We had great expectations of Dawson, and were excited when my son started to attend the lower school. We could not have been more disappointed. It is not concerned with the "whole student" as they claim; nor is it a more progressive school than their peers in Las Vegas. Ask parents in the ecec and lower school and you'll hear a chorus of complaints about the school - focus on 'checking boxes' in the curiculum vs. actually helping kids to learn, rush to judgements about young children, tolerance of behavior such as bullying as long as they like the parents, teachers with no prior lower school or early childhood experience. Every parent I know there wishes they could leave, but unfortunately most of them are at Dawson because they also didn't like the alternatives. But, at least the alternatives tell you clearly what they believe in, vs. Dawson which pretends it is something it is not - a more open minded school focused on the whole student.
I am a grateful grandparent of a Dawson middle schooler. Coming from a failing public school after fourth grade, I have seen my granddaughter blossom in confidence, character and academic mastery. The transformative approach and nurturing atmosphere, combined with high expectations have produced more than her parents and I could have imagined. Next year she will graduate, prepared to take on our wonderful and complex world.
It has been interesting, to say the least to read some of these comments. I wonder sometimes what the motivation might be. My experiences have been enormously positive. My daughter came from the CCSD 4 years ago to Dawson. She came in to Dawson as a timid student and will graduate this year as a confident, kind and caring girl. She wants to continue learning and has a clear-cut vision for her future that has been fostered by caring, challenging teachers! The students at Dawson RISE to the challenge as opposed to "dumbing down" for students who need much more help. The students who need extra help at Dawson, get the help they need from wonderful teachers and support staff. I will be FOREVER GRATEFUL to the Alexander Dawson School!
I taught at AD several years ago. The admin. that I worked with were concerned for the students best interests, but seemed to be pawns for the wealthiest of parents. The school encouraged teachers to deliver a unique education, and when I was there, there were some really great instructors delivering great content. I do feel that a few parents with money and clout had undue influence ... If your child attends AD, just be aware pared to deal with your child's classmate's parents! If you are middle class or old money, it would be better to stay away from the nouveau riche class.
There have been many administration changes(Headmaster, Head of Middle School) which have affected staff morale. We spent 12 years there and experienced these changes. Lower School is still doing an exeptional job. Middle school needs a strong leader who knows about middle school curriculum. Hopefully the new 2011-12 Head of Middle School Head can provide leadership and curriculum knowledge. Sadly, many excellent Middle School teachers left due to fustration w/ the administration; some current Middle School teachers are arrogant and will cater to "parents who donate money to the school". Science and Math program are strong, but Middle School English teachers need to cooperate w/ one another. Pricey tuition; older students & parents can be "snobs" to those who receive financial need scholarship.
The obvious negative about this school is the cost. It's kind of insane. But if you can afford the tuition and are comparing this school to the other private schools, I have to tell you I am very, very happy with this school. This year is my daughter's third year at Dawson. She loves going to school and learning. She says her favorite subjects are math and science. That's crazy! The teachers here are over qualified and enthusiastic, and the staff really cares. I feel like my daughter gets to go to her second home every day with a second family who loves her. She has fun and is pushed at the same time. Dawson found that perfect balance that every parent wants for their child. There are some good public schools in Las Vegas, but paying the tuition at Dawson gets you an unbeatable teacher/student ratio, an amazing teacher every year, diverse and excellent electives and after school activities, and an administration that really cares for your child. I know the cost is insane, and they ask for annual donations to the school (which bugs me), but I feel there is no better use of my money, and there is definitely no better school and education and atmosphere than Dawson.
I am a college instructor and chose Dawson for my children because unlike the nearby public schools, Dawson prepares the whole child. While I believe the education at the public schools are adequate, Dawson fosters a love for learning. I am disappointed that several parents allow personal conflicts with administration to skew their opinion of a school whose pedagogy reflects years of research for successful learning that trusts the learning process. Perhaps average test scores reflect the accurate ability of a particular child, rather than the preparation provided by the school. Everyday, my daughter and son jump out of the car excited about learning. They offer 3 days of studio art, foreign language, physical education and science. The food is organic and healthy. A good percentage of the students are recipients of financial aid and represent a diverse socio-economic background. Dawson is a wonderful school.
