I would have been more inclined to give Stanley a higher rating just a few years ago. However, academics have declined at the school - maybe the new superintendent and school board played a role. They are phasing out accelerated classes for advanced math students - all incoming 6th graders take the same level class. I hear it's driven by Common Core but their interpretation of the standards has resulted in a big shift to the middle. The school doesn't even offer the same track as neighboring districts Moraga and Orinda. In short, it has a great music program and lots of lunchtime clubs but I would no longer recommend it for students with serious academic aspirations. I don't know how they recently became a "Gold Ribbon" school but it certainly detracts from the prestige of the award, in my opinion.
Stanley tries hard in many areas. In many areas it is an excellent school. It excels in Math and Science, has an outstanding music dept. There are also some wonderful programs like the Spanish Dept's exchange program with a school in Colombia. However the English Dept is hit or miss. If you get a strong teacher there you are lucky, otherwise assume your child will not be prepared for a rigorous High School. Little diversity, there is a small percentage of lower middle class students, but the wealthier, "fairer" students run the show. It's a very large school and shyer students can easily get lost.
While there are some wonderful teachers at Stanley there are also those that would benefit from yearly reviews and evalautions - and moved out when necessary. Not much action is taken when a student or parent needs extra help - or even 15 minutes of an administrator's time - once a year! If your child fits a classic self-motivated student mold, he/she will be fine. Otherwise it's a rocky road. I've had both types of children and very different experiences.
Stanley really is a great school. The principal is fully involved as well as the vice principal. They are always trying to keep everyone involved (including teachers). They do everything in their power to keep kids safe and out of trouble. The only bad thing I would say is that sometimes the teachers are not keeping with that. Certain teachers at this school give you material and barely teach it to you. On the other hand, there are teachers who really care whether or not you do well in life and succeed. I relocated from a state halfway across the country and I was scared that I wouldn't fit in, but I was pleasantly surprised! I am so glad I chose this school!
Stanley is a great school. The teachers are great, the music department is fantastic! Through out elementary school I heard that Stanley had drug problems, but when I went there I figured out that all of that were just rumors. The PE classes are great. You really get involved, and after running a mile or something like that you really feel great about yourself. Stanley is awesome!
We love Stanley! This is my daughter's first year there, and she is having a great time. She's in an advanced math class, and when she needs extra help, there is always a classroom open for math help at lunch and after school. They have tons of sports after school- something for everyone, and everyone gets to play.
Someone commented on the fact that music was lacking at Stanley. Well, Bob Athade runs one of the best music programs I have ever seen. Both in the amount of students that participate and in the quality of musical instruction. Professional musicians regularly teach classes and the the experience outside of the classroom is tremendous. Stanley is a fantastic school.