I am a parent with a daughter in first grade and a son going to be joining pre K next year. PCDS is a rare school mostly because of it's small size(less than 60 students per year) and top notch facilities. It has an indoor gym(priceless in scorching hot Arizona), 2 swimming pools, several sports fields, an auditorium complete with aerial props and lights and 4 tennis courts. All facilities are available for use from elementary school. There are few schools that have those kind of facilities available to elementary school students. But mainly why we're here is the education. They have between 6 and 9 students out of a class of 60 going to Ivy League schools yearly. Apart from that they routinely have kids entering other top 20 colleges like Northwestern, U of Chicago, Rice, Duke amongst others. It needs belt tightening from our family because it is expensive, but if you can offer your kids a well rounded experience with great facilities throughout their school years as well as almost guarantee entrance into a good college at the end of their high school education I think it is worth the price.
Since our child started at PCDS we have witnessed a complete transformation. Before, school was a dreaded chore. Now she has actually learned.. to love learning! She get's up early excited to go to school & comes home raving about her day (both socially & academically). PCDS has done an amazing job of attracting & retaining the highest quality educators & administrators. The Admissions Department set the tone of the school with incredible individualized attention. To see an example of the unique culture at PCDS; come & watch the Middle School students arrive each morning where the Heads of school are in front greeting EVERY CHILD BY NAME, shaking their hand, looking them in the eye & giving them the respect & encouragement they deserve as they start their day. It s remarkable, it s genuine & it s just the beginning of what continues inside every classroom throughout the day. This is one of many great examples that makes PCDS so special. I do feel proud knowing that my daughter is going to what I believe to be the best school in the West. Phoenix was a temporary stop for us, but after finding PCDS, we re adjusting our lives to stay here until she finishes. It really is that good!
PCDS provides a challenging learning environment for all its students. Standards are high and no child is ever left behind.
I just came to PCDS for my freshman year. There are some reviews that say rude things such as "They look like cheap public school kids." I used to attend a public school and no one looked "cheap". PCDS does in fact have a dress code and it is a little more loose than most schools, however the students here are trusted by the faculty enough that teachers recognize that guys don't go around looking at our cleavage and bottoms. Maybe you should learn to trust your children a little and give them some freedom. At PCDS there are no cliques and everyone is accepted. The teachers are our superiors but also our friends, this should not be confused with students being disrespectful. The four classes per day schedule with long breaks in between get the students prepared for college and gives time to kids for putting last touches on projects or reading the parts of the bible they forgot was homework. Just don't think "I'm not paying 25,000 a year for my kid to get Cs or Bs." The work here is difficult, and one or two Cs with a few Bs wont matter to colleges, as students learn here in their Real World class. All in all PCDS gives parents their money's worth.
If you want your teen to get into an IVY League school or into Stanford, this is not the place to send him/her. My teen received all A's in all honors and AP classes except for 2 B+'s during the entire 9-12 high school education. My teen earned near perfect SAT scores, worked 40 hours of community service a year, and devoted over 18 hours a week at his/her sport. Also, the teachers loved my teen so I am sure he/she received excellent recommendations. My teen was not admitted to Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, nor Stanford. However, the same year, 3 Brophy students were admitted to Stanford, a couple of Xavier girls went to Stanford and Princeton, and kids from Arcadia and Chaparral also gained acceptance from the above named schools. No one from PCDS was accepted. My teen was tied for first in the class, although they don't have class rankings. The students know, however, who is on top. I do believe my teen received a superior education. However, the big named schools do not recognize PCDS over Brophy, Xavier, Arcadia, or Chaparral.
PCDS prepares kids for the real world. This school really forces your kids to think. Although there is some rote learning/memorization involved, this is not the primary/sole focus like the last school my kids' attended. PCDS seems to combine traditional and contemporary teaching tools with the goal of helping kids to think and act in innovative and thoughtful ways. We are really impressed with what we have seen so far, and we are thrilled with the thoughtful directions the school is taking. There are many opportunities outside the classroom as well, both in the arts as well as in athletics from the lower grades on up through the high school. How fortunate we feel that our kids are exposed to this type of educational experience -- not an inexpensive monetary investment but a wise long-term investment in our kids and their futures.
Was at PCDS today for a sporting event . Beautiful grounds and very impressive property it sits on . I was so surprised to see that the school has no dress code for the students . The girls were walking around with short shorts and their behinds hanging out , half shirts with stomachs showing . I thought this was suppose to be a school for higher learning . It looks more like they belong hustling on the street .what a disappointment . We had gone to see the school . The school prides itself on high academic but really should be teaching it's students about respect for themselves and how to dress in public . They look like cheap public school kids .
My daughter started in 6th grade and we plan on keeping her there through graduation of 12th grade. Amazing academics, extra curricular activities and language choices (Mandarin is our choice). Band, choir, art, debate, health, student council and athletics. Athletics were top on our list but I'm not thrilled with that however we are holding out hope for the High School. This is an amazing school and I would recommend to anyone. Its pricey but you get what you pay for. All teachers are at least masters level and it shows on the standard of work and what is expected of our child. Thank You
We visited several private and top charter schools. One observation we made is the majority of those schools were glorified "homework mills." A homework mill is a school that places the teaching burden upon the parents. They assign several hours of homework to be completed by the student which becaomes the parent's responsibility. PCD is not a homework mill. The teachers actually teach. Students are not assigned unreasonable amounts of homework, because most of it is completed in the classroom. I think it is unfair that former teachers are posing as parents to vent their frustrations at being dismissed. Ironically, the criticism that parent's have too much authority is one of the reasons I chose PCD. Most public and charter schools seem to put administrators and teachers before students. At PCD, teachers are held accountable and will face repercussions for failing to honor their obligations including treating students with respect. Finally, claiming that students matriculate into top universities due to their wealth is an ignorant statement. PCD students work incredibly hard, and earn their way into these top schools. It seems like a case of sour grapes by that "parent"
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.
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")
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.
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