Our child has been at De Portola for three years and we've been very pleased with the experience thus far. I think parents must be realistic in their expectations... no school is perfect. We've had a few spirited "debates" with the principal and we've been able to work through issues together. Our child is academically challenged, feels socially comfortable, and generally looks forward to school. We've had exposure to the G.A.T.E. program as well and have been very impressed thus far. Mr. Gomez is learning the ropes, but I think he's showing improvement. Again, anyone that expects someone to come in and have it all figured out day 1 is unrealistic. The real downside here is that the PTA doesn't feel inclusive. If I ran the PTA program (which I don't have time to do), I would create parent workshops, teach-ins, etc. to generate a greater degree of inclusion. Maybe they could send out surveys or solicit feedback via other "low touch" means that could lead to improvement. In a nutshell, we're happy with the school.
The teachers are, with very few exceptions, dedicated to the craft of teaching and very effective educators. The new principal (Gomez, 2015-2016 school year), however, is a disappointment and the sole reason why I give this school four stars instead of five. He refuses to mete out discipline, which has resulted in dangerous conditions on the playground. My child and her friends feel uncomfortable at recess because of the principal's failure to properly monitor the playground. His daily public address announcements are distracting at best and border on inappropriate at worst. His emails are riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. Embarrassingly, so is his bio on the school’s web page (presumably he’ll fix that if he ever reads this comment). And in a student-produced video, he actually said that he does not like to read books. I hope he does not inflict permanent damage to the school's quality of education or otherwise sterling reputation.
Many of the positive reviews were based off the old leadership that has since retired. De Portola has the potential to be an amazing school again but is sadly being held back by incredibly bad leadership that has no concern for the well being of the children of the school. The test scores are great, many of the teachers are good (not all), but the leadership is literally ruining the once amazing community feel. PTA gets no support from leadership, parents concerns are ignored, and the feeling that this school is more than just an 8-3pm job is missing. I hope that in the future, as new leadership comes in, the school will go back to its glory years and thrive in our small community.
Great wonderful teachers-the academic GATE classes really push higher thinking and give students a faster learning pace. Coming from private school we are thrilled with the higher quality of this school. What the reviewer below is mistaken about is that a similar school with the same demographics actually scores lower-it would get a score of 4 compared to the 9 score that de Portola scored. So it shows that we are an excellent school with excellent teachers! The only thing I agree with is the apathy of the principal in making it an even stronger school...with all the wonderful bright GATE students the possibilities to make the school shine are endless.
This school is decidedly lackluster. The Principal is distant and lacks any desire to manifest change. Their test scores are falling, and their same schools rank is a 4, which means they do a below average job of teaching to their population. Their office staff is unhelpful to the point of being rude.
I agree that while GATE may have been different the rest of the school is still great as the teachers are so top notch so we have not been affected as we are not in any special Ed program and my kid is thriving and happy!
My daughter transferred to this school in the beginning of 3rd grade, too late to be tested for GATE for that year. She thrived in GATE during her 4th grade year earning top honors throughout the year. Transferring from Anneliese Academy, a small private school, to de Portola was the best decision we've made for her education and sociological development. I'm proud to have my daughter at de Portola and I'm grateful for the opportunities she's been given.