I had a kindergartner and a 2nd grader at Laurel, and we are transferring to a different school because of the principal's lack of leadership. This is really unfortunate because Laurel has some wonderful teachers, a great Art in Action program, and a parent-base that is highly active. Great hot lunch program, library, music, and extracurricular activities, but I can't even begin to express how disappointed I am with the principal.
We have been very pleased with Laurel. We have children in first grade and kindergarten. The class sizes are small (23 and 20 respectively) and with the early bird/late bird program in kindergarten there are only 10 kids in the classroom when it's time for math and reading. Both my children were reading by December of their kindergarten year after attending only play-based preschools. Teachers and the principal are readily available to discuss any questions/concerns. Bullying is not tolerated and my children feel very safe. The music program is sweet. The Art in Action program is well-done. There's a full-time librarian and this year my kindergartener has come home with 2 new library books each day!
I thought I would move to MP to have my kids attend a "GOOD" school. Laurel is good, until you have issues/ problems w/ teachers/ principal that thinks she knows what she is doing and DOES NOT. Parents - it's all show off ( high school ) all over again. Not warm and friendly. I give up! I want to move and get my kids out of this school. Too crowded... only goes up to 3rd grade - then the kids switch to another school. Too much headache!
There are way too many kids here, unfortunately. It's pretty a pretty school at least, but its gotten very crowded. The new principal is an extension of the old principal, which is not good. Very wealthy families attend, and they like to display their wealth...and the feeling is sort of like high school for the moms, all over again. It can get very, very catty and shallow here. Ugh.
My son went to school at Laurel and it was a great experience. Teachers were wonderful. Very strong parent involvement and support from the foundation make this nurturing neighborhood school a great place to be. Academics are strong and extra curricular activities readily available.
We are very pleased with this school. Our daughter's teacher is warm, dedicated and connected with the students. Our daughter has learned a lot and loves school. Great ratio, esp in kindergarten, beautiful campus, library, fields. We toured many schools before deciding to move to Menlo Park (based on the schools) and we have not been disappointed. I also used to be a teacher and do know more about education than some people. I am also quite surprised about the complaints below. The principal is fairly new, and fabulous. She has a kindergarten child herself, so she understand parents and kids. We see nothing lacking in music or science. Our daughter is pleased with those teachers too and is learning. Any family would be lucky to have their kids at this school.
The music program is very poor...not much science either....excellent teachers for the most part. No noticeable innovation or creativity schoolwide.
The support they give to students are just remarkable! We're so happy with our child's development.
The principal doesn't want changes which I think is really bad for a school. She states 'everything has been the same since I became principal here'. I was shocked by the fact that nothing could have changed at a school and by her just saying this to me! She's right: she says no to parents who want to help children clean up during lunch. Her argument is safety but what would be unsafe in having parents help children clean up and learn about waste, recycling etc? Now after lunch it's a shocking mess! She refuses to make time in the classrooms to teach children about waste, environment, recycling etc. Just be flexible and use ziplock bags for maths, and make it a subject for science. The teacher I know is very nice and I'm happy my kid likes to go to school here. But we need changes!
As the principal herself proudly says, 'Nothing has changed in the 18 years I've been here.' Test scores are slipping, parents are talking. But the teachers try and the PTO and foundation give so much for amazing programs, a full time librarian, and art, PE, science, computer lab, and music all with their own dedicated teachers. Parent involvement i$ huge. Currently K-2, expanding to K-3 by 2010 or 2011, so lots of change in the future.
Very involved PTO/parents School is only k-2 but there are at least 7-8 classrooms per grade
My two sons went to this K-3 Elementary school. They both had a wonderful experience. The teachers were excellent and the eniroment very supportive and focus on children growth and balanced development.
Lots of extra programs in music, art and foreign language. Parents are hugley involved! The teaching and administration are excellent! There are a couple of undesirable teachers that everyone hopes they won't get. Too many kids. The result is that each year it's like going to a new school, hardly any of the students in classes are familiar.
We love Laurel! Our son is a 1st grader there and loves school, is reading, writing and doing arithmetic like crazy. Classes are small, warm and energizing, Teachers are dedicated and definitely work with each child regularly on a 1:1 basis. Parents are involved to the extent that the most painful part of any school event is finding parking.
Overall a good school. Helpful and friendly staff. Lot of parent involvement in classroom and extra curricular activities.
Laurel is K-2. My 2nd grader is new to the school/district, and she loves her school! Amazing and caring teachers and staff! There are so many choices of activities. The PTA and parent involvement is tremendous. Parents are really involved. PTA has set up after school foreign langugage, sports, chess as well as a volunteer-run hot lunch program. Great school!
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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