Students enrolled 654
School leader Stuart Payne

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28 Carson
Irvine, CA 92620

School website
(949) 936-5950
(949) 936-5959
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Map of Northwood Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 33 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

July 01, 2014
Love this school...kids enjoy learning here and get motivations towards their goals. That's all we care as parents. In my opinion, if parents want the school to improve and have concerns. They should go directly to the principle and express their concerns with suggestions. By writing all the negative comments vaguely with the parties involved will never help in any situation.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2014
We were in this school with the old principal and this year is my last year with the new principal. I applaused the changes to improve the school overall the new principal has put in. However, the young, new and inexperienced teachers we had last year and the year before (especially the lower grades) should be evaluated and retrained. Many of the parents I know who had kids in those grades felt some of the teachers played favoritism to students and over showering gifts to the teachers also is a big part parents experienced in this school. Not only I agree with them, I also felt the same experince especially with the couple young teachers in upper grades. These two were teaching the same grade level and barely had much classroom experience to teach our kids at this level. I believe they need to go through more teaching training, stop playing the games of favoritism and definitely quit being the apple-polishers to the principal. My thumbs up to the fifth, sixth grade veteran teachers who have been with the school all these years. They have and had been remained professionalism throughout their career all the years we were there and I am sure for the years to come too.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2014
Excellent School! Excellent Staff! It is very sad to see the below reviews regarding Northwood Elementary because it sounds like these families did not find a way to be involved. I am not one of the "groupies" nor have I given gifts to the school other than the gift of my time but I have always been impressed with how inclusive the activities have been and how easy it is to get involved with what interests me. The PTA plans multiple fun activities throughout the year such as World Fair celebrating all of the different cultures, the end of year Carnival for everyone, the Back to School BBQ which is free to all of the families, the talent show where our kids can strut their stuff, etc. As with any school, there are teachers that fit better with my child's personality than others but we have had nothing but great experiences in all of the classes. We only have a couple more years before our youngest will graduate and we will certainly miss Northwood Elementary!

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2014
This was my childrens' first year at Northwood, as we moved to Irvine from Florida last year. It has truly been such a wonderful experience. Both of our kids' teachers were outstanding. There were plenty of volunteer opportunities and I have to disagree with the previous reviewer about the school not having fun family activities. While I can't speak to prior years, this year there have been several family nights out. We have attended most of the events and they've been really great. There have also been a number of family lunches during the school day. From our perspective, we are absolutely confident that our kids have received a fantastic education at Northwood this year. From the dedicated teachers to the school administration, we are very pleased with the care, attention and education our children have been receiving.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2014
I love this school! They have great teachers and the staff is amazing. Dr Payne is a very good principal. I would highly recommend this school!!!

- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2014
THIS SCHOOL IS AWFUL!!! I moved from another elementary school in the area and I am so sorry! THIS SCHOOL IS ALL WORK AND NO FUN!! Recess and lunch are the minimum minutes. Other schools are longer. To many rules. No grade level plays, no winter performances, no class fun! Boring award assemblies 3 times a year with lower grades getting made up awards (best book report) and upper grades it's all about grades! If you have all A's and 1 C you get NOTHING! But if you have all B's you get an award. C's are BAD!! My son is so stressed out and he is 10 years old! It's elementary school. Why are grades even a factor? Many teachers and the principal would be better working at the middle school level. PTA has no spirit. Only activities are what they call Family Night Out with dinner at a fast food restaurant where money goes back to school. Fine but there is NOTHING else FUN. My other school had so much fun! No award assemblies but grade level plays 2x a year, winter performance, other class performances, fun activities at the school. They were during the school day and all us parents were around helping. It was both a great education and fun. You will not find that here at all.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2014
I moved into Irvine because I heard about the good education and initially I was so excited enrolling my children in Northwood Elementary school. Latter I figured out that this was not true for everyone. My children and I were unwelcome to the school. Most of the upper grade teachers are mean and disrespectful. They don't treat students fairly, and discourage parents to volunteer. They have a very big problem with yelling and abusing children. There are things you should consider when enrolling your child in Northwood, for example; are you able to constantly provide gifts for staff, or donate money to the school. If not then, you and your child are NOT welcome or wanted at this school. You should also consider your ethnicity, because this is great factor at how you are treated at this school. Bullying is also a major problem that the school fails to recognize.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2014
I read the list of the 2014 Blue Ribbon schools and was NOT surprised to see that Northwood did not make the list. Dr. Payne is thoughtful, forward thinking leader, but there is much to be desired from the staff, parents, and students. My child's teacher is sarcastic with her class and barely acknowledges me when I volunteer in class. The parents are very cliquey and really do overgift. Even first year teachers will have a student teacher, so the kids really don't understand the material. The master teacher then has to reteach the lesson. The children are from both an older, affluent neighborhood in Irvine and low income housing. This combination helps form a schism in the school. Most Northwood students are spoiled, often curse and are just plain rude and entitled. The parking and pick up procedure is torturous at best. Most follow the rules, but the ones who don't really make it difficult for everyone else. I have moved my children to Stonegate and am very happy. It is much better than Northwood.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2014
My child is in 5th grade this year and probably has the worst teacher in the entire school. This teacher is new and used to be super nice when she was an aid. Her whole attitude has completely changed since she has become a teacher(permanent position) and is so overwhelmed by all the work she has to do. The principal is good and cares for the students, but I think he needs to pay more attention to who he is hiring and should not allow the teachers to yell and scream at the students.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2013
My child has been attending attending Northwood since Kindergarten and now in the 6th grade. From my experience, there has always been great parent/teacher partnership. The principal is very attentive. It is true the upper grade teachers do not require the volunteers that the lower grades do, but I don't think it is because they are intentionally trying to distance themselves from parents. Overall, my child's experience throughout has been a very positive one.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2012
I agree with the review from Aug 15,2011. Now 1 1/2 years later same story regarding excessive gift-giving parents and some overly involved parents that make it difficult for others to volunteer. Education system is good. My first child attended with the previous principal and now 2nd child with Dr.Payne. Big difference and better change. My only negative here is the parents volunteers has to be fair. By gift giving parents taking over the power and getting less chance for others to take part. If one parent is a room parent for once class for one child, give the chance to others for other classes instead of the same parent for both of his/her children classroom mom. I have been in the PTA before and last year and this year the main PTA members needs to be changed. We had great PTAs for last so many years.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2012
I went to Northwood Elementary School from 1995-1997. The teachers are great and sincerely care about how well you perform. They develop relationships with parents and their students. I still keep in touch with them from time to time.

