My son applied for admission to Foothill’s kindergarten this spring, but he will not be attending in August. As a longtime Claremont resident with a physician spouse, I long assumed that attending Foothill would be the best choice for my child. After all, Foothill is expensive, and higher prices always imply better quality, right? Wrong. During my wife’s and my tour of Foothill with a very friendly current parent, we noticed that a child in the kindergarten classroom was sitting in the corner while the teacher taught the rest of class! When I asked the father giving us the tour what was going on, he just rolled his eyes, as if to say, “You weren’t supposed to see that on this tour.” But later in the spring, when I had a chance to ask the teacher herself what had been going on, she explained that the child was being made to miss that day’s language arts lesson as punishment for answering a question without raising his hand. I’m a firm believer in teaching children respect and manners, but, I’m sorry, but that Kind of draconian response to a five year-old just trying to participate in class is excessive and wrong-headed. In my opinion, humiliating a first-time student just for trying to participate in class seems like a perfect recipe for producing quiet but unenthusiastic students – not confident lifelong learners. Unfortunately, the principal permits such punishments to continue, so I guess that’s precisely what he wants to do.
My son attends and likes this school. Our daughter will attend soon. We've had mixed experiences. We've witnessed the school going through transition, changes in headmasters, we've seen teachers come and go, and the construction and opening of the upper school building (which is lovely). Pros: The children who attend are bright. The children are well behaved -not only while in the presence of adults. Parents are very involved. The head of the upper school and the head of admissions are phenomenal. Front office staff are kind, competent and responsive. The Headmaster is approachable. The school is attractive and well kept. The English program is good, particularly in the middle grades. The workload is challenging but not insurmountable. Students are accustomed to testing. Cons: Like many schools, it can drill students into boredom. Less emphasis on critical and creative thinking skills. The PE instructors need better training and the drama classes need a teacher more interested in the process than end product. The maths program is dubious but changing. Heavy on homework and memorization. Overall, my husband and I like the school. Good luck to you and your family.
So basically families are staying because there is no other choice-not because they are satisfied. Anyone who says anything (teacher or parent) which is thought as a different perspective from the administration is made to feel unwelcome.The quality is going downhill but the tuition continues to go up.Now some children will have same poor 2nd grade teacher again! All the above comes at a high price of $18k per school year, not including the donations and volunteering time that is expected. =20k+
The only reason I have rated this school one star is because of how it use to be. My kids in the early years benefited greatly from the programs and small class size. While looking at the rest of the reviews, basically I am reading between the lines that many are here because there is no other alternative. So basically families are staying because there is no other choice-not because they are satisfied. Anyone who says anything (teacher or parent) which is thought as a different perspective from the administration is made to feel unwelcome. That develops a culture of fear rather than respect towards the administration. There was a time when a child might have waited years (or never) to enroll-that was the difficulty of being admitted. Now we see a child visiting on a Tuesday and enrolling the next Monday. Suffice to say this is not the Foothill I know and loved. If you are starting Foothill in the younger grades you will probably not have the same bar to compare as many of us before you but do remember that there is always a choice.
Yes FCDS has gone through some changes from what it used to be. (Whatever that is supposed to mean?) However, a parent needs to consider what the alternatives are. In the area there are few. You can not beat the small class size, teaching of good study habits, diverse curriculum, and love for learning that is developed in the students. Bottom line, it is a school like no other in the area. I will agree that there were issues with 1st grade and we almost left because of it. However, no school is perfect and one needs to keep in mind that there are bad teachers no mater where you go.
Our children enrolled at FCDS at the end of the tenure of Howell Webb. Through the Foothill Family we have made lasting friendships and followed the successful paths to adulthood of many of the alumni. Each of our children, and their schoolmates, will tell you that the lessons learned at FCDS have been the foundation of all future learning and enabled their successes. It was a community devoted to the love of learning and living up to expectations. If you are considering FCDS then the only thing that matters is how the school measures against the alternatives. Some food for thought; you own your education outright, whether it be bad or good.
Foothill WAS a great school. If you talk to parents that have kids graduated from the school, they would paint you a totally diffrerent picture from what it is now. The quality is going downhill but the tuition continues to go up. We feel obligated to update the ratings of this school so the people on the "waitlist" knows the truth. The greatest thing about this school is the parents involvement and care for their kids.......which really has nothing to do with the school?! As for character, I believe it starts at home.
Some teachers at FCDS are excellent and others are not at all. Right now we are extremely disappointed with headmaster because he decided to get rid of excellent second grade teacher and promote poor first grade teacher. Now some children will have same poor teacher again next year! Many parents are extremely disappointed and principal is refusing to respond at all. Of course, many teachers are superb, and parent support at the school is the best. Is this school run for the teachers?
Do not send your children to this school if they have slightly above average math capabilities as they will be under challenged, bored, and at times, frustrated. Several parents have raised their concerns regarding the math program, however no action has been taken to date. There is no individualization of learning nor advancement for gifted students. If one is to look at the school calendar, one would find that this school starts their academic year after September, have many holidays interspersed, and two spring breaks (February and April). In addition, this school has changed over the years (due to expansion) to essentially accepting anyone who can pay tuition, versus a detailed selection of highly moral and academically inclined students. All the above comes at a high price of $18k per school year, not including the donations and volunteering time that is expected. Most parents stay in this school as there are not many other private school choices around the area.