PCDS provides my children with so many incredible learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom. We are impressed with the compassion and abilities of the teachers, coaches, and administrators; the diversity of the student body; and the appropriate standards/expectations that this school has for each of its students. This school is definitely worth the investment.
Very Expensive, but a great school! I graduated from this school in the 90's and now my child attends and I have been very impressed with the teachers and the learning. Most of the other parents have been friendly and my child loves attending school and is learning a great deal with many hands on experiences.
The school HORRENDOUSLY botched my child's last year. My student was diagnosed with a mental health issue (no harm to others) and was placed by the school on an approved medical leave to recover. PCDS then refused to allow my student back on campus campus after his/her recovery because he/she was "unpredictable" and had proven to not be stable -- despite glowing reports and recommendations from his/her psychiatrist, psychotherapist and doctor. Teachers aren't bad, but don't trust your sons and daughters with the administrators.
This school is a joke. Money controls everything at PCDS. Parents love it, of course, since they are able to control a completely spineless administration, who allows its entitled students to be entirely rude and disrespectful to its teachers and anyone in a position of authority. The "best school in Arizona and southwest?" That's hilarious. Students receive nothing of reality with their numerous breaks throughout the day and relaxed "get to class whenever you feel" attitude. And sure, since money talks, students get into great schools. But don't fool yourself. There are many other schools in the Phoenix area that really and truly "produce" a prepared and realistic student for the future...schools that are free and teach the students to be hard-working, respectful young adults.
This is the best school in the state in our opinion. When comparing PCD to Brophy, several factors stood out in favor of PCD in our view. PCD is not affiliated with any particular religion. It is not a boys only school. An environment that consists entirely of males can be too competitive and we wanted our children to associate and study alongside females as well. PCD is more low key with sports and the social atmosphere. We want our children's focus to be on academics and not the social scene and how well their football team fared. PCD has a more academic oriented environment and less emphasis is placed on parental activities and parent social activities. We really want our children to have the best opportunity of gaining admission to a highly ranked national university and the matriculation list at PCD appeared to be stronger in our view. The only downside to PCD is the cost but you often get what you pay for.
Hands down the best school in Arizona. Just look at the College Matriculation list. My children absolutely love it and the faculty are experienced, friendly, caring, passionate, professional, and helpful.
PCDS is a great school. The teachers are very involved. The students are very friendly. Everyone is happy and ready to learn. They make learning fu n and easy but yet you are learning so much. The work is very advanced. It is wonderful.
PCDS Upper School is a wonderful place for any teen who is serious about their academics. The sport, drama & art programs are a nice bonus. Most of the instructors are genuinely working to bring out the best in your child. The newly appointed US Head is brilliant. He is intelligent and relates well with the student body and parents. My only complaint is that my kids did not fair well with the MS Head hired a few years ago, and I understand from parents who have pulled their kids from MS that it has not gotten any better.
As a proud parent of two PCDS students, and having been so for 12 years (Pre-K to 10th grade), I can say without a doubt that Phoenix Country Day School has provided both my boys with a truly fine education. I believe they would attend on Saturday if given the opportunity. The classes are small, the faculty is highly qualified and sincerely interested in each student's success, and the balance between academics, the arts, music and sports provides a wide variety of enriching opportunities for any student. I can say with all honesty that my boys will always take the lessons they've learned at PCDS and apply them to a lifetime of learning and growing as scholars and as people. PCDS maintains a healthy and diverse student body from a socio-economic and ethnic standpoint. I may sound like a shill for PCDS, but I am just a proud parent and satisfied customer of a school that takes its mission seriously and has become very good at delivering what they promise. Anyone in Arizona who desires the absolute best education for their children need look no further.
PCDS is, quite simply, the best college prep school in the Phoenix metro area. It's true that the standards are high and the grading is tough, which can be somewhat discouraging. But if you want your kids to be prepared for the rigors of college, there is no place better. The grades I earned at PCDS (good, but not top of the class) translated into high achievement in college and graduate admissions to Harvard and Yale, among others. My former classmates and I have PCDS to thank for our accomplishments. At PCDS, I learned how to write, think, and communicate effectively. Those skills are invaluable no matter what path students take after graduation. PCDS has its drawbacks; no school is perfect. It's true, I think, that there is a sense of entitlement among some students, and of course no school is the "right" choice for everyone. But in general, the faculty and student body is welcoming, the academics are top notch, and the school has really made an effort to emphasize diversity and public service in recent years. I've had my fair share of complaints over the years. But at the end of the day, finances permitting, I would send my own children there in a heartbeat.
