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Madison Country Day School Reviews

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Our child, now in high school, has been at MCDS since Lower School and our overall experience has been strongly positive. The school has grown steadily over the past decade and yet no child falls between the cracks. The low faculty-to-student ratio is key to student success. Faculty are very dedicated to the students and communicate well with parents. The curriculum is challenging, but not excessively so. The range of students' abilities across subjects is broad, yet the common denominator is that all are aiming to do the best they can and succeed in college, be that at a large university or a small liberal arts college. The school also values character education, and the arts are not considered peripheral, but an essential part of the curriculum. The relative lack of racial diversity is offset by social and ethnic diversity, including an international outlook among many families.
Okay so the thing about this school is that it’s incredibly small so you know eveyone and it gets claustrophobic. Finding the right friend group for you is a ridiculous charade of parental drama and general school politics. The grudges your harbor against anyone will most likely not go away, as there is no way to get space from anyone. The building itself is small and suffocating and generally a horrible place.
It is a great school. It is twenty years old, but is one of the best schools in the area. Great curriculum, and I learn a lot. The only reason I gave it four stars is because the teachers grade completely differently and it is difficult to understand what they each want. Also there are some students that obviously come from Rich families and are cocky about it, but that is rare. Everyone fits in somewhere. It is an IB not AP school, but that makes me enjoy it even more because it teaches you how to think. I am extremely happy to go here!
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Great college preparatory school with teachers that truly care about education and helping students learn. Be prepared for an intense workload and a very challenging curriculum.
MCDS is the best school in Madison, with the top ACT and SAT scores, and the highest percentage of National Merit Scholars. The facilities are top-notch and the faculty care about the students.
The one problem with MCDS is their indiscriminate granting of financial aid. They ought to be more selective rather than just handing aid out like its candy. The extremely high number of students receiving aid (over 50%) causes an imbalance where full-tuition paying families are CONSTANTLY being asked to donate money. This causes frustration for families when they see massive amounts of aid being given to academically inferior students or to students with families who simply don’t want to pay the tuition (as in, “we make 250k a year but we’re too cheap to pay the tuition”). People need to understand that MCDS tuition is half of what it is at any other country day school. And the school needs to understand that it can’t possibly survive by giving away so much free tuition.
Madison Country Day School's challenging academics prepared me extremely well for college, but as a student as it fostered a toxic competitive atmosphere. However, the teachers proved to be some of my greatest supports. The school provided a close, caring, community for students, families, teachers, and staff, and sought to foster good character traits in its students. Most extracurricular activities are inclusive to students of a variety of interests and skill levels. Despite the inclusiveness of of the community, the school lacks diversity, which could be improved.
Madison Country Day School is an extremely rigorous school with a high pressure environment and excellent college preparation. It is a very safe place with a beautiful campus that includes both a lake and a prairie, and outdoor and indoor sports equipment. The buildings themselves are well kept and clean, and provide good views of the outdoors, but as far as facilities and resources for extracurriculars, particularly the arts, this school greatly lacks. There is also quite a punishing atmosphere for students who choose to participate in extracurriculars, as accommodations for difficult circumstances that students may be placed in are seldom provided.
Madison Country Day School really prepared me for my future in college. While very challenging, I feel as though IB has made me well-rounded and ready to take on the world.
As a student, I love the small high achieving IB school. It has made all the difference in my education and continues to do so. While it can be on the competitive side, everyone, including faculty and students, are always eager to help. As an international student I was quickly accepted into the internationally minded studentbody and made friends that will last a lifetime.
There is a wonderful, warm community feeling about the school, from the positive, joyful, purposeful engagement of teachers and students to the way parents support it. It's very international and diverse, but everyone feels welcomed and and engaged. The school is responsive to individual needs and balances them with the well-being of the whole community, especially as we have many students advancing a grade in math, which can be a scheduling challenge. The International Baccalaureate program is fantastic. Our kids will be more prepared for college than we were. There is a non-secular character education program that guides kids to mature gracefully. Older students routinely work with younger students. Art, music and athletics are thriving. It's a very positive time of rapid growth, academic achievement, and sporting achievement, which is new for us and expansion of staff and programming. We are embarking on a campaign to expand campus facilities to accommodate our growing student body, so it's an exciting time. The college counselor is excellent, too.
There is not much racial or ethnic diversity. However there is a lot of diversity with sexual orientation and the acceptance of those individuals. There is a small amount of peer pressure, but not with regards to drugs or alcohol.
There are no options to choose classes, besides choosing Spanish/Japanese, and Art/Music. But the classes have high expectations, and because of that every student has good working standards.
There is a wonderful gymnasium. However, the sports are somewhat lacking since there are not that many students that attend the school, but for the basketball team, there is a very good showing of fans at every game. The facilities are not perfect, but we do have a wonderful track. Nevertheless, there are not all that many programs.
Dress code is enforced, but it is very iffy because for some people, they are constantly being told to change, but others get away with infractions day after day. There are no guidance counselors on the staff. THe principal is definitely available, and is always working for the betterment of the school, the office staff are sometimes difficult as they only help those who they actually know.
Because of the high work load and expectations of my high school experience, I felt like my college work load was much more manageable.
I loved that the school really emphasized academics, and it was like my second family. Every year, the highschoolers embarked on a camping/canoe trip in the fall and it was one of the most fun things I looked forward to all year. Nevertheless, something that bothered me the entire time I attended this school, is that because of the large price tag attached to attendance, the families with the most money were the ones that wielded the most influence and made decisions.
There are different options for clubs and organizations, but not an abundance, however, it is possible to start a club on your own with a group of students. The problem lies in the lack of funding available for student organizations and clubs, as well the fact that certain groups get preference depending on what students are in the groups.
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