We love UCDS for many reasons. Our children love school, love their teachers, love their friends and love learning. At every turn, we find them engaged in innovative and engaging learning experiences. The teachers know them deeply and help them achieve their highest potential each day. The energy of the school is contagious and our dinner table is often alight with stories from the day's adventures. We also really value the way the school builds character and community. Through their class meetings, collaborations and even literature discussions, we hear our kids talk about how to be better citizens in the world, how to honor individual beliefs and perspectives and how to be kind and inclusive friends. Our oldest child just moved on to middle school and is thriving both academically and socially with UCDS' foundation under her belt. We could not imagine a better place for children to learn and grow.
I have 3 children enrolled in UCDS and have never been anything but blown away with their curriculum, both social and academic, parent involvement, and diversity. My children have an understanding of diversity that spans beyond what people see on the outside and takes into account the true character of each individual. I know this is because of the education they have received at UCDS. The way they value each individual and teach to their strengths and challenges. The depth at which they learn about concepts in all subject areas is tremendous and as someone else previously commented, our dinner conversations continue to amaze me. I am a parent who has sought outside support for one of my children because the school recognized concerns that I could not recognize as their parent. The help they pointed us too has been essential, valuable, and I will thank the caring and astute teachers for their unending guidance and constant support forever as my children continue to grow. Well worth it and SUPER FUN!
There are many good things about UCDS - the innovative curriculum, the sense of ownership students have of the school, and the variety of programming. My daughter has a wide circle of friends and feels welcomed by the staff. The problem is that there is little value for parent input. It is difficult to communicate with teachers about issues with the curriculum - many students pay for outside tutoring - or bullying - and there are some behavior problems. Even so, my biggest disappointment is the failure for the school to have any teacher of color on staff. The only diversity is from the facility and cleaning staff. The students body has very few children of color. I go out of my way to expose my child to diversity in the community so she doesn't think the world looks this way.
My wife and I cannot be more pleased with the experiences our two children have had at UCDS. From Day one we have all felt a part of the UCDS community and from the stories about their day they share with us each evening I know we made the right decision. I have been very impressed with the degree of individualized attention they both receive and I can tell their individual needs are being met, both academically and socially. Whether in the classroom, spending time with the specialists, or participating in after school activities I can say with confidence that UCDS is by far the best choice for our kids. Also, I m sure everyone s experiences are different but in contrast to the previous parents comments we ve never felt that anything other than that the students and families take center stage at UCDS and feel the tuition is appropriate for what our children are taking away every day.
UCDS was very impressive at first, and we chose to send our children to the school. But after time, we discovered that they were more interested in their reputation and finances than the families. We left the school very disappointed with their program and do not recommend UCDS. Save your money - they'll most certainly be asking for more donations in addition to the steep price tag.
We're only a month into the school year, but UCDS is exceeding our expectations already. Our 3 year old son is filled with stories to share with us each evening: new friends, songs to sing, science experiments, and the results of math problems are just a sample. We couldn't be happier with his teachers. So welcoming each morning. Everything we learned through the admission process is true. UCDS is one of a kind.
We strongly considered UCDS and were blown away by the facilities and how put together the place seemed to be. Soonafter, we got scared off by some parents we know who have taken their kids out of the program. The feedback we learned was that the school is so enamored with it's curriculum and the institution that the kids may not necessarily come first or pick up on some of the fundamentals. When we asked about this, the reaction we got was kind of chilly and dismissive (which only seemed to reinforce our concerns). To be fair, some of our friends have kept their kids there and are very satisfied. It's a beautiful school though and has a great reputation. I'd just recommend talking to a lot of parents and parents of recent grads to get the full picture.
I am a former student of UCDS. At 24 I have finished a master s degree and have my dream job. I attended UCDS from PK-5th grade and loved it. The teachers were compassionate and taught compassion. They appreciated creativity and taught creatively. They inspired each and every one of us to pursue the things that interested us and made us excited to learn. Recently I visited the school and was delighted to discover that most of my teachers from K-5th grade still teach at UCDS and even have some of my old art projects/ school work stored away on their shelves. These aren t ordinary teachers, they are teachers who will invest and believe in your children! I certainly hope to send my children there one day!
innovative, risk taking, yet supportive environment. Rigorous curriculum and amazing teachers!!!!
I am thrilled to offer a shining review of UCDS. My son has benefited from the thoughtful education given by his teachers. The curriculum is exciting and has my son LOVING learning. The small teacher student ratios allow for thoughtful individualized instruction. We have enjoyed working with the staff and appreciate their creative energy.
We have been thrilled with UCDS. It is a top-notch school that balances academics and social responsibility. What parent doesn't want their child to have foreign language exposure as early as Pre-K? But the true amazement doesn't come until you experience the school. . . . faculty who greet you every morning, not just on the first day of school, teachers who blog weekly newsletters and childhood development opportunities such as class/school meetings that simply can't be found elsewhere. We find the teachers and specialists to be incredibly committed, caring and approachable. My son has flourished in both reading and writing over the past few years at UCDS and has made many great friends!
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.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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