- submitted by a community member
March 30, 2012
The faculty and staff are dedicated to making Northwood Elementary the best school. Dr. Payne's leadership is strong and he is very personable. Our children have had excellent teachers and there's a real sense of community here. It's nice to see so many parents volunteering their time. Northwood Elementary is an exceptional school and we are so fortunate that our children have had a tremendous learning experience.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2012
Upper-grade teachers distance themselves from parents: either they don't ask for parent volunteers, or they're not using them (except to file papers). Principal suffers from "excessive analysis:" he can provide a case study for every student and situation, leaving you feel like your child is just a number. They do not put children first, and there is no child/teacher/parent partnership with the school. There is no learning community here. My older children attended other Irvine elementary schools and this one leaves me cold.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2011
Nice school, caring staff. My child has received support when & where needed. I would agree with the previous comment about the favoritism towards the kids of the excessive gift-giving parents. There are some overly involved parents that make it difficult for others to volunteer. And yes, it takes a "non-groupie" parent to know this. Overall, we enjoy Northwood and have had a successful experience.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2011
Great school, with a very good principal. My kid has has a very good learning experience. There are some issues with a few parents who glorify kindergarten teachers to such a point that it looks and feels crazy. Also kids of parents, who regularly gift teachers or throw night out parties, get more recognition then deserving kids. Though not visible, you have to be a non-groupie parent to know this. Otherwise, the school is good. The standard of education is good. The above favoritism might be there in other schools as well, and might be a common thing elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2010
Our family has relocated a bit, and we have experience with 4 elementary schools. Northwood stands out as a fantastic school that lives it's values and offers outstanding academic instruction. Dr. Payne sets a great tone of accountability and respect with parents, teachers and students. Parents are involved and welcomming. Teachers and RSP staff work hard to develop the best in each student - even when talents are harder to access. Kudos to Northwood for being an outstanding place for children to succeed academically and personally.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2009
I have a daughter in this school and have come to know the PTA, the Principle, and many of the teachers. This school is awesome. They really work harder than most to keep this school great. Its a national Blue Ribbon School, and a California Distinguished School

- submitted by a parent
July 12, 2009
Both of my children attended 1st through 3rd grade at Northwood. Both of them had excellent teachers, especially Mrs. Fritsch (2nd) and Mrs. Peters (3rd). Now my children are in the Academically Advance Program (4-6 grd). I felt the teachers prepared them very well for this program. Dr. Payne, the principal, is a great addition to the school. He and the teachers working as a team have turn this school into an excellent school.

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2009
Teachers care about each child's success. They have gone out of their way to help students learn and succeed, including extra help in before school or after school sessions. Strong sense of family and caring within the community of students and parents. Dr. Payne, the principal, is open-minded, involved, and results oriented. School is a Blue Ribbon Award winner.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2009
My 2 children attend this school. I am very pleased with the k thru 3 teachers. I have seen some of the 4 thru 6 teachers and they seem really strict. Dr. Payne is an excellent principle. Alot of parent involvment which is a plus.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating March 01, 2009
We have good experience in this school. We love our daughter's teacher and the Principal, Dr. Payne. He is a nice and hard working principal. His leadership has turned the school into an excellent school in Irvine district.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2008
Excellent teachers. Teachers expect and often require a lot of parental involvement in child's school activities. This is one of the reasons children excel here. They also motivate the child to learn on their own (i.e. phonetic reading exercises), which builds their self-confidence.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2008
Good school.Taechers are hard working.My son liked his kg teachers a lot.Dr.Payne(principal) is very nice and hard working.He is doing his best to make this school no.1.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2007
Very good school. My son attended to a ELD class in first grade. Loved it. The teachers are very prepared so the children come out speaking English very fluently. The installations are ok. Good staff. The education in overall is great, they show the kids to have good manners. Like to share, raise their hands, to take care of themselves. It's a very good school.

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2005
I have had two children attend this school throughout their elementary years and although the school doesn't rank high in terms of standardized test scores and API I feel that their education was great. The teachers were willing to 'customize' their programs to help my one child who is very advanced for grade level and also support in a caring way my other child who struggles at grade level. I am concerned that this school has lower test scores as compared with the district and wonder if the high level of second-language learners affects this.

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 08, 2005
very nice teachers specially kindergarten teachers . experienced.friendly,but should encourage student more especially who are bit ahead than others.poor parking structure.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2004
Northwood Elementary is a great place to be. The teachers are great, the pta is booming, and the school displays a very positive environment. The principal is 'hands on' and very involved with the students. I am very happy my two children attend this school and I wouldn't have them go anywhere else. I would love to see more parent involement, a lot of the same people are putting on the same activities.

- submitted by a parent
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Northwood Elementary School
28 Carson, Irvine, CA  92620
(949) 936-5950
Last modified Northwood Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Northwood Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 34 reviews. Top