This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Stratford School - Santa Clara Pomeroy5
Posted June 06, 2014
- a parent
I have a very positive and great experience at Pomeroy Stratford School. Although we are now relocated to another state, I could tell that my child's academic foundation thru Stratford School was amazing. He excels in most of his academic subjects, he could tell that his vigor academic exposure to Stratford helped him to succeed in his new private school. The teachers are phenomenal especially Mrs. Chang and the principal is very knowledgeable. I would say all the teachers are great as my son would always recognized their friendliness and kindness. The plus factor in my experience is the timely feedback of the teachers and helped the parents to focus on my child's capacity to continually improve.
I disagree with the previous review that homework is too much. I know a lot of students in public middle school and high school do homework till 12 am or 1 am everyday. I do think that Stratford's curriculum is lacking. It should be at least 2 or 3 grades above public school, which is not the case at all. Tuition is exorbitant compared to what we get in return.
My daughter is currently enrolled in Stratford Pomeroy Middle School. Most of the reviews listed for the school are for the elementary school. At the middle school, the teachers are great and very caring. However, they completely overwhelm the kids with so much homework that there is little time for anything else. We have been pulling our child out of the "free after school activities" so that she has enough time to do the homework. The school advertises no homework on the weekends, but that pure marketing. My child and ALL of her friends do homework on the weekends as well. My child works most of both days on the weekends as well to keep up. I wish they cared more about the stress they are putting on students.
Many parents have complained multiple times to the administration that there should be a big canopy/cover on the playground, to no avail. Kids are not allowed to apply sunscreen at school either. So that means they can only apply sunscreen at home, but sunscreen is only effective for 1 or two hours. Starting from 10 am, kids don't get any sun protection whatsoever. Is it really hard to put a big cover on the playground? Many schools have it. When will the administration care to protect kids from sun damage and potentially skin cancer?
This week, our son will be graduating from Stratford Middle School (Pomeroy Campus). We have had a great experience with the school and the school has really helped him build a solid foundation for high school. The academic curriculum is rich and exactly the rigor we had hoped for- the teachers and principal are very supportive and accessible and very committed to learning. My son's class was the first sixth grade class to start at this campus and we have been thrilled to see the fantastic growth of the school. Since we are both working parents we particularly appreciated the sports and several clubs offered after school. Our son was able to participate in soccer, basketball and football along with robotics and also got the opportunity to take on a leadership role in student council. Most importantly, he developed great friendships and really enjoyed being at school. The trips to Yosemite and Washington DC were truly memorable! Stratford has enabled him to build a solid foundation for high school by providing enriching experiences. We would highly recommend this school if you are looking for a structured program with academic rigor coupled with several extra curricular programs.
What delighted me most about Stratford's Pomeroy middle school was the supportive environment that allowed my child to settle in and start enjoying school, start getting involved and be an active contributing student. One of the main reasons we moved our daughter from another private school to Stratford was we felt that she wasn't getting adequately prepared for high school. High schools look for well-rounded kids who have diverse interests and are passionate about their interests. At Stratford, she is able to develop her interests in creative writing, drama, and newspaper editing. There are opportunities to develop math skills, debate skills, be part of orchestra, excel in sports or be invited to NJHS depending on one's interests. As a parent, I am able to give my input and volunteer in school activities. It's very fulfilling to partner with a team of professionals who are working to make your child successful. I wasn't able to do that in the previous school and I missed that involvement in the school activities. I am very happy with the responsiveness and support I get from the teachers and the administration. It's like a whole village working to make the children successful.
The tuition in Stratford is $15K a year without extended care, about $18K if you want extended care. Almost three months of summer vacation, one week of spring break, two weeks of winter break, plus other holidays. So basically we have about 8 months of teaching time. VERY EXPENSIVE! And they don't even have professional artists teaching art classes. My kids' room teachers teach arts. Even public schools hire professional artists who graduate from arts universities to teach arts. So it really boggles my mind. Also The two mandatory Spanish classes are a waste of time when most of the parents would rather their kids learn Korean, Japanese or French instead. A lot of private schools teach kids of third grade how to do computer programming because kids in other countries are very good at programming at this age already. Stratford needs lots of improvements. Challenger is smart at not offering Spanish classes so that they can teach other more desirable knowledge.
My son has been attending Stratford for the last two years and he loves it. The teachers are awesome and are the reason why the children want to go to school every day. The principal Ms. Hertz is very responsive, committed and knows every student by name. The teachers for Physical education, Computers, Spanish and Piano; love what they do and inspire kids every day by making learning fun. The front office staff is very helpful too. Book reports, book mobile, field trips, spring and winter programs, talent shows, science exhibitions help develop the child's confidence and provide nice learning opportunities . Great education in an awesome environment is what this school offers.
I agree that Challenger is much cheaper than Stratford. If you are savvy and sign up for an early registration in Challenger, you will get a 5 iscount. So you will end up paying a couple of thousand dollars less than Stratford a year. Challenger is a great deal compared to Stratford.
The tuition has gone up again, significantly! The only thing is I, as a Stratford parent, have not got a salary raise for 7 years straight already. And then I called Challenger and realized that they are much cheaper! Challenger is way better than Stratford academically and in other areas. So it makes the decisions easy. Many parents told me their negative reviews of Stratford schools have been consistently removed. I began to wonder the quality of the management and teachers if all they care about is removing negative reviews instead of taking actions to improve the school. Not worth the money! I hope the school leaders and teachers can open their minds, listen to the parents and students and accept their constructive criticisms. That is not a lot to ask for in other schools. But it is really hard to make it happen in this school.