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K-5
Public
San Jose, CA
Students enrolled: 592

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2421 Carlton Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124

School website
(408) 356-1141
(408) 356-5993
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Map of Carlton Elementary School address.

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March 14, 2014
I've been quite pleased with the quality of the teachers and overall leadership of the school. I have noticed a disconnected in the principal leadership as others have suggested. But what I see as a bigger problem is some very disconnected parenting. People are busy and have jobs, they need to in order to stay in this area, but only a small percentage of parents actually volunteer and contribute to the school. The vast majority rarely set foot on school grounds, dropping their kids at the curb as they race off, ignoring the right turn only sign on the way out as they turn left. While probably not an isolation, the sheer volume of necessary daily goods stacked on the lost and found cart is a sign that some parents just don't care. That worries me. I've also found that while its wonderful that a lot of parents grew up in this area and are long-time friends, there is certainly an atmosphere of exclusivity that wrongly alienates a lot of good people. This cliquey behavior sets a bad precedent for the children who otherwise have no concept of class and superiority. Overall, the locals could be more welcoming to newcomers in the community and all parents could be more involved.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2013
This is an amazing school. I attended a principal coffee today and it was informative and well organized. The focus was on Common Core standards and there is a clear plan in place in terms of teacher training at the school site. In addition there are great programs and a friendly climate.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2013
I have been a part of this school community for almost 5 years. We value the experience that our children are receiving at Carlton. The teachers, principal and office staff are completely approachable and truly care about our children's well being and academic success.. Carlton also has a wonderful community. Parent volunteers spend hours at the school to help enrich Carlton's programs. I cannot say enough about our experience at Carlton so far. We could not be more pleased.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2013
This is the second school which my son has been in (after a move from Campbell) and I am extremely pleased. I cannot say enough good things, from the outstanding teachers to the great administration. My son has never done better, nor liked school so much as he does now. The administration seems to be very progressive in their methods with high focus on results. I would recommend this school to any who are sincerely interested in their children receiving the best possible education and development.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2013
I have been an involved parent at Carlton for 7 years now. I have also taught elementary school for over 16 years. Yes, our school has a newer principal with a different leadership style. In my 16 years of education I have had 5 principals. Each one of them brought something new to our school. It is sometimes hard for parents and teachers to adjust to the changes and it takes time to be open minded about the new ideas. I believe Carlton still has a tremendous staff that is being led by a good leader. When I have had a concern or an opinion, I have always felt I could express these feeling to the principal. In the end, I am pleased that my children are learning, happy and have had wonderful teachers.

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2013
I must totally agree with the previous reviewer regarding the new principal. I'd like to see the district solicit in-depth feedback from parents and teachers, and take necessary action before the wonderful culture and quality of this school is lost.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
It's important to remember that Carlton Avenue school has been under new leadership since August 2011. The school has an actively involved parent community. Most teachers are top-notch. So the very good test scores and other positive attributes of the school mostly reflect legacy programs and leadership, and not the current reigning leader. I would like to see the Union School district solicit in-depth feedback from parents and teachers specifically regarding the current leadership at Carlton Avenue School. It has been two years in this top-level role. Word around the community and from our family's personal experience suggests that the current leadership is failing; it seems essential to investigate further and see where there is room for improvement. The general district survey does not allow for comments and does not get specific enough to provide the district with any helpful insight. On a side note, there are bright spots: The ever-smiling and helpful front office administrative assistant and the PE coach are two wonderful and caring individuals.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2013
The community is great and the school works well for most students. I have noticed that students that are below grade level receive extra help and students that are above grade level are pushed. However there are many students that are just average and trying to get extra help for a student that is average or struggling in one subject is impossible. The teachers focus on that they are meeting the academic level, but I believe we should be helping these kids achieve as well. If you have a student that behaves well and gets okay grades the school lets them be mediocre.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2012
Although we enrolled in 4th grade, we were thrilled with the superb educational opportunities from this, our local public, school. The teachers were far more educated about teaching the whole child. My "out of the box" son is appreciated instead of benched every day. The administration is unified and consistent. All staff is great at communication. Our previous private school could not and would not provide advanced curriculum and Carlton had many programs already in place. I wish my daughter had benefitted from this school. In addition to the staff, the parents and school community is welcoming and full of parent involvement. Carlton is a fantastic educational community!

