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Public district
Pacific Grove, CA
Students enrolled: 471

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485 Pine Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

(831) 646-6540
(831) 648-8414
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Map of Robert Down Elementary School address.
January 19, 2015
I know nothing about Robert Down, other than the extreme positives that neighbors of my rental home tell me. Its reputation is so good that i'm informed that I can get considerably more rent for it than in any other area around the peninsula. People forego pricey private schools for it. The teacher student ratio is 12:1. Its rated 9 of 10. Its on an upward spiral. That speaks volumes for the neighborhood and the school itself.

- submitted by a community member
December 16, 2014
Overall this school lacks innovation and creativity because the leadership is shortsighted and unwilling to take risks. The Resource Program is stuck in the dark ages to the point of being oppressive and children with learning disabilities do not receive equal curriculum opportunities as do students without special needs. Children with learning disabilities are often removed from the classroom for drill and kill work in outdated workbook programs like Reading Mastery, a program the school has used with little change for more than 15 years for K-3 students. Reading Mastery teaches children to read mainly through repetitive, visual learning modalities which works for some students, but not for many, especially students with dyslexia. I knew of one parent whose child had been in the same resource program using the exact same materials for over 4 years with little progress but the school did not try to use alternative programs with this child. Sometimes, one size does not fit all. This school will benefit from taking risks including trusting that children with special needs grow from challenging and diverse curriculum that engages rather than bores students to tears.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2014
My family moved here from SF specifically to attend Robert Down. My wife is a teacher and we are both Ivy league educated so we understand the value of education and how difficult it is to create and maintain a great school. I have friends w children attending SF private schools paying $40k per year who have stated they are jealous of our school and community. RD may be the best value on the planet. Supply and demand dictates many things. Try to rent a 3BR home in the Robert Down district, its nearly impossible because so many want to attend the school.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2014
Robert Down Elementary school is truly excellent. The principal is great, very reasonable and no-nonsense. The teachers are very experienced and handle children of all types with ease. The school has great learning facilities and approaches to teaching and learning. They have plenty of very well organized fun events for the children and parents and it really brings people together to feel part of the community. If you work in the Monterey Peninsula area it is worth moving to Pacific Grove just for your elementary school age kids to go to this school

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2013
My child attended RHD for all 6 years and we couldn't have been any happier. We had excellent teachers, great admin support and the principle is top-notch! I volunteered in class every year and was always greeted warmly by the staff! My child had outstanding grades every year and is now in middle school continuing to have outstanding (4.0) grades. I recommend this school to anyone living in our district! Keep up the great work Otters!!!!

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2013
I like the School in particular. I am very dissatisfied by the politics of the Administration. Which is supported by the Administrations Superintendent and his Assistant Superintendent. They do not truly encourage parental involvement, as they claim like many schools want parents to participate. They have gone out of their way to knock down one individual who was very interested in the Kindergarten Program and its overcrowding. The Principle has since the beginning of 2013 -2014 school year to banned him because he has a supportive but non-participatory group of parents listening and expresses his thought in a group e-mailing. I was not interested in being involved, as I had heard from previous teachers that they (The School District) will drag anyone down that stands up to them for the students entire school years at PGUSD. Their agenda is not the same as the parents they represent in all cases. If I were to do it again I would have gone to the school board meetings and spoken up, as he did. Then again would I have been banned as Disruptive or Assertive? A parent in the middle at RHD

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2013
Amazing school with great parent participation. Had a horrible 5th grade teacher which is now teaching second and hoping that they'll figure out to be rid of her after this year. Principal is great and overall it is a wonderful school. Seems like there is always one bad apple...

- submitted by a parent
August 25, 2013
This school is a wonderful place! Our child attended RD for almost three years. When an issue arose, the staff and principal were wonderful. The community is a nice blend of locals and military. The teachers are committed to their students and welcome a parental partnership. I can't say enough good things. Even a "weaker" teacher is superior to where we moved. When we discovered we had to move early, our child's 2nd grade teacher (Mrs. Johnson) looked up where her new school was to make sure the transition would go smoothly. We miss it dearly and wish our child's new school was as warm, welcoming, professional and committed to an excellent education as RD.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2013
I love the small town feel of this school. Parents are welcomed on campus, and even drive on field trips. Tons of hands on learning and outings. Very relaxed atmosphere. Teachers are extremely willing to work with individual needs and learning styles. (And, I don't simply mean IEP, I mean each and every student!) Negatives: My kids have attended 4 different elementary schools, and I have never seen such "clique-i-ness" in this age group, as I saw here. Similarly, I noticed the administration was very quick to label students, and definitely "played favorites." Overall though, without hesitation, I would recommend this school to my closest friends.

