Yes FCDS has gone through some changes from what it used to be. (Whatever that is supposed to mean?) However, a parent needs to consider what the alternatives are. In the area there are few. You can not beat the small class size, teaching of good study habits, diverse curriculum, and love for learning that is developed in the students. Bottom line, it is a school like no other in the area. I will agree that there were issues with 1st grade and we almost left because of it. However, no school is perfect and one needs to keep in mind that there are bad teachers no mater where you go.
Our children enrolled at FCDS at the end of the tenure of Howell Webb. Through the Foothill Family we have made lasting friendships and followed the successful paths to adulthood of many of the alumni. Each of our children, and their schoolmates, will tell you that the lessons learned at FCDS have been the foundation of all future learning and enabled their successes. It was a community devoted to the love of learning and living up to expectations. If you are considering FCDS then the only thing that matters is how the school measures against the alternatives. Some food for thought; you own your education outright, whether it be bad or good.
Foothill WAS a great school. If you talk to parents that have kids graduated from the school, they would paint you a totally diffrerent picture from what it is now. The quality is going downhill but the tuition continues to go up. We feel obligated to update the ratings of this school so the people on the "waitlist" knows the truth. The greatest thing about this school is the parents involvement and care for their kids.......which really has nothing to do with the school?! As for character, I believe it starts at home.
Some teachers at FCDS are excellent and others are not at all. Right now we are extremely disappointed with headmaster because he decided to get rid of excellent second grade teacher and promote poor first grade teacher. Now some children will have same poor teacher again next year! Many parents are extremely disappointed and principal is refusing to respond at all. Of course, many teachers are superb, and parent support at the school is the best. Is this school run for the teachers?
Do not send your children to this school if they have slightly above average math capabilities as they will be under challenged, bored, and at times, frustrated. Several parents have raised their concerns regarding the math program, however no action has been taken to date. There is no individualization of learning nor advancement for gifted students. If one is to look at the school calendar, one would find that this school starts their academic year after September, have many holidays interspersed, and two spring breaks (February and April). In addition, this school has changed over the years (due to expansion) to essentially accepting anyone who can pay tuition, versus a detailed selection of highly moral and academically inclined students. All the above comes at a high price of $18k per school year, not including the donations and volunteering time that is expected. Most parents stay in this school as there are not many other private school choices around the area.
Academics, curriculum and teaching at the upper school (grades 6, 7 and 8) are top-notch. The school, however, hasn't been able to successfully implement the character-building component of its mission statement because there is no real parent support for anything which is viewed to interfere with academics.. The majority of the parents are simply buying a prestige educational product to get their kids into Webb and aren't particularly concerned with values except for the value of ensuring their child holds a privileged position in an increasingly competitive world.
Best academics found in a private school ages 5-14! Character building and solid core fundamentals needed to get into a great high school and do exceptionally well. If you are at Foothill Country Day, a solid foundation has been set for the balance of your academic career.
Best grade school in the San Gabriel Valley, bar none. Our only child is completing her first year at the school right now, and our family's experience has been excellent. Foothill's facilities are much better than average, with sophisticated in-classroom technologies, an art studio, music room, science labs, full-sized gym, and computer lab featuring among them. The teaching staff seems universally excellent. And most importantly to our family, Foothill's educational commitment to creating a learning community of mutually respectful and honest students, teachers and parents is exactly what we were looking for in a school. I admit that our family wishes that Foothill provided more opportunities for advanced students to accelerate beyond their age-based classroom peers, and I hope very much that it will do so in the coming years as its student population grows, both to keep up with the state's other top independent schools and to serve gifted students. Other than that, however, my family has no complaints or concerns. If money is no obstacle and education is important to your family living anywhere near Claremont, Foothill is your K-8 school of choice.
FCDS offers everything you hope for in an independent school: small classes, personal attention, effective teachers, top-notch equipment and a lovely physical plant. I am continuously surprised and pleased by the way they seek to develop your child's character as well as her intellect. My child has been very happy at FCDS for two years now and I am eager to see how our other two (very different) children will do when they get there.
