My son has been at RDS for five years now, and he has had a great experience. He loves school, loves his teachers. They appreciate what makes him unique while helping him grow. One great perk is that through third grade there is a full time teacher and a full time intern in the classroom. Every intern we had was great, and having two adults in the classroom made all the difference. If one child is having a bad time, he or she can have the full attention of a teacher while the rest of the class smoothly continues - everyone is being taken care of. There are also great "specialist" classes. My son gets to go to art class, music class, Spanish class, science class, PE - all taught by experts in their fields, while his main teachers get a break and can get ready for the next lesson.
Our daughter has completely come out her shell at RDS! She wakes up excited every morning to go to school and we couldn't be happier as a family. What we appreciate most about RDS is how thoughtful the teachers and administration are with curriculum. Rather than being in a hurry to demonstrate mastery of different skills, careful attention is given to building a solid foundation in order to make sure there are no gaps in student learning later on when more sophisticated concepts are introduced. This understanding of how important foundation skills are to future success is apparent in the different ways new concepts are brought into the classroom and previous concepts are reinforced. Students are more thoughtful with their approach to their learning, instead of simply looking for right answer. The teachers also pay very close attention to each student. Our daughter's teacher notices everything about our child from her academic strengths and weaknesses to her idiosyncrasies that only our family usually notices. Beyond the classroom, the parent community at RDS is loving and supportive. We are so thankful that our daughter is growing up in the RDS community.
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.