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K-8
Private
Portola Valley, CA
 

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360 La Cuesta Drive
Portola Valley, CA 94028

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(650) 854-9065
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Map of Woodland School address.
October 21, 2014
This is my daughter's 3rd year at Woodland and I can't imagine her anywhere else. Her 1st year there (kindergarten) was a big transition year, living abroad since her birth. She immediately felt a part of the Woodland community and thrived. The small class sizes, as well as their dedicated teaching and administrative staff, helped her to flourish in her new environment. She learned to read in record time, made good friends early on and was / is excited to go to school every day. I too very much feel a part of the experience and am so appreciative of the warm welcome we both received from the very beginning. As a parent, you can be as involved as you are able to and there are many opportunities for parents to participate and get to know teachers, classmates, curriculum, etc. What really sealed the deal for me was attending one of the graduation ceremonies. Witnessing the graduating students deliver their speeches with such confidence and poise, standing up in front of a large audience, so articulate with their delivery and clearly comfortable with public speaking. I knew then, as I know now, what a good decision we made in choosing Woodland School.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2014
Very good school. We have been very happy with the education our daughter is receiving. Caring teachers and lots of improvements being made both to the physical environment and the curriculum. Take the negative reviews with a grain of salt...some people have an axe to grind.

- submitted by a parent
July 02, 2014
Unfortunately, I have to agree with one of the other reviewers who complained about Woodland not being organized after I received my 7th grader's report card and ERB scores today (July 2 )....ERB test was taken on Ap 4).....there was no letter accompanying his scores, no brochure, no nothing to explain how I am to understand his scores....just the scores with numbers 1 - 9. Why is the school sending me his test schools in the middle of the summer? Don't other school send them during the school year in case a parent wants to have a conference to understand their child's performance. Again, Woodland has left us in the dark.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2014
Woodland is in so much transition and has made such disastrous mistakes including teach burn out, it is not work your time. I suggest you re-evaluate them in a few years to see if circumstances and administrative staff get their acts together.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2014
Woodland has been disappointing and inconsistent. For the past 3 years, we have had three different P.E. programs bc the school kept changing their opinions about the role of P.E. in private school --- one year we didn't have any PE during the school day but were promised an extra "A" on the child's report card if he/she took 2 after-school sports...and guess what, the school never gave those A's. Some of the teachers are exceptional and some are just down right cruel. These "mean" onse usually have little to no teaching experience before Woodland...my daughter has 3 times had teachers who had no previous experience teaching, although 2 of those teachers have turned out fine -- they just had to learn at my child's expense. The overall characteristics about this school in my mind is disorganization and inconsistency.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2014
Woodland has become increasingly *disorganized* as it tries to double its size and run a capital campaign. Very frustrating. Some teachers are good to great and some are just horrible. Many have no prior teaching experience nor licensed credentials.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2014
I have had a child in every grade now at Woodland School and have been very happy throughout my 12-year involvement with the school. It is a preK - 8th grade school with a focus on 1) academics 2) character and 3) community. The curriculum is continually updated by amazing teachers who are well-trained and care about every student. The school has ethics and S.E.L instruction weekly for every grade. The community is diverse and representative of Silicon Valley who place a high emphasis on education for their children. There is a nice global focus as well with 4th-8th grade weekly current event reports, the 8th grade Capstone project and the trip abroad.

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2013
If your child has learning differences, I would not send them to Woodland. While you may get buy in from the administrators, you won't get it from the teachers in the upper grades. While some schools are almost too kid focused, this one seems to be too teacher-focused. On the other hand, the parent community is hands on user friendly and welcoming. The kid community is genuinely diverse with plenty of opportunities to share that culture with others. The school also had good handle on the bullying issue among the students. Some of the teachers like to rule with a heavy hand--verbally not physically--however.

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2013
Woodland is an amazing school. We moved our 6th grader this year (he had attended K-5 at a Catholic school in Redwood City) as we felt he needed a more challenging curriculum and smaller class size. It was definitely the right move. The staff and teachers are so positive and truly work with your child to make sure they succeed. We have been impressed with every aspect of the school. Making the move to Woodland was definitely worth the money. We feel our child will be ready for high school and beyond with the education he is getting here.

