Laurelwood is my neighborhood school and my child attends there. Given the high API scores and desirability of this school, I was hoping for a positive experience. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed in almost all aspects by this school. The school is very crowded with 30+ children in small classrooms. My child's teacher always seems stressed out, is poor at communicating to the parents what's going on in the classroom, and generally seems to have no interest in having any sort of positive relationship with parents. The school is lukewarm at best regarding parent volunteering, even though they drastically need this help. Office staff seems generally befuddled by simple requests. Registration was a nightmare, with contradictory, incomplete, and often changing requirements. School website stayed woefully out-of-date for months after school started. PTA cancelled many popular events this year and PTA leaders seem distant and tired. Although this school is a short and easy walk from my house, my spouse and I are actively working on moving my child to a different school next year.
This is our first year at Laurelwood. We love the new principal- Dr. Rogers. She is very involved and knows kids by their name. Unfortunately, the school and specially the kindergarten is overcrowded. They are 5 kindergarten classroom and each have 30 kids with only one teacher. For some reason they are not very interested to involve parents to help out in the classrooms. I know that my friend is helping out her daughter's teacher with only 24 kids in the class almost everyday in another school. Also, our kindergarten teacher is remorse and very tired and not so interested in her job. We definitely will think about the alternative school for next year mainly based on the crowded classroom. Lets face it is not easy to handle 30 kids and do a good job in teaching. But we love the administration and principal in particular. Cafeteria is big and the food that they serve is good. classrooms are clean and playgrounds are ok too. PTA is very active.
I couldn't agree more with the parent who posted the review on June 23, 2014. My child has been attending this school for 2 1/2 years and I think it's terrible. My older child attended another public elementary school so I am comparing apples to apples (though not in the SCUSD). The principal here I've heard has ruined the school, but putting that aside as I'm sure she didn't do all this damage in the 2-3 years that she's been there....., there's too many kids attending, tired teachers (not all but more than there should be in this venue), inadequate equipment/technology/computers for both the students and teachers. It's unbelievable to me that for being in the "heart of silicon valley," it lacks something such as technology, laptops and interactive learning for the children. With respect to playground, sturdy plastic playground material is a much more up to date and kid friendly structure. Lastly, God forbid you have a child with any sort of learning disability. This school appears to tend more to the teaching of kids who need to learn a "second" language than to those who need some extra attention on their basic education. Very disappointing.
Laurelwood has great potential, but has gotten too big. Our small neighborhood school has grown to 700 students. When I my first child was here we were around 550, and we had smaller class sizes. But I disagree with the comments about the principal. She was adored by the students. She was visible and worked hard to bring Laurelwood in to the 21st century. The school finally has new technology. When you are in a meeting with her, there is no doubt she knows your child and wants whats best for them. There are some great teachers, but there are also some that are not willing to do what's best for our kids. They yell, and they don't seem to be at all flexible. My children have had the great, and the notsogreat. I can't complain. Our community, while generous, wants to remain status quo (as stated previous about the PTA). However, we aren't what we were when my children first started here. The PTA is very involved. It's a great way to become a part of the school community. Nothing is perfect, but Laurelwood ain't so bad.
While Laurelwood may have high API Scores (for whatever they are worth these days), it lacks alot in terms of the quality of education. The school itself and classrooms are overcrowded with 30 students to 1 teacher. The school was designed for 350 children. There are 700+ on campus now without adequate play ground equipment or supervision. There are some wonderful teacher's, and there are more ineffective teacher's. Too many teacher's use yelling or shaming to try and control the students. There is very little professional development for the teacher's; and many seemed burned out and disengaged from the children. There is almost no emotional/social training taking place in class or on the play ground. The Principal is much more interested in "following the letter of the law" and gaining technology, than in creating a positive, safe, innovative learning environment. Parents are moderately welcome on campus and on PTA but, really, only if they are willing to work to maintain the status quo. Sadly, the qualitative measures of education are not a priority and the school isn't interested in becoming innovative or creative. It's been a very sad experience for our student.
I agree with the other reviewer that the playground and structures need a lot of improvement. The comment about A/C is also appropriate. Having seen a few other school in this area, though, this one looks on the better side. May be because of funding issues or whatever, many schools look like dump-yards now a days. Poor public infrastructure and maintenance seems common in a lot of cities in south bay. Still I have given the school 4 stars, why? Because my son goes there and loves it. His teacher is nice. API scores are good. Kids are well behaved and there is no bullying that I know of. There are quite a few extra-curricular programs. I wish it were better but given other schools in the area, I am quite happy with what we have.
I am surprised someone said the classrooms and playground are not dilapidated. Maybe it is not dilapidated from the standards in some very poor countries. I am also surprised that someone said that there was a cafeteria for all students. I went there many times during lunch time and every single time the students were eating outside. Just ask any one of the kids and you will know the answers. I know my facts before I go on this forum. I would just recommend that we turn off the air conditioning in the administrators' office for a day, would they be dying to restore the air conditioning in the office RIGHT AWAY? Then why only the kids have NO AIR CONDITIONING IN THEIR CLASSROOMS??????