August 14, 2015
Walter Hayes is a good school. In California. You have teachers here who are well compensated and very accomplished. In my opinion, that doesn't exactly translate to being awesome. We went to this school from 1st grade to 5th grade. I have family in public schools in Texas that frankly put this school district in the average rating. But in California, where public schools are not super well funded, Palo Alto is considered one of the best. The dollars per student are quire high considering all the private funds that flow into the school. The hype around the district is that you are in a very high per capita income neighborhood and of course this attracts super professional track educators. There are a lot of well educated and successful people who live in the district. Sounds like a perfect world, but in our experience, the results and the experience was good to average. We came from a private school and in retrospect we wish we had stayed in private schools. But you are talking minimum 25k a year for private elementary schools here, so you are talking like 150k or more for your kid's K-5th. Sometimes I felt that the administrators and teachers get a bit of an ego boost because they work for such a prestigious district, I know that several teachers approach or exceed 100k a year in income (happy for them, but sometimes there is just a bit of a snobbish or stand-offish vibe). In this community the first thing anyone asks you is where you work. Not what your kids are into, not where are you from, just straight up, where or what do you do for a living? It's an awkward part of living in Palo Alto for me, where so much emphasis is put on your employment vs who you are. There _are_ some amazing educators and some really good people here, but in all reality, compared to a school district like Cinco Ranch in Katy, TX (with brand new buildings and stellar national ratings) PAUSD is just good. And if Walter Hays was without all the private funding and very well to do and educated parents from tech companies, the super old buildings and average to good performance would be just any other average school in the US.
- submitted by a parent