If your child is a brainiac who you are confident will be one of the top 5 students in the class of 60, then send your kid here. If not, you're wasting your money. The teachers/college counseling dept. concentrate on these top 5 students to get them into their colleges of choice. The others are left to fend for themselves. The school likes to push "out of state colleges," and they frown upon students going to in-state schools--so sad. So many of my classmates have returned to in-state schools after their 1st year at a tiny, never-heard-of out-of-state liberal arts college, to come to an in-state AZ university. Nevertheless, the academic are top-notch and your child will emerge prepared for any academic challenge. Oh, there is also a TERRIBLE communication barrier between the faculty and parents (even though they claim they want the students to be "independent," but remember--you're the one shelling out $20k per year, so don't you deserve to have access to talk to the teachers!?). I've seen public schools who love the parents and return their calls (whereas this school just hits the "delete" button once they hear "Hi, I'm so and so's father/mother")
Phoenix Country Day School provides a diverse and challenging curriculum, which fosters academic discipline and good character. Programs at this school are designed to prepare students for admission to the most highly selective colleges and universities. I would consider Phoenix Country Day School to be the most outstanding school in Arizona, and one of the best in the southwest.
Excellent education, great teachers, great friends that is what both of our recent PCDS graduates say about what they had at PCDS. They were well prepared for college and graduate school with time management and problem-solving skills, and at PCDS were able to participate in challenging academic courses while also participating in varsity sports and musical endeavors. PCDS provides great opportunities for students, and a strong network of caring, dedicated, and nurturing adults to create an ideal learning environment. As the only Pre-K through 12 independent school in the state, PCDS provides an age appropriate learning environment in which students thrive.
As a sibling of someone who has committed suicide, and a proud parent of two PCDS graduates, I am offended by the attitude of some of the anonymous posts on this website regarding both the academic and social environment at PCDS and the almost flippant use of phrases in some of the recent reviews. Both eating disorders and suicide are medical conditions requiring a physician s treatment. Mood disorders are complicated to treat, have genetic components, are serious, and can be difficult to overcome, let alone eradicate. Placing blame for such conditions on a school environment is uneducated and irresponsible, and hurtful to those involved and left behind after a tragic ending to an often difficult situation. PCDS has produced thousands of successful, happy, and healthy graduates in its fifty years, and should be very proud of its program, faculty, and students.
Our family has been attending PCDS since Pre-K. We are now 11th year and can honestly say we've seen the school at its best and its worst. Every school, public or private, has chinks in the armour, and if you choose to focus on such things in a dis-proportionate manner, you reap a false conclusion. This school is simply far and away the best college prepatory school in Arizona. It is comparable to East Coast private schools academically and in the arts. Many, many conversations with parents from back East have convinced me this is true. Even more telling is when you have a conversation with an Upper School student and witness for yourself the poise, confidence, humility and ease with which this young person communicates with an adult. They possess the ability to communicate a well-thought-out opinion that allows for constructive discourse. This is the rule, not the exception!
I'm an alumnus and I feel very lucky to have gone to PCDS for high school. With the small class sizes, the excellent teachers, and the chance to be among my intellectual equals as a student, PCDS prepared me ridiculously well for college and also made me into a smarter person in addition to just teaching me new things. For a school with only 250 students in the Upper School (grades 9-12) it offers a very diverse curriculum, including a plethora of Advanced Placement courses in a variety of fields. If you are lucky enough to have the money to send your children to PCDS, then it's definitely worth the tuition. Even if you can't afford it, PCDS offers fairly generous financial aid, as well as the Project Excellence program.
My son graduated in '07 and proved to be well prepared for college, both academically and emotionally. No student falls through the cracks in such a small school. Regarding the environment, cultural diversity has improved greatly in the last few years, both with students and faculty/staff. Yes, tuition is high, but there seem to be increasingly more students on financial aid, so the socio-economic picture is also changing. My Middle Schooler has many friends, plays sports, and finds the schoolwork challenging. It's a well-rounded picture.
I am a former student of PCDS. It is by far the best school in the state and provides great preparation for college. No other school in the state has 100% of its students go to 4-year colleges, of which a very large percentage go to IVY league schools, and very few stay in-state. Many people on the reviews complain about the social situation of the school. Yes it is true that because most students come from wealthy families (since I think tuition is now somewhere near $20,000 a year) the school does not represent 'the real world.' I think however to deny a child a world class education for that reason is ridiculous. You as parents, can always teach your children about the real world so they do not become jaded by money.
I do believe that for the most part, the academics are very strong. I do not believe that the school gives the students an edge in getting into a good college. There is a great deal of truth to the commentary I have seen on this site regarding the odd social social climate at the school. The parents are very high maintenance and spend a great deal of time hovering over their children and attempting to tell the teachers how to teach. There are parents who seem to derive some odd cachet depending on their involvement in the school parent's association. If you are in this income bracket and want to spend this amount of money providing your child with a world class education, I think you would better served by choosing Andover, Exeter, Choate or some other similarly situated school.
PCDS is a wonderful school. Its small classes and exciting curriculum have completely engaged my son. He also plays chess and baseball, swims, volunteers, and was in a play last year. The school has been making good progress diversifying the student body and seems to give financial aid to as many families as it can. As a middle class family with little expendable income, PCDS has been helping us afford the tuition and we have never felt that we did not fit in with some of the wealthier parents. This is the best thing we ever did for our son and is worth every dollar you pay and hour you volunteer!
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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