Davidson Day School
Davidson, NC 28036
About This School
In 2010, Davidson Day School had 46 students for every full-time equivalent teacher. The North Carolina average is 15 students per full-time equivalent teacher.
Student Ethnicity (2008)
Students Per Teacher (2010)
Davidson Day School Reviews
Many of the posts on this board are from 2012 and are outdated. My son just started this year and we could not be happier. The new headmaster is a no nonsense guy who has a proven track record of success. I believe as he gets his bearings the school will thrive and grow in all aspects. Having solid after school programs (both athletic and educational) is the key to a successful upper school and Davidson Day has done both well. I could not be happier with the school in general and look forward to my son growing and learning there.
Be very careful
I am a former student of DD, and I would like to address a couple of issues.
Education: I spent only a couple years at DD, and during that time I took mostly math and science classes. I have to say, the math and science teachers are possibly the best I ever had, and I went to several high schools. Now that I am in college, I found many of my math classes much less challenging. On the flip side, I had decent critical reading and writing skills going into Davidson Day, and gained almost nothing in these fields during my time there.
Athletics: The football team seemed to have a choke grip on the school. I'm not going to say any names, but when I was there we had a certain player who was seen as very talented. I knew him decently well, but never saw him that much, because he was never in school. And when he did show up, he was very disrespectful to teachers and staff and was often gone by noon, just long enough to be qualified to play in that night's game. Many of the players on the more important men's sports teams were very disrespectful and distracting, but never got in any trouble for it.
Overall: If your student is interested in math and science, I think he/she will enjoy DD academically, but might take issue with the injustice involved with the sports teams. If your child is good at football, DD is also the place for your student. I was a STUDENT-athlete at DD, and it blew my mind how many student-ATHLETES were admitted into the school. It was sad to see how many people there valued football over the importance of a high school education. It made my time there very frustrating, because while I worked hard for my education, I was graduating alongside people who barely ever made it to class.
Davidson Day Schol is the best
I came here because of Hayes Grier It Is A Great School
As a lower school parent, I used to read the reviews and wonder why a parent could be so unhappy here. Once my children reached middle school it became very apparent that we were no longer in the loop as to the direction the school was taking. In lower school the sport program looked great and we couldn't wait for the kids to partake. Now that the kids are in middle school it seems different. The football program is rife with controversy even several years past the initial first year turmoil. The academics are still rigorous but now we find out that they don't appear to be at the same rigor for certain students. Unfortunatly, it does not help matters that our one time Davidson Day infused neighborhood is now starting to lose allegiance to the school.
We have decided to not come back. Like the other reviews below, we feel that this school is in a state of chaos right now. The past few years have been steadily degrading and now the board has replaced the head of school. They may be able to recover, or they may not. My child's future is too important to risk on a turn around operation, especially when the the new guy is just temporary.
This school is in such turmoil. The head of school was let go and they don't have a replacement. If you are planning on coming to this school, wait a year or two to see if things stabalize and/or get better. Don't risk your kids education or your money here. We were on the fence about coming back or not as of last week. Now, we are out the door.
Truthfully? EVeryone blames the 2010-2011 enrollment season and the former AD who promised things he shouldn't have. ITs interesting that noone made note that the basketball coach was the acting director of Admissions at the time! The irony is that now these kids and their families have seen the light and realize the football program was designed to showcase two players specifically. There is now an exodus of families brought in for the athletic program. Me thinkest that they were told they needed to pay some tuition and do grade level work.
As a long time Lower school parent we were very happy at DDS. We saw the cultural change the start of the 2010-2011 school year in the middle and upper schools but in lower school it wasn't an issue. Now that my kids are approaching middle school we are exploring other options. Our final straw was when we watched neighbor DDS MS students morph from polite kids into a group of wanna be ghetto kids with little respect for other students, parents or teachers.
There is a great rift in this school between old blood versus new blood. Unfortunatley, the administrators, and parents like Susan below, try to incorrectly frame the argument as pro-growth/anti-growth. This is not correct whatsoever.
Most of the old blood who have been there are NOT opposed to growth at all. We just oppose the methods by which it is being done. We have been promised for YEARS of new programs, investment in curriculum, technology, facilities like the auditorium, resources for the teachers, etc. Yet, all the money seems to go to athletics to improve their fields, vehicles, and equipment and scholarships for ball players. What we are mad about is that we were promised something, never delivered, only to find out that the money was spent somewhere else and then called every name in the book because we spoke up.
