I will admit that the academics at this school are very good, but my experience there was what lead to me leaving after only one year. I attended GDS for 7th grade on a scholarship/financial assistance basis and this was enough for my classmates to decide that I wasn't like them. I found the other kids there to be very elitist and spoiled. Another girl and I were horribly bullied because our families did not attend the country club or make a lot of money like the other parents. I had a boy in gym class harass me and when I stood up for myself, the teacher told me to apologize for being rude. The boy's mother worked at the school. My parents were also made to feel unwelcomed at functions by the teachers and other parents. At the end of the year, the principal sat down with me and my mother and said that maybe GDS was not a good fit for me. We could not have agreed more and I still consider that year my worst experience at school I've had. GDS may be nice for some kids and their families, but it is certainly not for anyone. The good education does not make up for feeling like a cast out among all of your classmates.
This is our second year at GDS. We were at a highly sought after magnet school in CMS until 2nd grade when we realized public school just wasn't going to be a good fit for our child. It was a tough decision to lose our spot at the magnet school, but it turned out to be a wonderful change. My son went from a class of 27 to about 13. He had so much stress about going to school before and now loves it. The teachers at GDS are warm and nurturing and I always see them teaching through fun themes and hands on activities. I also love how they implement character education into the curriculum and take the time to teach the students solid principles. I feel that GDS, although small, has diversity on several levels. Also worth mentioning is that the after school program is great and the cafeteria food is surprisingly tasty and nutritious. There is a great sense of community and the sports programs are very much supported. We can't wait for middle school soccer. I really appreciate that the school environment is much more welcoming and relaxed for parents and students. It is well worth the 25 minute drive from Charlotte and I have even met parents who commute from South Charlotte. GDS is simply more capable of meeting the various learning needs of students than other schools due to their smaller class sizes. My child is in the learning academy program a couple times a week which he enjoys very much. He enjoys that one on one time and it allows him to get his work done more efficiently so he has more time to focus on his sports and other after school activities.
I have two children; one of whom is a student in a local public high school (his choice). My youngest began GDS as a kindergartner in 2013. As a parent who has had children in both private and public school systems, I can unequivocally say that the education my youngest child is receiving at GDS is far and away the very best and the most well rounded that the area has to offer. What does my family find so appealing about GDS? Challenging academics. Forward thinking methods of teaching reading, mathematics and writing. Emphasis on critical thinking in all areas of instruction. Teachers who know my child---truly know him---and care about not only his education but also his emotional well being. Administrators who know my child by name and welcome him to school with huge smiles each day. Frequent updates and contact with both teachers and administration. An extremely active PTA. Extracurricular activities that are well planned and supported by parents, teachers and administrators. Excellent after school care and summer camp with awesome staff . For these reasons and many more we are excited to be returning to Gaston Day this fall. -E. Cahill
As a parent of a student who graduated from Gaston Day School in 2012 and one who will graduate in 2015, I agree with the majority of the reviews but was AMUSED at the review regarding the colleges that students go on to attend. Dartmouth, Princeton, Northwestern University, Boston University, Vassar, NYU, Georgetown, George Washington University, Emory and more seems like an amazing list of schools to me. These are schools that are currently attended by recent GDS graduates. The elitism and ignorance of some people never ceases to amaze me! Many students, along with their parents, make decisions to go to quality state supported schools for their undergraduate studies and spend the larger tuition bills on their graduate schools. Gaston Day prepares our children for college in ways that is invaluable....our students continuously return to thank their teachers for what they did to prepare them. I know my child has sent many messages back to teachers and whenever is back home never ceases to return to GDS to visit faculty. Both of my children are "lifers" meaning they started and finished their education at Gaston Day and it was money very well spent!
What an amazing year we have had at Gaston Day. My son's Kidergarden teacher and assistant are excellent. They have focused on teaching him subjects as well as teaching him social behavioral skills and life lessons. They are very communicative so I always feel like I am connected to his daily activities and know how I can assist at home. The have nurtured my son and he has such a love and respect for them, as well as the administration. He rides the bus and that has been a huge time saver for me and a great way for him to meet other GDS students in our area. We are very happy with our school choice.
I graduated from Gaston Day in 2002 and was fully prepared when I attended college. Before attending Gaston Day, I went to another Independent School and it was not living up to what was promised--hence me going to Gaston Day. I am still in contact with teachers and fellow classmates from my time there. The school is a safe and caring place that will push you in ways you did not know existed. I am a better adult because of my time at Gaston Day and it spurned my interest to be a teacher myself. I would highly recommend Gaston Day to anyone. The facilities are beautiful and the teaching is top notch and it is only going to get better.
As a Gaston Day Alum, I can say I whole heartedly enjoyed my nine years at GDS. Its combination of great academics and outstanding athletics certainly are impressive, but what sets GDS apart in my mind is the faculty and staff who truly are invested in every students well-being. I can honestly say that I had some of the most caring teachers who I still keep in touch with five years later. GDS values the whole student and truly prepares every student for college and beyond. If you are looking for a place where everyone knows your child's name and is invested not only in their education but also their overall well-being then GDS is the perfect place.
When choosing a school for our children 18 years ago, we decided to invest in our children's future. It's been a fantastic investment in character development, study skills, college preparation and global consciousness. Our older son is now a senior at UNC Chapel Hill, a double major in Finance and English, president of the Kenan-Flagler undergrad business school's Marketing Club and a Director of their Finance Society; he studied Mandarin in Beijing, interned in NYC. He's interviewing for jobs now; he's been flown to Jax, Florida and now Santa Monica, California by interviewing firms. He will tell you that he was fully prepared for the rigors of successful college academics. Our younger son is a senior at Gaston Day this year where his teachers and counselors are assisting him as he makes college choices (UNC, USC, Duke, NYU) and prepares for interviews and applications. But they don't do the work for him; they are there as resources and to guide in his journey. The school encourages the students to try new opportunities and discover the best within them. At Gaston Day, it's "cool" to be smart and prepare for college! We are grateful every day that we chose Gaston Day!
Gaston Day provided a wonderful school experience, I was a student there for 10 years and let me just say that it is the best education I could have imagined. Now that I'm in college I use lessons I learned at GDS every day in my classes and in my social life. Thanks to Gaston Day I have wonderful memories of grade school and I am making fantastic memories in college.