People always ask us about Pardes academics; there seems to be a general anxiety on the part of parents looking at schools that will make their child the "best" or the "smartest." Although Pardes is incredibly strong academically, it is so much more. Pardes is balanced - from athletics and art, to science (Pardes follows the STEAM, rather than the STEM model, which adds depth to their science program) to Jewish studies and ethics, and my children's time is used meaningfully. It is an incredible feeling to drop my kids off every day knowing their whole person is being served, and knowing that they are constantly being supported by a warm and attentive community. We see that our children believe in themselves and they work diligently and with a consideration for the greater world around them.
This is a great school for students, parents, and teachers! It is a small, cohesive community with talented staff and a student-centered curriculum. Active, relevant learning takes place across all grade levels, and students are challenged to reach their full potential. The academics are top-notch, and the other offerings ensure something for every interest and talent: sports, theater, art, music, technology, robotics, Spanish, a fully-stocked science lab, etc. The school events are meaningful and fun, and students participate in many philanthropic activities. It's the whole package, complete with small class sizes (most are around 15) and its K-8 model, which is perfect for building leadership skills in our middle school students. I love it!
Pardes has proven itself to be everything we were looking for in an educational experience for our 2 boys. For perspective, my wife and I are both professionals who have attended a significant amount of school. I also have a Masters Degree in Education. I don't qualify myself as an expert but I have experience. Here are a few main points.1) Our children love learning! In an age of increased testing and focus on meeting standards many children's innate curiosities and untapped interests are left on the side of the road. This school's methods are well known to promote love of learning. 2)Confidence - I work with many other highly pedigreed professionals and I can tell you with certainty that honest confidence (not fabricated braggadocio) is one of the highest sought after attributes in the workplace. Pardes students can speak, they can articulate, and they can advocate with confidence. 3)Well rounded. The education at Pardes offers many different learning opportunities. The teachers do an excellent job at combining these into useful learning experiences. We are extremely happy with our choice and confident that we have chosen an excellent educational path for our boys.
My children thrive in the smaller class setting. They are truly able to get individualized attention from their teachers. You feel as if each child is getting a customized educational experience tailored to the child's needs. The well rounded curriculum is excellent in each grade and it continues to incorporate the latest and greatest of both secular and religious teaching methods. The teachers are some of the most passionate educators I have come in contact with.
We have an entering 3rd and 1st grader. Our 3rd grader has received a very individualized academic experience which I had always assumed was due to him having an illness and missing a lot of school. The entire administrative team has always been well aware of his condition and the importance of keeping him safe (in regard to safe food for him) and keeping him included. All of his teachers have gone above and beyond our expectations keeping him up academically. It is has been to our delight that our other child (totally healthy) has experienced the same warmth, caring and individualized education. Every child is special at Pardes. Our experience is that each our our children have been pushed academically but always still love their social environment and really enjoy going to school. Each teacher we've had (we've had 4) has been as warm, loving and the right amount of challenging as the next. We've made the most wonderful family friends which are now our closest friends.
My child is entering 1st grade at PJDS and loves it! He was excited to go to kindergarten every morning, and didn't want to leave at the end of the day. Due to the small class size and her incredible patience and love, his K teacher gave my son individualized attention and care. I feel like she really knew him as a learner, and as a person. He is passionate about school, learning, reading, math, science, Hebrew, music, sports and Judaism. Although these seeds were planted at home and Jewish preschool, his interests are blossoming and growing at PJDS. As a parent, I love the Jewish values and how they are incorporating into learning each day. This means that in addition to learning the topics that are covered at a secular school, my son is learning to be a mensch (a good person). What more could a parent want?? I highly recommend PJDS.
My children have blossomed at Pardes Jewish Day School. They are receiving a top notch secular and Jewish education as well as all the other benefits of being at a Jewish Day School. I love the fact that Jewish values are incorporated into every aspect of their education. The teachers are experienced and truly passionate about what they do. Plus, the small class sizes enable the teachers to truly get to know each of their students. My children love going to to school every day!
DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE! Despite the upcoming move to the former King David/Jess Shwartz campus next the JCC, do not fall into the Pardes trap. They are still the same old unprofessional and incompetent excuse for a "school" that they have always been. Even if your "close friend" tells you how much they love Pardes, try to ask them deep level questions about the content, strategy and curriculum that Pardes uses to "educate" the children and you will get lots of double-speak. The fact is that Pardes has perfected lip-service and has no substance for the fundamentals of learning. Your children will run free with no supervision and you will be told this is "healthy". However, you will not feel that way when your child is perpetually bullied and the administration blames your child and then tells you they have emotional problems and should be medicated. If you want your child to have a proper education in Arizona, look into the new charter schools and send your children to Hebrew school. Pardes is a disaster in every way.
My daughter is in 6th grade, has attended the school since 3rd grade. The school provides a well rounded education, 1:1 support whenever necessary. I receive emails from the teachers at least once a month, with curriculum updates and more frequently if my child is having difficulty. The principle is forthright in changes being made. They have an excellent anti-bullying program, after school sports and other activities. We are very fortunate to be able to attend, and there is a good bit of additional funding for scholarships, so anybody who wants a dual Judaic/secular education can afford it. Highly recommend!!