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K-5
Public
Palo Alto, CA
Students enrolled: 340
Before care: Yes
After care: No

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800 Barron Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306

School website
(650) 858-0508
(650) 813-1031
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Barron Park Elementary School address.

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HONOR ROLL

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The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

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December 11, 2013
We moved to Barron Park from the UK and have been very pleased with the school ethos, welcome and academic approach. The parent community is very supportive of the Principal and everyone is open and warm with newcomers. The classrooms are well managed and focussed on learning - all the kids I've seen are well behaved and quick to befriend our children. There's more paper based learning and homework than our children had in London but I think the academic standards are comparable with high performing London schools. One stand out improvement from the UK is the exemplary extra-curricular activities available on site. We've been very pleased.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2013
Barron Park (BP) has afforded my family the best experience in Palo Alto. We moved from a great private school in NY and the transition has been flawless. BP offers a unique diversity experience, and it's what my family refers to as the mini UN. Although the smallest school in the district, over 50 countries are represented at BP, who not only boasts of its diversity, but celebrates it as a learning experience. My 1st and 3rd graders have grown; they are more empathetic to children with disabilities; express themselves better through writing; confident in confronting math problems; developing a heightened interest in science and technology and a passion for coding and programing at their level; they're creating livelong friendships; and so much more. We're grateful for the warm and welcoming school community where new and old families feel at home. With principal Magdalena at the helm, who is doing a super job, while enabling her team and students to aim for excellence, to a supportive staff that ensures that each child has an opportunity to flourish and a school that is aligned with the district s curriculum, Barron Park Elementary School is one of the best schools in Palo Alto.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2013
While we're only a little over a year into this, with a son now in 1st grade, I give Barron Park elementary an A+. Our son has thrived. He's a bright but extremely high energy kid who needs fairly close attention, and so far the staff has answered the call. Our son's kindergarten teacher was amazing, with conflict resolution skills arguably worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. I will always cherish the memories of the sing-a-longs he led on guitar that welcomed each new day. From our exposure thus far to our son's first-grade teacher, and our communications with other parents, it's clear that Barron Park sets a high bar for teaching quality. And we've been impressed by Principal Magdalena, who every morning greets each child by name at the school entrance, enhancing the smiles and laughter that make elementary school so precious. Oh, and as a pediatrician and clinical researcher who looks at data all the time, it was very clear to me that the slightly lower API scores were a non-issue, nothing more than a reflection of the diversity that makes the school so wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2013
When I was first evaluating elementary schools, I found that it was really tough. There is only a limited amount of information that was available on the internet; the information seemed heavily weighted to test scores. We were zoned for Barron Park and I have to admit I was a bit worried based on the lower than average scores (for Palo Alto). In the end I couldn't have been happier for my kids to be educated at Barron Park. This is our fifth year at the school and have been blessed with wonderful teachers and being part of the smallest elementary school in Palo Alto (less than 350 kids). Also I learned that when I aggregated the test scores by demographic, Barron kids score similarly to other Palo Alto schools. Regardless of test scores, we have enjoyed being here and being part of a change in the school. Barron now offers many wonderful programs unique to Palo Alto: full-day kindergarten, spanish language in K, 1 &2, a technology specialist, super noon programs for all kids, a range of afterschool programs, and a very diverse population with students from around the world. We LOVE Barron and feel lucky to be part of this special school community.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2013
Barron Park is the hidden gem of Palo Alto. Parents who stay away because of the API scores are foolish because the quality and dedication of our teachers is unparalleled even within PAUSD. Plus, as one of the most culturally and economically diverse schools in the district, Barron Park is teaching my children about more than academics but about the importance of acceptance and appreciation for all people. Barron Park is a very special place with an amazing community of teachers and parents that comes together to solve problems and think about creative new ways to make our school continuously more fantastic both academically and socially. With our new programs our students are effectively learning with technology, getting even more hands on science, and even pioneering ways to have every student learn Spanish. My family is so lucky to be part of this community!

