It is hard to rate Portola because the quality varies greatly from one teacher to the next. In math, you might as well leave your child alone with his book and computer to figure all out by himself, but you might have a very positive experience with the English class. Parent perspective on school quality in WCCUSD is skewed by the many underperforming schools in the district. Portola ends up being a better choice than others, but that is not saying much. If you have a child and must live in the WCCUSD, this middle school is located in a safe neighborhood, and despite all, has a very good principal at this time. The band teacher is very active. It is probably the best thing about this school. They just changed the school's name to Korematsu Middle. A more meaningful change would have been to reelect all the school board members in WCCUSD, especially those who have lingered on for too long due to their political ambitions, not because they care to serve the children. Land deals and profits from expensive building projects govern WCCUSD. A good area to live in if you own a large construction company and want to get rich fast, not if you have school age children.
Portola Middle is disorganized and the leadership is poor and unable to inspire real improvement. While this school boasts itself as a diverse community, the reality is that students and staff are not treated equally. Teacher quality varies widely and teachers are not supervised properly. I question the safety of the students at Portola. The local police officer that works at Portola is often seen playing basketball or football with the kids instead of supervising the school. There appears to be a lack of supervision overall. The image of Portola as a great school is merely an image.
We are so pleased with our up-and-coming middle school! We have a dynamic, engaged principal who is 100% present on campus and behind the scenes. Under his wonderful leadership, we see a welcoming, positive student culture where all students feel at home. My daughter had a great two years here, and is prepared for high school academically, and (perhaps more importantly), she is prepared emotionally. We love the diversity of Portola, the heterogenous classes, and the involved parent community.
We are happy at this school. This is our second year here, and we notice that LOTS of kids from our elementary school are enrolled this year, and all the kids at the school seem sweet and welcoming. We are looking forward to another great year!
With the new campus set to be opened during the 2015-16 school year, and the temporary campus getting love from parents, teachers, and students, there is a really positive vibe at Portola. Well-loved programs like band, math club, Writer Coach Connection, drama, and leadership are going strong. Plus new programs like chess club, after school language programs, and the dual-immersion Spanish-English program are taking off. Teachers will be getting additional support and training this year from a Scholar-In-Residence. Though the diversity of the campus creates challenges to educate and care for children with different backgrounds and needs, it is also a boon for my child who gets to experience many different cultures and perspectives. Despite the hard work ahead to insure a high quality education for every single child who attends, this is a school on the right track. My student is proud to attend her neighborhood middle school!
Portola is an amazing school its diverse they have swimming French spanish music drama and more I really do think you should send your child there.
Does anyone know of any famous people that went to Portola Jr High? Thank you, Gary
Portola has great kids who are eager to learn. We are on a temporary campus now due to earthquake problems . Portola needs a boost !
I am so delighted in how the effects of Parent participation have changed the energy of this school year. My hopes are that the teachers will be able to focus on our children without the worries of the economy. Portola is now a safer school with the help of Portola Parents. Our Principal is very much supportive and supported.
My son is much happier on the new campus. The old building was hard to navigate and it was somewhat difficult to supervise the students. So far, I like all his teachers and he has made a lot of new friends since starting here in 7th grade. The school staff and parents are very down-to-earth and seem to care about the school and the community. Moving to the temp. campus was a very good thing for this school and some of the new teachers are great. My biggest concern: large class sizes but that's true of most public schools now.
The only saving grace that this school has is the band teacher. My son excelled in her class and is now an aspiring jazz musician. Aside from that his 6th grade teacher was always way too busy for him and he slowly slipped between the cracks after having been a GATE student at Madera. She didn't seem to care how deeply this affected his self-esteem or his quality of work. The kids are very rough and use terrible language around the school yard without much supervision. My son had his lunch stolen and thrown around a few times, he had drinks thrown at him, ketchup packets sprayed on his clothes, was pushed around and threatened almost daily. He was too embarrassed to tell me these things were going on until the last 2 months. I regret letting him go to school there.
Portola is a much calmer and safer environment this year compared to the last 2 years when my older child went through. The kids really love it, and band, drama and leadership are wonderful opportunities for them to develop. There is much more parent involvement, and it shows. If parents can stay involved and help maintain positive contacts with faculty and administration, this school can continue to grow into a real asset, especially when the new building opens. The biggest negative is consistency in teaching: they have lost some good teachers. They still have some great ones, but some of them not so much... True everywhere I guess. Great after school program.
I am impressed by the quality of teaching. In world history, the teacher brings in guest speakers and they have started a debate team. In drafting, my kid was inspired to design/build his own projects at home. The science teacher took every student who won a first place ribbon for their science project to the Exploratorium. When I have gone to school concerts, I'm amazed by how well the students play. There is a math club that meets weekly and the students compete in match competitions. Parent community has been very active--buying supplies for the staff, recruiting parents to supervise during lunch, bringing in rec staff for special activities, and they do a monthly lunch for the entire staff. Kids will be moving out of the old building into portables down the hill which will be better. Bottom line: my kid is making lots of friends and is happy here.
It's a very poor school.The site supervisors are never around when there's a problem.They'll come after the fight.I would not recommened this school for anyone.It's not a good place to learn.It's very weak.
I'm a mother of an 8th grader at Portola and while this is our first year at this school, I'm pleasantly surprised with how well it's going so far. I'm excited to see all the parent support and the PTSA is wonderful, very involved. My daughter is taking drama and just loves it already. I'm looking forward to the afterschool program and many other activities planned for the year. Parent support is key to sucess!
As I sit here reading the reviews, it's more clear that people are not taking the problems at Portola very serious. It's easy to sit back and say well my child has fallen victim to this or that, but what about someone else's child. My daughter is very outgoing, friendly bubbling personality, very popular.. We live in EC and have lived in some areas not so good, but I've never had any problems with my children - until my daughter began at Portola in the 6th grade. The classrooms are so disruptive, teachers won't send the problem children out of the class, the principal or vice-principal won't do anything as far as kicking them out of the school. Don't sacrifice my childs education... It's unfair! Portola is the worst school and should be condemned. I can't wait for them to close it.
My daughter is a student here, in 7th grade. At first my husband and I were very apprehensive of the school because the site looks old and dirty; but I don't regret having my daughter there. She has very dedidated teachers that constantly challenger her and show that they care for her learning. I'm very happy with the school and the administration.
This is a good school with a strong music program, some very fine teachers, and some engaging electives including art, drama, and drafting. It's not for everyone but for a motivated, focused student, it works.
We just received our star testing back and were thrilled! I was told that the advanced teachers at Portola have seniority on which classes they want to teach. Request the AP classes. Our son was challenged the two years he attended Portola. He has learned what to expect amoungst your peers by attending this school. Wake up people, this is our community. Portola prepared my son for high school in a real life social enviornment. He feels well prepared and is so happy to be with his friends at El Cerrito High. He has learned how to take responsibility for his studies and apply himself. He scored profieicent in all areas tested. We are pleased to report this, when there is so much negativity surrounding circumstances at our own neighborhood school.
Portola i believe is better looking and has better teachers this school i recommend to all those parents who want a great education for your children
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