Whoever wrote the review about the school being a "money grab" because of mandatory tuition insurance is clearly uninformed and must have very little experience with private schools. Tuition insurance is the basic protocol for all private schools and it is there to protect those families who cannot finish the year for any reason. After much research I found the yearly tuition to be lower than any other comparable school in the area. Most all of the parents that I have spoken with understand the value of the school. My families experience has been nothing short of spectacular. The school has happy and bright students that can advance without limitations, available and excellent teachers, and a supportive parent group and community. Nowhere else compares.
Both of my students attend Rhoades and I while I agree with many of the comments (profit driven, not only for gifted children), this school is a good school. I have one child that is "genius" and the other is average. If Rhoades were a school for gifted children my average student would not have gotten in. That said, I've scoured the city and the grass is not greener anywhere else. It's obvious they are trying to fill spots as we had second graders who couldn't read (which is fine in an "average" school); I've been disappointed with the lack of communication from admin to parents as well as the things that they have taken away from the students in the past year (computers for primary, performing arts limited to one performance, etc). The school has changed greatly since it's become a for profit school but I am opting to leave my children because my son's needs would not be met in a public school. You do have the benefit of the students in grades 3-6 being leveled for math according to their needs. That's about it as far as individual education goes.
The school is becoming a money grab. Here is the type of thing you can enjoy. For next year, not only are they requiring that all student purchase "tuition insurance" that names the school as the beneficiary in case you move mid year, they are also dictating what company you have to purchase it from AND the rate.
I have a happy kindergartner at The Rhoades School. My child's intellect is valued and treated with enthusiasm and respect. The culture of learning is amazing! My daughter's teacher is on fire about what she's teaching- and this is her 18th year there. I feel peaceful when I drop my daughter off knowing she's in an environment that is nurturing, stimulating and principled. I find the other children well-mannered and bright, the other parents friendly, the administration and faculty communicative, warm and welcoming. The school has strong leadership- at the helm is a very smart and experienced educator.
Our 2 girls attended Rhoades (KG and 1st), and both had a great experience. Teachers were caring, thoughtful and engaging. Parents were very involved and supportive. Our experience with administration was also very positive. Some of the comments about tuition and diversity are not unique to Rhoades, and would be true of almost all private schools. Although we ended up changing schools for other reasons, overall Rhoades provided a very good academic foundation for our kids, in a nurturing and supportive environment. We would recommend Rhoades to anyone considering a private school education for their kids in the north SD area.
I have a son at Rhoades and it has been a fabulous experience for him, life changing in fact. My son tested in the genius range for IQ, attended a highly rated private school prior to Rhoades but was bored and dreaded going as a result. We decided to send him to Rhoades after references from people who have children who are bright and really great kids. Our son's experience at Rhoades has been fabulous and he can t wait to go to school these days and is enthusiastically "teaching" us the new things he has learned. :-) At Rhoades the teachers nurture the gifted mind -- Bright children ask more questions, they enjoy intellectual discussions, they are more detail oriented and as a result, they thrive in schools that have faculty that understands, respects and encourages the curious mind -- something most other schools couldn t even begin to comprehend. Additionally, because the school is for gifted children, my son is surrounded by other incredibly bright and interesting children who share his curiousity and love of learning so there is no smart kid syndrome where he would feel the need to hide his intelligence because instead it s respected and fun.
Our children have had and continue to have an incredible experience at Rhoades. We came from a larger private school and we found that Rhoades teachers were more adept at challenging our children yet providing the nurturing atmosphere that we value from a private school. The students have welcomed our children and they have already made fast friends. Teachers have provided rigorous curriculum yet at the same time have pinpointed small areas where the previous school's teachers allowed gaps. We really feel that our children are soaring academically. Teachers spend a lot of one on one time with students. We disagree with the 2 previous posts here. This has definitely not been our experience! Private education continues to be expensive but we found that Rhoades was very compatible within the private school market. If you are looking for quality education and a nurturing environment for your children Rhoades is a great place!
My experience at Rhoades has been fair. The school administration is really all about the money. It is a for profit school so the feeling you get is that your child is not the most important thing at the school it is the amount of money they bring in. They are not flexible with the parents if they need some assistance with something. It is a not a school for gifted kids but gifted wallets. The education is sub par. If you are expecting you child to learn a lot at school that is not case. The parents have to be super involved like any other school and have to teach the child math, reading etc. I was not impressed with the school. My advice to administration is to allow flexiblity and show kindness, thought and careful planing towards the education of the children....the school is too $$$$ driven.
I agree with the previous 2 comments. When we moved to the area, I was looking for a school similar to the one my child had went to previously. Initially, everything was good however I now see that it doesn't matter whether your child is gifted or not as long as you can afford to pay the tuition and all of the extras associated with the school. Also, the lack of diversity is very apparent within the student population. This will be our last year as I want my child to be truly challenged and to learn how to interact with others from different backgrounds.
I am totally perplexed by the previous two reviews. I switched my two children here from another (more expensive) private school solely for the outstanding academics. Both of my kids score at the very upper end on the standardized tests and have been appropriately challenged. The kids at Rhoades continually place at a high level in local and state math and science competitions. By the way, we moved here from the Bay Area too and are quite familiar with the educational offerings in SF, Marin and on the peninsula. Rhoades is up to par with those schools. I will agree that some teachers are better than others, but that is true anywhere, and overall the teachers and administration care deeply about the kids and their social and academic development. Tuition has not gone up any more than any other private school in the area and overall it is a bargain compared to other local private schools. I feel Rhoades prepares kids extremely well for middle school and beyond.