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2013
I agree with the parent who wrote about the API scores being the only strike against the school. It's really not fair that such an excellent school has gotten a bad-rap because of a 3-digit number, and also that the retired principal's shadow is still hanging on and damaging how people on the outside of the school perceive the school. New parents to the neighborhood or PAUSD should give this school a chance, come and visit, see for yourself what a gem it is. The teachers and staff are excellent, and I'm very confident that my children are receiving the same high-quality education as any other PAUSD elementary school would give. My children will be well-prepared in all aspects of academics and social-skills when they move onto middle school. They will have received a well-rounded education that teaches to the whole child, not just to the test. And they will have made good friends along the way. My kids even pop in to visit their old teachers classrooms and talk about what they remember and what they liked best in those years.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2013
I love this school and my kids are so happy here. Some reviews here are old and about the old principal, and that principal was of the mind-set of "nothing new, no improvements, if it ain't broke" and that really hurt the school, but she's gone now and the school has done a complete 180-degree turn around. The new principal and a very motivated parent-body have brought so many great changes to the school! I can't list them all here!... The JR Museum teaches science units in each class, the K-2 grades have a partial Spanish program, and BP is the only school in PAUSD with full-day kindergarten. The new face and image of the school are great - there are noon activities such as art and zumba and MIT scratch. It's a smaller school too with only 340+ kids so the personal attention they receive is greater. Some PAUSD schools are 550-600. And for those non-BP parent who are afraid of low test scores and bullies? Please, you don't think that a school of 550 kids doesn't have any bad apples. The low API scores is the only thing that BP has against it - and that's not a fair evaluation of an entire school that truly is a special place....I'd rather have my kids go here than anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2013
Having moved from Missouri, we came to Palo Alto/ Barron Park in Jan 2013. I must be honest, BP was not my 1st choice for PA schools, but we were able to get all 3 kids at the same school, which was important to us. Our kids came from private schools, so our expectations were very high. However, we were beyond shock when my older 2 children were nearly 2 semesters behind in math, and behind in reading and writing as well. The amazing part of this story is how the teachers bent over backwards to bring my children up to speed. I didn't have to lead this effort, they did!!! They are used to it. Barron Park has a very diverse population. At 5th grade graduation, there were 55 countries represented! Many non-english-speaking, explaining the low test scores that I was so fearful of. But what a great experience for my kids!! My kids loved the campus and the activites at recess: Taewkwondo, Art, Zumba, chorus, Scratch Club... There are field trips about once a month for each class, and prof. chefs that came to the school to teach about food and to let them taste fun healthy snacks. The PTA & principal (3 yrs) are amazing - in time Barron Park will be at the top of the list.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2013
Barron Park School is PAUSD's best kept secret. I think I may regret posting this because then many people will know about this hidden gem in Palo Alto. This is the smallest school in the district, the Principal knows every child by name. The intimate feeling and strong sense of community is amazing. I have 3 children at this school and they all love and cherish their school. My kids have have learned to be great people and loving citizens. I have kids that are all academically strong and the school has done a great job offering them more material to challenge them at their level. Our family is so proud to call Barron Park our school.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2013
Barron Park School is the best kept secret of the district. The teachers are individually phenomenal and collectively life changing. Children thrive in this sweet rustic school where unity and community remain a top priority. Our Principal leads with an open heart that inspires parents to take ownership. My boys are almost ready to move on to middle school, they are academically ready, and have grown into confident and compassionate young men, due in no small part to this amazing school.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2013
We were originally overflowed to Barron Park. We weren't sure what to expect but now we are there we LOVE it! We passed up a place at our neighborhood school and have elected to stay at Barron Park. It is a small school with a big heart. The teachers and other staff are so friendly and welcoming and there is a genuine community feeling on campus. There are children from many different parts of the world (and different walks of life) here and they all come together to provide an educational experience that goes above and beyond a score on a test. That being said my children's scores on their tests are great too thanks to their dedicated teachers. If you are considering joining us at Barron Park come along and have a look - you will be sold and enrolled very quickly I'm sure!!

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2013
Barron Park is a wonderful school. My family has been in Barron Park school for ten years and I have no complains at all. It's a small school but that's a god thing we feel like we know everyone. Teachers are great! The inclusion program is great, my children have learned so much and have become better people and understand in this world it's ok to be different. We LOVE Barron Park Elementary School!