Since this is a private schook we are speaking with our $$$ and taking our kids elsewhere.
Chapel Hill, Tufts, Westpoint....just a few of the schools this year's graduates are headed off to. Columbia and Harvard already courting next year's seniors. Amazing school. Amazing opportunity for kids whether they are interested in athletics, arts or science. My child can have it all. Its DDS!
Yes Bob....the changes that have been made at this school are related to growing and building a strong high school. Some longtime families joined DDS when the high school was very small. Now it is a strong thriving division with sports and arts and highly selective college admissions. Families who want the school to remain a small elementary and middle school will not get their wish. It is an outstanding pre-k through 12th grade school that is 550 students and growing. Change certainly can be difficult. But when the change gives my child more opportunities, more social connections, and a leg up in college, I'm all for it. DDS is doing a great job. We love the school.
I was going to post a simple review, but noticed the most recent one about the "discontent are those that have been at Davidson Day the longest and were not prepared for the onslaught of change " How does that make any sense??? The longest and most loyal customers are saying they are not satisifed with the direction the school has taken and THIS is a problem?????
I am one of those parents and I have been there for many years and I can tell you, I am not happy. Administration turn over is super high here and is reflected in employee and student turn over as well. It is not a stable environment! This was a good school 3 years ago, but has gone down hill, quicker with every passing year. Don't make the same mistake we did and fall for the marketing and admissions hype. They sell a good story, but after you are in, the dream becomes a nightmare. We are not coming back next year and we dread having to work with the registrar and admissions to get our transcripts for our children.
If you are looking at this school, take my advice. Dig deeper. Look at other schools. Take everything they say with a grain of salt.
fine school. Very happy. Sadly, some of the loudest voices of discontent are those that have been at Davidson Day the longest and were not prepared for the onslaught of change (whether that be positive or negative). Hopefully, this particular parent that has been posting negative reviews about the football program will stop now that they are no longer affiliated with the school.
To the last reviewer: I am happy that your child is benefiting from the athletic program. You will rightfully seek whatever advantage for your child that you possibly can.
What you don't know is that the benefit you enjoy is not equally available to everyone. It is only available to a small number of students. It is impossible for my child to even qualify for your benefit, yet there is no alternative for us to apply for. To make it worse we are told exactly what you so eloquently described as "the long run" while our teachers in our division are told to do with less resources. Why should you get a benefit and not I?
If I were an outsider looking in, I would want to know that one group was getting attention at the expense of another and this is exactly what is being debated about at the school. You are more than entitled to enjoy your benefit and proclaim your happiness at the top of your lungs. I too am entitled to proclaim my dissatisfaction with the inequalities of athletics versus academics and do so on this very public vehicle.
My feeling is this: If you value football, this is a great school. If football doesn't apply to you, look elsewhere.
There is a lot of discussion (and apparently discontent) regarding the athletics program presumably taking the center stage over academics at Davidson Day School. While I do not hold a degree in education and I may not know all the in's and out's of running a succesful academic program, I do know this: my child, who is attending DDS because of the athletics programs, is getting a far better academic experience then if he had continued to attend his former private school or returned to his home public school. Most importantly, there are quite a few academic programs that are going on with a much needed global focus that is so critical for today's youth.
As a newer private school, I believe there will be some growing pains and there will be some unhappy people. However, in the long run, I think we will see Davidson Day School become one of the leading private schools in the region, mainly due to the strength of their academic structure combined with good athletic and arts programs. Colleges are looking for more than just good grades these days.
No too impressed and not too happy with this mandatory trip that cost me over 400 bucks. Didn't have it budgeted and administration seems to not care about how it affects our family
Moving my child out. This school is all about athletics...using athletics to build the school. FOrget academics. For the money, beter options in the area with more proven history of academic rigor. When it comes time to go outin the world and find a job, no one cares if your kid can kick a ball. As for scholarships...it is davidson day...do you really think your soccer star has competed at a level that a college will say "sure here is a free ride?" Grow up...stinks
In addition to getting a good education, a school needs to be fun for the students and instill a sense of pride. Davidson Day School is rounding out its extracurricular offerings quickly and there is a buzz about the school. The students are excited to be a part of a school about which they can be proud.
