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PK-6
Private
Pasadena, CA
Students enrolled: 208
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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74 South San Gabriel Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107

School website
(626) 792-6166
(626) 792-1335
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Walden School address.

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July 22, 2014
I found the academic program to be less than satisfactory for the very expensive tuition. I was openly berated by a school employee on the playground when I voiced safety concerns. I attempted to address the board with my concerns with the administration, but was never able to do so.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2014
With much intention, we selected a Progressive model of education for our children s elementary school experience. Curious and articulate children, we felt they would thrive in the inquiry-based approach. The nature of the curriculum has allowed them to learn to pose thoughtful questions, be reflective, and build research skills at a high level of engagement. They have developed long-term planning skills, as well as writing process and revision skills. Both children have noticeably benefited from the multi-age interactions, creating positive bonds with older children and developing leadership skills with peers, and mentoring skills with younger children. The nature of the Progressive Model has encouraged our children to develop strong learning relationships with their teachers. They have acquired a foundation of learning from Walden that will be an attribute to continued education when they move onto Middle School.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2013
I have been a parent at Walden for 3 years. My son is thriving in this progressive environment. The teachers and administration pay close attention to each child's individual needs to the point of not setting classroom configurations until the needs of ALL students are assessed. The school runs from the top down, lead with inexplicable attention by its Director, Matt Allio, who knows the smallest detail about every child and their family, as well as being an expert in curriculum and development. We have found every interaction with the teachers and administrators to be not just thorough and attentive but truly warm and caring. All one has to do is attend a 6th grade graduation to see the kinds of children Walden turns out - they become the embodiment of Walden's mission by questioning the status quo in an eloquent and relevant manner and by expressing and owning their uniqueness as individuals. I am nothing but proud to be a part of this community and to know that year after year my son will be held to his highest potential while being nurtured to explore his distinct individuality achieve it.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
Not truly a progressive environment; teachers are pretty much ensconced in their own methodology and not really open to learning. In addition, our son was bullied and the school did not track down the problem. The teacher and the mom of the bully were friends and this allowed the favoritism/cover-up to continue. We felt the school was quick to ask for our volunteer time, quick to ask for money - but slow to address some of the core issues.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2012
We're so happy at Walden, and credit high teacher morale and a strong, very passionate director for making it great. Our daughter is in her fourth year, has just one more left after this term. And to us Walden has provided the perfect balance for her critical, formative years. Intimate without feeling small, accessible without being coddling, it has wonderful enrichment classes that enhance a strong foundation in the basics. Our kids do get homework, but not a crushing amount. And they participate in standardized testing -- without being preoccupied with it. They take overnight trips, do volunteer service, and learn a whole lot about life and the world we live in. Walden has prepared our daughter for the next step, and whether that's a progressive or more "traditional" middle school, we know she'll thrive. Just talk to any Walden 6th grader. You'll find a bright, engaged kid who's bound for a really great middle school next year. Then talk to the admissions director at any of the private schools in Pasadena -- including those in the "top tier." They'll tell you they love Walden kids, and they'll tell you why. And for those of us here, that's no news at all.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2012
I have two very different children attending Walden. One is an academic, driven student and the other requires a good deal of academic hand holding. Walden has been the perfect choice for both. This is what Walden does best. It provides challenging work while keeping the focus on learning not grades for very academic children. Children who require extra support recieve it along with the ackowlegment of their individual strengths.

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2012
We feel fortunate that our two children are able to attend Walden. What a wonderful school! The teachers are outstanding, the administrators are committed and responsive, the parents are active and involved, and the students are deeply engaged in learning. We've been impressed with so many aspects of the curriculum-- such as the writing program, the approach to math, the attention to science and outdoor education, and the inclusion of the arts, among other things-- and have seen our children develop strong skills as well as an ability to think creatively and independently. We recommend the school whole-heartedly.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2012
I am surprised to read that a past parent has recently posted a less than favorable review. We have been a Walden family for the last 8 yrs and plan to spend another 3 yrs at the school, until our youngest graduates as the class of '15! Our family witnessed wonderful growth of the academic program, faculty, and administration over this period of time. Our oldest child now attends middle school at Flintridge Preparatory School and has thrived both in the classroom and as a leader among peers. Witnessing this seamless transition has further confirmed our impression of Walden as a place where children learn to think on their own, respect diversity, develop a broad world view, and love learning! I cannot imagine a better place to spend one's K-6 years.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2012
We have 2 boys at Walden, and I couldn't be happier with the school. Walden provides an amazing child-centered program that nurtures and inspires. The administration, and faculty are committed to progressive education, and are constantly evaluating their philosophies and methods. The director of the school is amazing, and under his leadership, we've watched the school become the wonderful place that it is. Walden students typically move-on to the finest middle and upper schools in the area, and do very well. I highly recommend Walden.

- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2012
We are in our 5th year of having children at Walden, and I'm pleased to say that every morning my children wake up still excited to go to school. Walden bills itself as creating life-long learners, who don't just memorize facts and figures, but really develop an insatiable curiosity about the world around them. This is exactly what seems to be happening with our children. The academics are good (our children have consistently placed significantly above grade level in the standardized tests and evaluations they have taken) and the outdoor education program is the best one I ve seen at the elementary school level including trips to Joshua Tree, Astrocamp, CIMI and the Grand Tetons. The school offers a top notch writing program, and I can t believe the writing my children are doing at their age. Walden s graduates place across the board at all of the best schools in the area from the more traditional to the more progressive.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2012
We have been a Walden family for the last 7 years and are sad to see our time there coming to an end. Our child is graduating this June and we have high expectations that she will move onto a great middle school for which she will be fully, and confidently prepared. The multi-age classroom experience has been wonderful and allows for appropriate learning. Over the last few years the school has adopted Singapore Math and the Lucy Calkins (sp) Creative Writing program, both of which have made Walden academics on par with any school in the area. We could not be more pleased. Walden has fostered a love of learning in our child. I never thought I would hear the words "science is my favorite subject", but I hear it now. Our child is leaving Walden a well-rounded, well-educated, confident young teen. Great teachers, great environment, great experience.

- submitted by a parent
January 09, 2012
This school seems great at first and you become sold on the things they say but it is does not live up to minimum expectations. Many left the school when we did because of its lack of integrity and academics. They fail to teach in a progressive manner. The teacher had favorites, children were not challenged. The teacher played commercial radio in the classroom. Our child was in a split class and had to move around school to find a space to do math class. We were told math was not a priority when asked why they weren't doing math everyday. Parents are distracted by all the events the school does. The administration and teachers do not listen, they don't want to listen to anyone or do anything about the problems. This school is a scam! Our daughter is now thriving at a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2010
Our children have been at Walden for 3 years now and each we grow to appreciate it more and more. The students are truly encouraged to learn at their own pace and developmental level. This does not mean your child will not get a good education - what this means is your child will get a deeper education that is more meaningful to them. There's none of that competitiveness between students (and more often parents) that we see in most of the other local private schools. Students are encouraged to learn for the love it, not because of a test or grade. Walden is producing creative thinkers, which is going to lead them to stand out as adults. The new math program, Singapore Math, is remarkable. My children are inspired by math now and very confident in their ability.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2010
Absolutely the best school in the area. We toured all of the progressive schools before choosing Walden. We wanted a school that addressed different learning styles, that focused on deep learning, and that would let the children progress at their own pace. We also wanted one that would encourage life-long love of learning, a deep sense of community, and an appreciation for individuals. Our daughters love going to school, and we're blown away by the depth of their learning, as well as the breadth of what they are learning. We feel fortunate that our children are part of this dynamic and diverse community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 13, 2009
We came from an international school and I find that Walden has what is good about progressive but also brings in the essential skills to live life in this and much more in the near future world. The director really knows the students and seems to be always on the look for what can be done to improve the school and it's program. My daughters love to go to school and are learning many news things in a very exciting way. We feel lucky to have chosen this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
Skilled and caring teachers, sympathetic administration, great parents, and stupendous students.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2009
As we watched 6th grade graduation, we were reminded again why we chose Walden. The students are articulate, confident, well read and have diverse interests. The teachers really empower them to explore their interests and express their opinions.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 05, 2009
Really disappointing lots of (flip flop) the administration really doesn't have a clue in witch direction there going today progressive tomorrow traditional. The school is not what they sell it to be it's going on it's old reputation, they should really tell it for what it truly is. It's a traditional school and I can get that with out paying for it. I can truly say there is 4 teacher there that truly embody the progressive teaching, they currently have no system in bringing in new teachers from a traditional setting. I think they miss the point they have there eye on expanding and growing the school that they forgot the progressive philosophy and what the school really stood for. They tell you to trust the system in place and not to question it OHMMM!. I think they need to go back and revisit Waldens pond. Thanks Matt!

