My children have attended Carden School of Fresno for the last 3 years. Whenever I have my doubts about whether or not it is necessary to keep them at Carden I compare notes with friends whose children attend one of the "excellent" Clovis schools. While their kids fill in bubbles to prove they read a book my children write book reports and give presentations. My kids also don't spend any time preparing for national testing and my kids, and the classes as a whole, always perform well above grade level in all subjects.
We made a decision to move our daughters to Carden from a Clovis public school when it became abundantly obvious how bored my oldest was with school. Both girls graduated from Carden; my youngest said farewell to Carden just this past year. They are both at University High School now and are excelling there beyond our expectations. Carden, especially during middle school, prepared them for the rigorous college prep work at UHS. By the time the girls started UHS, they have already read most of the required books for UHS. They have already had intellectual discussions about each book. While other students at UHS are being taught "how to write an essay", these girls have already written so many during their time at Carden. They are not afraid of hard work. Carden prepared them for all that. They are also good people. Many of the values we instill in them at home were reinforced each day they went to school. We get compliments all the time on what wonderful children we have. We wish we can take all the credit, but it does "take a village."
We came to Carden from our neighborhood public school - it was the best thing we could have done for our children. The quality of education that is offered at this school has no parallel. It is simply impossible to compare to other schools because there are none like it. Competing private schools don't come close to our experience here for two major reasons: they offer public school size classes while we enjoy small classroom instruction - in other words, our children enjoy one-on-one instruction, which is absolutely priceless. All the other private schools in the area are religious (mainly catholic) while Carden offers an education very much spiritual in nature but void of religious dogma. Children learn the importance of morals through their daily student life: character, integrity and wisdom.
Anywhere outside of Fresno, a similar private school would cost anywhere from 20k-36k a year... we are so happy to be receiving this education for a fraction of that amount. This is a hidden gem in the San Joaquin Valley... we wouldn't be anywhere else!
In my opinion, this school follows in the footsteps of the number one rated education system in the world: Finland (and of course the teaching style of Mae Carden, the founder of the school)... The school believes in working the student in the classroom, not at home. It encourages playtime at home. However, students are also heavily engaged in projects, which are given well in advance, mostly at the beginning of the school year. This has taught my children the art of time management.
If you are looking for a school that will give your child a solid educational foundation for the rest of their academic career, this is the place. Reading, writing, math, foreign language, music and art, all make up this outstanding curriculum, in a small classroom environment where the child can thrive.
Carden school of Fresno is one of the best schools in Fresno unlike St Anthony and Granite Ridge Carden's teacher teach important lessons that will help you succeed in life. When I went to Carden in 7th grade the teachers were wonderful especially the teacher in the English Department who revealed all interesting novels such as Hemingway, Stevens and Bradbury. When your child goes to our school he will be prepared for his journey to high school and beyond and will be ahead of all the other children, our 8th grade of 2013 class scored post high school. Off all my 3 years of going to Carden I would like to say thank you to the principals for the timeless effort to make our school great. Former Student
My four year daughter completed the Carden JK 3/4 year old program in June. She is a very active outgoing child so when we enrolled her we were concerned about her ability to sit still and learn in the Carden environment. Not only did she excel she can't wait to get back there next year.
Carden is an excellent academic school. However, they push the children to advance above their abilities. It is done too early in their development. We found our daughter exceeding academically but being so overwhelmed that she did not enjoy school at the age of 4. Moreover, there is not enough emphais on other aspects of learning to make a child complete. Carden needs to be careful of it's strict expectations. There are ways to make learning enjoyable!
I have both of my children at Carden, and I was a student of Carden myself from K-8th grade. I can't say enough great things about this school. The teachers are fantastic, and the curriculum is far superior to any other I've seen. Not only are my children performing well above grade level (and loving their studies), but their schooling reinforces the values we teach at home: discipline, ethics, hard work, and being well-rounded. I think it's rare to find these attributes, especially combined with a warm, loving atmosphere. Carden School does exactly that. I would recommend this school wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a top-notch education for their child.