The elementary schools are great, very nurturing. In 6th grade, they give the kids a few weeks to settle in, then college starts. And you're pretty much on your own. That is, your child is on their own. They must operate completely independently, sink or swim. If your child is a star, this is a great school for your family. If not, you had better be prepared to have a full support structure at home, as many families do. The school is too massive and bureaucratic. The assistant principals are prison guards. If your child has any sort of difficulties in the school, pack up and move. Save yourself a lot of grief. They DON'T CARE.
Very disappointing. They don't take into account the adjustment from elementary school to middle school. Very large class sizes. Teachers just send the kids to the "teacher pages" to get the assignments. Not very hands-on. Some of the teachers are joyless and out of touch with the fact that they are teaching middle school, not college. They just pile on homework, tests, and stress. What about learning? If you are thinking of moving to Scarsdale "for the schools," think twice. The elementary schools are okay. Middle and High Schools are extremely high-pressured. Not worth the taxes.
Overall our elementary and middle school experience has been very good and overall exceptionally better than other school districts we experienced. The pros are: great environment, well organized schedule, moderate homework, frequent quizzes to check on student needs, learning methods similar to college where the child is given more responsibility to research and study on their own without a lot of teachers hand holding, well educated teachers, responsive teachers, excellent language, music and PE programs, very good art program, large system with lots of after school clubs. Teachers available for after school help. Cons are: Parent teacher meetings are 3 minutes per teacher which is not enough time, but teachers are open for one on one communication any time. The art program in middle school is only for one quarter, and should be extended to the whole year. Parents have to spend and invest time in the evening if you want your child to excel to a B or A level student. Teachers seem to breeze over subjects rather than drill down into them, and may be this is good preparation for more high school and college levels. This is where, as parents, we see the need to be more involved.
This school is great! As a student, I think I have more authority and experience than a parent and less bias than a teacher. I have had a great experience here and I'm sad to be going to high school! This school emphasizes critical and creative thinking skills and I have extreme respect for all my teachers. Every teacher is different but I find them all to be intelligent, professional people. Parents in Scarsdale tend to get upset over small instances or if their child isn't doing as well as they'd hoped. If you ever run into the mother of an SMS student, there's a fifty-fifty chance the mother will complain about "academic stress." I agree that this school is more stressful than elementary school and than other middle schools in the state, but of course you would expect a higher degree of intensity in one of the best public schools in the country. I think most of the issues people are experiencing are because of the coddling nature parents have for their elementary schoolers and then middle schoolers as well.
If your child is an independent learner and overachiever this is the perfect school. If your child needs ANY additional help, go elsewhere. The house counselor is jovial and pretends to be dialed into everything but there's no substance behind it. Our child struggled with the transition to middle and the grades reflect that. We have been asking, calling, emailing for months searching for options on how to better manage and improve. We have never been given an executable plan and the lack of follow-up is laughable. There seems to be an effort to silence the voice of families who are dissatisfied as not tarnish the stellar reputation of a Scarsdale education. I'd like to point out that my child is a C student, not failing, not excelling which equates to a blatant black hole of zero attention from faculty. As a parent I feel duped and fed up.