Our daughter is in 3rd grade at Madison Country Day School. When we approached the school for admission in 1st grade, they bent over backwards to get us in. They offered us financial assistance, which we needed. The year after, all that changed. They had someone ready to pay the full tuition so they were not interested in us any more. Now, about academics. The teaching quality is erratic and teachers range from mediocre to pretty good. If you are not significantly wealthy, you are going to be under a lot of pressure given the unequal treatment kids and parents are given by the Business Development office and the school management depending on the donations received from parents. Our other child graduated from Van Hise and Hamilton in Madison and I would say the level of academics is not significantly better at MCDS. But as parents, we felt much more at home in Van Hise and Hamilton than we do at MCDS.
Absolutely amazing! Our daughter is getting an education far beyond what the public system offers. It's the way school should be, a place kids love to go, rather than a dreaded institution lacking a sense of community. MCDS is all that they say it is, and our daughter is skyrocketing. I'm simply amazed and can't believe school can be this good. Way to go MCDS! Keep it up you're making a big difference.
Excellent school. We have 2 kids at MCDS for the last 10 years and very pleased with their progress. The tution is expensive but the quality of education is worth it. Excellent IB program for all around development of students. Highly recommended.
I cannot recommend this school for any family who values academics. The leadership of the school is horrible. They say the right things but do none of them.
We chose to come to MCDS after experiencing a public school in our neighborhood that is known to be one of the best. The teachers we had were good but very stretched with children who needed extra attention behaviorally or academically. Because my child did not he didn't get a lot of attention. Since coming to MCDS a couple of years ago he truly has blossomed as a result of the teachers really getting to know him, being academically stimulated and challenged and being part of the strong community here that truly is not just lip service. Coming to MCDS truly has been one of our best family decisions and now he has two siblings following in his footsteps and we couldn't be happier!
We're entering our 3rd year at MCDS, with 1 child currently enrolled & another on the way. We spent a lot of time researching prior to enrollment. I cannot say enough good things about the faculty, staff, curriculum and culture. The students are engaged and inspired -creatively and intellectually - on a daily basis by wonderful, caring, thoughtful teachers. The arts and music emphasis is second to none. There are many things that set MCDS apart but what stands out most is its character education. Every morning, the students gather for assembly with their peers and focus on a character trait: generosity, tolerance, kindness, cooperation, etc.They learn from one another & share thoughts, ideas & opinions, becoming comfortable speaking in front of others at a very young age. Contrary to other posts, we have seen an abundance of concern and effort dedicated to problem-solving if there is a social or behavioral issue. The teachers listen and work very hard and ensure an environment that is free of bullying, one that encourages and embraces individuality. If you are considering MCDS, please take a tour. You'll find yourself inspired & ready for your child to experience all MCDS offers.
Our child is in her third year at MCDS and we couldn't be happier with the school. It is academically challenging -- no doubt -- but a child need not be a genius to succeed. Motivation to learn, with strong parental support, is really the key. Because of the low student-to-teacher ratio, teachers are able to meet each child's individual needs. If a child needs help in a certain area, s/he will get it. Just as important, kids who are stronger in certain subjects don't get a pass on being challenged. Our daughter has never been stressed about her schoolwork, nor has she been bored because it's too easy. We feel very at home in the school community. There are families from a wide range of backgrounds, including income levels, but we have never experienced snobbiness from anyone. Parents don't send their kids there for social status reasons, but for the rigorous academic training in a nurturing environment. The kids are genuinely nice to each other, including across grades. Recently, at an all-school assembly, kindergartners read short essays they had written (yes, written), and the biggest cheers of support came from the high school kids. We are so thankful for MCDS.
We have lived in other areas of the country, and our child has attended private and public schools. This was by far the worst experience we had. The principal and administration are unable to handle very serious disciplinary and legal issues but are quite good at writing dress code manuals. I would like to be more specific but cannot because of legal issues.
I cannot say enough good things about this school. We actually moved our daughter from the strongest public school district in Dane County after seeing the experience our youngest had in Pre-K at MCDS. And I have to say there is absolutely no comparison between the type of education she has received at MCDS and what she learned in public school. Of course the academics are strong at MCDS, but there is so much more. The teachers are passionate about they do and instill a love of learning in their students that is truly amazing. The attention given to each child is incomparable. Their character education, arts, languages and sports are wonderful. All kids receive instruction in piano. Even in Pre-K, they receive science, Spanish, art and music instruction from specialist teachers who teach higher grades. It's the kind of rich learning environment and nurturing place that every child needs to fully reach their potential. And it is no surprise to me that it has enjoyed significant growth in the last few years. This year alone, they added 70 new students. I guess people are finding out what a true gem this school is. Visit MCDS and you will immediately sense the difference.
Not a great experience for my child. She was bullied by a classmate but when she reported it to a teacher she was punished for being a tattle tale. They lacked the ability to assess gifted/talented kids. I was told that my child was slow when in reality she was a gifted child. Finally frustrated with the school I removed my child and we are in public school. Funny thing, the public school quickly picked-up on her advanced abilites and placed her in a special program that allowed her to work at an advanced level. She is currently working 3 grade level above her age group.
This Pre K through High School is a safe place where children are truly engaged in learning. If you walk through any hall you will see students who are actively listening and participating and happy. My 6th grade son loves school and has remained eager and curious through the tough middle school years. You really owe it to your child to take one hour and visit the school. Do not let the cost of tuition scare you. There is a generous scholarship fund and financial aide available. Best of luck to you!
Absolutely amazing, this is the perfect environment for a child to learn. The teachers are so involved in making sure each child is learning, and go out of their way to provide additional enrichment in strong areas, and additional help in weaker areas, for each student. This is our 3rd year with a child attending here, and I'm still amazed at what a wonderful community this is, for the kids and families. (And the academics are amazing! All teachers believe that every child has an amazing ability to learn, and children live up to those expectations.)
MCDS provides an excellent education in the type of supportive environment all children should have.
I love this school. My children (5th grade and 1st) have learned so much -- of course academically (WOW), but they also have developed an appreciation of the arts and music, and what it means to be part of a community. The teachers and principal know everyone by name...and the parents rock, too :)
The school (both teachers and general staff) go out of their way to create an environment where the children learn to appreciate knowledge and learning new things! The handson learning helps foster imagination and curiosity which helps lead the students onto new discoveries as they learn. The staff and teachers go out of their way to greet the children by name and say goodbye at the end of the day. A wonderful environment!
An amazing school and learning environment that still seems too good to be true after 5 years at the school! We couldn't be more happy, our kids are exceptionally well served at MCDS. Well worth the cost of tuition.
MCDS was incepted in 1997. We are fortunate to have an extremely well endowed first decade - our campus includes waterfront acreage, forrestation, yet easy access to metro Madison. MCDS emphasizes international community, character development, and college preperatory academics in its program. As parent who has had children enrolled since 1997, I have seen tremendous growth in our campus and enrollment - we started with less tha 30 students PK-3 in 1997 and now have 200+ students PK-10 this year. In two years we will fully reach our intended PK-12 status and graduate our first class. MCDS has a tremendous fine arts program - especially music - and strives to offer the finest curriculum in each subject it teaches; for example, Singapore's math program was specifically chosen by this school - one of the first nationwide. This is also the only non-sectarian private school in the Madison area.
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