Do you know the 5 most important questions
to ask when looking for a school for your child?
Question #1. What is your teacher to student ratio in your regular, general education classroom?
Teacher to student ratios are extremely important. While it is true an outstanding teacher can teach many students at one time, research has shown that lower teacher-student ratios result in higher levels of learning for all students and fewer discipline problems and classroom interruptions. Be sure you are given the regular, general education classroom teacher-student ratio as some schools will give you an average ratio that includes special education classrooms with a small number of students.
The regular general education teacher-student ratio at Tucson Country Day School for kindergarten through 5th grade students is 1 teacher to no more than 22 students. The teacher-student ratio in grades 6th through 8th is 1 teacher to no more than 26 students.
Question #2. What is your school environment like and what is your policy regarding bullying?
The school environment is critical to your child’s success. When you go on campus, you and your child should feel safe. You should feel welcome, accepted and encouraged to speak up, share information and ask questions. All Arizona schools are required by State statute to have an anti-bullying policy in place. A school should be able to explain their policy. You should feel comfortable that instances of bullying are addressed quickly and effectively.
One thing parents say they like best about TCDS is the safe, family-friendly environment. Our teachers teach because they love what they do and that shows in the way they treat their students. Students are made to feel welcome starting their first day of school.
We have a no tolerance anti-bullying policy. When bullying occurs, we stop it. Every student at TCDS is a Champion and we expect them to show respect, manners and kind behavior to one another.
3. What is your school’s educational philosophy and how is it implemented?
While all schools in Arizona are required to teach specific academic standards to each grade level, how the standards are taught and the focus of an individual school is left up to the school itself.
At Tucson Country Day School, the focus is on both academic and social skills. Not only do we expect students to master their grade level standards, we expect them to demonstrate manners and respect to their teachers, fellow students and parents.
Our teachers are required to “team” with each other. Grade level teams meet at least once per week to discuss curriculum, activities and school-related issues. Teachers know their grade level standards and work together within their grade level and across other grade levels to make sure the required standards are taught. The manner in which each teacher delivers their instruction differs from classroom to classroom as our teachers all have their own individual personality and manner of teaching.
We use textbooks for Math and Reading in grade K-5 and for Math only in Middle School. Our curriculum is driven by the standards, not by the textbooks but textbooks serve as a resource for teachers, parents and students.
4. How does your school handle student discipline?
Since discipline issues take away from the time a teacher can teach and can be disruptive in class, the manner in which student discipline issues are handled can be the difference between an excellent school experience and a frustrating school year.
Tucson Country Day School uses a progressive discipline system. Teachers handle basic discipline issues such as talking out of turn, being off task, and other minor infractions in class. For infractions of a more serious nature and repeated disruptive behavior, teachers refer students to the office to see an administrator. Administrators take the time to fully understand why the student has been sent to the office and then administer appropriate consequences. Parents are notified if their child is sent to the office with a referral.
Progressive discipline is used so a student might be asked to write an apology to repair the infraction the first time, be given community service for a second visit to the office, an after school detention the third time, and an in or out of school suspension the next time. Students who continually disrupt the classroom and/or have repeated infractions may be asked to leave the school or face expulsion.
Due to the progressive nature of our discipline system and parent involvement, behavior problems at TCDS are minimal. The discipline matrix can be found in the family handbook.
5. In addition to academics, what will my child learn and what types of resources are available?
Due to budget constraints, many schools have had to cut back on the programs they offer. Some schools are no longer able to offer instruction in the performing arts, after school sports programs and other support services like school counselors and librarians. Ask what programs are offered, especially if there are extracurricular activities that are important to you and your child.
Tucson Country Day School believes students should have a well-rounded education that includes not only core subjects but also Spanish, Art, Music, Physical Education and Technology. These programs are still offered to our students during the school day. Middle School students are also able to participate in Band and Orchestra.
We have after school sports for 5th through 8th graders, and a variety of after school clubs and programs for all students.
We have a school guidance counselor who works with students in grades K-8, and a full-time librarian who runs our state of the art library. Our library has grown from 5,000 books when it opened in November, 2012, to over 13,000 books!
In Technology class, students learn typing skills and how to use programs like Word, Powerpoint and Excel.
In addition to these five questions, be sure to visit the schools you are interested in attending to see for yourself what they are all about. Talk to parents of students who attend the school to hear what their experience has been like.
Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. You owe it to yourself and your child to take the time to ask questions and learn as much as you can about every school you have on your list.
We encourage you to take the time to learn more about Tucson Country Day School by reviewing our website and calling to set up a tour.
We are located at 9239 E. Wrightstown Road, Tucson AZ 85715
Phone: (520) 296-0883
Fax: (520) 290-1521
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Do you have questions we can answer or would you simply like more information about Tucson Country Day School or like to talk to one of us? Give us a call at (520) 296-0883 or fill out the form below. We’ll email you or call you back – whichever you prefer.