November 12, 2015
There are some wonderful families and caring staff at this school but the administration is so dysfunctional and unhealthy that it permeates the entire community. Don’t be distracted by the glitz or by the magnetism of status when deciding on a school for your child. Maybe you have already toured the school and, like us, after seeing the Labyrinth you were sold. We were believers as well, we thought the school was magical but magic is all about illusion and at UCDS they are masters at it. Parents are expected to have an unquestioning obedience and loyalty to the administration. As a parent your role in your child's education will be marginalized and your input unwelcome. You will accept it at first because, after all, they are the “experts”. Over time you will start to hear stories about parents who spoke up to the administration and were admonished, but you've bought into the illusion of UCDS so you assume that the parent just “stepped out of line”. But then it happens to a friend who you like and trust, and then maybe it happens to you and now you see this school for what it truly is. This insular school selects families and staff that they feel will follow the UCDS way with few, if any, challenges. In most cases if you express a concern about how the school operates you will be seen as questioning the administration and will either feel their wrath or be led to believe that your concerns will be addressed when in fact they have no intention of doing so. How can they teach children to be critical thinkers when they are not open to critical thinking themselves? The administrators are so invested in message control and maintaining the reputation of the school that they will do and say just about anything to curtail dissent. Intimidation, isolation, manipulation, and implicit threats, are all employed to keep parents in line. Parents often limit what they say and with whom they will share for fear of retribution. Most teachers are kind, caring, and capable but don’t necessarily represent the best and the brightest. As for previous posts on lagging academics, diversity, social-emotional concerns, they ring true. You will likely see posts refuting this one but know that though the details and experiences may differ there are many more UCDS families, both current and past, with whom these comments will resonate. You decide if some day that family will be yours.
- submitted by a parent