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Students raising their hands during a class.

Testimonials

Student Testimonials

Students hugging and smiling
Students playing a game in a classroom

“I was once a little buddy and I remember my big buddy always being there. Now that I’m a big buddy, it’s a great feeling and bonding experience to be able to teach my little buddy different lessons and do fun activities. I’ve gotten so much from this program – And I think I’ll take that with me.”

Aimée Class of 2018

"I love the sense of community here. The ability to walk around the school and say hello to everyone is so great. Everyone is so welcoming and it’s such a wonderful environment to learn in."

Gunner Class of 2018

“I always had a support system with my teachers and my friends. We feed off of each other and serve as role models for each other.”

Oliver Class of 2018

"It’s the environment. I like the structure of having kindergartners all the way to 8th graders. Through lunch, sports, or recess you are constantly having people to make new friends with in the class ahead of you or the class below you. Those bonds are my social safety net!"

Caroline Class of 2021

“I was very well prepared for high school. Coming from DCD it wasn’t as stressful as it could have been. I am able to handle challenging classes because I already knew what it was like to work as this level so I was ready for it. It’s been so nice to be in a high school class and to discover, hey I know this!”

Kathryn Class of 2017

“The community around me at DCD is why I am where I am – especially the teachers. I had a safety net so to speak. If ever something was hard or scary, you have you community around you to lift you up, encourage and support you.”

Mary Class of 2018

"At DCD, I developed an academic drive and I learned perseverance. I learned to fail and to pick myself up. If I didn’t do well on a test or an essay, I met with my teachers who were always willing to work with me to understand what went wrong and to figure out how to prevent it from happening again.”

Matthew Class of 2017

"As I think about high school, I will take with me the ability to do the things I love. Here, I learned to embrace what I love doing. I’ve been able to find myself as a person and have developed the drive to do the things that excite me. My teachers have been so supportive and so helpful.”

Gunner Class of 2018

“The Lower school kids are role models and I learn from them too. Being able to see the younger kids I realize that I have grown up so fast and that life goes quickly. It reminds me to appreciate things.”

Oliver Class of 2018

“I love the whole community. It’s had my back for everything I did – it’s a second home where I can just be myself. DCD has supported me for 10 years!”

Aimée Class of 2018

“I think the reason we have such an amazing community at DCD is because of the strong connections we make with each other and with our teachers.”

Abby Rochelle Class of 2020

“When I came here I was really shy. In 3rd grade, I had a goal with my teacher that I would work on speaking up. She encouraged me daily and I was inspired to continue to work on this. By the time I got to 4th grade, I thought, this is my school, I got this!”

Caroline Class of 2021

“With all the choices at DCD and knowing that the community was always there to support me, I’ve had a lot of freedom to follow my passions and develop the ambition to try new ones.”

Mary Class of 2018

“I learned to connect and communicate with lots of different types of people at DCD from teachers to classmates, to kids younger than me and older than me. It’s helped me so much in developing relationships and advocating for myself.”

Matthew Class of 2017

Teacher Testimonials

A student hugging a teacher
A teacher assisting a student

“DCD values social and emotional learning. We don’t just say it, we embody it. This core value is reflected in everything we do. It’s a guiding principle which gives us the space as teachers to do what we need to do. We are empowered to really connect with our students and establish relationships. We also have flexibility with the curriculum to dive deep where interests are expressed or to back off if we need to work on social and emotional issues that arise in the daily lives of middle schoolers.”

Rob Thacher Middle School Teacher

“It’s the little moments of personal connection with the students, which happen throughout the day that are the most important to me as a teacher. Not only does it give the kids the opportunity to tell me what’s on their minds, but it also helps me in assessing the student’s growth throughout the school year.”

Cheryl Price Kindergarten Teacher

“I am a huge believer in the pre-k to grade 8 model as it gives children the opportunity to practice mastery when there is no one else above them to either model or to judge. This is a good thing! This ability to practice mastery is a “gift” that comes at children in a very specific and important time in their own development. Without the heavy consequences, means children are truly able to take risks and practice before moving on.”

Rob Thacher Middle School Teacher

Parent Testimonials

A parent observing a student working
A parent smiling at the camera while volunteering

“I cried after our first kindergarten conference. They really do know my child! They understood who he is, they got all of the nuances of his character which, you know, they are really going to build on. As a parent, it really feels good and is so reassuring. When your kid is sick and fakes being well so that he can go to school, you know he’s in the right place!”

Will Clafflin DCD Current Parent

“I like who you are. Where did you go to school? I would love someone to say that about my child. I feel like we’ve come full circle!”

Fadie Coleman Past Parent

“We noticed that DCD was reinforcing the messages of acceptance and inclusiveness that we were teaching at home, and that was very important to us when selecting a school.”

Sharisse Cail Perry DCD Parent

“The continuum in learning is also so important at DCD. The teachers know what children have learned and what they will be learning. They can share notes on things they have seen along the way in terms of a child’s strengths and struggles. I really appreciate this as a parent.”

Fadie Coleman Past Parent

“DCD is a place where you can send your child to get a hug while at the same time be motivated and pushed to excel in the classroom.”

Steve Perry Class of 1985 and DCD Parent

“Before coming to DCD, our son was tentative about new situations and would hold back. Since being here, he seems to be able to walk into any situation with an air of confidence. The comfort and safety he has felt in his learning environment has enabled him to enjoy each new situation he encounters. He’s just ready to handle whatever comes his way!”

Siobhan Clafflin DCD Parent

“The school provided an environment where our girls felt confident, where they had a voice, and their voices were valued."

Sharisse Cail Perry DCD Parent

‘The mentorship experienced through the Big Buddy/Little Buddy program has been huge. It had a profound effect on our daughter. It was the main reason, Aimée wanted to stay through 8th grade. She wanted to bring it full circle and pay back what she had gained when she was the little buddy.”

Fadie Coleman Past Parent

“DCD welcomed her and us as members of the community, but always saw her as an individual. At DCD, we found exactly what we wanted for our daughter – academic challenge, the chance to develop as an individual, and a wonderful balance of music, arts, and athletics. It’s an experience where every child matters and gets just what she needs.”

Fadie and David Coleman Past Parents

Learn How DCD Can Be the Right Fit for Your Child