This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Phoenix Country Day School5
Posted December 08, 2014
- a parent
This is the best school in the state in our opinion. It is expensive but you get what you pay for. What separates PCDS from other local private and top charter schools is its environment. This is important because when your child is applying to Ivy League schools, it's important that their social circle involves like-minded students with similar goals. This isn't necessarily the case at other area private schools. PCDS is not known for wild parties. There is no football team. You don't have a lot of inflated pep rallies. You don't find many low income students being recruited to PCDS for their athletic skills and given "scholarships" If your child is having to distance themselves from their classmates to succeed, that is probably not the best environment for them. There are not a lot of distractions at PCDS. The student body is small. There are no preppy uniforms. It's not a unisex school (all boys; all girls). It is not religious or faith based. There are no class ranks in the upper school which benefits all students applying to competitive schools. It minimizes competition and helps those students who have high GPA's but may be ranked lower.
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!
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"