We transitioned into Woodland this year from another independent school and are thrilled! The quality of teaching is phenomenal and the students are happy and engaged, which means the world to me as a parent. My son hated reading before we came to Woodland, however through the 4th grade curriculum, he has participated in a number of book clubs and "tournament of books" and is now an avid reader - he actually reads for pleasure and lights up when he discovers a new book. I am so grateful to see this change in him!
My kids are loving their experience and are coming home with stories of what they learned and asking questions about how they can explore that learning at home. We are so happy to be part of this school!
Our Children have enjoyed several years at Woodland and this school has a magical way of making the kids really like school and fosters a love of learning with a large variety of education tools. However, I have to agree with several of the other comments that the school has been disorganized, lacks a clear growth strategy and is suffering growing pains with the doubling of its middle school enrollment without the needed facilities to accommodate those pupils. There is a lot of teacher turnover as well. The School has wonderful extra curricular activities and is now focusing on a global education which really stimulates intellectual curiosity, however they are deviating so far from the core curriculum which most students are being taught elsewhere that their ERB tests cores and high school placement scores are far behind the averages scores of other local schools. Many private schools charging $20K plus per year are happy to boast about great test scores. Woodland needs serious improvement in this area and to better develop a clear growth strategy and stick to it. The building of the gym has come at a high cost and each year the quality of the programs have been reduced. However, most classes have a very positive learning environment and the children really enjoy going to school here.
I have had a child in every grade now at Woodland School and have been very happy throughout my 14-year involvement with the school. It is a preschool - 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 service learning trip abroad.
This is our son's second year in middle school at Woodland. He had made many new friends and generally thrived in a small school environment. Our son is an avid reader, and benefits greatly from the school library's well-chosen collection of books staffed by a friendly and helpful librarian, Ms. Sue. We're glad to see his writing greatly improved and matured since attending Woodland.
There is a strong sense of community at Woodland. Parents are supportive; many volunteer their time and expertise. Coach Johnson, for example, is a parent volunteer who coaches the our son's JV football team (where everyone gets to participate). Teachers are enthusiastic and committed; their own children attend Woodland. There is a general sense that we are all in this together: to educate our children well, whether as teacher, parent, or coach.
There is great flexibility and tremendous support for mathematics education. The middle school math faculty is first rate: both Ms. T and Mr. K are forward-thinking and enthusiastic teachers. Woodland introduces an extensive range of math contests at the middle school level: AMC-8, Mathcounts, and Math League. As a small school, there is plenty of contest participation opportunities for Woodland students to hone their problem solving skills. For example, advanced 6th graders readily participate in Mathcounts to gain valuable experiences. Student achievements are celebrated. Exposure to such inter-school math contests provides valuable feedback and helps calibrate student performance to contest-level mathematics beyond what is specified in the standard math curriculum.
There is an awards ceremony during the last week of the school year that celebrates students' achievement, both in academics and in athletics, where parents are invited to attend. What especially moved us is the care and thoughtfulness that went into each story that the teachers and the coaches narrate for the audience their keen observation of the students' exemplary behaviors in the athletic fields, highlighting particular aspects of good sportsmanship and good character that the Woodland School celebrates.
We're pleased with our son's experience at the Woodland School for the past year. Woodland is an "up and coming" school that is evolving rapidly. We strongly recommend it to parents considering a well-balanced middle school education for their children.
We are thrilled with this down to earth, small school in the middle of pretentious and overachieving Silicon Valley. While the school focuses on academic rigor, it maintains an open and collaborative atmosphere amongst the students. This is due, in part, to the school's core virtues program which aims to educate (and reward) students on the importance of virtues such as curiosity, compassion and responsibility. As a result, the student community is warm, welcoming, supportive. This is a great place to make mistakes and learn from your mistakes. Focus is on a growth mindset rather than excellence and there are opportunities in art, sports, technology and music for children to stretch their wings. The teachers are very high quality. We are so grateful to have found this school for our child.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.