As a former school board trustee, I highly recommend Woodside. Woodside is a hidden gem! Caring, smart and committed teachers run the school, rather than an overpaid group of administrators. My son has blossomed here academically, unlike his former school which stereotyped him as being an "learning differences" or "LD" student. Homework is reasonable but challenging. Small class sizes allow for differentiated learning. The large presence of international students creates opportunities for global citizenship her in SF. They practice what the preach unlike many independent schools. I urge parents and students to consider Woodside as a potential high school choice.
I have always held this school in the highest esteem. The dedication of the headmaster, Mr. Edwards, and the excellence & dedication of Woodside's staff in providing a curriculum and environment that is supportive, nurturing, creative, and geared towards supporting the student as they learn and how they learn is not easily found these days. My younger sister attended this school many years ago. She was deeply affected by her positive experience with Mr. Edwards and Woodside and attributes much of her growth as an individual to Woodside. I saw my sister transform from having no interest in learning to learn, challenge herself, take an interest in others and the world around her and more to shaping into a responsible young adult with a questioning mind, ability to self-reflect as well as the discovery of her creativity. My son now attends Woodside which has been my 'mission' since he started school!
This very small private school isn't for those seeking a standard approach to education. It seems to fill a niche of working primarily with kids from other countries, local kids who haven't succeeded well in traditional school environments, and kids who simply thrive better in a very small school. The students here are a diverse bunch, including kids with learning differences, physical differences, some with behavioral/social issues, along with 'everyday kids.' Students here receive a great deal of individualized attention and support from the staff, and most seem to form bonds of respect & friendship here that may have been difficult to establish in other schools--both with peers and staff(my child really likes this place). The programs are diverse, practical, and creative, including philosophy and current events as core subjects, plus electives such as extreme P.E. and photography. Teachers are very willing to customize classwork to meet student needs.