I have four children at PDS in lower and middle school. We have had an amazing experience from an academic and services standpoint. The teachers are delightful and actually enjoy their job. Everyone representing PDS is lovely and greets you with a warm smile. The families who attend the school have been wonderful. To all of the complainers, there is no perfect school and it is impossible to please everyone. As for the special attention to the donors comment, that is a given, if you are helping to contribute outside of tuition why wouldn't you show appreciation to those people after all the donations benefit all students!!!!!
There are some great teachers and families here. The facilities are amazing and will get even better with the new upgrades. The Math and Science programs are very well known to be stellar. However, here are some things to think about:
1. If you child is not a super top achiever in their class, they will suddenly find them- selves in the bottom quantile in their graduating class and will have virtually no options for college (and the bottom will have a 3.4 GPA, just for reference).In this case your child is MUCH better at a public school.
2. The school relentlessly recruits so imagine: your child has been there for a decade and all of a sudden isn't able to play on the school team.Most people are fine with their child being ousted by a legitimate student athlete; however, usually the new student is more of an athlete than a student.
3. In a matter of two years, 2 students have come out as transgender - which is totally fine and no one is hateful or discriminatory. However, when a child asks a "legitimate" question of: do they play on the girl's team or the boy's team in a particular sport, they are suddenly threatened by a teacher with expulsion or suspension because the question is potentially a "hate crime".
I think PDS has a long list of merits. They do a particularly great job of helping the VERY smart kids and the NOT SO smart "athletic" kids. The kids in the middle are sorta SOL and will find thier college options limited. If you are a fan of liberal education and liberal arts programs then this is the perfect place for you. If your child is interested in science, medicine, or math - this is likely the place to be for them.
While the global learning theme and the diversity emphasis is interesting, I find this school very liberal for my taste. If you are a white, Anglo-Saxon, Christian, conservative family, you will not feel represented here--nor will your child feel represented amongst all the celebrations, as they are very, very careful to avoid referencing anything Christian but they will teach Jewish and African dance and music. All the Jewish holidays, the black history and other "diverse" celebrations are acknowledged but I have not seen a single Catholic/Christian or European tradition specifically celebrated.....not during the holidays, nor the art, nor the music classes. So if this is how you want to spend your $25K educating your child, then great! As my child explained---"I know every country and capital in Africa and I can sing several new Jewish holiday songs, but I can't point out a single country in Europe that I didn't already know. Wow.
While committed to staying at PD, I believe there are many other schools with more value for tuition than this school. The school is very inward focused versus student focused. While my child will get a good education here, it will not be a true reflection on their learning nor has it ever inspired extended learning.
Avoid this school. Not worth the money or the added stress. There are other private schools in Charlotte that teach "each" child's learning abilities versus teaching just a large group of children like PDS. PDS doesn't want to deal with children that "they" think aren't meeting their benchmarks, and will ask you to leave their school. Zero loyalty. Ask the local area professionals such as the psychologists, and the speech therapists their thoughts on PDS. You probably will be surprised at the answers.
I have two children, a freshman and a junior that have attended PDS since kindergarten. In my view there is not a better school for my my childrens' care and academics. It is rigorous, but with many academic levels to choose from. PDS IS quick to identify my childrens' social and acedemic challenges but then also to work with me to help my children. I refer to them as "my villagers". I am not "wealthy" but spend much of my discretionary income (admittedly with no financial aid) to provide the best possible education for my children. I am a working, single mother who cannot afford to "endow" the school with much more than tuition and have little time to volunteer at PDS. I am judged for neither by PDS. When disagreements occur with teachers or administrators, we've worked through them constructively for good mutual outcomes. There is genuine care and consideration for the child and the family at this school. PDS faculty and staff have been TOP NOTCH and I have never regretted the decision to get the very best education and care for my children, now 11 years into it at PDS. My kids are even bigger fans than I!
PDS does indeed have low tolerance for learning disabilities in children. Ask some parents who actually have children in the lower school at PDS. Most children with learning disabilities are tagged and asked to leave the school. Be careful of the glowing reviews. More than likely their from the administrators of the school.
In response to the parent that says PDS has no tolerance for learning disabilities this is flat out false. I went to Providence Day and I have a learning disability that makes it so I process information slower than other students. The teachers and administrators at the school made sure I got the attention I needed to succeed. In response to another post PD is diverse. PD tries to include all viewpoints and people. On the LGTBQ issue listed below I had multiple friends and teachers that identified with this community. Also PD is ACCEPTING of new students. On my first day of school people came to sit WITH me at a table because I was alone on my first day and I was elected class president less than a month after joining the school. Also PDS has a brilliant Global Studies program that tries to give students a more worldly view.