I am a parent of a First Grader. I work in education not at CDS but I work closely with a number of Indepenent schools across Bay Area. I am fortunate that I get to see how different schools work. Most are great, but when it came time to choose a school for my child, I was very clear that CDS would be the place.Now, after a few years I have a happy child who absolutely loves going to school.
Every day I see that spark and light in her eyes as she talks to me about how she absolutely loves her teachers. I have been asked to invite all her teachers over for dinner soon!
She has an open door to go in and say hello to her Lower School head and does so most days.
Why am I not talking about curriculum and other buzz words? Because, numbers tell that story. CDS has a tremendous program but what I really care about is that my child is happy, excited and motivated to go to school. Loves learning. Loves her teachers and others who she interacts with at the school everyday. People at CDS care! Plain and simple. They care for your child and sometimes that means them speaking up and advocating for your child. I hope that parents listen because that sound advise comes from a place that wants to see your child thrive.
Go visit the school. Make up your own minds.
The teachers are very effective in Preschool and middle school 5/6th Math and Science and 7th/8th Humanities. For my son, CDS was weak in between Preschool and 5th and failed to bridge the gap, leaving the experience disjointed at best. Certainly not worth the tuition other than in middle school.
At least 2 hours per day in 5th through 8th grades! The school tries to push more lessons into each year than is possible to teach in the time available. This forces teachers to add to homework. This gives the students little time for being kids and harms family time.
I believe CDS teachers and a few administrators fosters honesty and integrity among the students, but there is pedagogically a "one size fits all" approach so kids with learning differences or who don't "fit the mold" are left out to rely on private tutors, etc.
CDS is a supportive and caring community with an all encompassing curriculum that addresses the social emotional needs of the students while also providing students with a strong academic and constructivist curriculum. I am a teacher at CDS, and I have worked at other schools in the bay area. I have never worked at such a caring community. The administrators, teachers and families truly care about the entire well being of the students and the community members of the school. Teachers have the freedom to explore curriculum while also receiving support from the Literacy Specialist, the Director of Teaching and Learning, the Learning Specialist and the Assistant Head of School. Teachers are also encouraged and supported to get more professional development. Most importantly the students at CDS are happy and engaged in learning and meaningful relationships.
A huge thank you to the preschool teachers and middle school teachers, the assistant director of admission who is instrumental in helping families integrate and find high school placement when they are in 8th grade.
We've been thoroughly impressed with CDS's thoughtful approach in creating an inclusive and diverse community. From sliding scale tuition to parent ed forums to affinity groups, the school brings sincere intention to creating a space where students (and teachers and families, for that matter) can learn from their differences and see diversity as a strength. Part of what makes this work is that the faculty and administration approach these conversations with humility and curiosity, which models the very learning style we are trying to instill in our kids.
During my ten years as a teacher, I have had the privilege of teaching at two other wonderful Bay Area independent schools. While acknowledging that all schools have their strengths and challenges, I feel that I have finally found my home at CDS. I am continually inspired by and appreciative of a student body that reflects the diversity of our city; the school's commitment to cultivating passionate citizenry; and the warmth with which I was and continue to be received by faculty, parents, and students. I feel tremendously supported by my teaching team and the school’s administration and am truly excited by what is happening in other grades. The guidance and professional development we receive from our Director of Teaching and Learning and our Elementary Literacy Specialist is a phenomenal resource, which continually supports my growth as an educator. With their help, our teaching team has been able to create a truly integrated, rigorous, and inspiring curriculum that supplies our students with the tools and knowledge necessary to become critical thinkers, involved community members, tolerant and compassionate individuals, and resilient problem solvers. I love teaching at CDS and feel fortunate to be part of this community.