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GreatSchools Rating

Woodland School

Private | K-8 | 222 students

A unique combination of academics, character, and community.

 

Living in Portola Valley

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $1,827,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,670.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 6 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 12 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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43 reviews of this school


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Posted 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


Posted July 2, 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


Posted 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


Posted June 4, 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


Posted June 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted December 5, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted February 7, 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


Posted February 7, 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


Posted February 7, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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.


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted August 7, 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


Posted June 6, 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


Posted June 4, 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


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 71% 26%
Two or more races 14% 3%
Hispanic 5% 52%
Black 3% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Gifted specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Spanish
Hindi
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Community service awards received in the past 3 years
  • Second Harvest Food Bank (2011)
  • Second Harvest Food Bank (2010)
  • Second Harvest Food Bank (2009)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Rock band
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Dance club
  • Drama club
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Hindi
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Mr. John Ora
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Direct instruction
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Hybrid
  • Project-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Engineering
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Service learning
  • Technology
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • French
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Hindi
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

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School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Kickball
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Kickball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Textile design
Music
  • Band
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Rock band
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Dance club
  • Drama club
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Math club
  • Robotics club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


4 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
58
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
129
Students typically come from these schools
Bing
Carey School
Trinity School

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$12000 - $19000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Castilleja
Crystal Springs
Menlo School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

360 La Cuesta Drive
Portola Valley, CA 94028
Website: Click here
Phone: (650) 854-9065

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Trinity School
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Ormondale Elementary School
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