We have been active parents in the SCDS community now for over 12 years. The teachers are great, and the school is fortunate to have many wealthy and generous benefactors, but honestly the administration staff is incompetent - particularly the current admissions director and the head of the school. Everything's great as long as you are willing to smile, toe the party line that everything is just great, and donate annually, but if you raise a concern they will attack you and even threaten to kick your kids out of the school. That happened to people we know, and to us. Are you white, wealthy, and willing to just smile and keep writing big checks? Then this is the school for you. Otherwise, be warned.
All three of my kids have attended Seattle Country Day. One is now in high school and one is in college. The third still attends. There are sometimes blind spots and learning curves - so I am not saying Country Day is a perfect place, but I can say that my kids have all received an amazing education and they are all in love with learning. It's a nurturing community with very little teacher turnover. It's a school for "gifted" kids, but there's a lot of recognition that being academically capable isn't the end-all, be-all so there is tons of emphasis on social/emotional learning - which is sometimes the thing kids who are "advanced" struggle with most.
I strongly agree with the comments made by other reviewers in this forum regarding current admissions director at SCDS. Unfortunately she continues to be a poor representative of SCDS to the community at large and is a surprising choice for this public position at the school. I agree this is not a school whose administration welcomes parents' feedback or involvement and/or partners with parents to improve the experience when things don't work well. If this is important in your selection criteria you may be disappointed. The faculty and the academics are generally strong so please note that my review only pertains to the issues stated above.
I'm going to second the assertion that the admissions director at SCDS is absolutely horrible and has abysmal social skills. I can't see how they went from the previous, who was delightful and warm and welcoming, to this off-putting, snappy, impatient and abrasive replacement. I personally know a number of parents were so turned off by her that they did not choose to come on a second tour or reapply. In nearly every tour for which I volunteered or attended for a prospective student, she said or did something that sent a ripple of shock or embarrassment through the crowd. She did not improve in personal interactions. The school is a great place, a right idyll of childhood development, but this choice really made me question the administration's good sense.
SCDS has been ideal. The new head of the lower school is amazingly perceptive and proactive for the great benefit of the kids. The head of school is a kind and masterful leader, genuinely receptive to concerns and focused on the best interests of the students. So many of the teachers go above and beyond every expectation. Kids are genuinely happy and support each other in a wonderful learning environment.
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.