Recently, there has been the sense among parents of high achieving kids that the school is abandoning them academically in favor of students with IEPs and special needs. In one class there are 30% of the students with IEPS ... that's a lot of kids needing extra support on the low end. There needs to be support and enrichment for kids at the other end of the educational spectrum. Our higher achieving kids are not being challenged!
Main consideration should be whether it's a "fit" for your child's learning style. In some ways, constructivist, project-based setting works best for self-motivated kids. Lack of structure/accountabilty can be problematic unless parents are strong advocates There are some amazingly invested, talented teachers here but also a handful who use lack of structure and tolerance of alternative methods to justify an "anything goes" mentality. Problem is made worse by a principal who is strong on theory and concept and leads from her heart but lacks leadership skills to manage staff, delegate real authority and to confront obvious ongoing problems that impact staff and parent morale. As a result, the school seems stuck in a pattern of unrealized potential due to the extraordinary amount of energy that goes into managing drama in an organization where chaos reigns. Often feels like school is more about handling adults' needs than kids'. Perhaps all schools have these issues? However, their strength in social/emotional arena is priceless and I credit them with the fact my kids are happy, well-rounded, creative and love school. SO, what are you going to do?
very alternative school. I really like the educational field trips. I joined this school starting 5th grade because my son needed smaller class size and a friendlier environment. This school is perfect. My son is very happy and seems to be learning..........
SDCCS is the most amazing school ever! I have learned so much and, contrary to what others have said, the middle school math standard(especially seventh grade) is quite high. I have gone from a third grade to a grade level education in two years, getting straight As, over 90% on test scores. I don't care what others say, this school is the best school in the entire world. We have caring teachers who are all like parents to me, and sweet people everywhere. Zero bullying is tolerated. Once two people had to apologize in front of the entire school for sending a rude email to a fellow student. I highly recommend this school. Love it! <3 <3 :) (: c:
I have a 15 year old who started in kindergarten at SDCCS and is now doing very well in high school. I also have two sons who are currently enrolled at SDCCS in 7th grade and 1rst grade. I can honestly say that I wouldn't send them to any other school. I believe in the philosophy and have seen how it plays out over a 9 year period with so many kids who started in kinder with my daughter....this school fosters emotional intelligence, curiosity and confidence which is so important in the development of a child's ability to problem solve. They know how to help themselves!I really trust the community at the school and appreciate the importance placed social issues in all grades. After being there for over 11 years (with 7 more to go) I can honestly say that I don't mind some of the chaos that also goes along with a place like SDCCS with it's pets and gardens and festivals and parades and field trips and science projects happening in the hallways. It has worked extremely well for all my kids with their very different personalities!
This school has been life changing for our entire family. My kids couldn't feel more loved, nutured and cared for by not just their individual teacher but by the entire staff. Academically they are challenged to taught to be critical thinkers. The social emotional cirriculum has been a postive force in guiding the school community. SDCCS students are more empathetic and caring than I could have ever dreamed. You really have never seen a school like this one!!
Although I think this school is making growth and overcoming adversity, I am still concerned that my son is not learning what he needs to be successful. I don't believe standards and the need for academic challenges are of interest to many of the primary teachers. I love that my son has made many friends and peer relationships are strong, however he has yet to bond with his teachers and this worries me because the 'male role model' he needs in his life is not to be found on staff in the primary grades. He will have to wait until Middle School (unless I relocate him sooner) to receive great teacher-student interaction with the male staff. I think you are doing many wonderful things SDCCS, but there is a need for new faces or a 'changing of the guard'. Teachers that have been there for over a decade need either a new role or a new setting. I know charter schools have the authority to remove educators that aren't a 'great fit' for kids. I wish the administration would recognize this and do what is best for the kids, not just keep teachers around because they are friends with one another.
Wow, this school has grown by leaps and bounds in the past several years. It seems that the staff are always trying to take things up a notch and make the school even better than it already is. Don't worry about the poor rating this site has given to our wonderful school. The raters have no knowledge of this schools fabulous social/emotional curriculum, hands-on learning activities, unbelievable art program, loving dedicated teachers, kind, generous and supportive families, and hard-working leaders. When the school began recruiting some children who did not have all the advantages of the more affluent families the result was an immediate drop in test scores. It is unfortunate that the school is penalized for trying to help children who have fewer options. It's a win-win for my children though because in addition to the impressive curriculum they are also making friends with kids from many different backgrounds. To me diversity is an important consideration when looking at schools. I know this school is awesome when strangers ask where my kids go to school because they are so impressed with their behavior, thoughtfulness and intelligence. Thank you SDCCS, you are the best!