I think this is an academically strong and focused school. But if you have a child with a learning challenge that somewhat hampers their achievement but is not enough to warrant special instruction, they will feel shut out and stupid in comparison to the other kids. I have a child who tests intellectually gifted, but also has a learning disability and she can not find her footing in this school. There is also a very elitist "air" among some of the parents as if to not have a child that is a consistent A/B student is some kind of a defect. If you aren't super successful academically, then there is no room on the train for you is the feeling we come away with.
Two weeks into school year and teachers are doing a good job but slow to respond (understandable)... Pick and and drop off is atrocious... In line for drop off 20min before the bell and so slow.... School stops the drop off and tells all kids left in the line to get a late pass... Unacceptable... Pick up is as bad... Each car have a 4 digit number that the kid must memorize, when the parent pull up, the number is read over a loud speaker (I could not understand the number with the windows down, neither could half the kids)... 4 kids at a time... When you have hundreds of kids being picked up and it takes over 3 minutes for 4 kids, you would understand my frustration at the complete lack of efficiency in this process. My advice to parents; if you can walk, do it... If you are not the first kid to get picked up or the last to get dropped of, take the bus... To davis drive elementary, wake up and take notice, looks at other schools around you; forget the number and get the kids name listed, use 5th graders to help in the car pool and use 8 to 10 pick up spots since you have the room...
I find this school to be a really good school. Like any school you have good teachers and you have bad teacher. My child was have issues with reading and worked with us. Now he is reading at above level and proves great motives for continue success. They expect parents to help their child academically. I have seen parents expect all their child s academic needs to be resolved during schools hours. There will be a rule awaking. The administration is every helpful to fine resources if you get a bad teacher. Our second year at the school we had a bad teacher and met with the principle to work on a plan to get what my child needed. You will not like this school if you are not an involved parent with your child education. They have parental expectations.
I have three children who attend DDE. We love the school. The teachers are nurturing, caring and keep children engaged. While I do agree that the school is academically demanding, we have seen that encourage out children to do their best. They have each excelled in different areas: math, athletics, and the arts. They have all been praised individually and allowed to grow in their strengths. We cannot say enough good things about the administration and their daily involvement in lessons and character building as well.
We moved to a specific house to be close to DDE. Don't love the house, but the school is worth it. The teachers and administration are involved and invested. I would't be there otherwise. In this day of mult choices for schools, I feel DDE is a gem. I'm lucky to be there. The teachers work really hard to engage the kids, which excites the kids about learning. I wish I had teachers like this when I went to school.
The "10" high rating on this school is deceiving. It is a very high pressure school, that is way, way over crowded. If you child is not perfectly behaved, and also advanced academically, then your child will eventually feel as if they are not as "normal" as the highest achievers. We spent 5 years in this school. We watched it get so over crowded, that eventually special groups had to get cut: 4th grade chorus and all of the jump rope teams. If you are lucky to get a great teacher, then that's good for you, but with 6 classes per grade level, you only have a 1 in 6, or a 2 in 6, shot at getting a good teacher, each year. Instead of spending hours doing homework, the kids should have been taught those topics during the school day, but how could they, if they spent most of their time waiting in line, walking, etc? During one of the years, I was having to re-teach all of the topics every week. Thank goodness my kids won't be going onto overcrowded DD Middle school, and onto "Green Dope" High school, where I hear the pressure gets even worse...and there are only 2 paths: either excel onto an Ivy League college, or end up on drugs due to the high pressure.
My kids went to this school for 2 years. If you have an average child or a special needs child, then this school is NOT for you. Too much focus is placed on high achievers and parents of average children are forced to seek tutoring. My son started at a 6 reading level, and ended at a 7, while the rest of the class finished at a 23. Too many issues between administration, teachers, and PTA. No unity.
I have gone to this school ever since kindergarten to fifth grade, and this school has left behind lots of wonderful memories. The teachers are caring and thoughtful and quite funny. Plus, the environment is quite friendly. I would recommend this school to anyone.
If you are already a winner, this school might help. I am feeling sorry to write this but for my son who is in his current 3rd grade (2011-2012). English is not his mother tongue . He is having difficulty in reading, comprehending the stories beyond couple of pages. We understand he is struggling at his class. The teacher, in stead of showing us ways to to cope up the difficulties, she sends in the complaints everyday and blame him for not following the class. The way I look at it is that the teachers are just 'covering' the subjects and do not care individuals if falling behind. The more they are stuck, the more they will be neglected without helping. We moved from California last year and are facing the issues only this year. This means, he was good in his 2nd grade and is having tough time this year for his 3rd grade. I have no other choice than pointing out his teacher. She may be good her own pace. But may not be a right choice for kids that need help and support. If the race is only for the top students, then I say it is not fair. Some may be in the second layer and need little push. In a way, this forces us to spill out extra money for tuitions, outside teachers. But why?
Davis is a school of excellence year after year. Its students always come first. The teachers are selfless and donate their time and talents to acheive exceptional students. The staff and teachers are truely helping students well on their for lifes challenges and be be great societys contributors.