The best thing about being at CDS as a teacher is that it is a place where you are allowed and expected to be a human being as well as an educator. We make mistakes. We learn from them. We strive to do our best, and to assume the best in each other. My colleagues inspire and challenge me on a daily basis. My administration has always given me an open ear, even if they don't always agree with me. There is room for growth and new ideas, as well as a commitment to the traditions that have been the foundation of this strong community. The farm and garden are a symbol of the school's commitment to giving students experiences above and beyond their everyday city-kid lives. It also doesn't hurt that our school is in one of the sunniest locations in San Francisco. Of course there are hard days, and sometimes hard months, but on the whole I am proud to be a part of this community, and look forward to waking up and doing it again every day.
Stories about families and teachers leaving CDS should be carefully listened to. They will always get 5 star ratings because most kids there fit their mold. But if you ask for anything special you get a deer in the headlights stare. Do you see any posts talking about how well an individual student s learning problems and individual needs were handled by a teacher/teachers, learning specialists and administrators who rallied to help? No. The administration seems more like business managers who treat kids like commodities, that should not interfere with their focus on growth. The folks in admissions are warm and helpful professionals, but regrettably the same cannot be said for some teachers and the administrators.
I have been a parent at this school for 5 years now, have two children there (K and 2nd grade) and could not be happier. It's an oasis in the mission with a great farm and garden program. Its project learning approach and community service ensure kids get hands on learning. The diverse student body is very important to all who attend; this is not a stuck up private school but a wonderful community full of different backgrounds. The parent base is super cool and the community feel is just what my little family was looking for. I wish I had been able to go to a school like this when I was my kids' age.
I can see how others think the head of school is prickly, but I wouldn't let it get in the way of what a great school this is. As a parent on financial aid of a student of color in a LGBTQ household, this is a great community. I wouldn't have him anywhere else. I was so excited when I heard the recent news about the middle school from the board of trustees. It's going to be an amazing place. Feel lucky if your kid(s) get to be part of this.
CDS is a warm, welcoming, inclusive COMMUNITY that nurtures and respects all of its students and families. We have two boys at the school who have been engaged and supported in ways that work best for their learning styles, temperament and interests. The teachers are creative, enthusiastic, brilliant educators committed to building a community of children who love to learn and love to think deeply. And the administration has done a masterful job of not only supporting the faculty, staff and families but in moving the school forward to be a sustainable, progressive model of education in the Bay Area.
I have worked at CDS for 12 years, and in all of my years at CDS I have never been more excited about the school and where we stand today. With the help of thoughtful, deliberate and forward-thinking growth by the school's leadership, the core values of CDS have stayed the same, including constructivist teaching and learning, social responsibility, the cultivation of a love of learning, and academic and social-emotional preparedness. Further, the current Head of School has simply set in motion decisions made by the school s leadership prior to arrival. In addition to steering the ship, she s helped us prepare to open our incredible new middle school building, streamline curriculum guidelines, raise faculty salaries thereby increasing retention, facilitate professional development opportunities, and more. Her dedication to the mission of the school, and to preserving the spirit of this community, is without question. My son, a year and a half away from attending CDS as a preschooler, is already a regular on the schoolyard and cannot wait to get into the classroom. His excitement, and love for CDS, speaks for itself.
We are in our third year as a CDS family, and can not imagine having our daughter anywhere else. The curriculum, the community, and the campus are all fantastic. Nothing is without challenge, without opportunity, and need to improve; yet even with its imperfections it's a really great school. In a city with some longstanding independent school institutions, CDS is relatively young. Its growth and transformation - and potential to stay close to its roots while remaining progressive is both exciting and daunting. We think it has the right mix of people - parents, faculty, young person - to do that. It's not always going to be perfect, and there will be times where the school does not remain the best fit for all. That said, we look around and see a really talented faculty. And we see parents and families connecting in a lot of interesting and meaningful ways. And most importantly, we see engaged middle schoolers who are thoughtful, competent, and prepared for the next step.
We love this school! Recent reviews from a few don't match to the CDS most of us know. Change is difficult especially when not something wanted. At best, these negative posts are disingenuous. Reactionary and angry, they definitely aren't balanced. The kids, parent, faculty and administration are all really great. They are what makes this cool little place so funky and strong. And they are why we get to believe that Passionate Citizens Change the World. Go Bulldogs!
Our daughter is in her 7th year at CDS (3 years pre-K and now in 3rd grade). Thanks to the amazing CDS teachers, administration and support staff, our child is thriving beyond expectations. I have no doubt that CDS contributes greatly, not only to the students, but also to the public interest because CDS students graduate with a solid foundation of education, principled values and social justice activism. I should add we are very demanding parents with no patience for hypocrisy. As to the negative comments, we can only offer our frank feedback and experience in that we have spent 7 years at the school, participated in a variety of events and school operations, it sure seems like these disgruntled parents are a distinct minority and do not speak for the many who are in love with the school, it s approach and staff.
With the incredible amount of problems that are carefully listed, it is amazing to me that people are still criticizing the families that were kicked out of this school!I I just read on Friday an email about another long time family departing the school and the defense here online is they're the problem? What an incredible commentary on the state of this school that no one is answering the problems listed but continue to blame the messenger. Personally, I see it as a sure sign that all these new rosy reviews are false ones.