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2013
We're a middle school family and have been impressed with the teachers, curriculum and support for our child. The block model scheduling allows time for deeper learning in the classroom. Homework is not just busy work - it's thoughtful, age appropriate and not overwhelming. The Head of School has done an excellent job bringing motivated, inspiring and talented teachers in to join the Woodland team. We are very happy at Woodland and think it's an excellent middle school option.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2013
5 stars for the kids & families - 1 star for the leadership (with the exception of a new & extremely committed asst. head) Children get a comprehensive education in a nurturing and positive environment. K-4th grade has been a wonderful experience with tenured, competent, and caring teachers. There is a significant decline in quality of curriculum from 4th grade to the upper grades. My take on this is that it is a staff leadership issue. The new teachers that have joined the upper school are excellent, unfortunately they seem to be somewhat hamstringed by the old guard. The athletic program is not strong. Students participate and are enthusiastic, but coaching is poor with inconsistent practices and spotty communication. A positive about athletics is that students are welcomed in any sport and encouraged to try new things.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2013
Our family loves this school. We toured many schools both public and private when choosing a kindergarten for our oldest son. Woodland's students overwhelmed us with their authentic kindness to each other and their enthusiasm for learning. The community is welcoming and diverse. The principal and all the teachers are extremely engaged with the kids, the academics are excellent, and there is no lack of fabulous creative classes like art, music, language, and sports.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2013
We've been with the school since preschool. So many wonderful changes have taken place in the last three years. The teachers and staff are well educated, caring people who genuinely love to teach and interact with the students and parents. We especially love the small class sizes, knowing our children will receive the individualized attention they deserve. We also appreciate that the school is outward looking as well. There are a number of philanthropic programs in the school in which all students, Kindergarten and up, may participate. Unlike some private schools, parent involvement is welcomed and encouraged, but not required. There are many opportunities to be involved in the school. We have found Woodland School to be a warm and nurturing environment. We wouldn t send our kids any where else!

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2012
Woodland is a fantastic school. The teachers and the children have welcomed my son and this is his first year at woodlands. We are very happy as parents to see a school with great structure and a warm community. it offers a dynamic environment for academics and a great social environment for children.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2012
I am a student at Woodland School. I like my classmates because everyone has something interesting to say. It is a school that welcomes newcomers. I think it is fun and all of the teachers care about the students and love teaching. It is challenging and I am learning so much more than at my old school. I love going to school at Woodland.

- submitted by a community member
May 27, 2012
I am a 9 year-old student at Woodland School. What I love about Woodland is that everybody is unique. The parents and students are from many different countries. I learn a lot about different cultures, especially during cultural arts week. The teachers explain things in a way that is easy to understand. My teacher is the best teacher I have ever had. It is very easy to transfer to Woodland because everyone is so welcoming. I love taking French, music, and gymnastics. I like having morning assembly every morning. I also love Mathletes and how the school is very flexible. I am so happy that I came to Woodland.

- submitted by a community member
November 17, 2011
After several dismal years in our local public school, we started at Woodland this year. We could not be happier. The teachers are loving and supportive while strictly adhering to rigorous academic standards. The head and assistant head of school are actively looking to improve the curriculum and teach skills that are relevant to our evolving, global world. My daughter's work receives an amount of teacher scrutiny that justifies the time that she puts into it. We also love the focus on historical and geographical knowledge- this year she has learned about world rivers, Canada, native peoples throughout North America, and the colonization of our continent. And it is only November! My daughter wakes up in the morning and cannot wait to attend school. Every day, she thanks me for sending her there. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that her classmates are an interesting, funny, respectful group of students who have a lot to contribute regarding any topic! Not only has she gained incredible amounts of cultural knowledge, but her vocabulary and emotional development have increased by leaps and bounds. We are just so thankful that we found Woodland School!

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2011
I go to this school and I love it so will you. This school is one of the best schools i have been to and my friends say the same thing.

- submitted by a community member
August 07, 2011
I agree with the previous review. You should always take reviews with a grain of salt - between the extremes. There is always some semblance of reality in between ... My advice to would be parents is to ask the following: 1) Longevity of Teachers and span of control (how many grades does the teacher cover) 2) Credentials 3) Facility renewal 4) online grade system (better transparency with grades) ... Sad but true - when you have the enrollment of the school change with a big teacher turnover, what does that mean? Check the facts and draw your own conclusions. There are plenty of biases and conflict of interest. You need to look at the facts, sieve through the claims and watch out for your child.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2011
I confess that I often discount extremely positive or negative reviews on the Web, similarly to Trip Advisor. Someone has a bad day and writes a scathing, yet anonymous, review--often over a specific encounter/issue. I have had children at the school for many years. As with every other school, some grades are fantastic and some need improvement. What doesn't get emphasized enough in these reviews,however, is that Woodland kids are, by and large, truly wonderful human beings. Routinely hosts for field trips report back that they had never had nicer or more well-behaved children. At Woodland, being "an idiot" is not cool (in contrast seemingly to so many other schools in the area). You get what you pay for at Woodland: it is less expensive than many other private schools in the area, yet has some incredibly dynamic teachers and a safe/caring atmosphere for your child. The school has just begun a more formalized annual fund and charitable giving program, however, unlike many other private schools in the area, you are not ostracized for failing to meet some type of "giving quota."

