This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted November 25, 2013
- a parent
Our daughter is in 2nd grade at Aurora School. She and her schoolmates appear to be well-rounded, caring, and curious learners, thanks to the dedicated and thoughtful teachers and staff. If you are interested in a challenging, yet progressive, education for your child, Aurora should be on your list. The litany of positives is long: blended classrooms (a terrific attribute), creative teachers, truly individual attention, world-class children's library (no joke, you have to see it to believe it), small-school environment, involved parents (who, for many, really do become great friends), varied learning environments (woodshop for K/1s-seriously!), and a thoughtful curriculum. So many have said they knew their family belonged at Aurora the minute they walked into the school. Once you visit, you will see why.
My daughter is entering 4th grade in the Fall at Aurora and has been there since kindergarten. She has thrived at Aurora, and although the regular social, emotional and academic challenges of early childhood inevitably come up, I have been impressed again and again at the staff's ability to respond with sensitivity and thoughtfulness. If there is one thing that Aurora does beautifully it is to get to know each child as an individual. I really suggest that you look at Aurora if you are looking for a school where your child will not only learn academics, but will become part of a wonderful community of lifelong learners.
Aurora is an amazing school, with very strong teaching staff and a wonderfully supportive parent community. We have a daughter still there and one that has graduated to middle school, we could not be more impressed with the academically strong and socially compassionate kids they have become, and we attribute a big part of that to their time at Aurora. The school's tag line - The Best of Both Worlds: Academic Rigor in a Progressive Setting - holds true. The school does an impressive job of blending academic achievement with a strong social and emotional curriculum. And the teachers are an impressive array of competent and caring individuals. Looking back at almost ten years at Aurora I can not imagine that there would have been a better academic experience for my two kids.
Aurora is a treasure. Our daughter has been there for four years, and we're delighted not only with the education she's receiving but also with the broader school community. We love the fact that it's truly an elementary school (K-5, instead of K-8 or K-12), because the entire education and culture can really cater to children of that age. The mixed grade classrooms have been invaluable because they've given our daughter the chance to cultivate meaningful relationships with a broad range of children, instead of confining her to six years with the same group. Academically, Aurora consistently fosters critical thinking and curiosity -- with teachers who are thoughtful and dedicated, and students who truly enjoy learning. Obviously this is a personal decision, and not every school works for every student or family. But Aurora children seem happy and inclusive, and develop interesting minds and empathetic hearts. We recommend it without reservation. -Current parent at Aurora
Aurora joins a rigorous academic K-5 model with a progressive approach to learning and education. The teachers are exemplary--leaders in the classroom, but also skilled at collaborative efforts with other classroom teachers and specialists in art, music, etc. We have been very happy with the academic challenge afforded our daughter, but also with the comprehensive focus on social emotional learning, collaboration and teamwork, and art, music, and theater.
My two children went to Aurora. Aurora academics has always been of concern to some Aurora parents. I'm here to tell you the Aurora kids do really well in middle school, high school, and attend very selective colleges. Our kids were just everyday kids at Aurora, nothing special, but both were accepted to every middle school where we applied. We chose St. Paul's where our kids thrived -- there was no catch up necessary. The Aurora kids were 8th grade presidents about half the time. Our son and 2 of his Aurora classmates attended College Prep.Other Aurora classmates attended Head Royce, Julia Morgan, Redwood Day, Lick Wilmerding, College Prep, Head Royce, Athenian, Oakland Tech engineering program, and Bishop O'Dowd. Our kids did well and had a great time, but they are not straight A students. They fall between B+ and A-. However, many of their Aurora classmates did become straight A students. Colleges attended include Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, NYU, Swarthmore, Sarah Lawrence, Cornell, Carleton, Cal Arts, Cal Poly, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania. So be vigilant, prepare your kids to thrive as adults, but don't worry about Aurora's academics. Christopher Reesor
While my daughter will only be a first grader next year, I feel that Aurora is a perfect fit for her. She is quiet and slow to warm in new environments and she has thrived at Aurora socially, emotionally, and academically. All problems are addressed with thoughtful consideration and the K-1 teaching staff is top notch and very collaborative. I also personally love the head of school. She is a teachers' principal - focused on the teachers' development and how best to support them, which is very critical to me. Check it out!
Aurora was a great warm and fuzzy school. When I pulled my daughter out after 3rd grade, she has the opportunity to actually learn some academics. I was never one to complain as some of the other parents, but I look back and can understand all the 'talk' about offering differentiated instruction without any type of tests. Informal assessment are hunky dorie, but it would be nice to get a test here or there to mix it up. My daughter remembers the great songs, stories, and plays from her time at Aurora, but she didn't know how to round numbers, long subtraction, multiplying two digit numbers, etc. Stuff she needed to master by the time she got into 4th grade. I felt she learned more math in 2nd grade. I agree with another posting, she received the same long vowel spelling words in 3rd as she did in 2nd.
Aurora offers a cozy and intimate environment. The woodshop, art, music, and library classes are fabulous. There have been teacher turnover, but that's not uncommon. I have noticed teachers come in with little or no head teaching experience and camps and assistant teaching don't count. However, they are enthusiastic, young, and hard working. It's taken the new principal some time to settle in, but I think he is making his mark to transform the school where it needs to go. He is often out of the office, sick, or on vacation during the school year. Academically, we've had to supplement based on what our friends and family's kids get at their school. My child did not know how to round his numbers, didn't know how to use a dictionary, or various language conventions...... I use to get frustrated when he would have long vowel silent e homework in 3rd grade.
I highly recommend Aurora! My child is in her second year at Aurora School. From the first weeks of Kindergarten when she was walking on air at the end of every day to these days in her First Grade year as she practices for the upcoming class play she has been thriving and blooming socially and academically. Her teachers are dedicated, involved, smart and truly loving to the kids in the class. There is attention to the social environment and to values of inclusion and acceptance of difference. Talented enrichment teachers offer Art, Music, Movement, PE, Library, Woodshop, and Spanish instruction that is integrated very well with the classroom curriculum. Many families that choose Aurora are people who prioritize their child's education and want a progressive approach to teaching and learning in these early years!