My daughter has attended Carden Memorial for the past 8 yrs and has flourished there. The teachers and staff are wonderful and they truly care about the children. The Carden philosophy instills in students a sense of values, integrity and respect. They have a solid academic foundation and also a focus on the arts. My daughter used to be very shy but has really gained confidence through speaking at devotionals, performing in plays, singing, and playing in orchestra. What really impresses me is that the teachers seem to recognize each student's strengths and guide them in further developing them. I think Carden is an excellent school and I feel confident that my daughter will leave there with a well-rounded education.
Sadly, Carden Memorial School is on a downward spiral. This once great school is being held captive by certain administrators and business managers (wolves in sheeps chothing with chesire smiles) who are vying for power and control. If there is still a board of directors, they have abdicated their responsibility, allowing the direction of the school to plumet . Please clean house, dust off the cobwebs, get those skeletons out of the closet, make ammends for your vagrant errors, hire qualified teachers and administrators, get accredited and revise your curriculum to meet with today's demands. There are many who will help restore and improve this precious gem. There are many alumni and former staff that would be willing to advise and assist. As other reviews on this page have indicated, students are below average when returning to public school and more and more Carden students are returning to public school.
I've been a Carden parent for 10 years. The first thing that attracted me to the school was their phenomenal approach to teaching reading and emphasis on classic literature. A close second was their emphasis on courtesy and integrity in a nurturing environment- where teachers truly know and care for each individual. A Carden graduate who takes advantage of all the school has to offer leaves with a solid educational foundation for high school and enhanced personal character. In spite of rumblings from some about the recent change in ownership, most of the faculty and administration remain the same, and the few changes I've seen actually benefit the students. The essence of what makes Carden great remains unchanged. In my opinion, a Carden education is one of the best gifts a parent can give a child.
Negaive: When my children were tested by our neighborhood school, they were found to be behind in math skills. Other families who have left Carden have also found their students to be behind in reading (speed, spelling and comprehension). Positive: An understanding of History (particularly American History) is a super-strength of the Carden Memorial education.
I would like to comment on some of the negative comments that I have read. I have been a part of Carden for most of my life...as a student, a parent, and a teacher (who has also taught in the public system). 1) Carden is NOT a Mormon school. The teachers do their best to keep Bible study very non-demoninational. However, we do live in Utah, which has a high concentration of LDS people, so of course, there are many LDS teachers and students. 2) Carden graduates ARE prepared for public school, and are typically more advanced than their public school peers. Concepts such as long division and multiplication are taught 1-2 years earlier than in public school. By third grade, students know nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and can conjugate verbs in different tenses. Cursive is taught in first grade. Many graduates go on to take honor's, concurrent enrollment, and AP classes. 3) Teachers are DEFINITELY qualified to teach. A college degree is required. Training goes on for teachers each summer and every week at staff meeting. There are mentor and lead teachers to help newer teachers also. 4) Most importantly to me as a parent and a teacher is that Carden students LOVE school!
Carden is a fabulous school. I attended Carden growing up and I loved going to school each day. The teachers care about the students and want them to succeed. I can remember every teacher I had and how much they cared about me, my character, and my success not only academically but also emotionally . The classroom atmosphere at Carden is quiet and students are respectful of their teachers and classmates. After graduating from Carden, I went to a public high school and found the honor and A.P. classes to be easy as I had been well prepared and taught at Carden. I was also disappointed to find how many students in the public high school I attended cheated or wanted an easy A without doing any work. I was taught at Carden integrity, and how to learn and to study and not just to memorize facts. How to apply learning to life. I love how students at Carden say after a lesson, "Thank you for the lesson (teacher's name)." I carried gratitude for the lessons I was taught on with me into High School, College, and even now for enrichment classes I take. Carden prepared me so well that I had scholarships for both my undergraduate and Masters degrees.
We were so excited to send our son to this school, but we ultimately ended up very disappointed. I don't know about the older kids, but I felt they expected way too much from the pre-kindergartners. My son ended up in trouble all the time because he was disruptive and played too rough at recess because there was very little playtime in the classroom. He was expected to sit very still and work on worksheet after worksheet. I believe my son became very bored and had way too much pent up energy. In the spring we were told our son would not be welcome back into their kindergarten program. I have a real problem with a school that would give up so easily on a 4 year old! On the plus side, we really liked the small number of students, the way they teach manners and politeness, and the french classes were fun too. All in all, there have been some major administrative changes, and I do not believe they have been for the better.
I will start off that I know that this school is not perfect, and that recently there have been quite a few changes going on recently in the school, but this is an amazing school. I am a graduate from Carden, and my family has been heavily involved with it through out the years. When I got to public schools I felt fully prepared, and I excelled in High School, and now in my University studies as well. I will say that who I am today, was the result of how much effort the teachers put in to help and motivate me in all that I did. I cannot compare it to other private schools, but compared to my experience in public school, Carden was the best thing for me hands down. You learn morals and ethics, and the staff strives to help your child succeed, they did with me, and I was not an easy kid to put up with at times. In Public school, I had very few teachers who seemed to really care, and of those only a few who made a significant impact, yet at Carden, Just about everyone of my teachers made an enormous impact on me, and I can remember every teacher I had there from 1st grade to 8th grade, and what they did for me. I will highly recommend this school
If your child is brown or has any spirit, do not send them to this school. They will squash their spirit or if not, they will try. My daughter was put into an almost 3 hour time out when they were trying to make a point. She is out of there now and in counseling.
We have had our children at Carden for 4 years now. We will be switching next year to our local public school. I h liked many things about Carden, mostly the atmosphere of respect and the morals and values taught to the children. We have had some wonderful teachers, whom I feel truly love the children they teach. Some of the negatives of Carden have already been mentioned in other posts. Complete lack of parental involvement and communication between parent/ teachers. Many of the teachers do not have the appropriate education. I am disappointed with the academics, wondering if my kids will be up to spped next year at public school. The teachers are not allowed to question the current methods or Mr.& Mrs. Jeffs ancient rules and procedures. They do not seem too concerned to be losing 2 students as I have yet to have anyone ask me why we are leaving, or what they could do to keep us there. Maybe there are enough students in waiting that they don't need to keep the current families happy.