FCDS has the highest level of academics excellence in the Inland Empire. Character, respect, proper manners, and decorum are highly emphasized. There is a huge amount of parental volunteerism (which is also expected). Physical plant is beautiful. The tuition used to be a bargain; however, it seems that they may be trying to align the tuition with excellent schools in Pasadena, West side, or Valley which made the tuition grow at a surprising rate. The negatives of FCDS are that all of the positives are taken to the extremes.
FCDS is a wonderful educational experience. It has a challenging academic program but most importantly it focuses also on developing a strong moral compass in my children. The facilities and extracurricular activities are also top notch. Parents are very involved and inclusive. Certainly there are some very affluent families in the school but everyone works well together for the interests of our children. I recommend this school without any reservations.
I have sent 3 children through FCDS. I agree with the other commentators that the school is probably the best in the area, but it has definitely changed over the years -- for the better and worse. FCDS recently modernized its campus by adding a new science building and gymnasium and revamping the library. Computers are abundant. For the negative, FCDS has transitioned away from being a small, 'country day' school to an 'elitist' school. The cost of attendance has risen disproportionally with the cost of inflation - from $5,000/year in mid 1990's to approximately $17,500/year today. The school is currently engaged in a major (costly) expansion project, whereby it will double in size - from about 160 students to well over 300 students. Some parents view the expansion as good, others have expressed grave concerns. Bottom Line: If money is not an object, FCDS is worth a look.
We put our only child here not knowing what to expect. Well, our childs music instructor, softball coach, and summer camp counselor always comment that she is well behaved and very very smart and compassionate. We are always asked 'What is the name of the school she attends?' because the results are right in front of them. It's tough paying tuition, but the results are priceless... The administration has always made us feel welcomed and we are very greatful! Foothill is the absolute best thing for our child!!!
Sending our 2 children to FCDS is the best decision that my husband and I have ever made. As the saying goes If you think education is expensive - try ignorance . FCDS has a high regard for academic excellence and good mannered students. FCDS has not only taught our children to be independent and responsible students but rather has taught us parents to raise wise and reliable children of the 21st century. Class 2015/2016
It is true what other parents are saying about FCDS. It is definitely the only private K-8 in this area with the most high tech classrooms around. The science lab is similar to the one I had at USC. Being a alum from the 1980's, times were a little different. It was when Howell Webb was around, and things felt much warmer and less competetive among the parents and families, as they are now. It is absolutely true that it is now an elitist 'prep'-type school that many families are not able to afford for the entire 9 yrs. My child is in school there and I feel like the old 'magic' is gone. If you care about a good education, and have very deep pockets, this school is definitely for you and your child.
This is a small 'family' like school with excellent teachers and staff. All parents are expected to participate in volunteer work, and be involved with their children's educational process. Graduates of this school go on to some of the most elite high schools of choice.
Simply the Best! Foothill Country Day School (FCDS) has a pristine campus new buildings and a staff that is far ahead of their colleagues in education of K-8 students. It has the most advanced science building, the only K-8 School that has a computer lab where the students put together their own yearbook. The teachers and staff care about only one thing; the student s success in education. My daughter is a sophomore in college now. She picked her school and it is on the most selective of universities. She states that it was the foundation at FCDS that made the difference. She knows how to study, write A level papers, and speak in front of a group of strangers. In all things she is more prepared for life because of a solid foundation received at FCDS. A grateful dad of Whitney Hanlon, class of 2000 Bill Hanlon
The academic quality of this school is outstanding. Our children absolutely love learning at this school. The school was founded by Howell Webb with the mission of providing an old fashion education. The school is becoming more of a high end prep school. Tution increases average 15% each year. The school seems to be pursuing the prestige market. Our family could no longer afford this school if our children weren't near graduation. Nevertheless, it has hung on to its family virtues. There is still a magical environment that comes from hand picking extremely dedicated teachers and families.
Both my children attended FCDS from K-8th grade. Wonderful, small, secular environment. Strong academics and fairly good program in the arts. Absolutely gorgeous facility far surpasses that of any elementary school I've seen.
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