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2013
This is Palo Alto's best kept secret! Our school has the best and most dedicated and devoted staff of teachers and administrators, a vibrant parent community and an incredibly diverse student population. Its small size is such a benefit. Teachers get to know the kids well and can really differentiate their teaching. They are wonderful role models and demonstrate leadership and kindness every day. Many students come from different countries exposing our kids to rich cultures and teaching us about inclusion, and our global community. We have advanced technology curriculum and other great programs supported by the staff and parents!

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2013
There are many reasons to be enthusastic about Barron Park: - As the smallest of the Palo Alto elementary schools, the sense of community at Barron Park is especially tangible. - As a recent transplant to the neighborhood (from an extremely high-performing school in the great Boston area), it has been very easy to get to know the school, it's routines, and to feel involved through the numerous community and cultural events the school sponsors. - The school has a diverse student body, and takes it's culture of inclusion - led by an engaged principal and teacher corps - very seriously. - Having had two children experience three teachers so far, I have been incredibly pleased by the quality of the teachers, their ability to adapt to the needs of their student body, and their ability to foster a desire for learning in their kids. Overall, I couldn't be happier that my kids ended up here.

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2013
The school follows a great PAUSD curriculum. It is very diverse, not only culturally, but socio economically as well. My son and daughter are excelling at Barron Park. They are being challenged academically, and are flourishing socially as well. The teachers play a major role in my family's love for the school. They genuinely care about the children, and the success of the school. I will be sadden when they move on to middle school. We originally moved into the area because of Gunn high school, and came to fall in love with Barron Park. Hoping that we will love Gunn just as much.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2012
Barron Park is a wonderful school. The teachers are awesome! The staff is amazing! The community is outstanding! My children are better students, citizens and human beings because of Barron Park Elementary. It is the best school in the world and I am grateful and psyched to "bee" a part of it!

- submitted by a parent
October 26, 2011
This school is the best school in Palo Alto! We live next to two of the 'best' elementary schools in PA, but drive to the other side of the district so that our two girls can go there. My wife and I work in the School of Ed at Stanford and chose this school! The outstanding teachers and the sense of community at this school means Stanford places more student teachers at this school than any other in Palo Alto. We have a new principal and this school is going places. For obvious reasons, I am so pleased that the parent that only gave one star has gone elsewhere! Our children are happy to go to school every day and come home full of exciting stories about their new learning. This is a true community of kids, parents and teachers.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2011
Both of my children currently attend Barron park. My older child is almost done. I have never seen such talented and devoted teachers and staff. They somehow manage to teach to the level of each individual student. My daughter's STAR testing is better than the average at Hoover. There are a number of unique things to barron park 1) constellation groups 2) the diversity 3) smaller school=more community involvement I have not seen the bullying described below and am sad to see that someone has had this experience. I love Barron park!

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2011
This is a wonderful school for many students. The principal has made it her personal mission to serve the needs of Title I families, special-needs students, English-Language Learners, and students with learning differences. Barron Park is innovative with its College Bound program. The Principal championed 'Everyday Math', which was implemented district-wide in 2009. Starting in 2011-2012, Barron Park will be the first school in the PAUSD to offer a full-day Kindergarten program.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2011
My daughter attended this school for two years, the first year seemed to be fine, but the second year, we found that it was a big hole in her writing skill. The teacher didn't teach her cursive writing as well as not enough standard writing. When she switched to her neighbor school. She was the only student, who didn't know how to write cursive well. Bottom line is this school is kicked back, and academy level is so so. My daughter is very happy with her current school compared to this. And it took her about half school year to catch up the language art level with her friends.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2010
We came to Barron Park from a 3 years stay oversea and private schools. We were please to feel welcome. Having 3 children ranging from pre K to 2nd grades then, each with there own unique needs, it could have been a challenge. Yet, every one of my children have blossom there and fit right in after 2 years. Our incoming kindergarten got to know the school thru a treasure hunt organized by a parent volunteer. Our 1st grader, who has special needs, was included and welcome, given the support he needed. Our 3rd grader got to experience a very interactive classroom. All teachers are outstanding. The school psychologists, speech therapist, secretaries are available. The principal ready to work with you. I has been a wonderful experience for the last 2 years. Parents are welcome to get involve in class, thru the PTA. Extra curriculum activities available. A great community!

