We ve had 2 sons at RDS for 6 years. It's wonderful. But, because our older child in elem. school is inspired by math & technology and scores well, when he was in 4th and 5th grade, we considered and fully researched other MS/HS options we *perceived* to be more academic. We thought a change would be the best to build self-esteem -on his strengths- and get him positioned for HS. We decided to stay at RDS! We grew to appreciate what we didn't appreciate we already had! The exersize was an eye opener. Other than in language choices, the other schools weren't more academic. The curriculum , expectations and the teaching styles were similar. RDS had more connections *between* subjects. Besides sports, it has more extracurriculars. RDS's STEM program is inspired and rigorous. The Health strand for middle schoolers is awesome (sex, drugs, identity, nutrition). Kids aren't perpetually nervous (few bite their nails). RDS teachers are clearly at the ready for students. Middle schoolers are impressively grounded and have all kinds of chances to shine. Dig into the data about at RDS. Listen to the concepts and questions the faculty and students are articulating. Impressive.
I want to BE my children ... and my greatest wish is for every child to have the opportunity to learn and grow in a place like Redwood Day School. Thank you, Redwood Day, for helping all kinds of learners -- and all kinds of people -- come together and become the best that they can be.
Our family could not be more pleased with our experience at Redwood Day School (RDS). From the school's dedication to diversity, including their generous support and contributions to financial aid to the community support, to the education, and friendships formed our family is truly blessed. As a parent, I can not imagine a greater investment to make in my child's life, than to give the opportunity of education and community. Teacher Emily (KB) has been a huge part of our son's success in Kindergarten this year. I've watched, admirably, as she teaches and guides her class with a firm, but very loving hand! There are so many aspects in which the strong family/school partnership is apparent. If you're looking for a K-8 private school, I could not more highly recommend RDS! Please feel free to contact me with any questions. My older son is currently in Kindergarten at RDS. (http://www.rdschool.org/about-rds)
My children have thrived at Redwood Day School! They are constantly stimulated and challenged by the strong, yet progressive academic program. Rather than simply listening to lectures, taking tests and reading textbooks, Redwood students are engaged in projects that excite their curiosity and their interest in learning. We love the beautiful redwood grove and the outdoor learning that takes place there, and in the school garden (with chickens!). It is great seeing how the children treat each other with respect in environments like the weekly all-school assemblies where the eighth graders quietly listen as kindergarteners stand up and "honor" their friends. I have an eighth grader (and a fifth grader) and looking for a high school has been bittersweet since it will be hard to match the experience we've had so far. And not just for the kids, but for the parents as well. The RDS community is a wonderful supportive and diverse group of families who really care about the school and the children there. I highly recommend Redwood Day School!
My shy daughter found her voice, blossomed into an outstanding student, and critical thinker at Redwood Day School. In fifth grade I switch her from a top Oakland public school to Redwood Day School because I felt its philosophy of educating the whole child and embracing different learning styles would work best for her. It was a fantastic choice. She is now in 8th grade and has blossomed. She is a very strong student, performing at the highest levels, particularly in math and science. She did outstanding on her ISEE high school entrance exams and is looking for a high school that in her words "is rigorous." In addition, RDS helped her grow socially and emotionally. She is naturally quite shy. RDS provided her with a safe platform to find her voice in class, in school plays and as the treasurer of the student council. RDS provided rigorous academics with a healthy emphasis on social and emotional development. I believe it was the right environment to take risks, so that now my daughter is a very confident student and is ready for the challenges at whichever high school she chooses.
Our family has really enjoyed Redwood Day School. For us, the school has struck the right balance between academic rigor and seeking to develop the children into balanced human beings. The extra-curricular activities (art, music, gardening, etc.) are particularly good. I like the fact that while parental involvement is encouraged, each parent is allowed to decide how much time to devote to the school.
We have been so thrilled to have our daughter attend Redwood Day School. The school provides a challenging academic program, but balances that out with attention to the social emotional development of kids at all ages. Redwood Day is very diverse, and doesn't just play lip service to diversity. Diversity is reflected in numbers, but also in institutional planning, curriculum, affinity groups, and overall meaningful interactions for children from varied backgrounds. Our child is always so excited to go to school,, and loves the projects her teachers do with them on a regular basis. We have a fabulous head of school who has a strong and well-supported vision for the school, and has been a wonderful, caring and active leader. We have loved seeing our daughter come out of her shell and become a leader and participant in her school community. She does things she never would have before- talent shows, public speaking, and risk taking in general. If you want your child to be part of an inclusive, down to earth community that recognizes kids need to be challenged and guided, this is a great school for you.
We can't be more pleased with our experience at RDS so far. We have a Kindergartner who started in the Fall. RDS has a very well thought out academic program. Our king of scribble scrabble is writing signs "open" and "closed" when he is playing store and recognizing #s out in public. "Why is the #12 hanging in the store at Trader Joes." In addition, they teach the children very important social skills to get along with each other --sharing, respecting others opinions even if they are different than theirs, being kind, making healthy/safe choices to name a few. Our son still thinks that he is tricking us because he has so much fun at school. He thinks that all he does is play when he is actually learning very important social and academic skills. This just feeds into building his confidence which is the foundation of making good choices as he gets older. We see him thriving daily. We are also impressed at the parent involvement, It is a friendly and diverse community that works well together.
