This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Donoho School4
Posted November 08, 2014
- a parent
I have a child in the elementary school here and can say our experience so far has been quite mixed. Kindergarten was fabulous and exceeded all my expectations. 1st grade was a joke. We colored a lot and did a lot of worksheets (aka busywork). Second grade has been mixed - one teacher is fantastic and the other is a joke. Sadly the bad one is one we have now had TWICE as she splits 1st and 2nd grade due to class size. If we have her again in any grade, I assure you we will pull our child out. This teacher is a failure for this school. The bright spot is the new administration. The lower school has a new principal and the school has a new headmaster. Both are PHENOMENOL!!!! I feel the direction of this school will change shortly and I feel the "slack" will be cut before long. There is a new energy at the school this year and most imprtanly, a VISIBLE leadership team. With this new team in place, I feel the direction and attitude of the school will change. I'm being positive anyway!
I would have to agree that the administration at Donoho is awful. I am the parent of a student at the Lower School. (That's their odd way of saying elementary school.) The teachers are too strict and my son complains that he wants to be homeschooled too much for this to be a throw-away angsty 11 year old problem. My son has been complaining that the teachers do nothing about bullying problems, and the principal sometimes just barges into the room and works at a spare desk. Having gone to Donoho as a child, I can tell that the quality of staff and the campus itself has declined greatly. While the education is wonderful, much of it is just repeats of what the students already know. My other son recently graduated from the Upper School (Seriously, what's up with these weird ways to say High and Elementary school?) and I noted that he was unsatisfactory with his senior year, saying that the teachers are apathetic and do not care about the students enough. I can confirm that my son at the Lower School will not be coming back next year. He also said that his teacher called his friend a "2 year old" when the friend would not listen to the lesson. I wouldn't recommend this school.
I've had two children graduate from Donoho recently and both have done exceptional in college. They both were very well prepared for the course work at college. One child is doing chemical engineering and the other is finishing graduate school. Both have high GPA's and have told me they were very prepared for college. I have know doubt this has been the best option for my children. We love this school and everyone that is part of the school.
This is a decent school if your child is able to learn on his own. The administration seems to have a difficult time hiring good qualified teachers. The administration is very uninvolved with the students and the school. I have seen a fairly dramatic steady decline in the quality of education over the past 6 years. I would not say that it is currently a college prep school. The atmosphere is negative and oppressive, and the students often express that the teachers and administration do not care about them.
Some kids work fine in any school. My 2 kids aren't like that. They needed a special school with great teachers, a diverse and challenging curriculum, and with a really involved leadership team. They needed Donoho. I feel fortunate to have been able to send them there. I really appreciate the flexibility that Donoho showed in working with my kids in elementary school. Over the years, my kids took advantage of the great library, a private tutor during school hours, private music lessons during school hours, and wonderful field trips. The kids enjoyed being part of team competitions in science and language arts. They learned confidence in themselves from their experiences. Middle school has been amazing and I can't wait for high school. I do feel obliged to say something about the administration. I have never hesitated to communicate with them - and I have never been disappointed with their involvement. They are responsive to questions and concerns. They balance the fiscal concerns of running a private school with the personal aspects of running a school. I am grateful for their leadership and for the concern they have shown my kids.
I agree with the parent posts about the inconsistencies and poor administration at Donoho. I am a former student of Donoho and am now applying for jobs as a teacher. After spending time in countless other schools, my view of Donoho has changed from the one I had as a student. The teachers, at least at the elementary level, were great, but the administration couldn't be more removed from the needs of students or teachers. Both principals spent very little time with students and employees and were rarely accessible or supportive. After spending time with wonderful, dedicated principals during my internship and field experience, it shocks me that a school like Donoho doesn't put more emphasis on the importance of dedicated, genuine leadership from the administration. I will not be applying to Donoho to teach, and I will never send my children there unless there is a turnover in the administration. There are too many other good schools with hardworking and involved principals. On the flip side, however, the teachers I had in elementary school were wonderful and have shaped me as an educator. I loved them and can honestly say that they were some of the best teachers I have ever known.
My 2 kids have gone here for 8 years now. This is a college prep school that runs about a grade ahead of other area schools on curriculum. Tuition is less than most people pay for daycare. Tuition is less than the taxpayers pay for all of the other schools in the area. Tuition is far less than the cheapest private schools in the Atlanta area. The school is an investment in your child's future and should be looked at as such. To the reviewer that questions student freedom, I am an adult and am responsible for my children to learn to conform to a society that has rules (both stated and perceived) and wish my children to have all the freedoms of personal expression when they are old enough to understand how that will impact others. Until my children become adults, it is refreshing to be able to send them to a school that requires conformity to some simple social standards. It is a Godly school that accepts all religions and teaches tolerance of other's religous beliefs. I have not liked all my children's teachers but as a whole the school is the best value available. My children will continue to attend and I expect them to do quite well in earning scholarships for college.
The school is way to judgemental and doesnt allow the students any freedom. The education is decent, but for the money you pay i dont believe it should be neccessary to have so many children needed to be tutored. Sure, all schools have kids with tutoring, but for all that money plus needing a tutor, it isnt worth it. Some teachers are burned out and needs to be updated and they don't even completely apply their own rules, punished some but not all for doing the same thing. I believe that if all you care about it college for your child, then go. But of you care about their happiness and enjoying their surroundings, i wouldnt go there. Alot of other schools have programs for smarter children and many kids from Donoho has gone to oxford and learned just as much if not more.
After completing a school year at Donoho I report, this is a great school. Well managed, organized, and a flourishing enviroment for the students. my children developed will to learn and their desire for better test scores grew. Good student to teacher ratio, Positive enviroment for student self image. Addition of SMARTBOARD shows the school's ideal of staying current with technology. The children actually are encouraged to take home their books to read and study from. I believe this to be the best school in this area !