My son absolutely loves this school. He has excelled in the science and math realm. Coming from Johns Creek in 2014, I was worried about the change, but my son's teacher was excellent and he adjusted very well.
I can't speak for all, but my son's teacher was phenomenal. Not only did she push the students academically, but she also focused on the development of leadership skills, promoted positive behaviors and good citizenship, and encouraged individuality.
I have two children at DES. We have had a great experience. The principal runs a tight ship, makes good staffing decisions, and hires and retains the right teachers. The administration responds to parent input. The academic rigor is very much the same as what you will find in any top public elementary school - my kids are doing the exact same work as my friends' children in North Fulton and East Cobb schools. Very happy with the nice families at the school, also.
Teddy Bear Summer Camp is a better name for the school,this school from an academic standpoint is just going through the motions, does not push the kids at all. They don't grow. This is why the great schools rating is lower, there is a formula component which reflects lack of academic growth. I call it teddy bear university or teddy bear summer camp! My daughter would get a packet with 5 to 10 minutes of easy homework all the way through her three years, she attended 1st through 3rd grade. She would say it was way too easy too. The DISCOVERY or Gifted program was a joke too.Need to have better oversight over program content/curriculum & challenge towards growth. They are just passing the time. In last year, when my daughter was in 3rd grade gifted discovery class. They did Clay mobiles on Charlottes Web book. No critical thinking, discerning points, team work. We could not believe lack of push to gifted kids.The campus is beautiful and teachers are pretty/sweet, but no challenge as far as academic challenge, learning techniques to study&organization techniques to prepare for middle school.
Dunwoody Elementary has been a great experience for our son. In second grade, we moved within Dunwoody and in doing so switched from Vanderlyn Elementary to Dunwoody. Vanderlyn is a fine school and he was happy there; however, his teachers at Dunwoody seem to be better in tune with adapting to his learning style. That is, they seem to teach concepts different ways so that children can learn in a way that is easiest for him. Dunwoody has been a great experience for us. It's a fairly new school that is not overcrowded and has plenty of classroom space. Austin and Vanderlyn have learning pods / trailers spread around the schoolyard, which is not my favorite learning environment for my child.
Dunwoody Elementary has been recently honored with the highly sought after STEM certification from the Georgia Department of Education, making it the third in the state to ever do so. The state gives this distinction to schools that successfully implement a cross-educational platform that relates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to lessons across all subjects.
I can't say enough positive things about this school. Parent involvement is great, the leadership from the Principal is outstanding, and the classroom instruction is innovative and engaging. My kids jumped out of the car excited about going to school and arrive home every afternoon with smiles on their faces. DES clearly fosters a love of learning. As a parent, what more could you ask for from a school?
The building is beautiful, the test scores are probably not bad. The environment is strange to say the least. Feels more like a jail. Your kid will get in trouble for almost anything. They are not aloud to talk, they are not aloud to choose where to seat in the cafeteria, they are not even aloud to cry because "second graders do not cry". They are not allowed to be human at all, just quiet obedient digesters of math etc. There is few teachers who are different, but you have to be lucky or persistent to put your child in their class.If you think for some reason your child needs strict discipline then it might be a good school for you. If you want your child to enjoy her time at school - look somewhere else.