be shamed for taking a CP class, getting less than a 2000 on the SAT, and going to a perfectly good- but not amazing- school like UMass Lowell. Quite simply, AB causes depression, anxiety, and seriously low self esteem. The recent suicide cluster is just the beginning of the downward spiral that is Acton Boxborough.
The high school offers a lot of opportunities for different courses and activities with high levels of participation and quality. The teachers I have had are generally very supportive and helpful. However, the academics can be quite rigorous and competitive, which sometimes creates some adversity.
Good stuff:
lots of clubs/sports
super LGBTQ accepting
decent food choices
great reputation for colleges
AB has great math and science. I came into my freshman year disliking math. Now I respect the class. The science facilities aren't bad. Ample classrooms with lab tables, chemistry equipment, and modern computers. Cool labs. I don't like the separate lab periods. But overall, most of the teachers are passionate, funny and knowledgeable.
Bad stuff:
not as many AP courses compared to surrounding towns
not many applied/technical courses
terrible language department
overpowering workload
slim diversity (white, Indian, Asian)
very little community sentiment
This school has courses so difficult that a new level between CP and Honors needed to be created. It's called AE, or Accelerated and Enriched. Additionally, AP and Honors courses both give the same amount of GPA credit.
Teachers in high-level courses genuinely work with the students to ensure their academic and personal success. Teachers in A/E-level and lower-level classes often lack enthusiasm for their subjects.
My main issue with AB was how they literally ignored student stress and mental health. If you weren't a genius or a super athlete, you were literally nothing to this school. When tragedy stuck as it recently did, they ignored it and plowed on with school work. That kid you had a class with and is gone, none of them are going to mention him, its all hushed up. It's going to happen again if things don't change.
The teachers are ok. They tend to have over the top expectations a lot which is annoying
very good, some areas could be improved
there is a wide range of opportunities for everyone
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good community and excellent academics
This is one of the top ranked schools in a state that one of the top ranked states in the country
Everyone is very accepting and there is an ally week every year
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