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2011
In two years at Woodland we have experienced each of the 1st through 6th grades, and it has been a perfect fit for my three children. The teachers were attentive to my children's successful adjustment to the academic program. We love that there is strong emphasis on love of learning, core virtues, academics, and balance. My children love going to school.

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2011
Our three children have been at Woodland School for 4 years, and we treasure the wonderful education our children receive and the amazing community of families. I cannot say enough about the perfect balance of academics, character development and play. They are all thriving, and really enjoying their experience. The school has grown and improved each and every year, and we feel we are a part of something truly special. The parent community is amazing, and everyone is so supportive. Our children are also very aware of the wonderful, safe community as well, and it means a lot to them. I think back to my own search and I nearly missed out on Woodland. I'm so very thankful that I did find it, and I recommend it be on everyone's list to visit.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2011
We have two children at Woodland and we couldn't be happier. We've seen both our kids do well, both academically and socially. We love that there is a solid Core Virtues program, diversity amongst the student population, and extra-curricular activities which make it great for families with 2 working parents. The parent community is wonderful - and we have made some really great friends there. Everyone seems to truly value and support quality education. And with a class size of about 11 for the incoming Kindergarten year ... that's awesome.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2011
I just have to address the last two posts - I couldn't disagree more. The administration is working to make changes - necessary changes. The leadership, prior to this one, was lacking is so many ways, deficient by most standards. Woodland is a safe, warm, good academic choice for children. I feel confident that my child is getting a skill set that is necessary for placement beyond elementary school.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2011
Need a major change starting with the head of school. When a school have their strongest teachers, it is pretty telling. The school program is in a tailspin... The school is in a dire need of a leadership rehaul. No amount of 'propaganda' or sugar coating can change the reality. The wholesome school with a child at the center - is definitely there, for the select few. These few make up the committees etc. All the rest, either fall through the cracks or receive well crafted ambiguous academic responses. If you want a school that delivers, takes action and truly practices whole child, this ain't it. The reason is simple - lack of true commitment, courage, leadership and genuine interest in the child.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2011
There are some major problems happening at Woodland School. There is an incredible amount of staff turnover occurring (including loosing the assistant head of school). The assistant head essentially served AS the head. The quality of the middle school is very weak- the english/literature program is particularly poor. I am taking my child out of Woodland this year and breathe a huge sigh of relief. I SERIOUSLY question the head of school at Woodland (and I am not the only one! But the board here doesn't do "change" well)- the families, students, K-4 teachers are top notch...Woodland will be great once they "clean house."

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2011
We have 2 children at Woodland, and have seen them blossom academically and personally. They love going to school and come home every day with enthusiastic stories of what they've learned. The teachers are creative, engaging and deeply caring. The school emphasizes academics combined with core virtues such as respect, courage, good citizenship, responsibility and honesty. They find ways to work these virtues into everyday lessons at school, and it shows in the children. The Woodland community is comprised of involved families and staff who deeply care about the children -- we consider ourselves very fortunate to have found it.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2011
Woodland has been amazing for us for years. We have upper grade (5-8th) and lower grade (K-4) kids and both love the nurturing and challenging environment. The kids are very different - one loves art and gymnastics while the other loves math and science and the school meets both of their needs beautifully. And the upper grade English/lit program exceeds what 9th and 10th graders learn, at least according to parents of graduates who have kids in local private high schools. Frankly, I don't see the criticisms leveled at the upper grades. If I was to pick a weakness it would be that the school is not equipped to meet the needs of kids with significant learning differences.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2010
School administration/management is a disappointment. Nice job on marketing but poor execution. I wish I read other reviews more carefully could have saved my child s time. Many of negative comments relate to the NEW administration it has been a few years since changes have been made. We are now in another independent school which we really like...

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2010
Woodland school is great for: 1> Safety: located on a non-commercial street in Portola valley 2> Suits Working parents: school runs from 8am 3pm. Has good extracurricular activities till 5pm 3> Teachers, school virtues, class size: teachers are nurturing and class size is around 15 kids. There is a certain innocence and respect in the kids and I see it in all the upper grades---something that is hard to find in other schools. 4> Fees: No hidden fees or donations. Private school fees are generally high and one should not have to pay more than advertised. 5> Diversity: I must say that Woodland has exceptional diversity.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2010
A very nurturing environment till Grade 4 with exceptional teachers. There is a precipitous decline beginning Grade 5. The language program and the teaching style is very traditional and doesn't cater to needs of the kids-somewhat rigid and inflexible teaching methodology. The Science program was always known to be weak and continues to be so. The administration while overtly seems to be approachable has truly not delivered on any promised. I would have not moved my kid to this school if I had known how lacking the quality of teaching and extracurricular activities at this school are. Very disappointed and agree with the last reviewer. Wish they had more teachers like the ones they do till Grade 4.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
Woodland school is good for the lower grades from preschool to 4th.After that it's a downhill spiral in most of the areas.I wanted to have my kids there through the 8th. But with very poor communication,extremely traditional way of teaching the literature and grammer with no scope for the student creativity has made me decide to remove my kids after the 4th grade.In addition the administration is very unapproachable and not very open. After the 4th grade even the redwood city public schools are much better. They have no sports emphasis at all. More than half the lower grade practices are cancelled routinely. If you are planning to move ,be very careful. Most of the reviews from the above reviewers are probably for the lower grades.Because majority of the parents talk and there has been a big change in the parent view after the 4th grade.