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2012
My children attended Carlton from Kinder through 5. They, and I, LOVED their experience there! Carlton, and the Principal, foster a safe, nurturing environment where all students are encouraged to grow to their full potential. My son is well above grade level in all subjects but was offered many advanced and excelerated options so was never bored. The school is a 'Bully Free Zone' and takes that very seriously with Monthly Anti-Bullying classes for each grade level as well as lots of playground supervision. There is tutoring in Math and Reading in all grades as well as before school help for those that are below grade level. I am shocked that anyone would rate Carlton anything less than "Excellent" and can only assume that there was some extreme situation with their child that they didn't like but I never once had any of my questions or concerns disregarded by teachers, staff or the Principal.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2012
Carlton is a great school with a caring community. The teachers are dedicated and very involved with their students. The new principal is hands on and has maintained excellent programs and implemented many new ones.

- submitted by a teacher
August 12, 2012
I used to work here. The teachers were excellent, the leadership was perfect, the parents helpful, secretary couldn't have been better, students were fantastic...great people all around. Wonderful community.

- submitted by a teacher
June 21, 2012
I agree with the other reviewer that "bright students are being pushed to conform" and would apply that especially to active young boys. I saw bright, intelligent, creative, imaginative boys being put on behavior improvement plans (w/entire days spent in the principal's office); one day those boys will shine in ways that aren't yet appreciated.

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2012
Excellent community support,dedicated teachers, and an accessible principal. We are very happy with the level of support and great programs this school provides. The new principal takes the time to create solutions and strategies to help struggling students and the office staff is friendly. Great school.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2012
The new principal has a strict "don't bother me" policy. The teachers and students are being bullied behind the scenes and the principal has little to no respect for either. Students with learning differences are being pushed to change schools and bright students are being pushed to conform. Minorities now receive even less respect than they did before and, what was a fairly decent school for those who followed the straight and narrow, "normal" path is now becoming a progressively difficult place to function as a human being who occasionally makes mistakes.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2012
The success of this school is attributed to both the teachers, parents and staff who have developed a system that focuses on tapping into a child's motivation to achieve. The one major fund-raising event organized by the Home and School Club is such that is able to provide for other school programs (i.e. Music, Reading, Physical Education) that have been cut due to budgetary constraints. The tight-knit community at this school fosters and encourages involvement without the social pressure. There is a good mix of ethnic diversity at this school and the children learn anti-bullying skills that prepare them for middle school. Also, the STAR Testing scores are in the mid 900s!

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2011
The teachers are very dedicated and talented. They strive to bring out the best in each student. This opinion is based on 4 years experience as a parent of a Carlton student. Being a former high school teacher, I know that it can be a challenge to motivate students since each student has their own interests, talents and learning modalities, for example. Carlton has a new principal this year (2011) and I have not had enough interaction with her to rate her leadership at this time.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2010
My oldest is only in first grade, but I have been favorably impressed with our experience at Carlton so far. There is a portion of the parents who are actively involved, and plenty of opportunity for others to become involved. The atmosphere on campus is safe, supportive, and encouraging. The teachers and staff do a great job of instilling a love of learning and encouraging students to participate thoroughly in their educational opportunities. We have considered private schools as well as moving to neighboring districts and have concluded that we can't do appreciably better.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2010
I have 2 kids attending Carlton and have been very pleased with the teachers as well as the academics. The teachers have really partnered with me if I have things I need to work on with my kids in very postive ways. I have sensed a general commodore amongst the staff as well as the teachers genuinely enjoying the kids and what they do. In addition I have been very impressed with parental involvement as well as it being a very welcoming place and easy to get connected.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2010
While I can't disagree with many of the comments below - I can say that the experience for my family has been different. It is difficult to say but I believe it is because we are not caucasian . The community as a whole is quite homogenous and not as open as you would expect - in the bay area. Attitudes of the parents range from indifference to un-inclusive towards the kids. The books in the classroom where race is the theme - have the tone of condescending superiority. Topics like civil rights are taught - from a very specific perspective. These things have the effect of alienating the children (those from a visible minority) and putting more of a divide where there shouldn't be. The teachers and the principal were uncomfortable to discuss this and did not want to take any steps to improve the situation.

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2009
The education at this school is excellent and the students and teachers are very nice.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
November 30, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2007
My daughter has been at Carlton Avenue since August 2005. I can't say enough about how great the school is. The parents and teachers are great, Ms. Ito is totally awesome. The school helps promote a community environment for the parents, children and teachers. Thank you. I look forward to many more happy years there.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2007
While I do think the teachers are wonderful, I have been disappointed in the academics. They do help those who are behind or need extra support, they do nothing to meet the needs of those students who are ahead or need to be challenged. I have spent so much of my own time supplementing in basic areas such as english and math. I believe that the state standards are too low which is not Carlton's fault. However I think each child's needs should be met, not just those who are behind.