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2010
Both of our our kids attended Barron Park for K-6 and had a great experience. Their teachers were amazing and instilled a love of learning and good socialization. If you are a parent that thinks that the school should be run for the sole benefit of your child, good luck. The principal is strong and experienced. She is open to dialog and change that benefits the majority, not just your child.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2010
We have two children who are currently enrolled at Barron Park and they are so happy there! The school has a wonderful principal and fantastic teachers. Both of our children are receiving a high quality education and are so excited about learning. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 18, 2010
Our experience at this school is that it has no mission but to attend to students at the lowest level. Not that this is an unworthy goal but when the school will not challenge or provide appropriate academic material to all level students it is an outrage. In our experience, the principal is feared by many parents and I think perhaps the teachers steer clear of her as well because she is difficult and unaccommodating to new ideas. The principal has a pass view of education and her method of equalizing the school experience is to dumb down to the lowest common denominator by neglecting the average and above average children. I could not believe what passed for a science experiment in an upper grade. It was a joke and maybe at the first grade level. Many neighbors opt out to the choice schools or private schools in an attempt to get out of this school. Someone should be attending to this situation.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating July 20, 2009
i have 2 kids in this great school, they have given my son the self esteem he needed and now he moves to the next grade at reading level, if it wasn't for the teachers and principal going above the call of their job he wouldn't be motivated to learn and to impress as he is. So thank you Barron PARK FOR CARING..

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2009
My son loves Barron Park Elementary and so do I. I look forward to the years to come.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2008
We couldn't be happier with Barron Park. Initially, we were disappointed our child didn't get into escondido (our local school), but after joining Barron Park we wouldn't leave. The best things about the school are the teachers - my child had a truly outstanding teacher who really encouraged the kids to do their best every day whilst instilling a love of learning. The principal is encourages parents' feedback and is a visible, hands-on leader. The parents themselves are so welcoming, it's a lovely school community with a diverse mix of nationalities and backgrounds. We couldn't have wished for a better school. Also the fact that it's one of the smallest schools in the PAUSD is a huge bonus and it's beautiful grounds (bordered by Matadero Creek - many class rooms open up right onto it's [fenced] banks) make it a great place to be. Most of all our child loved it.

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2007
I have observed many schools but I can tell you BPS has the best school program ever. When a secretary (Cristina) greets your children with a warm smile and make each children like her own you feel at peace that they will be in a good and healthy environment.She makes BPS a home away from home for all the children. Teachers are very dedicated and very helpful to make sure your child has all the right tools to excel. The rest of the staff is friendly and accommodating which is hard to find in any school. You can tell the success of this school not only by its test score but how the children come back and see their old teachers and a lot of them do. A very high recommendation!

- submitted by a community member
May 09, 2007
Great school with committed teachers and principals. Good sense of community. Both my children graduated with a love of learning and are doing well in middle school

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2006
Great school with great kids. Lots of play time too.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2005
BPS is a very fine neighborhood school. The teachers are some of the most dedicated individuals I have ever know, working tirelessly to help our children maximize their given talents.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
So far I am impressed with the quality of the teachers at the school.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2005
Barron Park is a great school. Academics are valued although the greater emphasis is placed on safetey, peer differenced education and community involvment.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2005
The academics lack, the teachers and principal never emphasize quality of the child's work. Children with behavior problems and learning problems are the focus for the principal. She has strived to limit academic challenges for fear some children will be left out. A simple science fair is not permitted at the school. There had never been a spelling or geopghraphy bee. There was very little homework in any of my children's grades. Some parents fear to speak out as they believe their child will suffer if they speak out. District music and art are outstanding as is parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2005
This is an excellent school with a very high parent involvement. The school really challenges the children to learn. They have exceptional teachers. The pay for teachers in this district is much higher than neighboring cities. They have many extracurricular activities and the class sizes are very small. There are currently 16 students in my son's 2nd grade class. This school has a cap of 22 students for the upper grades. The school cares about the quality of learning for the students.

- submitted by a parent
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Barron Park Elementary School
800 Barron Avenue, Palo Alto, CA  94306
(650) 858-0508
Last modified Barron Park Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Barron Park Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 37 reviews. Top