There is a real lack of Christian leadership at the school. Inexperienced Principals rely to heavily on advice from favored teachers. It is sad to find "politics" so embedded in a school whose mission states otherwise.
I said it in my review that finding a good teacher here is like finding a diamond in the rough. When you get one they are amazing!! But when you get the new, just out of college, (doesn't even have a teaching degree) teacher that, honestly really doesn't care, It's beyond frustrating. You'd think that at a school with such high tuition that you'd actually get 1/2 way decent teachers. Our other daughter was at Ravenscroft & at least they kept their teachers better.
I'm the odd parent out in that I don't want my daughter to come home and not have a life. The amount of homework this school places on these kids to try & make the school "look better" with higher test scores & better college acceptances, is the reason that depression is so prevalent in this generation of kids.
We are asking our kids to go work for 8 hours take a 3 hour break to do sports and have dinner then work another 6/8 hours.
NO. We don't demand grown adults working full-time jobs to work 14/16 hour days. (yes I know some people do but it is their CHOICE or they get time off after long shifts like these.)
They tried to change the school schedule to make it so students didn't have as much homework... they failed! Not only do they not have less homework, oh no just the opposite, they have even more than before!
I believe any private school ingrains this because of the demanding exceptions that are placed on these kids.
Private schools are do or die. If you don't keep a high enough GPA you are asked "to please not return next year".
I don't believe that it is taught I believe that it is ingrained through unmeetable expectations.
I couldn't decide whether to rate this school bad or terrible if I'm being completely honest. As a parent I can't say how disappointed I am in this school. Many of the children there are cruel and all the good teachers are leaving...(and you know what they say: all the good teachers leave first).
We moved our daughter her because it was incredibly close & she needed the extra help that couldn't be provided from public schools in Wake County.
Let me go ahead and inform you that if your child is the least but different & doesn't fit in the "cookie cutter mold" of every student at this school he/she will be miserable. In a class of 60/70 there is just no diversity AT ALL. Many (I say this because I know it's not all) of these kids also say they are "great christian" kids but if only you heard the stories from my child and my oldest child (who didn't attend) friends, you would know otherwise. These kids have got being 2 faced down to a science and it's sickening.
The teachers. Maybe it's because they are going this this major transition but every good teacher is leaving this school. It's a rare gem to find a good teacher here. Many of them are brand new, straight out of college, and determined to be as strict as possible so you know who's in authority. The teachers have been so awful that we have had to get tutors for our daughter. The worst part is, is that in high school these kids usually end up having the same teacher a couple of times.
It's also incredibly disappointing how stuck this school is on "tracks". I know it's true of most schools but once our daughter was put on the "regular" track she had to fight to even try taking the "advanced" classes and often got turned down.
We've tried to talk her into switching schools but she says she's happy doesn't want to have to start over again. It's a constant back & forth in our family of whether or not we should just move her.
The school has amazing new facilities and does everything so well, but it's really the incredible faculty that have made us fall in love with the school. Our kids simply love their school, and we see it all through their eyes. No place has 100% perfection, but from our experience, any time there have been issues of any sort -- academic, social or otherwise -- we've received wise, graceful, appropriate responses from the administration and faculty. We've often been amazed at the quality of the people there. The academics are challenging, but the teachers help our kids succeed. Our son who has graduated is at a great college and is doing very well, and our daughter is excelling in subjects she never thought she'd like until she got a teacher who inspired her. Overall, we have such warm fuzzies about our experience at St. David's.
The faculty are real people who care about our kids and display a real life that mirrors their words. The great thing is that it is not a school that believes in indoctrination; it's a place where students are free to express doubts and questions, and discussions are engaged in with caring faculty in an atmosphere that encourages character development. We are so grateful for the impact St. David's has had on our children!!
As a Lower School teacher, I am impressed by the academic rigor in the classroom while students are scaffolded, challenged, and best served to fit their needs. I probably take for granted the strong support of the parent community and how proactive parents are to partner with me as their child's educator. I have full support of the administration to help me pursue professional development opportunities, take risks in the classrooms with innovative projects, and utilize technology in a meaningful way. In terms of my colleagues, I work with passionate teachers whose priority is doing what's best for the student. My teammates encourage me to honor Christ through my teaching and to continually reflect to improve my teaching methods. My husband and I hope to send our daughter to St. David's once she is school age -- the commitment to faith/spiritual development, combined with phenomenal facilities and pursuit of academic excellence, make SDS a great fit for our growing family.
We moved to Raleigh for the sole purpose of bringing our children to St. David's, and it was the best decision we ever made. The pairing of strong academics with a genuine commitment to faith is undeniably unique, and St. David's pulls it off. Our children came from a prestigious independent school, but one that ignored spiritual development. Once we decided we were going to make a change, we realized that most schools were either strong academically OR committed to spiritual development, and we were dismayed to find that there were hardly any that had both. St. David's was one of the very few exceptions in the entire region. Now, one of our kids has graduated and is a successful college student, and the second is a senior and has been accepted into top tier schools. The teachers are truly amazing, and the facilities are great. Sports, fine arts, student life -- all top-notch. St. David's has prepared our kids for the spiritual challenges that college offers, and it has sent/is sending them off to college way ahead of most of their peers from other schools.
St. David's school is a high quality learning environment for our daughter. We moved to Raleigh this year from out of state and went through a long process of identifying the right school. We found St. David's to be the best fit for our family. The work is challenging and our daughter is constantly stretching her knowledge and skills. There is a blend of classwork, homework and practical application that logically progresses her along a learning path. We can see her confidence building as she adds new capabilities. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of St. David's is a continual pursuit of improvement. There is a Good to Great mentality that serves the students as well as the future of the school. We would highly recommend St. David's to others.