After searching many of the local schools I was very pleased to find IDS. Its nice to see a place that works to be the best. I was skeptical that it was to good to be true as well but after asking to sit through the teacher trainings and making it to the classes (for more than just the tour) I found a school that wants the best for their kids. I am sad to see the other report and wish them and their new school the best. For my well rounded son its a great place with good teachers and leadership.
We are so happy that we pulled our children from IDS. They are actually learning and not spending all day in specials or in a chaotic classroom. Teachers are not allowed to be honest with parents about difficulties. We were lucky to have 3 hours of math a week and science only happened 1 hour a week -and that was a good week! There was no guided reading for our children on a consistent basis, no spelling lessons, no vocabulary, and no social studies. This school works really hard to sell its program and convince others it is the best out there. Many(over two dozen families ) left last year and after the new year has started we are finding how the rest of the schools in Tampa are actually doing what needs to be done for our children. I am sure the next post will say that the school is the best thing that happened to their family. And in response to the last post about what school doesn't have behavioral issues: of course every school has them, but IDS doesn't handle the issues. It may take a year or two, but anyone who is at IDS will see - my advice would be to don't rely on first impressions. And, there's a reason why the school is still accepting students for this year.
My son went to public school for kindergarten and he had a great experience there, but the school didn't have a sense of community and had very few specials because of budget cuts. My husband and I did't want our son going to an elementary school that had 10 kindergarten classes! We switched to IDS for 1st grade and our son flourished. IDS is a happy place and we witnessed our son's growth on so many levels. My son has several students in his class that are foreign and their parents are on assignment in the US. The class diversity is awesome. Non-traditional schools are not for everyone or every parent, but we love IDS. There isn't such a thing as a perfect school, but this school strives to continually make themselves better. For the poster that said this school has students with behavioral issues- every school has some! I bet the public schools deal with a lot more students with "issues" .
I was attracted to this school last year for my 4-year-old because it offers the International Baccalaureate program for primary students. It was a fabulous year. His reading and writing skills are taking off and he loves to go to school. We are so excited about the new year. Teachers here really understand how to support gifted kids.
I'm a parent with 3 kids at IDS. We have been really happy over our 4 years at the school. Teachers at IDS are motivated, well-trained, and caring. They know and respect my children as individuals, and they teach the children to treat each other with the same kind of respect and dignity. What a positive community to be a part of! The kids really respond well to the culture of IDS--they strive to meet the expectations in both academic and leadership areas. As others have noted, we've been very happy with fine arts and athletics programs at the school. No institution achieves all of its goals all of the time, but we've been very pleased with the goals, and the widespread commitment to them, at this school.
This is the best investment we have every made! One of our kids had some difficulty in his primary years. IDS teachers carved out an individual plan that worked with his challenges, and spent countless after hours with him for FREE! He is now right where he should be with his academics, and is such a wonderful young boy that is happy, intelligent, athletic and proud to be at IDS. As a mother of four, all we really care for is that our children develop mentally, academically, socially, and mostly just to be happy! WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL AND BLESSED TO HAVE FOUND IDS almost a decade ago!
Our kids started in kindergarten. Two years ago our son was honored with Duke TIP and now our daughter scored high enough to be named. We credit the teachers at the school.
I highly recommend this school to anyone who wants to give their children extraordinary education. My kids have all benefited greatly from their experience at IDS. The teachers really take time with the children to make sure they know the material.
EMBARRESSED THAT I HAVE ENDURED THIS SCHOOL THIS LONG. This so called school is filled with empty promises. I was promised my child was in the right place and will have individual customized instruction. That DID NOT happen. My child is average and could be above if he was able to spend enough time in class to learn math, reading, and writing. Sadly, they are too busy going to music, drama, PE, dance, intramurals, computer, and maybe spend at best 2 hours per day in class. We have paid thousands of dollars for camp not an education. Now we are paying big bucks to get tutored to enter public school because the IDS way does not educate students for the real world of accountability. The Board of Directors must have no idea what really goes on because I certainly don t ever want my name attached to this joke of school. Good Riddance IDS-CC. formidable
This school does not use text books or do "everyday math" every day? Didn't really get a good feel for the curriculum. Do really know much about multi-age. Can't see where they are an IB school even though they talked circles about they are an IB school and kagan model. Can't really figure out what they are doing except "specials", lunch, and kids fending for themselves in classrooms. Help me understand, I'm trying to find the good in this school that I saw on tour.