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2013
There are some fabulous teachers and lots of parent involvement. Fantastic field trips and they still get art and PE . One thing I feel the school is missing is a better writing program. Big Write for example where the child can identify his or her weaknesses and work on them with efficiency rather than getting a good job after a 2 page paper. I feel like some teachers have fallen into only giving out ditto and after ditto and do not check the progress of the children's work. I wish the management who is very involved otherwise and helpful to parents would get more involved in checking how involved the teachers are with students. The principal has such a tight bond with her teachers which is great but teachers still need to be monitored occasionally to check quality of learning.have had some excellent teachers but i feel like one of my students is wasting the year in a class where his work is never checked, handwriting is left without comment and the only form of teaching is giving out dittos and free homework passes for more completed dittos. Don't worry most teachers are great and go above and beyond with out any management checking some do need a little push.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2012
I absolutely LOVE this school. I have 2 children who attend RHD, 2nd and 4th grade. Both teachers are great, communication between the families and teachers is good, the education my children have received is superb and the school is very organized. I could go on and on! All schools will have some flaws but RHD has very minimal. My children are happier than ever and so are my husband and I.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2012
Robert Down is a really good school. You feel like it's family! I am a parent of three, and each of their teachers are wonderful. They each genuinely care about their students and work hard to help each succeed. You will see that many staff members arrive early or stay late to work with students. The school offers many unique programs such as theater, poetry (an author works with each class), art, PE, etc. We have been really happy here and with the cuts education has received recently, feel lucky to have our children in such a great school.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2012
I was very unhappy as a mother to see the staff and starting with the principal and end with the PE teachers..I'm very happy to choice for a private education. They told me PG Robert Down was a great school in good reputation and I don't thing so!

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2012
Not at all what people say it is....NOT AT ALL....it has been a complete disappointment.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2012
Robert Down is a wonderful school for the community and the community is wonderful to Robert Down. My child loves coming here. Nevertheless, their curriculum is not very rigorous. It is adequate but mediocre. There are several classes for special needs but none for gifted/talented. The After School Enrichment classes are a joke (beading...). And the school provides very little creative problem-solving activities (Odyssey of the Mind, Lego Robotics, etc.). No languages are taught and band isn't introduced until 5th grade. On another note, we have been here for 3 years and have seen the same group of 6-7 kids remain unshuffled through the system and getting the "preferred" teacher year after year. My child has had only 1 other student that's been in the same classes for all three years. Sadly, if you aren't active in the PTA, don't have a deep relationship with the administration or staff, or are unable to volunteer because you work, then you can only hope that you get the "preferred" teacher next year. It doesn't help that due to a strong military presence in the area the school population is always in a transitionary state.

- submitted by a parent
January 01, 2012
Robert Down School is remarkable in all regards. The only data you will need is the happy look on your child's face at the end of the school day.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2011
My son came in at half year and LOVES it, we we lucky enough to get Mr. Williams as his kindergarten teacher, one of the most in control , kind, invetful, caring person you will ever meet. We love the area but there are not allot of kids that stay permantly here in PG. We have found the area to be a bit to touristy and transitional for our taste. It is also a Huge military area so you can count on that constant change as well. If your looking for the best elementary school in PG you found it ! We have a nice big home and are sad to that we will most likely not be staying as .there seem to be more vacation homes and retires here than anything. We are looking fot that place where our can go to school from K-12 and keep the same group of kids,. PG is unfortunately not that kid friendly place.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2010
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 11, 2010
I am a teacher myself and a long time resident of Pacific Grove. My son attended Robert Down and he still has fond memories of the teachers he had! What a caring environment. Robert Down is a gem among schools on the peninsula!

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
October 11, 2009
Our two children attended RD and the attention given was mainly to special needs who were mainstreamed. My son's class often had to leave the room while an 'outburst' was happening, meaning an entire academic lesson was lost. Lots of 'hush-hush' incidents ~ have to agree with the comment where 'the principal talks but.... no follow through.'