I have three children at Dawson and they all began in the ECEC program. My husband and I are are both Ivy league educated and wanted a school that would prepare our children academically, but also teach them critical thinking, compassion and the importance of community. Dawson has provided all that and more. I could not be more thrilled with their education. Do they come home with tons of worksheets every night? NO, and thank goodness. They have some homework and there are always projects, but they work extremely hard in school and are given time after class to do sports, instruments, play with friends and be kids. My children are happy and their ERB scores were out of this world. All of our teachers have been wonderful. This school provides a safe, warm, positive and close environment that allows the children to thrive!
Alexander Dawson has been a wonderful experience for my daughter & our family. We are so impressed with every aspect of the ECEC program, ie. low teacher/student ratio, strong academic curriculum, wonderful art & music program, etc! The low teacher/student ratio allows the classes to be divided into smaller groups to facilitate a more individualized approach for reading, etc. As a result, my daughter is testing 1 grade level ahead of the public schools in Las Vegas and on the East Coast. I attribute this accomplishment to my daughter's love of learning & the wonderful & tailored instruction by her teachers. All of which is provided in a very loving & warm learning environment where all the staff know my daughter's name. Alexander Dawson's approach to learning encompasses the child as a whole & expands their horizons. It is a FABULOUS school!
Jealousy is an ugly thing, and some of the comments here reflect that. Unfortunately, Alexander Dawson is the most expensive school in the State of Nevada. But fortunately, it is also the absolute best school in the State of Nevada (K-8th), by far. There is a reason that the city s top executives send their children there, and keep them there. Test results don t lie. Now it is true that not every child has what it takes to succeed at Dawson, that s the real world. But if your child has what it takes, and you can get them in there. Don t hesitate.
Dawson is an amazing school, with a top-notch curriculum and caring, talented teachers. My two children are thriving there, academically and socially. The school's math program is especially strong. I highly recommend Dawson to families who are looking for a great school which is focused on the right things, not on rote learning, teaching to tests or excessive amounts of unproductive homework!
We have been searching for the right private school for my child. After touring the school campus, we were impressed but after doing a little more research and digging, it all seems pretty superficial. This school definitely has an elitist feel to it but with no real substance based on the other negative reviews. You would think that academic performance would be in proportion to the amount of money spent by parents. Unfortunately, Dawson is not doing justice to its students by providing them with an amazing cafeteria but only a sub-par education. Parents, be sure to ask for academic performance and do your comparison/research.
Dawson Middle School is not worth it. Current administrator is not qualified to run the Middle School. He is afraid of conflict and not well respected by his staff and parents. Curriculum in Middle School is not integrated and some teachers need to be replaced. They need to tell parents about the current mold problem !!!!
$20k+ etiquette school with no real learning! After spending that kind of money, I was amazed to discover my child is on the same level as my zoned public school... Unless you're looking to be a part of Summerlin socialite circles instead of providing for your child's education, I definitely recommend you reconsider going to Dawson.
My two little ones started pre-school there this past fall. They have enjoyed every moment at Dawson. It has been a great experience dealing with the teachers and staff. The art program is wonderful. My daughter has blossomed as an artist. My son has enjoyed their approach with learning the alphabet. We couldn't be happier with our choice of sending them to Dawson.
I have been going to a public school for 4 years and then I came to Dawson and I have loved here ever since I came.
My child is curently in the ECEC program at Dawson. We could not be happier. Where else can your child learn spanish before kindergarten. Also special classes in art, PE and music. We could not be happier.
ECEC at this school and it's current teachers/ leadership is less than desirable. In talking with many of the parents they have similar and stronger feelings. A great deal of emphasis is on fundraiaising and not what is most important... the children's overall education. Many of the children in Pre-K are there for the 2nd year and 5 + years old. Overall feel is that many wealthy families send their children here for the amenities & reputation. I would consider other institutions in the area when deciding what your child's first formal learning experience will be. Unless you are more interested in who you know and what you/they have opposed to what your child will learn.
We couldn't be happier! New administration is making the school even better than it was before. Great balance and exposure to so much, like Latin, Mandarin, competitive sports, jazz band. Our two kids' ERB test scores have been off the charts, so academically it's going as good as we expected.
This is an awful school. My children attended last year and we pulled them out for this school year due to the poor staff. Not to mention the headmaster. This school is not worth the tuition. I do not recommend this school.
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