I have children in both private and public schools, as well as a daughter in college. Two of my kids attend this school and are moving to a different SUSD school for the 2014/2015 school year. Disappointing issues with the school include: outlandish student/teacher ratios (38:1); lack of responsiveness from the teachers (after several e-mails over the course of three weeks did not receive a response until I copied the principal); poorly designed curriculum (not the school's fault because they are bound by SUSD policy/rules but disappointing none the less); overly lenient grading practices; lack of communication with parents from teachers and administration. This school will not do your children any favors if they attend a competitive high school program (IB or AP course study).
On Tuesday 2/25/14, three 11-year-olds were held in a room and interrogated by the vice principal and a police officer. Please check with your children to see if any of them were held. Parents were NOT notified by school officials or the police.
My child was a happy, energetic student who could not wait until school started each day. Unfortunately, attendance at DCMS has changed all of that! The Assistant Principal singles out certain children (unfortunately my child is one of them) and no matter what the children do it is not right. They are policed by the security guard, watched in the cafeteria at lunch, and receive some sort of nonsence reprimand once or twice a week. My child's spirit has been broken! It is horrid! Bathroom visits are not even permitted sometimes in times of urgent need! (What I am saying here is female students personal hygene needs are being ignored and disrespected)!! Even when my child has explained why a trip to the restroom is urgently needed it has been denied! And my child is not the only student this has happened too in just the past 2 months! The SUSD really needs to conduct some serious retraining at this school or in the alternative replace some of the personnell!
I am a student here at DCMS and boy, am I glad that I'm finally moving on to HS next year. It seems like the administration really does not care about you, and if an incident happens at the school, their views become very biased. They favor certain students and totally dislike others, including me. I'm not a bully or a bad kid by any means, but a certain incident happened in which nobody was really a victim, but they totally stretched the story and made ME out to be the bully. While sharing my side of the incident, they kept calling me a liar throughout and threatened to mark me as an argumentative and rude student. They told me to tell the truth and be more like the other student who was involved, and while he got off easy, I received a longer suspension. When I was allowed back on school grounds, I noticed that the vice principle and security officer would eyeball me whenever I ate lunch in the cafeteria. I now feel like I can't go to them if I get bullied or get involved in a situation. The teachers, however, are great for the most part. They seem to be good, hardworking people who are dedicated to their job and are excellent teachers.
I have 3 children who have attended DC. I feel the teachers are sincere and dedicated. Parental involvement is excellent. However, I have been underwhelmed by the leadership demonstrated by the administration. School morale seems poor and leadership inconsistent, information spotty. Despite volunteering for 2 years and many hours on campus, I feel no closer to understanding the rudeness of the administration. I have stopped volunteering and am in the process of moving my children out of the school.
I am a parent of two students that have participated in the gifted self-contained program, which is a rigorous academic program for kids that have excelled in the the core subjects. This program has an excellent core of teachers and administrators, and we have been completely impressed with the quality of learning and growth that both our daughters have experienced in this program. Also, strong kudos to the choir program at Desert Canyon - the teacher is outstanding as well.
I can't speak for much of the school, frankly, but for the part I am in, I have some comments: The 'comprehensive gifted program' has some major flaws. The English teacher assigns many assignments but has NEVER returned any this year. It is safe to say that her class is a complete waste of time. As for math and science, the curricula is well thought out, and taught by wonderful teachers. Overall, I believe if your career goal is more involved with mathematics and science, it's a fantastic program. Otherwise, your best off at another school, or gifted program, anyhow.
I've been through a variety of schools, private, charter, and public. This seems to be the best yet. The gifted programs gives every thing you need to succeed. If you want a real challenge. Try the gifted program.