This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Rhoades School5
Posted December 01, 2014
- a parent
After having my son at The Rhoades School for six years, I can honestly say that i would not want him anywhere else. I have observed the school thoroughly over this period of time and the more I know about this school the more I appreciate our experience. The mission driven school is very consistent and diligent in its service to cater to the gifted student. The academics are accelerated and no one gets "bored" in class. The teachers are trained in gifted learning and instruction and the administration is very aware of the population as it is professional in all dealings with the families of the school. The school has a down to earth, family-like feel and the community is very supportive and caring of one another without meddling or pretentiousness. Parents support teacher and teachers support parents as partners in education with a shared message for our students and children. The specialists and classroom teachers are all excellent and bring unique, positive characteristics to help our children reach a happy balance in their lives. At The Rhoades School the whole student is taught with the big picture in mind. I could not recommend this school more!!
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.
Completely agree with July 30th post. Coming from the Bay Area where they have schools for truly gifted and profoundly gifted children, professionally tested to qualify, this school is a definite disappointment. This is a school for parents with gifted wallets, not children with gifted minds. Run like a corporation, administration cares about profits and limiting liability. Tuition goes up consistently, annually. School has a bully problem, and there is no character education past kindergarten. They put signs up with phrases like "kindness" but nothing further. While they say they differentiate in subjects, material is not taught to gifted standards of depth of understanding. Kids are picked on if they are smart, and a "you need to be cool" attitude permeates the place. Often parents do the work for the child. Save your money for high school, or college.
Rhoades is an above average school, but the value proposition is misleading. It claims to be a school for "gifted" kids. In reality, the school actually caters more to kids who can use a little extra attention, and parents who don't mind shelling out college tuition for elementary school. Teachers will be similar to any above average school - some great, and others just OK. Same with administration - remember that this school is owned by a Private Equity firm, so they have to balance education with profits. Facilities are just ok, both in cleanliness and spaciousness. While there are some genuinely nice folks (parents and staff), there are also many with that fake pretentious vibe...you know the type. Anyways, our kid did fine for a couple of years here, but we were not all that impressed. Academically it did not live up to the hype, and he had a hard time making friends since most people don't live close to the school, and "scheduled play-dates" can only do so much. So, if you think that your kid needs the special attention, and like feeling like you are back in a sorority/fraternity, and actually want to pay for all this, then it will probably be a good fit.
Someone mentioned there have been three heads of school: This is misleading. The head of many years (one of the three) retired, and a new head was hired (two of the three). The new head didn't work out, and the school found the current head, who fits well with the school's needs. That's hardly unheard of, and I appreciate that the school was able to find a perfect match in Dr. McDuffie after the amazing Ms. Kittle retired. As for the school itself, it's wonderful! The teachers are fantastic and caring, and the curriculum is creative and vast and defined and teaches the children to think. Of course there are going to be spoiled rich kids. Those are everywhere! In public and all private schools. But there are many kids with good heads on their shoulders, too, and the teachers and administration do a wonderful job of listening to social issues and working with the kids to address them and learn and hopefully become better people. Of course it's not perfect, no school is, but Rhoades provides an environment that allows kids to be who they are, and excel to the best of their individual abilities.