Topic: Overall Experience
"I started here my freshman year, and I thought it was the most amazing school. All my classes were discussion-based, I was learning a lot, and I made so many new friends. But, that all changed sophomore year, when our Head of High School was replaced. I'm not going to put all the blame on him, but he could have fixed a lot of the problems. One of the largest problems was the infamous Sophomore Project, which is a research project that all sophomores are required to do. Our Sophomore Project had been handed over to different faculty, and made completely different. In short, it was a disaster, and students were blatantly favored over others. The second major problem was the hiring of a very bad teacher. Many students ended up almost failing. Even though the entire sophomore class and some of the junior class complained to administration, absolutely nothing was done. Now, this year, as a junior, I am seeing a problem that casts shadows over all of these; the lack of mental health support. We have no guidance counselor. The only time I have seen counselors on campus is after someone died. Granted, it was an emotional time, but they ended up leaving. The students here are the most stressed students in Sacramento (not an exagerration). There have been plenty of things that shouldn't have happened in my time here that were caused by the lack of emotional support here, and, still, administration doesn't do anything ("we don't have enough money," but we buy 3-D printers, redo the floor gym, etc.) The teachers are a problem, as well, but I talk about that in my review of them. The people I've met here are amazing, and the knowledge and experience I am going to take from this school is incredible, but beware. Hopefully, things will change. If they do, I would do it over again in a heartbeat, but if they were to stay the same, I wouldn't."
"SCDS is described as a liberal arts school, but, in the high school, at least, most of the teachers do not have a discussion-based classroom. Most classes are based on a more traditional system, which puts an emphasis on memorization and lecturing, instead of asking questions, and genuinely getting a deep understanding of the material. In some classes, students have to do most of the learning outside of the classroom, because of how bad this problem is. However, there are some teachers that are absolutely fantastic at what they do, and genuinely care about their students' grasp of concepts. But, I can count these teachers on one hand. In conclusion, most of the teachers here could do what they do at a public high school, and there would be no difference. So, why pay $20,000 for it? There is also a major favoritism problem. Students who are favored don't usually get better grades than everyone else, but there are sometimes one or two students in certain classes that the teacher(s) do not like, and will have bad marks given to them. The administration doesn't seem to do anything about this, and actually seems to encourage it (ever since our Head of High School was replaced in 2014). The "good" teachers recognize the problem, and aim to fix it, but nothing has really been done. Also, there seems to be great favoritism towards athletes, as well, which wouldn't be a bad thing, if more academically-focused students received the same treatment."