This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Laurelwood Elementary School1
Posted January 14, 2015
- a parent
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??????
The school was remodeled only a few years ago, the classrooms are clean and not dilapidated. Our Cafeteria is for all Kinder through 5th, and holds all our assemblies nicely! The Teachers and staff are caring and wonderful instructors. All you have to do is look at the schools API to see how well the school is instructing our children. I believe the bad rating is from someone who has never been to our school. Not sure where they are getting their information for all their wrong information!
This school is like a trailer park. Every structure is dilapidated. No air conditioning in any classroom. But the air conditioning in the administrators' office is running even on weekends (based on my and several other parents' observations). No cafeteria for students from first grade to the fifth grade. That means: almost all students have to sit outside beside the playground, shivering in winter and spring and being scorched in summer and the fall. If you expect the administrators there to guard the best interests of the students, perish your thoughts. Getting the very basics, such as air conditioning and cafeteria, is like luxury for all Laurelwood students. Comfort is only for the administrators. I won't be surprised to see some students get heat strokes. I am more concerned about tree branches falling on the kids when they are eating lunches under the big trees. Don't expect anything from the administrators. Nothing will be done to protect the interests of the students.
We have 5 children, 4 of which have either been through Laurelwood or are still enrolled. We have seen quite a few changes in the school over the last 8 years, since our first child attended. He is now a junior in high school. Needless to say, I know a little about Laurelwood. While it is only my opinion, I try to be objective and fair. The teaching has been phenomenal, the office staff is consistent, thorough, firm and yet caring (Patti and Philomena are the best). The teachers very are caring for each student. Yes, we have had to resolve some issues over the years, as no school is perfect, but communication with the staff is key. Everything has always worked out, with the best being for the kids...as it should always be. I have 2 children (1st and 5th) that are currently at Laurelwood and completely trust the staff with the well being of my most prized possession...my children. They are balanced and independent, yet respectful (for the most part :-)). Parental participation, while not required, is key to the our children's success. That being said, this school has a lot of parents that are more than happy to be a part of this great school. My youngest child will be going there.
I Just finished 5th grade at Laurelwood, and I love the school! I have been to other schools, but this one is the best. some of the teachers do not give much homework, but a lot of them do and its fun! they have fun events, award ceramonies where every student gets admired! overall I loved my 3 years at Laurelwood! It is the best school ever, no matter what others say!!!