- submitted by a parent
July 30, 2009
We are incredibly happy with Walden. The Director, Matt Alio, makes an enormous effort to walk the walk and talk the talk. He is a true visionary, and takes the time to get to know every family and child. There are tons of activities for family involvement, regardless of whether your are a working parent. I have never felt 'out of the loop' because my husband and I work full time. It may not be a 'sit down and memorize' school, but I am astounded at what my child has learned. She is learning critical thinking, to question and be engaged in the world around her, as well as all the basics. And they truly adapt to her learning style and her interests - very individualized. Most of all, she loves going to school, and we love taking her there.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 15, 2009
Disappointing! Favoritism for certain families, lack of academic structure, constantly changing configuration philosophy, weak administrative team, dishonest leadership. Children encouraged to be 'good stewards' but community allows too much freedom with little lesson on consequence. Teachers nice but lacking development with relevant learning trends with positive outcomes. Too much 'bagels and chatter' and not enough academic challenge. Unless you are looking for a nice child-care like setting where everyone is encouraged to be nice but little attention is paid to developing skills for all types of learners, think twice and ask different types of families for their opinions, if you can find them!

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2009
We have had a wonderful experience at Walden over the past two years. Our child loves going to school every morning. He is challenged and engaged, doing work that is 1-3 levels above his grade level. His teachers have been extremely responsive to us and have kept us 'in the loop' at all times. We also love the fact that the children are encouraged not only to pursue their individual interests, but also to consider the community as a whole. We strongly recommend this school for anyone who is interested in a dynamic, child-led environment that also challenges and engages the children.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2009
Wonderful school, passionate teachers, child-led inquiry. Everything I wanted for my children. No school is perfect, but this has comes darn close! Highly recommended!

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 22, 2009
Great community but the teachers are really hit and miss. My child had a good teacher in K but now has a teacher I can't believe I am paying for.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2008
Great teachers, great philosophy, great community! We love the balance between traditional academics and progressive education.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2008
Not a school for children that have any disabilities or 'issues' regardless of what they might tell you during the tours. The director will give you a half hour appointment and tell you he cares but does nothing. When real problems occurr just hope the faculty and director have time in their schedules to resolve them or they may ask you to keep your child home until they do! Not a school for a child that needs more support or nurturing.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2008
My daughter has been at Walden for 6 years and our family is in love with the school. Students are challenged to think differently and take responsibility for themselves and their world. The academic program is child-centered, meaning that they adapt the curriculum to meet the students' interests and needs, which has been terrific for our science-obsessed child. The Director knows every child and every family, adding to the sense of community here. Highly recommend!

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2007
My child loves this school. She is very stimulated by her activities in school. She loves the teachers. I also found its afterschool teachers and programs are very good.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2007
We have been very impressed with our Walden experience. As everyone knows, you are never 100% satisfied with a school and there are certainly elements that I'd like changed (more administrative flexibility, more choice about classroom placement, more lavish fascilities, etc.), but over all, this is a very good school. If you are someone willing to dive in and become part of the community, there are many ways to get involved. I've also been impressed with how parents are invited into the classrooms. Fund raising exists (it is a private school after all), but though we're not big donors (we support more with our time than our dollars), we've never felt slighted or somehow less important. Overall, this is a great school for those with a similar educational philosophy.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2006
The new director has improved the level of professionalism and discipline in school operations and focus, while reinforcing its developmental, whole-child approach to education. He's the leader the school needed.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2006
Walden promises much more than they actually deliver and we have been very disappointed in the quality of the school. The two teachers we have had were fine but they feel very closed to new ideas and parent input. Walden sells itself as a 'community' but in actuality there is a core of parents (who donate a lot of money or volunteer time) who influence policy while everyone else is pretty much ignored. The administration is extremely rigid and we only hear from the school when they want us to donate money or attend fundraising events. The director is ineffectual; he talks a good talk but is unlikely to follow through. The quality of the academic programs is pretty average for private schools but they do have many supplementary programs: music, science, Spanish, art and dance. The storyteller is great and is one of the few highlights of this school.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2006
Small class sizes, great teachers. Art studio, great library and science labs. Mixed grades seem really suited for elementary school. Challenging and academically sound. Facility could use improvements and traffic / parking is a pain.

