I was a paranoid schizophrenic for all 4 years of attendance and I was never diagnosed by the school counselor.
Pinewood is a terrific college prep private school. Two of our children currently attend Pinewood, but we have had a child graduate from our local public high school (a very highly ranked academic powerhouse), and the difference is immense. The small class size, high level of teacher involvement, and general ethic of Pinewood make for a much better learning experience for our children than the local public HS. In addition to academic benefits, the school is a refreshing oasis of kindness and caring in a world where sometimes those qualities get lost. I am so pleased that we discovered Pinewood School.
Both of my kids attended Pinewood K-12 and were well prepared for college. Pinewood is a wonderful community that provides a diverse, supportive, and caring environment for its students. With the uncertainty of public school education, we are so grateful that Pinewood was there to educate our children. The school is very interactive and in addition to challenging academics, students can participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. Sports, Robotics, Student Government, Debate, Performing Arts, etc... Because of this, students are able to list a wide variety of activities on their college application. In my son's class four students were accepted to Stanford. Impressive in a class of 48!!!
Not worth the money when compared to the excellent public schools and competing private schools in the area. The teachers are mostly competent and caring, but the students and parents have little diversity and create an exclusive social dynamic.
My daughter recently graduated from Pinewood. She thrived there and was admitted to all of her top choice colleges. The small class sizes (I'd say 8-10 is the average), supportive teachers and kind students made this a very wonderful experience for her. Teachers are very accessible and students get a great deal more personal attention than at other schools. There are many clubs and sports for a small school. There are some downsides to attending a small school (limited number of electives, etc) and it is not for everybody, but it worked for her. Pinewood's stats on AP tests and college admissions are available on the website, so draw your own conclusions about some of the recent reviews.
I just graduated from pinewood after 8 years there. I am now going to a high ranking public university. However, it was not worth the money my parents spent on it. The arts department is extremely lacking focusing only on theatre and chorus with no dance and few variations of art courses. There are a select few very good teachers but the number is slowly diminishing. Many teachers simply assign homework and then correct that homework in class and this becomes the entire curriculum. Students are unprepared for the APs. Pinewood's school board is nowhere to be found despite making extremely conservative rules on dress code and conduct which are constantly becoming stricter. The principle seems more like a professional scheduler with little power. It's a luck of the draw. If you end up with the good teachers... which are few and dispersed... you learn and grow. If you end up with the bad ones (most of them) you waste away class time with off topic discussions and projects often with a teacher who doesn't seem interested in the first place. Pinewood shelters your children from bureaucracy and lots of large school drama but you still have cliques and illegal substances all the same.
This school is going downhill fast. Founded as an afterschool arts program, the administration has chosen to generally ignore any arts-related curriculum besides the performing arts department, which continues to put on mediocre theater and choral performances, allocating funding to send these students on extravagant field trips to Rome and London while other departments suffer. Sports are uncompetitive and ignored except for Basketball. The student body is extremely non diverse and clique-y. Some quality teachers remain in the english and math departments. The school is more politically and religiously conservative than any catholic school in the bay area.
Going to pinewood for 3 years has been an awful experience. It is a terrible school that I made the mistake of going to. It has biased, non-knowledgeble teachers who have taught me terribly. We waste away classes going off topic, watching videos, and ignoring what we are meant to learn. The faculty there encourage students to be victims and tell a higher authority if they are minority insulted and never to handle any problems on their own. The teachers make the subjects boring and not fun to learn, and they discourage going ahead. The principal believes whoever snitches, so many people fabricate stories to get other children in trouble. People at this school think they are superior to everyone else and exhibit rude behavior often. The athletics are poorly run and uncompetitive, and the teams rarely have winning seasons. They food served at lunch has given me food poisoning twice. It was a mistake to go there.
Though most of the teachers are nice, they are incompetent. We often waste class time with watching movies, discussing unrelated material, or doing busy work. The homework load is pretty good at Pinewood--we have very little homework most of the time. The classes are generally very easy; however, many of the AP classes do not prepare students to take the AP's. The Pinewood school provides a friendly learning environment, but the quality of teaching could be vastly improved.
I was a student there -- education was good. However, in retrospect not worth the amount of money, most of my friends in higher ed. came from public schools anyway. There is concern of a culture shock when students graduate and enter large universities.
I have an 8th grade daughter at Pinewood and feel so blessed that she is there! She transferred in last year and was immediately accepted in by the staff, and other students. The academic program is rigorous, accompanied by personal individualized support from the teachers. The extracurricular activities are many for a small school. If there is enough interest in a new activity, the staff seems to somehow find a way to add it. I have found that there is a very high level of parental involvement. Not living in the area, we have found Pinewood to be extremely welcoming to our family.
I have a 7th grade son and 9th grade daughter at Pinewood. Pinewood provides a rigorous and caring learning experience. With class sizes ranging from 12 - 20 (and even smaller for some upper level courses) teachers know the students well. 25% of this year's graduating class (10 of 40 students) are National Merit Scholarship Finalists. The girls' varsity basketball team recently won the California State CCS championship (4 of the last 7 years). The school choral group, Pinewood Singers, recently won KFOX radio's 'Best Choral Group of Santa Clara County' vs. 32 schools. For a small private school (300 students in grades 7 - 12), it is indeed 'tiny but mighty.'
This is just a really great school. Much better than the school I used to go to. Everyone there is just a lot nicer and accepting. The inteligence level is also a lot higher than what I've seen at all the other schools I've been to.
Pinewood is an excellent school filled with smart, really nice students. Strong academics and focus on respectful behavior and mutual support. Small classes, good teachers and an online grade tracking system that allows you to know your child's grades on every assignment every day (no surprises).
Very high expectations placed on students of all ages. Many children appear stressed-out and unhappy.
Academia expectations are very high for the Pinewood students; lots of extracurricular activities; very low level of parental involvement as most of the Pinewood community is quite 'Stepford'ish. Absolutely no cultural diversity.
I am not a parent, but a former student. I am very proud of this fact. My education at Pinewood High School (in the mid 80's) completely prepared me for college and carried me through my first 2 years. There was not a single subject that I took during my first two years in college that Pinewood curriculum did not touch upon. Parents, you are by no means wasting your money on this school! Your children will not be able to receive a better education in the entire area than they will at Pinewood. School is not just about books. It is also about moral fortitude and respect for parents, faculty, and peers. Pinewood reinforces this. Your children will not only receive the best education that the Bay Area has to offer, but also the self esteem, confidence, and structure to carry them through college and the 'real life'.
Kids very depressed. Faculty leaves within a duration of two or three years. Inexperienced faculty and poor conditions lead many parents to consider 'Why am I pay 15k for this?!'
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