Teachers, administration and school counselor work hard on character development. I see it during morning announcements, signs at the school, teacher/student discussions, and Mr. Smith, who goes class to class to specifically teach healthy, kind ways to interact with others.
I have had at least one child at DES since 2006. We have had an amazing experience and I cannot express enough gratitude to the caring, capable teachers and involved parents. There will always be people who like to complain, no matter where their child(ren) attend school (and no school is perfect), so please keep this in consideration when reading any overly negative comments. Just about every parent at DES would recommend our school as one of the best for sure.
Davidson is thought to be a forward-thinking and cohesive town and the expectation is a wonderful town elementary school. Any given day, as you enter the school, the parent involvement is impressive (at times overwhelming bordering on irritating) and welcoming but it bolsters this school far too much giving a false-sense of quality and belonging. Contingents of parents exist that are chronically inside the classrooms 'volunteer teaching' every day of the week without degrees only to turn around and discuss other children's issues with other parents. I think having parental involvement is wonderful but this set-up presents privacy issues there should be more appropriate ways to engage parents and it shouldn't replace teaching. Leadership here espouses an 'us against them' mentality pitting teachers/staff against parents in the face of issues that could be resolved with simple and professional communications. Students are treated like prisoners in the cafeteria and lunch is overseen by cafeteria staff untrained in childhood development; children being yelled at (including by the principal) for simply talking in this overcrowded lunch space and not permitted to use the restroom in a timely manner resulting in children who are too old to be having accidents, wetting their pants. Conversation over a meal is a basic human instinct and a wonderful way to build community and friendships; disallowing conversations between classmates and friends is more damaging than DES realizes. Testing here (even in k-2) is the priority, teachers fail to discuss the whole-child, which misses the mark big time and doesn't prepare our children for success outside of school in social situations (and we wonder why the next generation is turning out social failures at a higher rate than boomer generation). Recesses, in some cases, are scheduled at the very end of the day (probably due to overcrowding) and sometimes is revoked if the class is 'unruly' which I find grossly counterproductive for young minds. Each week, I am saddened to learn of another parent who is dissatisfied with the way things are being run here and deciding to explore other options. Davidson deserves a better elementary school and real-deal leadership. Unfortunately, a split from the CMS machine doesn't sound possible so do your homework before enrolling and attempt to really understand what you are committing to.
My daughter is an African American child and has been at this school from the beginning. She is a rising 4th grader and is in the school's talent development program. I am extremely pleased with the staff. I moved to Davidson ONLY because of the great reviews of this school. I am grateful for this school. My daughter is at the top of her class and her academic achievement is recognized and rewarded.
I have had 3 kids go all the way through CMS from DES to DIB (now gone) to North and Hough. There are no such thing as perfect schools, and to those of you looking, good luck. I have found happiness and success working with my kids teachers and the school administration. There have been weak spots, but they were always addressed when appropriately discussed.
My only issue with CMS has to do with the NC legislature that ties the hands of our schools and does not respect/pay our teachers well. They cut funds, return a portion and claim to be "in support of public education.
To focus on the schools, however, I would like to say thank you to the great staff of DES. I will particularly call out Ms. Walker, Mr Underhill, Ms. Underhill, Ms. Ford (gone), Mr Smith and Mr. Rabb. Please know you have been instrumental in the lives of my kids. I will continue to fight for you and public education in NC. You are all amazing.
The custodial staff and cafeteria workers and all support staff are special as well. Thank you.
Entirely too focused on testing, to the point that teachers and administrators can focus on nothing else. An extremely mixed bag of teachers and extremely poor leadership. It's a shame that a school with such potential is not coming close to meeting it.