Our family has had a great experience with the talented, intelligent teachers who go above and beyond every day. They are truly what make the school so wonderful. Their creative curriculum and engaging class activities make our children excited to go to school. However, it seems the current administration is driving down morale, and many of our children's favorite teachers are leaving or seem stressed. To their credit, these teachers don't ever quit on the kids, despite frustrations with ever-changing mandates. The Dawson faculty is simply the best.
Echoing the perspectives expressed in previous reviews, our experience has also been that this school's culture is distinctively not inclusive, and that culture also pervades student relations in the classroom. This school is heavily branded in the Vegas area as "the best", and it has some fine attributes: great security and facilities, some outstanding teachers, and a breadth of enrichment programs. But we didn't feel like we were experiencing "the best" of educational offerings in the area when we saw bullying in the classrooms, and a moderate to high faculty turnover rate.
We are new to Dawson this year and I am troubled by the previous review. Contrary to their experience, we have two middle school students and we have never been part of a school that is as accepting and supportive of them. From the caring and talented teachers to leaders that articulate the 'how and what' sets Dawson apart, it has been a great transition to a great community for our family. I feel the school cares about the overall development of my children, beyond their academic achievement. They are able to tap into their interests and passions and my children can't wait to get to Dawson, every morning. We couldn't ask for more!
We came to Dawson thinking it was an open and welcoming environment for our child. Instead, we found a school that heavily favors some families above others and disregards the I put of their capable teachers. What the teachers try to build here is destroyed by the administration's obsession with the next big donor, and the children suffer as a result.
My son was accepted into the summer college-bound program here, based on exceptional grades, counselor recommendation, and outstanding citizenship. After three days he was informed that he was being dropped due to them not being willing to work with his Dyspraxia (a primarily handwriting disability which they knew he had before accepting him). They didn't even allow him back to say good-bye to the friends he had met, and they were demeaning and humiliating when they informed me he was being 'released'. Students who don't fit into the Dawson mold are not welcome here.
I attended the Alexander Dawson School for three years and I can honestly say it was one of the greatest decisions my parents and I ever made. Since 'graduating', I now attend one of the top 5 boarding schools in the country. If it hadn't been for Dawson, I would not be where I am today--applying to the Ivy Leagues and preparing for the real world. The teachers at Dawson have a genuine interest in the students and the curriculum is far more advanced. I recall getting A++ at my public school and feeling bored with the material, but Dawson challenged me. It helped me grow as a writer, athlete, and thespian. Besides juggling college visits and APs, I am a cross country runner, a writer in the school paper, a member of the student council, and an actress. Dawson challenging me has helped me succeed; it helped me receive scholarships to 8 of the best schools in America and it has helped me become the person I am today. True, I am still growing, but Dawson has been the foundation for all that I've done and for that I am thankful. If you can afford it (or manage to receive a scholarship), consider sending your child here. I can assure you you and your son/daughter will not regret it.
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.