This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted December 12, 2014
- a teacher
Dunn School is a dying institution. Its former glory has been tainted in favor of being as cheap as possible in anticipation of a country-wide drop in school-aged children in the 2020s. Faculty and staff are radically overloaded as the school refuses to hire adequately, and a massive discrepancy between educational staff experience exists. Dunn School has a large annual churn rate of around 8 to 10 staff and faculty, which speaks poorly for Dunn's investment in their employees. Students are subjected to a one-size-fits-all model. A school of former diversity is now nothing more than an overseas boarding school for East Asian students.
Dunn Middle School is the best middle school in the Santa Ynez Valley. The school has an amazing staff so in tune with every child's needs. I feel as if my daughter's education is custom tailored to her needs. She is challenged in all ways every day and enjoys going to school each and every day. The enrichment program has a variety of classes which is not offered anywhere else in the valley. I am constantly impressed by what my child is learning in class everyday and the way in which she is learning. The school has surpassed my expectations.
Dunn is so tranquil and caring, I literally wish I could have gone to a school like this. My son's teachers are outstanding. I get weekly updates from his advisor, so I feel like I know how he's doing without needing to be overly involved. The transportation the school now offers for Santa Barbara families makes it absolutely work for our family. The setting is calm and safe with many trees and amazing mountain views, and open space for athletic fields. Compared to his former LA school there is no comparsion. If you want a high quality college prep education that will give your child individual attention and not compromise on enrichments, arts and athletics, with great teachers and a beautiful setting, I highly recommend Dunn.
The Dunn School has an outstanding Learning Strategies Program that sets it apart from the other college prep schools. Our student entered Dunn after having a rough time in middle school. He has ADHD and, at that time, he was not able to get control of his ADHD and succeed in school. At Dunn he met with his Learning Strategies adviser every day and learned about himself as well as strategies for getting his work done and getting good grades. The same adviser worked with him all three years and nurtured his growth as a person and a student. In addition, Dunn also has excellent teachers and coaches that encouraged his participation in the many activities of the school. He played sports and developed leadership skills that have helped him gain confidence and relate well to his peers. Now that he is in college, I can fully appreciate the way that Dunn prepared him for for this important step in his life.
This was the best place for my son to go to middle and high school -- he found exactly what he was looking for... a fabulous supportive community of teachers and students, collaboration, creativity, and academic challenge. Be aware though, that becoming part of Dunn School is a life choice for your child. Whether they are boarders or are a day student, Dunn requires a great portion of their day, sometimes well into the evening for school activities and even some weekends. Dunn becomes a way of life and is as demanding and rigorous as it needs to be to support its students' endeavors to be they best that they can be. My son earned a tremendous education and created a life long family among both students and teachers. I am forever grateful to the staff for the love and support and encouragement they gave my son. He is a better man as a result of their kindness and care.
Our family has had such a great experience with Dunn School. Our son attended the middle school for two years and absolutely thrived. He learned to try new things without fear of failing. He gained confidence, enjoyed his classes and loved getting to experience surfing, camping, rock climbing, even Italian and language arts festivals, with his classmates. He found a solid group of friends and discovered so much about himself. His middle school experience was close to perfect. Our daughter now goes to the middle school and our son is at the high school. Both of them are doing well in their classes, love their teachers and are happy to go to school every day. I'm so glad we decided to send our kids to Dunn.
Are you kidding me. The new head of school is a power hungry, arrogant, napoleon. He has placed many of the top administrators as men. He is afraid of woman and what they can do like have great input and ideas. If you are looking for a great school ha, this isn't it. You are better off going to Midland, Cate, or Thatch
Dunn Middle School is a unique learning environment, offering an ideal situation for serious, high-achieving students who are motivated and able and think outside or beyond the box. Dunn brings a hands-on approach to academic, athletics, and outdoor education. Good volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, and bike programs. Students are able to learn at their own pace and not held back. Age-appropriate innocence, kindness, encouragement to try new things, and high academic excellence is emphasized and nurtured. 6th -8th graders establish academic and personal goals, are encouraged to develop their unique strengths, are held accountable to high standards. Ample parent involvement and community events. With class sizes averaging 6-12 students, teachers engage and get to know each student personally and focus on individual student achievement based on goals specific to that child. New headmaster (as of 2012) is excellent. Many DMS students continue onto the high school, which speaks volumes for the quality of the entire Dunn educational community as a whole. We scouted many schools before choosing Dunn for our kids. We have been happy with the high caliber of this school.
Administration does not value or respect the contribution of the day student families and students' obligations to their families and local community. School has little to no connection to local community. While there are stellar, experienced teachers, there are also inexperienced teachers. Teachers are passionate, caring and involved but are severely overextended affecting overall quality. Certain departments stronger than others. Huge annual turnover of faculty. The school's "one size fits all" program and daily schedule from 7:50 am - 5:30 pm stifles ingenuity, creativity & spark. Very weak athletics program except for Baseball. Beautiful, safe campus setting.
Dunn School continues to be managed by a subpar administration. The headmaster has made many changes, mostly promoting men into positions of administration. Many of the established, tenured teachers have been pushed out or placed into "supportive" roles. The board guides the headmaster, but seems to follow his decisions blindly and disregards parent, alumnae and faculty unrest. Many of the "old" faculty have been pushed out or have left for other private school positions.