- submitted by a parent
May 22, 2006
We are very pleased with our PreK experience with Tina. We trust her judgment, and her insight into our child's strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Our son is a gifted student, and we feel that he has been challenged and allowed to work at his own level. The Walden community is warm, creative, and welcoming. Fundraising is actually... fun with the amazing Animation Festival and the holiday gift giving to the teachers and assistants. The new director, Matt Allio, is thoughtful and philosophical as well as being hands-on and knowing the students and parents by name. He has an open-door policy which we appreciate (and rarely use).

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2006
Small community which will accomodate your child's needs.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2006
Very warm, creative & nurturing school. Great inquiry based learning. Teaches love of learning rather rote memorization. Emphasis on conflict resolution, personal responsibility & respect for the environment. Teachers are incredible - warm, caring & innovative. Children learn to think critically. Students grow to be very mature, well-behaved and articulate compared to other kids their age. Wonderful art amd storytelling program. Music, dance & PE are available. Heavy parent involvement. Great community atmosphere.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2005
My son attended PreK - 1st grade at Walden. The best year we had was PreK with Tina. She is an excellent teacher and an expert with this age group. Kindergarten and 1st grade were both good teachers but we needed to do a large amount of lobbying to get the teachers to challenge our son more. We supplement a lot at home and he is now reading at a 5th grade level and ending 1st grade with an excellent concept of division, fractions, multiplication and adding with 100's. The unfortunate part is that his teachers don't support this. The school is very nurturing and is a great place for kids. If your kids need more of a challenge, probably not the school for them. We have known parents who feel the same way in other classes. Great community though and again, very nurturing school.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2005
The Walden teachers are excellent. They know how to develop an approach that works for different types of students...and make learning fun. The students are articulate, engaged and demonstrate a passion for learning. We're very pleased.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2005
My son was a student at Walden School from Pre-K to 6th Grade. On graduation to Middle School he was entered into advanced math and English classes. During his tenure at Walden he learned a love of seeking information and was extremely happy. I was most impressed by the quality and involvement of the teachers, and their knowledge of my child's learning habits. I highly recommend Walden School.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2005
Walden is a very special place. The teachers are intelligent, experienced and deeply committed to the students. The focus on child-led inquiry allows teachers to teach the necessary academics while exploring individual student's interests. I also like the sense of community that exists among students and families. I'm also excited about the new Director who starts in July, he'll bring new energy and ideas to make the school even better.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2005
Unless you can make a huge contribution to the school or have lots of time to participate in class and be a cheerleader for the teacher, don't expect alot of responsiveness from this school. The academic program is very child-driven and may bore gifted children who need guidance. The music and sports programs are virtually non-existent given their lack of facilities. Thoroughly check out the other schools before you commit.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2005
Exceptional quality to both education and the child as an individual.

- submitted by a parent
July 08, 2004
A fairly great school, but not all that was promised during the enrollment process. Storyteller program is great. Some teachers are fabulous, some are average. Excellent at teaching social skills. Very academic base. Very light on extracurricular programs. Last year only had drama (light) and Polynesian dance. School community is fairly tight - majority of parents see to be from aerospace companies, etc., however. Parent Guild is very active and well-organized. School is a hard commute if you do not live in the Pasadena area. Director of the school is very knowledgeable. Teachers have a lot of autonomy and philosophies of the teachers vary fairly widely. Last year there were only 3 field trips in my daughter's class, but others had monthly field trips. Good focus on environmental issues. Kids graduate (at 6th grade) with a great deal of independence, thirst for knowledge, and real thinkers, not rote learners.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

Classroom teachers/student ratio: 1:10 Field trips: many,culminating with 6th grade to Washington D.C. CAIS and WASC accredited.

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Last modified: October 28, 2014

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Walden School
74 South San Gabriel Boulevard, Pasadena, CA  91107
(626) 792-6166
Last modified Walden School is a Private school that serves grades PK-6
Walden School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 44 reviews. Top