I feel teachers and principal cares primarily about reducing workload. They always complain my kid to be "too-high-energy", but the fact is that kids are curious and energetic about exploring the world.
They also refuse to apply sunscreen on children unless we get letters from the doctor. We apply sunscreen to our kid in the morning but it is simply not enough, because the playground has little shade. Once we got a letter from doctor, the principal argues that the doctor did not state a strong enough skin disease. She also forces us to buy sunscreens that claim to be effective for 8 hours, but those sunscreens have controversially carcinogenic ingredients. The irony is that all the teachers wear hats and sunglasses, in addition to sunscreen, sitting under the little portion of shades, when all the kids are in the hot sun without any protection. We have been asking the teachers to remind kids to wear hats, but they seem to ignore it, and my kid is getting sunburns every once in a while.
During lunch time, the teachers would issue "pack up" instructions no matter whether the kids are done. Sometimes, the morning sessions is delayed and it takes them time to heat up the food, so it might only leave 10 minutes for children to eat. The teachers will not give them extra time to finish the meal. My kid often gets to eat half of the meal before the teacher took his plate away.
In Summary, I found the teachers and principal very self-interested. The part I like about the school is academics. At preschool level, it is hard to find a place with structured classes. I will definitely transfer my kid to another school when he is ready for elementary school.
My son has been going to this school since pre-school and now he is in 5th grade. The teachers really care about the kid's progress and communication is always open. Materials is well-balanced. I agreed that some pre-k and k teachers are a little green, but from 1st grade on, the teachers are excellent and the principals always try to find new ways to improve the materials, security, etc... Outsiders can criticize anything they want to, but down the road I have is a well-behaved and well-educated kids. Every year Stratford has a nationwide Stanford Achievement Test . My son's score is never below average even he is not the smartest. I am very happy with this school.
Excellent teaching staff, small class sizes, well balanced curriculum and without the additional days away from school that are built into the public school calendar the students cover a lot of ground each year. We are very happy with the progress our son has made over the last 3 years and he loves going to school each day.
We have a 4 1/2 year old son attending Stratford's pre-k program. I can't tell you how wonderful the school is. The preschool principle, Ms. Hernandez is excellent. Always friendly, warm, and attentive to the kids at ALL times. My son's teachers, Ms. Rita & Ms. Linda are superb! They are patient, kind, loving, but also strict when they need to be. My son can count to 100, knows how to write his numbers, write letters of the alphabet, and is starting to blend words together! I feel like they really acknowledge his strengths and weakness and do a great job of always getting him to the next level with ease. My son always comes home happy and with a big smile on his face. This is really the best program and glad to have found this school, it s staff and teachers.
We have two children attending the Stratford Palo Alto campus. We really appreciate the small class sizes (teacher:student ratios) and have been impressed by our children's academic achievements. We also like the scheduled participation in PE and other fun activities including parental involvement.
Saxon math is a very old program that was used at least 30 years ago. A student will simply memorize what must be done for each problem. If the problem is written in any other form differing from Saxon math, the students are lost. There are a handful of teachersthat are good teachers, however there are also many that have no business teaching children. Stratford does not require teachers to have any teaching credential. I knew several teachers who didn t have one. I remember sitting in a teachers meeting in which one educator asked how to know how her kids were doing since the test is once a week. I was horrified by this question and even more horrified by another teacher s response There s this really great new thing called informal assessments. Informal assessments are one of the first most basic things a teacher should know about. If a student ever does display behavior problems, many of the teachers are at a loss of what to do. Ridiculous. Parents, I commend you for trying to provide a quality education for your students, but my advice, search for the best public school and have your student skip a grade. You will get the same if not better education for free.
The curriculum is excellent. Along with teaching the basics: math and English, they enrich the curriculum with science, history, P.E, Spanish, computers, music, art and also include speech (starting in kindergarten!) and citizenship. Kids actually spend as much 22% more time in school than public and Catholic school kids because they don't have as many holidays due to min. days, teacher planning days, holy days, etc... I tallied these up when trying to decide between schools... 20% is a lot of time! This shows through too... The first grade class seems to be doing work that would be equivalent to 2nd grade work in other schools. Also, can't say enough about the quality of the teachers. They love what they do, are energetic and motivating with the kids, and very responsive and receptive to parents. Principal and support staff are great too. Awesome afterschool care and programs (fine art, basketball, soccer, golf, karate, indian dance, chess, legos, science). Parent volunteering is voluntary. :) Finally, the location is great... campus is in a safe and quiet residential area though also conveniently located between Embarcadero, Oregon Expressway, 101 and Middlefield.
My son used to go to this school. He told me that his pre-K teachers are pretty mean. I still remember he even did not want to say bye to the teachers on the last day of Stratford school when he finished pre-K. Avoid Ms. Jenn, she is pretty bad teacher. She did not even give my son a plastic fork at lunch when he forgot his fork one day for his lunch. My son had to use his hand for the lunch. Next day I checked with them, they claimed they did not see it. But my son said he asked several times and Ms Jenn just did not say anything to him and she was not busy with anything at the moment. Their preschool principle changes several times, they seems not care seriously about the quality of teachers. My son is definitely not a problematic kid, on the contrary, he is more matured and disciplined kid for his age according to the teachers in elementary school. I also can see the difference on him with great teachers. I will rate "0" star if I can for this school.
My 4-year old is in his second year at the preschool at this campus. It's been wonderful so far; he loves going to school and insists that we drop him off for free-play time at 8:15 am every day! The teachers (at the preschool level for sure) are indeed very loving and pay personal attention to each and every child. The campus is great and is very well located - close to the freeway and the busy Embarcadero Rd but, you can't really tell from the campus itself! Beyond the fun programs (at Halloween, Christmas and so on), the teachers seek to impart good values in the children such as being able to show empathy to others, avoiding wastage, taking care of the environment and so on.