- submitted by a parent
February 19, 2006
My two kids have been at Carlton for 1 1/2 years. I am very pleased by the support from the principal and teachers. I feel that they really listen to ideas that I have to better our school community. We have a media center with computers that the kids use once a week, they also attend music once a week and have concerts per grade level. The parent involvement is good, but like all school could improve.

- submitted by a teacher
October 05, 2005
Carlton is a great school. It truly is a little community here. Our Principal Cathy Stewart has been a welcomed addition to this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
Having children in 3rd and Kindergarten this year, I was very impressed with Carlton. I have 2 older children that attended private school while they were in elementary and I was a bit worried about sending my 2 younger ones to public. I have only positive words to say about this public elementary school! I feel as there is a great community and the events that bring families together are wonderful. I was fortunate to help in the classrooms so I have seen the staff and copy rooms; I was very happy to see such care and supplies with 'budget' restraints. The art vista a clay programs are great as well. As a previous private school parent, I would highly recommend this public school and wonder why I spent all that money when I had this wonderful school in my own neighborhood. I think the teachers and admin are great!

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2005
Carlton is a fabulous school. The teachers, principal and parents work together to create an outstanding, supportive environment for children.

- submitted by a teacher
April 24, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2005
The most important asset that Carlton Elementary School has is that the teachers and staff encourage learning and open minds. The atmosphere is friendly and parents are very involved. There are many opportunities presented for extracurricular activities on campus as well as in the community (flyers sent home from other programs).

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2005
My daughter has attended Carlton since Kindergarten and is now in fifth grade. Overall, we have really liked Carlton and it's teachers. There was an incident in 2nd Grade where two teachers didn't teach math (with grade-wide lower scores)and then in third grade, the teachers had to work very hard to not only catch up but teach third grade skills. Some kids never recovered from that. We have liked all of the teachers for their caring and sharing their love of learning. There is alot of parent involvement and extra programs for music, art, and clay. They also offer Mad Science after school and Academic Chess. We have had 3 principals and have a new one this year. I don't really know what to say about her leadership.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2003
We have been at Carlton for 6 years now and one of my children has graduated. Carlton has been a wonderful experience for us! Everything about the school is great! I feel that we all work together as parents and teachers to achieve the best for our children/students. I only have one year left and when I sign that volunteer log at Carlton for the last time, it will be a very sad day!

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2003
Carlton is an amazing place. Our community involvement is great, our teachers are wonderful and our children are very happy. In this time of budget crunching, our Home and School Club has supported us in many ways. We have great programs such as art, music, clay, glee club and a well-equipped media center. It was distressing to see the comments posted about our principal. As an administrator, being able to make sometimes difficult decisions is a must. Those decisions will not always be popular. I think Ms. Jones is a strong leader who honestly has our children's best interests at heart. In my opinion, that's what matters most. Our children adore her. I think the cases of parent dissatisfaction are isolated. We have never had a problem communicating with her and think Carlton is a better place because she's here.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2003
As parents who were sure we were going to be sending our child to private school, I can honestly say that giving Carlton a try was one of the best decisions we ever made. We feel lucky that our child has been blessed with wonderful teachers every year, as well as many things that lots of schools consider 'extras', such as art and music. The feeling of community is prominent and the dedication of the staff and volunteers has surpassed all expectations we could have had. As for the gripes listed in other postings, we have never had any negative feeling about our principal and our child loves her. Any child who attends Carlton is a lucky child.

- submitted by a parent
October 10, 2003
Carlton school is an outstanding example of what an excellent school should be---hardworking professional staff,devoted principal, and generally cooperative parents. The only drawback to this wonderful picture is, unfortunately, a few parents who feel that they are more qualified than the teachers and principal to decide school policies and procedures. They are always ready to criticize without thinking beyond their own need for 'power' or their sometimes selfish, unreasonable wishes for their own children. A school is designed to meet the needs of all the students, not just a chosen few. To the principal and staff, please continue to strive for all our children. You are wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2003
A great school overall. Teachers are very committed to their jobs and the children but it would serve us all better if the principal partnered better with parents instead of building barriers with us.

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2003
The children have now experienced teaching at every grade at Carlton, from the extraordinary kindergarten team to the fine fifth grade crew. It is a credit to the faculty that they stay so focused, compassionate, professional and skilled with what appears to be an utter lack of leadership in the principal

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2003
On the whole, Carlton is a great school, just wish Ms. Jones let the parents run H&S club (as it should be), and not let her personal likes and dislikes taint the decisions she makes. She should be impartial.

- submitted by a parent
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Carlton Elementary School
2421 Carlton Avenue, San Jose, CA  95124
(408) 356-1141
Last modified Carlton Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Carlton Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top