This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Sacramento Country Day School5
Posted September 15, 2014
- a parent
I feel compelled to comment on the amazing school my twins attend. Country Day is outstanding on so many levels. We did have them in public school for 2 years until class size went to 32, PE to 20 mins 2x wk., no music or art. Rich music program, French, Spanish, art, , loving, well educated teachers. This is what Country Day has been for us. PE everyday, small class-ratio 1-16/17 so far. The core curriculum is designed in units of study involving all areas. ie: music, art, language etc, so a child is immersed in that subject in all the different classes. One of my 4th graders is almost fluent in French! Reading the negative comments -one must realize not all kids do well in any one environment. I have only seen love and acceptance at this school. There is so much kindness both parents and children. I have never heard bad language or disrespect. We have been here for 4 years and hopefully through high school.
My children attended Country Day School from kindergarten through high-school graduation and went on to college in the UC system. They still talk about their hard-working years at SCDS and claim college was easier! They were certainly well-prepared for their university courses and had no trouble adjusting to big-college life, after spending their early education in a relatively small school. I would recommend this school to any parent looking for an academically challenging curriculum and dedicated teachers who know their subject and care about their students.
SCDS continues to be the premier college prep school in Sacramento. 100 percent of its seniors are admitted to selective 4 year colleges, with a much higher percentage of the senior class being admitted to the most selective schools (Ivies, schools like Stanford, Williams, U of Chicago, NYU, etc.) than any other school in the region. SAT scores also far exceed those of any other high school in the region. The high school has quite a few international students from China and other East Asian countries, who choose to leave their home countries to study here for the excellent education, adding to the international flavor and educational diversity of the HS program. The excellent education I received here as a middle school and high school student helped me graduate with high honors from Harvard, and I have been thrilled with my sons' (8th and 6th grades, here since kindergarten) experience. The teachers are dedicated and talented, and many have advanced degrees. There is no educational program in the region that can compare at any level, and I can't wait for them to experience the high school for themselves.
Country Day gave my two children an outstanding educational experience through middle school and graduation from high school. A majority of their teachers have advanced degrees, including a number of PhD's. They have developed a world-class curriculum, and they really know and care about their students with whom they have close, mentoring relationships. Graduates leave with all the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the most selective colleges and universities. My children have had smooth transitions to their respective colleges. In fact, many of their classmates ask them for help with writing assignments because they became such good writers at SCDS. Parents choose a school for their children based on different factors. Some want a large social setting, a spiritual component, or a championship sports program, but for those whose primary focus is academic excellence, no other school in Sacramento can touch Country Day.
Not worth the money. There are other schools with great curricula for less money. "College prep" is a relative term, since their graduates are getting into the same schools as good public high school grads are attending (Sierra College, Chico State, etc., plus some higher tiered). Bullying has been an ongoing problem, including a lack of supervision on the playground. Some families are at the school because they want to be. Others because of limited options (religious schools, poor performing public schools or are unable to get into other private schools due to wait lists or not enough openings for siblings). As the previous poster noted - do your research before committing.
Proceed with caution and fact check everything you are told during your tour. We have been at the school for many years and while the education is good it is not great. The middle school is particularity lacking in leadership.and the overall administration at the school leans heavily on the side of the teachers and not the parents. Luckily most of the teachers are good but when a substandard teacher is hired (or a current teacher fails to be effective) the administration does not take action. There is an overwhelming bias to support the teachers and not challenge the teachers to improve their classrooms. Everyone can improve, right? It is a very very expensive school that has been losing students at an alarming rate over the last few years. I think it is somewhat stable now. My advice is to check and recheck all the facts.
The simple fact is that Country Day has the best college prep program in the Sacramento area. A beautiful tree-filled campus, classes limited in size, superb faculty that have a lifelong positive impact on students' self-concept, academic skills, creativity and personal values, full participation sports, superb college counselors with the best college placement record in the area,...these are a few of its many virtues. You have to see it to understand the difference. Make sure you visit the classrooms to see what full engagement in learning means. The focus is on mastery of concepts; the work load is reasonable for your average bright student. We sent all of our kids to Country Day and it was the most important decision we ever made for their education. They flourished at the university level due to excellent critical analysis skills and academic competence developed at Country Day through daily close interaction with bright dedicated faculty and motivated peers.
I attended Sacramento parochial schools in the Arden-Arcade area growing up and was offput by the attitude at my alma mater toward my daughter; so I decided on Country Day. Best decision ever. The atmosphere is wonderful. The parents are warm and the teachers are proud to be teaching at this fine school--they are clearly paid well and values; and this reflects onto the jobs they do. Ms. Elena Bennet is a city-wide treasure, hands-down. I recommend the summer camps for parents who can't afford the pricey tuition--which we DO go back and forth about every year. But the parent/teacher conferences we attend solidify the decision for us to stay and sacrifice the home redo, the two-week island vacation, the expensive new cars every year. Every parent at this place is here because he/she wants the best for his/her child. The teachers know they are dealing with many parents who are making huge sacrifices to write out those tuition checks! and parents are treated accordingly.
Our children have attended SCDS since their Kindergarten year and have thrived in numerous ways. They've become self-directed and self-motivated students managing and organizing their time efficiently. The curriculum at SCDS is well rounded where each and every day my children are exposed to all kinds of learning. Along with Mathematics, English, Reading and History they also can learn and express themselves through Art, Music and Foreign Languages. Also included in the everyday curriculum is Physical Education. Athletics, Performing Arts, Elective and AP courses round out an excellent and challenging program for both Middle and High school students. Small class sizes for every grade (Pre-K through 12th) are instrumental in giving each student an opportunity to express themselves in ways a student may not be able to in larger schools. Student : Teacher ratio is absolutely outstanding at SCDS. If it were not for a few parents wanting something different for their own children in 1964, Country Day would not be what it is today.