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 05, 2009
Robert Down Elementary School is a local treasure that is staffed by educators who care to make a difference by making learning exciting for the students......

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 30, 2009
Robert Down School is an exemplary school with caring teachers and an outstanding principal. My children received a solid foundation at RD and loved their time at this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 27, 2009
We were at R.D last year. One of the kindergarten classes was amazing... Mr. Williams and Mr. Guidara are in a league of their own when it comes to teaching. I do have to agree that special needs children get most of the attention and the rest become part of a social herd! I wish we could spend a little more emphasis on character development than parent volunteering and PTA and endless fundraisers.... They don't stop and the budget seems to be spent in ways that are questionable. The principal is sweet though turns a blind eye to many situations.... All in all if you want to have your child be raised by state and thrown into a pool of fish with only a few good seeds and parents then opt for this school. If you want more find a christian alternative, or something with greater substance for your precious child....

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 14, 2009
We have spent the last three years at this school, two of which were in special ed (wonderful program). Principal is questionable ~ appears to be very much interested but just walks the walk. Exceptional speech and special ed teachers. I would not hesitate to recommend this school to anyone whose child is in need of special services

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2008
I just moved from LA, with this school and neighbor specifically in mind. It's great school, and fantastic community around to support. Activities are abundant almost to the point of overwhelming... My kid loves it, and I love the environment. It seems to be a little behind academically though...

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2008
Best school,teachers great! Principal knows what shes doing.After program great! overall the grade is an A+!

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2008
Hello I have all my three kids at this school and they love it as well as I do they have great teachers here thank you.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
February 17, 2008
I went to this school as a child, it used to be good. Now it is terrible physical shape and many of the teachers are burned out, the principal seems to want to whitewash everything. I am now paying for private school it is so bad

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
September 03, 2006
Child now through 2nd in 3rd. So far it has been a wonderful experience for my child. Great teachers, effective staff and administration. My child is learning very well and has liked and enjoyed all of the teachers to date. The teachers have been very responsive to my requests and have followed through each and every time. If you are think about moving to pg the quality of the school system should not be a worry. I do admit that the school can use an influx of funds to shine it up, but in this day and age, any public school has the same need. Pg schools have done well by me. I moved to pg in 3rd grade (1968). I feel that the level of education is as good now as then. Happy parent

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2006
Wonderful school - we couldn't ask for a better kindergarten experience for our daughter. A real sense of tradition and community exists at the school and we really feel at home there. Why anyone would opt out of this school for private is beyond me!

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2005
Robert Down sets the standard for elementary school education. The teachers are highly professional and dedicated. The academic program is rigorous as well as rewarding. I am a teacher myself, and although my son graduated from Robert Down a few years ago, he still speaks very fondly of the teachers he had (1st-5th grades). I could not be more pleased with the quality of education he received at Robert Down. .

- submitted by a teacher
July 06, 2005
Academic prgrams are decent, the HW intially sent home was very weak, we needed to go see the Principal to have it rectified. Great extracurricular program provided by Mr. Anderson (Grade 3 teacher). Schooll lacks language and music programs. High level of parent involvement through volunteers.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2005
My daughter attended this school for awhile. Although I was happy with the teachers that she had as people, the curriculum was a bit stifling. The homework load was heavy for a 3rd grader and her stress level grew throughout the year. We finally transferred her to the Waldorf charter school and she became herself again. The positives of Robert Down are that it is well established, the principal is a really caring person and very accessible, there are a number of great community events held there and some terrific teachers.

- submitted by a parent
July 01, 2004
This is well established community, Pacific Grove has its own school district even though a small town. Many teachers have grown up or lived here for many years. Great sense of community, 'do the right thing', positive attitudes, good morale among the staff and kids; excellent test scores as well. Predominately causcasian but assorted ethnic groups as well, racism is not an issue here. The downside is same for most public schools funding;the biggest issue is maintenance of old construction and shrinking enrollment due to high cost of living here.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: January 19, 2015

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Robert Down Elementary School
485 Pine Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA  93950
(831) 646-6540
Last modified Robert Down Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Robert Down Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 37 reviews. Top