Our kids attend DDS and I have to say overall that we are pretty happy with mostly everything. The one thing we disagree with along with a lot of other parents is the fact that they want to keep growing the enrollment size when they first need to fit the size of the current enrollment. Sports is a big part of all schools and is important socially as well. When you have so many great teams both female and male we should have our own practice and game fields. It's a joke we have no football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse fields for out kids to play on. One small field does not cut it. For the price of the school buy some land already and build some fields for these kids.
My kids have been at Davidson Day for 7 years and we are most pleased with the quality of education and the overall experience. The teachers are most responsive to the students and parents. The athletic opportunities have been wonderful with high quality teams fielded in many sports.emphasized. Extracurricular opportunities are significant for such a small school. The music appreciation courses are off the charts good with high quality teaching. Davidson Day offers one of the best HS archaeological programs in the Nation. Summer trips to Belize and Spain for digs are offered and supported by conferences that offer an exceptional opportunity for students to experience college level archaeology. Socially, the school is still small and developing. Some grades are small particularly in the number of females. This has improved over time but can still be an issue for high school students looking to make friends and find groups where they have commonality. Overall, Davidson Day is a great school and is improving and maturing over time. We are blessed to have been a part of their family for so long and appreciate the opportunity we have had toward the development of our children.
Our children have been at Davidson Day for two years now... and their growth has exceeded my expectations. The difference is in the educators. They are passionate about helping children grow and really seem to enjoy their jobs. The new headmaster is outstanding and the improvements keep coming year after year. At Davidson Day, I know my children are getting exposure to so many different areas and opportunities.
My kids (middle school and high school ages) have definitely been challenged at DDS so I cannot concur with the parent viewpoint of worksheets instead of differentiation (not sure what grade level his/her children were). My kids love DDS and I have been VERY happy with the leadership and teachers. The education my children have received over the past 3 years far exceeds many other settings. I am an educator myself with over 20 years experience in public and private school education so I did my homework before selecting DDS. As for the teacher commenting on the football team, I find that comment very unfair. I wonder if that teacher is aware the football team GPA for the first quarter was 3.059. Of the 36 Varsity players, 27 earned a GPA of at least 3.0 and 2 others were at 2.953! This is impressive and truly shows they are student-athletes (notice the student comes first!). I don't think this speaks to academics being sacrificed. What this shows is a school can excel in all areas: academics, arts, and sports! DDS is striving to offer and celebrate the success of various programs that continue to enhance the educational experience of all students.
This school was not academically challenging enough for my children. We were promised differentiation but all they received were worksheets, worksheet, worksheets. The "accelerated" classes are a joke as 1/3 of the class is put into them. Children of our friends that left last year had to retake subjects when they moved to other schools because they were so far behind academically. Many of the parents are quite pretentious here as well. We should have figured that out after the open house. Don't let the glitz at the open house fool you (unless that is what you are looking for). Do your homework and don't make the same mistake we did, especially if you have academically accelerated children.
Davidson Day School was founded in 1999 in the heart of educationally historic Davidson, North Carolina, just down the street from Davidson College. Davidson Day is an independent school that serves over 500 students from 2 years old through 12th grade and is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Davidson Day cultivates academic excellence through collaboration, creativity, and character development. Each student is offered an active, challenging learning environment through our broad array of programs. We strive for our students to be: Independent thinkers who articulate their ideas with confidence Students who advocate for themselves and others Engaged students who take intellectual risks Critical thinkers who are enthusiastic problem solvers Lifelong learners who chart their own paths in college and life Respectful ethical citizens who are adept at addressing global challenges To achieve these goals, we keep our class sizes small (average student: teacher ratio is 9:1), so our students benefit from individualized attention. Many of our teachers and administrators also lead artistic endeavors, coach sports and sponsor co-curricular clubs, so that they get to develop strong personal relationships with students in a range of settings. The School also has a Learning and Enrichment Center that offers assistance to students with learning differences as well as enrichment opportunities for students who are ready to move more quickly. Beyond its strong academic program, the School has a robust performing arts program including drama, music and band, performing in a newly renovated theater. We offer a rich assortment of athletic opportunities for Middle and Upper School students. Davidson Day also offers 7th-12th graders the chance to study abroad in archaeological field schools in Belize and Spain. In Upper School, our College Counselor helps students chart a path to the college of best fit, ensuring they are successful and fulfilled once they graduate from Davidson Day School.
My children have been enrolled at DDS for multiple years now. The school has indeed gone through growing pains but I've never felt better about its operations. The Pros? Previously, the board and administration kept information close to the vest. Over the past couple of years, there's been a complete turnaround. The education and teacher quality remains high as it always was; however, communication is much improved. We know more about what's going on at the school and with our kids' grades and if we don't, a quick visit to the front office or the teacher rectifies that. I can call the finance office and speak to a real person. I can ask how my money is being spent and I'm told. The Heads of School have been extremely responsive to very specific concerns of mine. The Cons? The PTO is a bit cliquey but if you make a sincere effort to volunteer in the offices or the classrooms, you are greeted with open arms. My daughter needs additional help in a subject area and I do have a tutor from outside assisting her. (To be fair - the school has offered me assistance for additional fees.) In sum, we are all very happy and we plan to stay with the school through our children's graduations.
Davidson Day is a school with incredible potential. It's biggest downfall is its Board. The board appears as though they want a leader, yet they do not let the Head of School lead. This school is a case of the loudest voice gets what they want. The amount of educational experience behind the Head of School and Heads of the Lower, Middle & Upper school is so great that the Board members can not relate, therefore they have no idea how to let someone that knows what they are actually doing, lead and make decisions that are best for the school. It appears the only real concern of the board is the business side. If the board would let the Head of School actually lead, the business side will take care of itself. Instead the board is relying on families making monetary donations, & with that the department in charge of raising money for the school is extremely incompetent. The board doesn't realize that there are more people then not,that are at the school, & want to continue to pay tuition for high quality education than people that are there because of how they feel independent schools look as a socioeconomic status.
Davidson Day is on its way to becoming a school of pure excellence. The current Head Master and his division heads are directing the school in the direction of the highest quality educational experience in the area. The attention to the overall well rounded and balanced experience including academics and extra curricular activities is what will put this school on the map. The parent organization group/Parent Council's(PTA) focus of building community is an extremely positive added bonus. I couldn't imagine my child going any where else.
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