My review is in regards to the Lower School. I will be pulling my student out of PCDS. We chose PCDS because we were seeking a top private school that resembled the rigor and committment to academics found in private schools back East. That has not been our experience. My child has relatively little to no homework. My child was far ahead of his/her peers and learned more from Kumon. Our impression of the school is that it is an average school for wealthy students in the PV/Arcadia area. I did not get the sense the other children in the class were particularly gifted nor were their parents dedicated to academics. It was shocking to see how many parents were not educated and had inherited wealth. Most of the mothers were homemakers. They would set up socials and happy hours at local bars and cafes in the morning after school. For those of us mothers who work, we don't have time for that.
When we looked at BASIS schools and some of the other private schools in the Valley, their curriculum was advanced and the students in the school were ahead. Their families were educated and dedicated to academics.
Nearly all of the kids seem to live in Paradise Valley, and Arcadia. I feel that my child gets left off a lot of activities and invitations because of this. Like most of the families at PCDS, we are an educated upper middle class family who lives elsewhere due to work. We feel that you are at a large disadvantage if you are not proximal to the school. Socializing has been challenging because of this. If you hold parties or sleepovers, kids are less likely to come if you don't live in the area. So this is not like most private schools in large metropolitan areas that attracts the best students from all over the Valley. It has a local feel.
Finally, there is very little diversity if any at this school in our opinion. Some of the private schools in other cities offer much more diversity. We were really shocked by how little diversity there was in classes. Some of the other charter and private schools in the Valley offer much more diversity and we will be transferring to one of those schools for this reason.
It's truly a shame. I like the administrators, teachers and facilities. However, I feel like we are paying a lot of money to send our child to a glorified public school for Paradise Valley and Arcadia students.
i didn't really see values being taught or emphasized. It didn't seem like there was any structured teaching toward this in any real way. At the same time, I don't think the students are lacking in this.
No, I do no think they develop this. Their curriculum is not challenging for my child. My child has practically no homework. I think their curriculum is like a standard public school curriculum at the lower school level. There are schools with far advanced curriculums.
I disagree. I have seen the way my child behaves at home. She or he has acted very entitled and bratty and I think my child gets that from his peers. I do not think the school teaches students to respect elders and authority. This is just my opinion.
I do not feel supported by this school and wish I had attended another school. This year we did not get into any schools we wanted (some of my classmates only got into 1 or 2 schools out of the 12 or so they applied to). Many of my classmates are going in-state. While there is nothing wrong with going in-state, I feel bad that my parents had to spend more money on private education than they will for my college. This school is not worth the price, especially with the attitude and lack of support. The facilities are nice, but if you don't feel supported, cared for, or looked after by your school I don't think anything else really matters.
This school is amazing, every time I walk through the entrance, I am greeted by the Head of the Middle School and by the Headmaster. This entire school is overflowing with positivity. Even though there is no dress code in high school, the high schoolers dress themselves with respect and poise. They have common sense and are very responsible. They wear appropriate clothes. For the middle schoolers, there is a dress code, no short clothing that doesn't reach the fingertip point, and no inappropriate slogans on tops, and no sleeveless tops. This school is very involved and has some of the best facilities. Schools come over to use their facilities just because they are top-notch. If you want to send your child here, I deeply recommend doing so. I love it here, I made many new friends on the first day of school even though I am a very quiet person, everyone in this school is friendly so over time, you eventually open up. We have excellent teachers and a great summer program. This school is fantastic and over-the-top.
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.