Disappointing place. I should have listened to the former parents who warned me that if you don't "drink the kool-aid," you won't like what you get, or the testing psychologist who told me I would get more for me money elsewhere, or the pediatrician who warned me that a child could have huge gaps in their learning that we wouldn't be aware of until they went elsewhere. Sure enough - all have come to pass. Have a concern? Tough! They know better than you at all times. Child need help with something? Enjoy paying yet more for a tutor. I'm amused by all the people who claim that their child wouldn't have blossomed anywhere but here; trust me - every child grows up, and it's a fallacy to think that only this school will make a child socially aware, etc. 6th grade elsewhere has clarified the issues!
I love the school and my son loves it. Many of the lead teachers have been there for a very long time. The resident teachers change each year, however that is because the program is designed to be a one year program. My son did do tutoring for writing, but I do not see this as a flaw with the school, he was struggling with a very specific learning issue and the school has worked with his tutor to implement strategies that help him be more successful at school. I value that the teacher knew my son well enough to identify that he was struggling. I love that the school handles social issues so seriously and respectfully. Problems are going to come up in any school! At UCDS kids are expected to advocate for themselves and are always supported as they work together to solve problems.
I have been a parent in the school for 15 years and have watched my three children thrive at UCDS. I m confused by many of the negative comments, but especially those around the teachers and also teacher turnover. The school has a teacher-training program for students who have just finished college and are entering the field of education. Each year, 10 college graduates study at UCDS for one year before leaving he school and teaching in their own classrooms. This program is inspiring. It brings 10 new teachers into the school each year .but it has nothing to do with the regular UCDS faculty. Most of the UCDS teachers have been at the school for at least the 15 years I have been there. quite a few even longer than that. They are amazingly creative, super energetic and very capable at addressing all the academic and social issues that elementary kids experience.
I am shocked at some of the negative reviews for this school, although I am keeping in mind that people using write to complain, not complement. My three children each attended UCDS for 8 years (incl. 2 pre-K) and none of them would be the self-reflective, socially aware and socially adept, academically strong lovers of learning that they are now had they not attended UCDS. One of our children did require some tutoring, which I know she would have needed no matter where she went to school; however the vast majority of UCDS students get all of their academic needs met at school. The homework is reasonable, the opportunities for learning in depth are boundless and the 7:1 teacher to student ratio is invaluable. My kids are now all on to middle school and thriving...in great part because of the foundation they received at UCDS.
UCDS has provided both my children with an exceptional education. The teachers are enthusiastic, creative and dedicated. They use the low student to teacher ratio to really get to know each student. Both my children, one outgoing and one reserved, have thrived both academically and socially. They are voracious readers, math excited and most importantly, love to learn. UCDS is providing them with a strong foundation, not to mention, they look forward to going to school each day.
So-so education, does not meet expectations for individualized curriculum, particularly given steep price tag. More typically, problems areas are pointed out to parents with the expectation that parents will supplement with extra actvities or remedial help. Compared with other private schools in town, it seems that quite a few kids are in tutoring to supplement academics at school. On the plus side, school is very exciting and fun, many entertaining activities for the kids. All the bells and whistles are included here. Teachers tend to be younger, and curriculum is re-modeled every year. These features are a plus for some families, a negative for others.
This school is fabulous at many things. Especially strong at teaching math and group skills. However, they could do a better job of teaching reading than they do. I know of several kids (including mine) who weren't reading well by the end of first grade. For that price tag and with the low student/teacher ratio of about 8, one would expect that they wouldn't be recommending private additional tutoring as a way to help the kids get proficient at reading, but figuring out how to solve the problem by changing teaching methods.
We expected -- and have received -- an incredible academic experience for our children. The teachers and administrators are amazing. What we did not expect was for the school to play such a positive role in developing strong community citizenship and conflict resolution skills in our children. We have been pleasantly suprised and extremely impressed with this side of UCDS. Reading some of the reviews from various schools, I would encourage all new parents to consider that there is no 'best' school. Rather, there is a school that fits your child the best. For us, UCDS has been a perfect fit.
In response to the previous remark, I am happy that my kid is at UCDS not for me but absolutely for her. To see how she has changed, grown and blossomed in the last three years is amazing.
I am sorry to say this, but I feel something crucial is lacking from this school. Parents seem to be happy to say 'My child is at UCDS,' not for kids but for themselves. I also noticed that some kids seriously need help with their social skills, seriously. I ended up choosing another private school over this.
Hands down the best elementary school in Seattle - if not one of the best in the country. We moved here from San Francsico - have been around a lot of schools on both coasts - and couldn't be more impressed with UCDS. Even better than we expected and worth every penny
This is one of the best - if not the best - elementary school in Seattle, in my opinion. The curriculum is superb - each individual child is challenged, and taught according to his/ her unique learning style. All types of personalities thrive here. Teachers really care, have tons of energy and show true commitment. This is an amazing place if you can get a spot (admissions is tough!)
I am a parent of two children who have attended this school for 3 years. I have been impressed by the skill and dedication of the teachers and the result that has had on my children. The individualized curriculum has truly helped each of my children to learn and grow in unique ways. The energy level of the school is fabulous and my children happily go to school each day. I feel so fortunate to have found such a great school for my children.
Although this school caters to to the well off, educaiton is mediocre. There is a higher turnover of teachers and very poor leadership. This used to be a good school but has slipped significantly in the last 4 or 5 years. The school has a difficult time with any feedback and commnication is poor. I have had kids there for about 10 years and it was a big judgment error. Some of the teachers are very good and caring and talented.
My kids skip happily into school every day. I've been stunned with their progress in all the academic areas you'd expect from an elementary school. But UCDS does more than cover those basics, of course. The faculty and staff have high energy levels and always speak respectfully to the students. As a result the kids are super respectful to each other. There's also an emphasis on self-reliance and empowerment similar to Montessori which we like. Going into the school I was a little concerned that it wasn't a perfect fit for our introverted child. UCDS has assuaged those fears. You don't need to have a type-A personality to thrive there. They really do individualize the teaching to match temperament and interests. Also, the small-group teaching that you'll see on a tour are perfect for more introverted kids.
University Child Development School (UCDS) is a top notch elementary school in Seattle. Starting with a pre-K program and finishing with grade 5, the school provides an excellent learning environment for its students. The school believes that students learn best when stimulated and challenged. I am not sure this works for every child. Some kids can feel over challenged and may tend to withdraw. The school requires testing and a school visit for applicants in an effort to make sure there is a good fit for the entering children. The kids tend to be very bright and also assertive and secure in their ability to ask questions or assert their needs/ desires. Teachers encourage each individual and attention to each child and family is easy because of small class size. It is easy to arrange meeting with the teachers and head of school. It is an excellent and expensive school.
excellent curriculum, attentive teahcers and consistent annual theme. have been very happy with school philosophy, facilities and pre-post- school care. would recommend highly to those who can afford it. no elitism in parents or staff unlike some private schools
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