We had a real culture shock when we started school.
Our previous school never asked for donations like this school and its parent groups.
Minimum donation of hundreds of dollars per child per year was very strongly requested at the beginning of school. There were also other multiple donation requests that go over a hundred per student...for teachers to buy classroom supplies, for room parents to buy crafts and party supplies etc. There are at least 4 parties planned per year! These monetary donations do not include food and some items.
Apparently for some reasons, the school does not get enough funding from the substantial property taxes..to fund PE, music, art, science etc. So, the school turn to parents for money naturally.
Parents and students are pressurized to donate. The pressure also depends on the group of parents and teachers. A parent was "shamed" by other parents and teacher, because he did not donate as much as requested (to buy supplies not related to academics use), through emails and teacher talking to parent about it in front of other parents and the whole class of students. Of course, the affected child overheard the loud conversation and asked the parent about it at home. This is quite a shame this could happen in a public school. This neighborhood and vicinity are made up of mostly millions dollar and old homes, but not all parents are high income earners or have innate wealth. This public school, leadership, and some parents fail to realize and respect that some families simply may not agree with certain things; do not grow money on trees and cannot give several golden eggs at the drop of a hat. This is quite a culture to experience.
So, I am saying this to prepare any parents who are thinking of moving to this neighborhood based on school etc....and think very carefully, if the school, culture and leadership is a good fit for the family.
My kid is going to Williams from last 3 years and i would call it an average school. The high APIs are probably due the efforts parents put into their kids education. I have no complaint about teachers as such as some are really good but few don't meet your expectations. This school might thrive academically as they are more Asians living and moving into these area who have same attitude as parents in cupertino.
I am rating this school low as i haven't seen anything especial to call it great school. Every other month they keep asking huge donation by means of different activities.
I would be happy to see overall growth of kids and not just academics.
My son has been going to Williams since Kindergarten. He is now in 3rd grade. I cannot say enough great things about Williams. The current principal is fantastic. Last year my son's 2nd grade teacher hosted an event "Flashlight Reading". She invited all the parents to bring a flashlight to class on a Friday, and read to their child under the flashlight. At the beginning of the event, the teacher has all the parents in one room talking to them about how important it is to read to the kids, while the students are in another room adjacent and the principal was playing guitar for the kids. This is just one of the many events I have seen the principal being involved in and genuinely enjoyed spending time w the students. The teachers my son has had the last few years are genuinely interested and cared for the students. Even though there are 30 students in class, but the teachers are very experienced and they all managed to know my son as an individual and work w us the parents as a team to help my son grow in the areas where he needs encouragement. The Wins foundation organized by the parents is amazing. They provide excellent support for the school.
Continuing from last review. and they all seem to consider the Williams kids the "smart" ones. So basically, the academics focus works. As long as your kid has friends, hobbies, and some extra-curricular activities [Try Drama or Yearbook], you should be fine. -Teachers Generally good or great. Some bad and some awesome, like any other school. They try their best to teach kids while still doing fun things. -Food This is the worst part of Williams. Seriously. Everything with a bun is soggy [like, falling apart soggy], meat's burnt, snacks are stale, everything's tasteless [and if not, it tastes like cardboard, glue, or various other non-food substances] and whole grain. The fruits and vegetables are okay, if only because they are hard to mess up. Nothing sugary whatsoever. The focus on "healthy" has ruined hot lunch. If you can, pack lunch. Seriously. -Overall: Good, but not great. Horrible food. Lots of academics [and Common Core doesn't help, eurgh]. Don't sign your kid up for math camp. 4/5. -Former student
The families at Williams are very serious about their children's education. There are high expectations on these kids and because of that the Williams students are going to do well and be successful. Sounds good, right? Well, they aren't learning it in their classrooms at Williams. Instead, parents are spending hours after school teaching what should be taught in the classroom, but class size is so huge it isn't possible. Parents are also hiring private tutors, and sending their kids to academic summer schools & camps. The teachers are as good and bad as at any school. Thanks to Williams Wins Foundation there is loads of fundraising to help support extra curriculum activities, but anything other than strong academics is really an after thought. I am disappointed that Williams kids are already under immense pressure & an intense academic culture. Aren't there plenty of years for that? There is no love for learning going on at Williams, no creativity and no passion at this school. I was drawn to the high API score but I wish I had explored other options too. I have heard great things about Graystone, Simonds, & Los Alamitos, which all have high APIs but more focus on the whole child.
Some teachers are great, but there are a few (especially in higher grades, 3rd and up) that are horrible. Those teachers have not taught at Williams for a long time and bring inappropriate teaching styles to an otherwise great school.