At the end of each school day when I pick up my very inspired, happy 2nd grader I am reminded of what a great decision sending my child to RDS was. In addition to a strong, well balanced academic program, the RDS focus on the whole child and strong sense of community makes this school wonderful. My child is thriving in this wholesome environment. I have great respect for the schools leadership, vision and commitment to the education and nurturing of its students.
I feel good dropping off my son at RDS every day. Yes, he is making great progress academically, but what we love is that his character is also being nurtured every day. They work with the children on how to handle their emotions and how to work things out together. I feel like the teachers "get" my son and appreciate his unique approach, while gently steering him where he needs to go. We adopted our son, and have also been very, very impressed with how inclusive RDS is of all family structures. They have put a great deal of thought into how the school works and how the lessons are taught to make this happen. I am a fantastic worrier of a mom but, at RDS I know my son is in good hands.
I wish I could rate RDS higher. We wanted to love it as much as many others do; however, there were a few very critical missing parts. Our child was a very active boy with trouble regulating. The school truly lacks the social/ emotional support for both parents and children. They resort to punishment and seem to lack the skills necessary to do much more than react after things break down for children. The language used is often demeaning and unenlightened. Sadly, there is no responsibility taken on the school's part, which is ironic considering this is what they are asking of the children. Having said that, there are so many great aspects of the school, many of the aspects highlighted by other parents here. However, if your child is "spirited" or "strong willed", ask a lot of questions about specifics relating to discipline. I hope there are changes for the better in the future, but presently there are a number of parents who have banged their head against this wall for too long and are leaving or are very unsatisfied.
For the past 6 years our family has been part of the RDS community and we still love the school for the same reasons we used to select it: great community, great staff, great teachers and a commitment to differentiated education. We have grown to appreciate the fact the school is also very transparent and open in their communication. They do not try to be things they are not and they have a great community as a result.
My son is in 1st grade at RDS. We love the community at RDS, including the administration, faculty, parents, and students. Our son is thriving at RDS and we couldn't be much happier.
My children are in 1st and 3rd grade at RDS and as a family, we could not be happier. My children LOVE, LOVE, LOVE school. The teachers are absolutely fantastic on every level. They are very experienced, kind, and dedicated. My kids are being challenged and absolutely love to learn. The extracurricular offerings add so much to the curriculum. The facilities are wonderful, as is the staff. The parent community is caring and supportive and involved.
My son is in lower school at RDS and next year his brother will go. I am soooo very glad we're past the point of wondering what school would embrace both of their learning styles and unique interests! One is very facile with math, drawing and mechanical things, into individual sports... very visual, has a few good friends and tries once he's sure he'll succeed. The other, Mr. Social, dives in to try everything. He's already loves to read and is gung-ho about all team sports. RDS teachers -the grades and all the specialists- are extremely tuned into the ways and strengths of each child so I am confident we're in great hands for the next 9 years! The whole diverse community cares about the KIDS' potential. I hope my sons can be as smart, grounded and cool as the middle schoolers are one day. They are the best evidence.
This is our son's third year at RDS and we couldn't be happier with the quality of his education, his enthusiasm for learning and our comfort with the school community. He truly loves going to school each day. RDS' faculty is excellent - from the enrichment teachers (spanish, music, art, gardening, PE) to the grade level teachers and x-care staff. This is an excellent school that has exceeded our expectations.
We moved from the East coast with three girls (K, 2 & 4) who entered RDS all at one time. We couldn't be more pleased. The community is welcoming, the curriculum varied, the staff are incredible and our kids love going to school each day. Although our girls are quite different, we feel like we hit the jackpot for each of them
I must take strong exception to the comment about diversity. We are a two-dad family at Redwood Day and have been fully embraced. Every school has bumps along the way, but the intention of the school is always spot-on and they always find the path to doing the right thing. Our children are thriving, they are seen, and are being nourished as individuals in profound ways.
I have to disagree with the poster who thought RDS didn't get diversity. We are an African-American family and one of the things that impresses us the most about RDS is how much attention is spent on diversity related issues. The school hired a consultant to conduct focus groups to really explore the relative experiences that kids have at the school based on their race, socio-economic status and/or family structure so that programs and policies are in place to ensure that everyone has a fulfilling and stimulating experience at school. Teachers are trained to recognize unintentional bias to make sure that students are treated fairly. The curriculum is culturally diverse and internationally focused. Minority authors are read and studied. The contributions of minorities to society are celebrated and highlighted. Beyond academics, the unique cultural backgrounds of the students are celebrated. It's a great school on many levels including on diversity.
After six years, I continue to sing this school's praises. The teachers are enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated; the administration is committed to bringing out the best in each child; and the school community is close-knit, diverse, and engaged. We are thrilled at the education our child is getting--academically, socially, and in every way.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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