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2010
My child has been at Woodland School since pre-k. She loves going to school. The teachers are very caring. At first, we didn't want to pay the expensive private school's tuition. She registered my child to a public school in Kindergarten. We tried public school for 1 week and quickly switch back to Woodland. The curriculum is strong. I am amazed at how much she learn.

- submitted by a parent
January 06, 2010
small school, very structured curriculum, energetic teachers but agree with the other reviewer that the administration feels unapproachable

- submitted by a parent
July 30, 2009
Woodland School is a relatively small private school with excellent teachers with strong parent support. The curriculum focuses on providing its students with strong academics, extracurricular activities and core virtues. Woodland's smaller environment also provides a very supportive environment for the students to grow.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2009
Very traditional organized curriculum, limited opportunities for parent participation in the overall school community

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2009
The curriculum and activities are wonderful but not exceptional. Students moving to private high schools are ill-prepared. And in the case of my daughter, we moved her to a different private elementary school and she is struggling because her studies at Woodland kept her behind. The most negative quality of the school is the administration. They are unsupportive, unapproachable, and condescending. No room for a partnership. It is very discouraging because the parents are absolutely amazing. As a working mom, I try to participate as much as I can in chool activities. Yet I'm criticized for my efforts. My eldest daughter is at Castilleja, her twin brother is at Bellarmine (opposite ends of the entire Bay Area). Both of whom did not attend Woodland. And my company is laying people off. I'm not asking for compassion, just flexibility and a good education. I am very disappointed.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2009
I have a Preschooler and see it as a happy and healthy place for the little ones to take it all in, and boy do they! I am amazed everyday at what my little one brings home to share. They are such sponges and learn so easily in an environment like Woodland Preschool. In addition, it s a GREAT value for the money.

- submitted by a parent
February 11, 2009
Woodland offers a broad academic foundation that includes a very strong early reading program, Saxon Math, social studies/civics, art/music/french/PE, field trips- all starting in Kindergarten! A warm and safe environment for students to optimally learn and grow.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2008
Woodland is a great and safe school. It has a great curriculum and the staff and students are really nice. It has a good campus as well. It has a wide variety of sports and other activities including field trips. Most families live close together and carpool often.Overall it is a GREAT school.

- submitted by a student
October 19, 2007
Woodland School is located on a beautiful expanse of fields. It is highly academic with top quality math and literature programs.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2007
as a student of woodland school, i would like to say that the discipline that the school enforces is completely unchecked for as well as only focusing on pinning the behavior of children toward the faculty staff, not toward piers. The teacher quality is very satisfactory. Leadership is the strongest point of woodland school, involving the 8th graders to lead in a morning daily prayer with the entire school. Extra curricular activities are very small, and combine 2 grades into 1 sport: (7-8th grade sport, 5-6 grade sports etc.) Parental involvement is high due to the fact that they are allowed to attend the ceremonies and morning prayers with the students themselves. Overall, this school is recommended to look into.

- submitted by a student
September 04, 2007
Woodland School is one-stop-shopping for a well rounded kid. I have a girl in first grade and a son who will start soon. What I like about Woodland is that it is not a school for a 'particular' kind of kid. It is such a well balanced program that I know all of my children's needs are being met. My child is able to be an individual and is learning how to respect others. The school is very formal and cozy at the same time. Caring teachers, great families, new computer lab, art, music, big trees and a British house system that builds camaraderie and school spirit make Woodland a very special school. We consider ourselves lucky to have stumbled upon this excellent community.

- submitted by a parent
September 01, 2007
Diverse international student body, strong academics, great culture emphasizing achievement and kindness. Many of the kids are at least a year ahead of peers in other schools, academically. Also offers music, arts, and some extracurricular sports programs.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: October 28, 2014

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Woodland School
360 La Cuesta Drive, Portola Valley, CA  94028
(650) 854-9065
Last modified Woodland School is a Private school that serves grades K-8
Woodland School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 45 reviews. Top