We transferred to Sonoma Country Day School later in our daughter's academic career (7th grade), but sure wish we had done so much sooner. We had been part of a smaller Montessori school in Santa Rosa that decided to dissolve their middle school program and we had to scramble to find a place for our child. Having read some of the negative reviews online regarding a problem child, we were reluctant to even visit the school. We even told Kelly, the admissions director, as much when we called her. She walked us through the real story and allowed us to meet with all the parties (who were still at the school) involved.
We met the other current families and did all the admissions get-togethers, fully expecting to meet snobby country club folks and unruly rich kids -- neither of which we saw. Ever. To this day.
A year later, our daughter literally couldn't be happier. She's made two new best friends that she is inseparable from. She loves her classes, has learned to read music, play flute, has written a short novel, broken the class book-reading record, and finally loves math (!). Any clique-level bullying we were worried about at a school of this price point is non-existent.
The school isn't cheap, but it's worth every dime. It's a genuine prep school where the teachers are 100% more involved and nurturing than any school we've ever been to (in any state).
If the reviews below or the reputation that the school might have around the community has left Sonoma Country Day School off your list (the way it did with us), call Kelly and schedule a time to meet with her. Ask her the tough questions like we did. My guess is you'll be as pleasantly surprised as we were.
This school nurtures both the academic and the creative with equal integrity and commitment. We switched our son here from public school for 5th grade and could not be happier with how much he's been thriving, both in the classroom and as a friend and enthusiast of the school. He's challenged and given the freedom and confidence to be himself and explore a wide option of interests. He smiles every day he comes home from school and is in a hurry to get to school every morning. We can't say enough about how incredible the school environment is, the fellow students and faculty. Everyone is top-notch in terms of teaching ability, but also very approachably human, with a focus on making each student into a wonderful person, not just a capable academic. We've also loved the focus on charitable involvement within the community.
My children have attended SCDS for the last 4 years, and we intend to relish each year through 8th grade graduation. We love our school. My children are in multiple grades, and their experiences in every grade have been fabulous. The head of school greets the students every morning as they enter school, with a kind, friendly words and a handshake. This sets the tone for the community- and the school is truly a caring, warm community. The academic programs are varied, creative, and thought provoking. We have experienced many stand-out programs (across grades K -5). Kid favorites have included “States of Matter” day exploring gasses, liquids, and solids, science dissections, mixed media art projects, mock stock market math exercises, haiku writing, outdoor garden work, jazz projects, and biography projects. Although my children are too young to be 8th grade buddies, they already look forward to this special school tradition. And years ago as kindergarteners, my children adored and cherished their 8th grade pals. As a parent, I have marveled at 8th graders using Minecraft to “build” Medieval villages and share their progress with younger students, 7th graders writing full novels, and science students creating multi-media “PSA” service messages about bacteria and airborne pathogens. Weekly assemblies offer students the opportunity to share their work with the broader school community while gaining confidence and public speaking experience. It also allows parents and visitors to see what students are learning in other grades and what lies ahead. When my child needed extra support in math, he spent a year in small math group for differentiated learning. And this extra attention in a more personalized, tailored learning environment changed his relationship with math. He still struggles, but he isn’t afraid. No school is perfect, but for us, SCDS comes very close.
There is a review just down from mine "this is my second year at SCDS" that is highly suspect to say the least. On February 21st, 2014 SCDS received notice that one of their sixth graders had pulled from the school due to the fact that the administration had not properly dealt with Bullying at the school, this particular Sixth Grader had had his arm broken by a bully in the sixth grade and had required 2 surgeries to repair the physical damage caused. This post was written the next school day after the school was told that their response to the bullying was unacceptable and was far far below state guidelines. Both the Headmaster and the Dean of Faculty were involved in the lack of action. It is now the end of the sixth grade year for these children and 6 more Families have pulled their Children from this class due to Bullying and... THE BULLY IS STILL THERE. I wonder who wrote the review below... Pathetic as this may sound, the headmaster and another teacher had a meeting with the class asking them to embrace the bully as "their friend" and that he "had done nothing wrong" On the same day that the child with the broken arm was away having his second surgery! What a Joke!
Part 5 of 5: So, to sum it up.. IF you are looking for a school your friends will envy from the outside and glorified "babysitting for the elite"... This is it! Although, if you are looking for a quality education, please look deeper and elsewhere... I can't begin to tell you how lacking in any real educational value this beautiful looking school is. Don't judge a book by its cover. Ps it took us years to see what was really happening as many of the reviewers are probably still in awe as we were. Also we were there for both the past and current headmaster. Lastly, why did we stay? We didn't... As soon as we truly discovered (it took years) what was going on, we left, having lost years of educational opportunities.... If you doubt me and your child is attending SCDS, have you child tested outside of school and see the results first hand. Don't let this happen to you or your child...
this is my second year at SCDS, I love this school I got mediocre grades at my previous school and now that i go to scds i have never gotten anything lower than a B+ the teachers greet you kindly at the front door of the class room i am now in sixth grade and my parents told me how much they are paying for me to go to this amazing school i was shocked at the amount but then i thought about the great education that i am getting and it made sense to me i have never experienced bullying at my school and i have never met anyone who has been bullied this school. the teachers are very close to the students and when you have trouble in a class the teachers are more then welcome to help i am sorry for my poor grammar and spelling i forgot to edit
I go to Sonoma country day school. I feel this school I very amazing !! I am so shocked by the reveiws that I read, some we're correct some we're not. I think the students here are so sweet and I have made they most amazing people that I will ever meet in my life ! Teachers and students !! The relationships between teachers and students are simply amazing !! I get one on one private help with grades, studying and everything like that!! I will never forget this school!!! I would highly recommend the school to any kid. -student at Sonoma country day school
I am overwhelmed by this school. My child has thrived in this open and inviting culture! The teachers are stellar, communication and support for families is top notch. They promise to know your child and they keep their promise. Price tag is high but well worth it. Hands down the best school in sonoma county and we looked into them all!
I feel like SCDS has gotten mixed reviews in the past. However, over the last five or so years, and now with a new leader, the school is taking new territory and I can say with 100% confidence that there is no better school in the area. My kids have flourished with the perfect balance of "big enough but not too big" classes, and the teachers are amazing. They really care about the kids, often going to events outside of school to support them and carrying on relationships for a long time after graduation. They really understand each student and support them appropriately. I am thrilled with SCDS and so are my kids.
sonoma country day school is more than just a bunch of buildings warehousing children all day. it is a place whose focus is the pursuit of the love of learning for all members of our school community -- students, parents, faculty and staff -- and on educating the entire child for a future completely unlike what previous generations have known. we partner with the center for ecoliteracy in berkeley to ensure education for a sustainable future is integrated into every curriculum area. each students' weekly schedule includes at least 120 minutes of p.e., music, and art and our environmental sciences program includes 60 minutes of garden and outdoor education starting in 4th grade.