CESJDS is an adequate school if your child is not too brilliant and/or does not need too much support in the classroom. The school really needs to reexamine how they approach education. Too much sitting, not enough experiential learning. Additionally, we were misled during our interview process. Their teachers are not as adept at providing differentiated education as they might like you to believe.
CESJDS lower school has a wonderful group of parents and students. The school's curriculum design and teaching philosophy/approach/faculty need a thorough review/updating to address the needs of the many children (too many in our opinion), who are struggling with their dual-curriculum model.
JDS has been a wonderful experience for our child, from lower school through the Upper School. We've loved the strong academics (secular and Jewish), caring teachers and warm community. Highly recommend!
Please don't send your child to this school. They will benefit so much more from attending one of the schools in Montgomery County's pretty extraordinary public school system.The poor education that students receive at JDS for such an astoundingly high tuition is despicable. Students need to be in a diverse environment, they need to be challenged, they need to not have things handed to them. There's only a very specific type of kid that can fit the mold of JDS; when that's the case, you know there's a problem with the school.
I have had three very different children go through the School with different personalities and needs. They have all graduated as very successful and confident kids and the school has supported their diverse strengths and individual needs. On a couple of occasions, we needed particular help and went to see the Headmaster who could not have been more accommodating and worked with the team to help us through. This has been true for the Upper School leaders and teachers as well (I am sure it is true of the lower school too but has been years since I was there.) There will always be people with individual issues with the School or who didn't like a decision of the Headmaster, Principal or teacher and they will use these forums to try and get back. Also, there are people who have had a genuinely bad experience. However, as you can see from the majority of these posts, great school, great teachers and community, great leadership.
I love my school! Not only is the curriculum outstanding and the teachers passionate, committed and caring, the school promotes and encourages good citizenship in every area of its curriculum. For example, last week the school asked its 4th-6th graders to raise money for Save a Child's Heart, an organization that brings indigent children suffering from heart disease to Israel for life-saving surgeries. My 9-yd-old son was so inspired, he woke up early Sunday morning to make fresh apple juice, homemade yogurt pops and cookies to sell in our neighborhood and raised more than $80. And, all of the credit goes to our phenomenal school which instills amazing values in our children. Each year, I have felt like the teachers are a 3rd parent in my boys' lives, partnering with us to raise kind and caring citizens! Thank you CESJDS!! And, the academics are fantastic. If your child craves a challenging curriculum, there are teachers who are rigorous and demanding. And, if your child needs a little more encouragement, there are nurturing, motivating teachers. It's truly a very special place!
We have three kids, of various ages, at CESJDS in the lower school, and overall are very pleased with the school. The Lower School is very focused on the quality of its secular academics, with a particular emphasis on the mathematics program. We have found the school to be very receptive to working with parents to tailor the experience for a given child, and very open to placing children in a classroom with a teacher suited to that kid. The school is not proactive but it is responsive and a lot of genuine warmth and love has been directed to our kids from the teachers and administrators. On the Jewish side of things, it is very important to understand that CESJDS is focused on teaching Judaics in Hebrew ("ivrit beivrit"). The quality of the Judaics teaching, however, is much higher if your child is in the advanced Hebrew classes (Hebrew is tracked after 2nd grade). If your child is in the lower Hebrew track, the Judaics curriculum can be very weak. A major upgrade to the "Judaics in English" teaching and curriculum is essential if the school is to hold onto observant kids. The school does instill a sense of love of Israel and the more sentimental aspects of Judaism.