Some teachers are amazing and worth every sacrifice that families make to send their children to private school. Other teachers are well below average, and sadly the administration seems to value teacher autonomy over good management that fosters excellence and accountability. With multiple children you see the teachers stepping into the same old, same old curriculum, which grows more stale each year. By comparison, other schools strive to innovate and capitalize on what a gift it is to teach bright students from families completely committed to education. Despite this serious criticism, the community is wonderful and the children benefit so much from their peer groups. The school does seem to take criticisms seriously and it may eventually move toward greater teacher accountability (hopefully firing some poor performers in the lower grades), greater collaboration, and more meaningful educational innovations that benefit gifted children.
Today we had terrible school tour here.My son and I almost were pushed outside of the school by the admission lady when we were finally there after more than one hour's driving. I called the admission office telling them we were going to be late for around 10 mins due to the terrible traffic on 522. But I was told they didn't have my name at all! I told her I registered the tour from the school website. Anyway she said she could sign me up now. However, when we finally be there, she totally changed her attitude. She said "you had to rearrange another tour, not today" I was so shocked by her attitude, I said I drove more than one hour here. She began to push me and my son out of the tour classroom. I don't understand what is going on. And the lady's attitude was so bad that made my son scared. He almost cry and told me he felt bad. He refused to come to this school anymore, This horrible experience terrified us. We choose not come back anymore.
Seattle Country Day is one of those rare and magical places that every parent wishes they could find for their child. This is an authentic school (not just a slogan) that serves the needs of gifted students. It is a place where your gifted (do not mistake the word with privileged) child will feel at home and normal around his or her peers. The teachers are amazing and know how to inspire and motivate these children and support their learning totally. You will NOT find a better K-8 school for gifted kids in all of Washington. After 6 years, my child still loves going to school!
This year being my 9th year at SCDS, I have had many amazing teachers throughout the years. A lot of people say the 4-5 teachers are the best, however there are amazing teachers in each of the divisions. Math and Science at SCDS is absolutely amazing, and has really prepared me to do well in High School. Another amazing thing is that now, in the Middle School Division, especially in 7th and 8th grade, we go on AMAZING trips. Last years 8th grade class went to Iceland and this year we are going to Costa Rica! Since the school is so small, I know the names of almost every student and know many of them personally. Since Kindergarden, many kids have come into my grade and many have left, but I have gotten to know each and every one of them so well, and they are basically my second family. I am really sad that this is my last year at SCDS, but I think SCDS has prepared me really well for High School.
This school is great academically and the faculty and teachers are outstanding. My kids have had a mixed experience socially. I think the school tolerates disruptive behavior in the name of accommodating "gifted kids" and their quirks. I think this is more pronounced in some classes/grades than in others. That said, if academics are your priority, you can't go wrong with SCDS.
Our child has really thrived at SCDS; the individualized attention towards math and language arts has been amazing, as each child can progress at his/her own level. The teachers have been more than responsive and communicate very well with parents. Thanks SCDS!
ive gone to this school since kindergarten and it was one of the best experiences of my life. i moved ot a girls school in nyc that is also highly rated, but the social interactions and cultural influence of SCDS rival none. It is a truly wonderful school with fabulous teachers while it may be a bit week in the sector of economically and socially diverse parents. Ive only been gone for two months and its just 7th grade but i miss it so much, amazing school...
For the right child who has focus and intellectual curiousity, this is the perfect school. Inquiry based learning gives these kids the chance to explore their quest for high level knowledge about a huge variety of subjects from science to art to math to literature. The teachers are also highly capable and independent which makes for an interesting mix. It isn't the right school for everyone, but for us, it was perfect.
I've never thought K-5 education was all that important for bright, capable kids, that they'd basically find their way. The decision to go to a private school rather than our perfectly acceptable neighborhood school was a difficult one for us. But, we've been validated in our decision after two kids and multiple years. We know that our kids are thriving, loving school as I never remember it. Academically, they benefit from the strong peer group, the love of learning shared by their fellow students, small class sizes, and strong teachers. Our kids are getting an excellent education that reinforces the values we teach at home on the importance of having curious minds, combined with the ability to use those minds to explore new qustions.
SCDS: (a) has the most academically talented K-8 student body in the area, (b) has a roster of experienced, highly motivated and talented teachers and (c) is clearly focused on its particular mission. The school is strongest in the 4-5 division, where there are a few legendary teachers. This isn't to fault the K-3 or 6-8 divisions - the latter is just a tricky age for kids. The only significant weakness to the school (if it's fair to attribute to the school) is that some parents are a little too used to always getting what their way in life, and do things like post 1-star reviews of a school they're willing to pay $40,000+ to educate three kids.
SCDS is a great school academically. The teachers are passionate and really engage the kids. The administrations often really misses the boat in terms of engaging the wide-ranging talents of the parent community. It's like they are afraid the parents are going to try to take over, so they keep them at arms length. In the meantime, they pay competent people for advice when they have leaders in that field in their midst!
My daughter was at another excellent independent school in Seattle, but academically, the fit was incompatible. Since moving to SCDS, we are constantly amazed at the depth of learning, the innovative teaching styles, and the dynamic approach to academics that makes learning incredibly fun. My daughter is so much more engaged and excited every day at SCDS. In addition, the school offers skiing in the winter, as well as several after-school sports and activities. We simply could not be happier.
I am a grandparent of three children at SCDS. I had a career as a public school teacher with a specialty in working with highly capable youth. SCDS engages its students intellectually and models compassion and empathy. Art is taken as seriously as reading and math. My grandchildren are eager to participate in science. Teacher/parent communication is on-going.
We have 3 kids at SCDS. The school has wonderful teachers and some truly amazing classes, but it is hampered by an ineffective administration. A particular problem has been bullying and harassment, which has caused several students recently to leave the school. The school lacks a clearly defined policy on bullying, and its efforts to address the problem, which involves mostly students apologizing to one another, have proven ineffective. While the parent community is quite active, it doesn't really have a say in how the school is run - instead, the administration seems to look to parents mostly for volunteering and contributing money.
As a whole, SCDS is a great choise with the great selection of teachers and kids!
We have 2 kids there, both since kindergarten, one about to graduate. Academics are rigorous and the students motivated and creative. The middle school environment feels protective and the kids not trying to grow up too fast - they are focused on school and extracurriculars and are kind, polite, and mature as a whole. Check out the unique Winterim program - for 6 Fridays in the winter, the kids spend the day in downhill ski lessons, nordic, or ice-skating.
I have two children at SCDS. Both of them started K-2 in other private schools but transferred in at third grade. Instead of asking them each day 'What did you learn? What did you do?', they jump into the car telling me about something AMAZING they did in class. They are completely full intellectually and socially at the end of each day and dig into homework with no supervision from me- the motivation is from the school.
This is a stellar school for bright, motivated kids. The teachers are top-notch, and evidence the sometimes rare combination of lots of experience and lots of enthusiasm. They include some (like the 4-5 science teacher) who are a bit legendary. The school emphasizes science and math, but the humanities (which is more my daughter's interest) are excellent as well.
I like SCDS very much. The teachers are subject experts and the kids are bright and polite.
SCDS is a wonderful school. The academics are great. My son has made many friends and feels accepted, supported and challenged. As a parent and a teacher, I appreciate how well the school is run. The teachers, administration and staff are professional with parents and caring with students. As a parent, I have never had an e-mail or phone call go unanswered. Teachers are concerned with students' academic, social and emotional growth. Our whole family is very happy at Seattle Country Day.
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