Having had two students attend middle school here already, and a third on the way, I would like to share my perspective. The middle school has not changed drastically, but what has changed is the anxiety and misinformation I hear from parents about middle school and its affect on getting into a "good" college (this is not unique to River Glen but is increasing in general). First, I would recommend any parent connect with the program Challenge Success through Stanford University as it informs parents and students on a healthy outlook regarding education and the road to college. Secondly, kids who have attended River Glen 6th-8th grade program have done exceptionally well! Kids have attended: NYU, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Rice, Santa Clara University, Stanford, UCLA and, truly, the list goes on and on. River Glen did not hold them back! In fact, I believe it is the opposite. Research shows that connection with your teachers and school community is more important than pushing an advanced academic curriculum during middle school. Connection with teachers and community is what RG is all about! I love it and am so grateful for it. But let's not forget that our students do graduate 8th grade with 2 years of high school Spanish under their belt. Awesome! I appreciate the parents and staff who are positive and help us elevate this program and our students!
The teachers are great. Scores don't tell the full story. The PTA is highly involved with the school and supports numerous academic activities. There is a true sense of Community with River Glen. From the Caminata Walk a Thon to the Baile Dia De Los Muertos events. Overall we are very pleased to be parents here.
Some detractors: changing principals is difficult. When Ms. Young came on, it was a rough transition. She has improved a lot and it much easier to deal with the administration.
The facility is old (except the 6-8 classrooms). Measure H has helped, but only for security and some HVAC improvements. The K-3 buildings are in terrible shape.
The academics from 4th to 8th get progressively worse. It's not the school's fault. Budgets have been decimated by the state. Doesn't look like it's going to change dramatically over the next decade. The school should really close the 6-8th grades and focus on K-5. It just doesn't make sense to have an ultra strong K-5 program and an extremely sub-par 6-8th program.
If your child gets an average or better teacher (most of them) she/he will be fine. If you draw a bad straw, you are in for trouble. Obviously the teachers are part of a union. There are some teachers that do not communicate with the parents and the principal has a very hard time replacing them.
River Glen school is a true gem. Our children have been going here for several years. They have been very lucky to have great teachers like Gutierrez, Posada, Henneman and Adams. The K-5 program is incredibly strong. The PTA (hablariverglen.com) is very active and provides a HUGE amount of support to the school.
Some drawbacks: there is always a problem when the Principal is replaced. This happened a few years ago and it was a difficult transition, but things are getting better now.
You have to be careful: the quality of the overall programs from 4th through 8th grade is very weak. This is not the fault of the school, but rather the district. Change has been very slow for these grades. Numerous parents pull their students after 5th grade. It's a shame. The school should really eliminate 6th-8th and focus on K-5. The middle school is just not competitive and until the state decides to fund it properly, it will never change.
The school has two events that are open to the public each fall. It is great fun for the kids and families. There really is a sense of community at River Glen.
I am in middle school and love River Glen. I really like the size of my school. Everyone there is familiar to me and many people I know well. I am not lost in a sea of students. I have had excellent teachers and they are very, very kind and loving. If students have trouble understanding something, they take the extra time to explain it to you. I have made close friendships that making coming to school fun! My friends at other schools talk more about bullying, teasing and even dating compared to my school! I love this school!
I was a parent at Riverglen for 16 years, the spanish immersion program was a success w/my children. However,I disenrolled my child from the 5th grade due to lack of support that she received from the new principal& her 5th grade teacher. My child is IEP,& she was left behind in this "no child left behind" era. What troubled me the most was the lack of support & the indifference of her 5th grade teacher & of the principal. I was a devoted parent for many years here & have seen quite a difference. The motto of the school prior to this new principal was the success for ALL students. Now, if the child is struggling academically, they are forgotten & the minimum support is offered. My daughter is now in the 7th gr., struggling due to the indifference she received from the principal/her 5th grade teacher. So if your child is an average student, they will succeed anywhere, but if you are a parent with a child that has a learning disability, look elsewhere, because they will not prepare your child for high school. My meetings of concern for my child seemed to have annoyed the principal; I'm sure he is very happy that we left. I was there for 16 years; River Glen is NOT THE SAME!!!