Sadly, this school has been a huge (and costly) mistake and disappointment. My child is very bright, and I was promised that she/he would be challenged to her/his individual needs. This has not happened. The parent posting March 21st is exactly right. There are so many children with a variety of issues that cannot be handled by the teachers that my child has been left to work independently on work that is of no challenge. The classrooms are very chaotic, with shouting out, talking by the students, and little respect for authority (bc there is no authority). There are several bullies in my child's class that have not been dealt with on any level. If you are at this school on scholarship, as so many of the students are, then it's probably fine. But, to pay the tuition this school demands is insane. We were actually told by a reputable figure in local education that we would be better off placing our child in public school than keeping our child at this school. We couldn't agree more and cannot wait for this school year to end.
IDS is accepting children with many learning and social disabilities. I have seen my child's classrooms go down hill while the teachers deal with behaviour issues and children working way below level. There is so much chaos everyday and the kids get very little class time. The principal thinks she can take care of everyone so she accepts everyone, and the teachers aren't honest with the parents about what is really happening in the classroom. My child is an average student, and I have seen nothing spectacular or even average come home. Children in my neighborhood in other private and in public schools are working at a higher level. . Every school has its ups and downs, but IDS is heading way down right now. I had to write this so those that are doing research could see an honest reflection from a parent. I feel that many of the comments listed are probably by the principal herself.
IDS has proven to be such a great decision for our child. She has shown an increase to her reading skills beyond our expectations. Plus, we really can feel the genuine relationship her teacher has with her. Choosing a school was a huge task for us. We are very pleased with our choice.
While we were first drawn to IDS by the beautiful campus, we soon learned this school offers much more. We have 3 children. If you have more than one child, you know how different they can be! What we like most about IDS is that they teach to each of our children's unique strengths, and provide programs that are appropriate and stimulating for all of them. Our oldest was very involved in sports and was given opportunity to participate in multiple sporting events. Our youngest is very shy and learns best with 'hands-on' activities. She is given this in her classroom as well as in the art/science programs. Our middle child is an actress. She has an unbelievable voice - We are grateful for the the wonderful drama and music programs offered at IDS which have brought out her skills. IDS is truly a wonderful place for all children to learn.
I have to respectfully disagree with the comment posted on 10/29/2010. The Headmaster of this school is very professional and one of the best educators I have ever met. If she were to move to another school, I would take my kids to whatever school she went. We are fortunate to have her at IDS. Perfect combination: great Headmaster, beautiful landscape, excellent teachers and a fun and caring environment.
Fabulous teachers, fabulous philosophy on teaching and raising children!
We moved from overseas during the middle of the school year. Our son has been at IDS for almost 3 years now. The environment is extremely nurturing and made the transition easier for him. We were worried about the impersonal aspect of a public school. I looked at several private schools in the area and settled on IDS because of its academic reputation. Besides, how can you go wrong with pastel colored buildings and wild peacocks roaming the grounds?
IDS excels in areas that other schools gloss over and which are so important to parents. The teachers and administration treat the families as important customers, and strive to communicate often and well. Problems will arise, as in any school, but at IDS that truly make you feel as though your opinion is important. The academics are high, and above all, the learning environment tries to appeal to all types of learners. I have three children who are IDS students and all three have enjoyed and been proud of their experiences.
I have 3 very different children attending IDS. Each one is so blessed to be surrounded by such a loving, yet challenging environment. The campus is like heaven in the heart of Tampa and the teachers are the angels. We have had many opportunities to move for promotions and have turned them down over the years because nothing seems to compare to the joyous experience students at IDS recieve. They certainly prove that test scores can be high, children can learn to respect each other, and teachers can be compassionate at the same time. It is the best of everything and worth every penny!!
I would not even know where to begin. This is the most wonderful school. They teach to each students ability and have amazing specials in addition to cutting edge core classes. Look no further, you found the best!
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