The administration is very flexible and partner with parents to help the children grow at a rapid yet not overwhelming pace. High achievers are able to take HS courses in middle school. Lower achievers are brought up to speed. Its cool to get an "A" at this school and that is an environment where kids are driven to achieve.
Any school that grows rapidly will experience significant change and not please all but they are doing a great job managing their growth. While these reviews can often give a good sense of whether this school might be a good fit, I would suggest you need to visit in this case as the detractors seem change averse and the cheerleaders might be drinking the koolaide. Only you can judge after a visit.
Not everything is yet right here but it has improved in each of the 4 years our children have attended. We expect that next year, they will reach about 600 student capacity and then we will see what they do to continue growth. Purchase of another site to split out the HS with room for first rate facilities will cause continued changes and improvement but will make this school a great alternative to Charlotte Latin, Country Day, and Providence Day for those that live north of Charlotte and perhaps some that live in Charlotte.
This school has a great location...just about the whole story here. .. This is a young school that wants to do well. My feeling is they take short cuts in all aspects and end up doing nothing great.
To bad that last review was written by someone at the school. It seems like everytime thre is a bad review it is followed up by something about come see for yourself how great the school is.
After having my kids there for 3 years, I finally had enough after all the recruiting and poor education my children were receiving. This school is run like a business, not a school. Focus is on getting the best players out there not on academics. Programs are disorganized and education is not the primary goal. If as much time was put into education as into athletics, this would be one outstanding school. To bad this school is going down fast. Other parents are seeing the effects of focus on athletics as well. This school is not what it appears at open house. Avoid sending your children here if you want them to have a quality education.
My daughter's reading comprehension has gone up 4 grades per year in each of the 3 years she has been at Davidson day. If this is poor academic quality, sign me up for more of it. They have had 8th graders taking AP physics and 6th graders taking HS honors courses. If you want a place where your child will be challenged academically, this is it.
The school does recruit but not for students. It recruits great coaches that create a program and environment where the top athletes want to be. What serious basketball player in Charlotte hasn't heard of Ron Johnson, what he can teach them, and how he can enhance their chances of success in playing basketball in college?
The fact that the school's boys's basketball, baseball, and ladies soccer teams should be in the hunt for state championships does not detract from the academic focus but it will draw more and better students to the school.
Watch as they continue to round out their athletics and other extracurricular areas. New coaches in volleyball, boys soccer, and girls basketball are already starting to see quality improvements. With the strongest drama and choral teachers in the area, they are already an asset to the community in the arts. The school is becoming a national leader among high schools in archeology with significant investments in ventures that will enhance its own students as well as others across the nation.
The previous two posts remind me of a quote by Yogi Berra who once described a place as so crowded that noone goes their anymore.
At the rate Davidson Day School is growing enrollment in a difficult economic environment, some people are seeing the value. With enrollment off at competing schools like Cannon, Woodlawn, and Southlake Christian, something is going right at Davidson Day School.
I agree with the previous review. Things are not what they seem at this school. The marketing department does an excellent job of selling programs and academic quality that is just not there. The administration does not have a solid education background and does not know how to adequately support teachers in providing the quality academics they are selling. This is a business, not a school.
I would not agree with the previous review....The buzz is out, but not about the education here, it is about all of new athletes that the school has now let the coaches recruit. Somewhere along the lines the academics and non athletes have gotten lost in the shuffle. The school is very unorganized, there is no real structure anymore. Newer administration is not helpful or friendly at all. Do your homework on this school....
Davidson Day's headmaster, Bonnie Cotter, is a visionary who surrounds herself with excellence in teachers, academic leaders, and coaches. She sets the bar high in all areas. From adding a new high school football program and investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the arts and in technology, to bringing on some of the most awesome teachers and staff, the word is out that Davidson Day is the educational place to be. In this tough economy, Davidson Day has grown more than 20% each of the past 2 years. Word of mouth from happy families and students is causing quite a buzz. I am proud to be part of this school and am even more proud to be telling all my friends and neighbors what a great experience it is for kids. But don't take my word for it. Call the admissions office, come for a visit, and see for yourself.