This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Clifford Elementary School5
Posted March 25, 2015
- a parent
This is our first year at Clifford and love it! Our child's kindergarten experience has been great--genuinely enjoys school and is learning a lot. The teachers are wonderful and have transitioned the children so beautifully into the beginning of their elementary education. The parent community is supportive, active, and awesome! We are very happy at Clifford and have no complaints.
I love this school. I have been working at Clifford over 10 years. Even when I lived in a different town, I chose to commute to stay at Clifford. The teacher community is very strong at Clifford. It is an incredibly collaborative environment, and because it is, we are able to provide better support for our students. Clifford Parents are a passionate bunch! The family support is amazing. We have a very involved PTO, family movie nights, multicultural festivals, ELAC outreach, fun fundraisers, mom's nights out, and so much more! There is before and after school care available on site, an incredible enrichment program that offers activities like chess, art, reading support, sports and more.
Clifford is a SUCH a wonderful and unique place! I have worked there the past five years, and I couldn't imagine a better set-up for myself. Clifford students are always held to their highest accountable levels (academically and socially) to grow into productive and respectable members of society. That said, Clifford students are respectful, well-behaved, and they are instilled with a curiosity about their surroundings and to never stop learning. They experience a very well-rounded curriculum with instruction that not only tends to their academic needs, but also provides additional programs like Art-in-Action, Music for Minors, and Rhythm and Moves PE. Clifford is a welcoming campus/community for families from all walks of life. As a result, this school is rich in diversity, and some call it "a microcosm of the real-world." This school is also like a "community of communities." Parents are also involved in the School Site Council, English Learner Advisory Committee, and the Parent Teacher Organization. There are also Mom's groups and Coffees with the Principal. Clifford provides a one-of-a-kind and valuable learning opportunity for any child to be successful!
As a parent and teacher at this school, I agree that parents and teachers work closely together to make a difference in the students achievement and attitudes, especially in the lower grades (K-5). However, I believe that the upper grades (6-8) have been neglected greatly. First, these grade levels are the leaders of the school, yet they don't seem to know it or act like it. Perhaps, a student activities coordinator could help by teaching leadership to 8th graders. Other ideas may include: a campus beautification project, mandatory community service hours, volunteering, etc. If we put these upper grades into positions of leadership and let them say announcements in the morning, let them take charge of fundraisers for the school, put them in a position where the lower grades look up to them, see them as role models; I believe they would rise to the occasion and WOW us! It's about time for parents and PTO to take a back seat and show the 6-8th graders how to lead the school, be responsible for and take care of the school and everyone in it. We can't count on Administration to be consistent and reliable, so let's look to the students, our future!!
Clifford is a good school for some kids. They really need to stop the segregation of the children and stop making special request for the parents who make the most noise. Moms need to get it together and stop putting their issues onto the children who carry it to the classroom. Save the drama for off campus events.
I have an amazing Son finishing 8th grade. He earned his early education at an amazing private school named Woodland School in Portola Valley. Our family went thru some changes which made it important that he go to our neighborhood school. Ever since he transitioned to Clifford, he has learned the value of applying himself. He is now on honor roll again and has acquired an incredible since of self. He has good relationships with the teachers at Clifford. We have really enjoyed what Clifford has added to Spencer's life and he became a leader there. The school went thru several changes while we were there and the children always came first! We leave soon and I'm sure as Spencer heads to high school with confidence, it is due in part to Clifford's influence.
Clifford can be a great public school. BUt if you really want your child be be challenged and be taught well i recommend a private school. My son used to complain how the learning environment is loud and obnoxious, and it is very hard for the middle school teachers to control their class
My child is in 1st grade and has been doing well ever since he started at Clifford in Kindergarten. I do think my child's teacher puts too much emphasis on cursive-ish handwriting (teaching the kids to write with curly letters that are a little more like cursive than print, but still print.) The goal of this, to my understanding, is to make it easier to learn cursive, but in a world where they will type or dictate for most of their communication, it seems more effort than it's worth. I have no criticism of the math curriculum - my child has been doing extremely well there, but I do think the spelling words haven't been quite as challenging as they could be. As a working parent, my child also attends before and after school care, and the staff is terrific. They really care about the kids, and although I feel guilty for not being able to pick up my child earlier, I know my child is in good hands.
I had some serious doubts about Clifford after a long love affair with this school but this year, with our new Principle and Assistant Principle, I have new found appreciation. My son is in 8th grade and last year had some serious challenges but with some major changes, the buzz on campus is positive and full of opportunities to learn. My 3rd grader is enjoying her class and has taken on a whole new ownership of her achievements. I could't ask for a better learning environment! She is on a waiting list for NS but it would be very hard for me to move her away since Clifford is back on track.