I worked at Sierra School as a teacher for two years. Because of the small class sizes and having a full time teacher's aide, I felt I was able to truly reach and accommodate all of my students' needs. Sierra is the perfect school environment for the student who needs a challenge. Not only was I able to help my lowest level learners grow but I was able to encourage and guide my highest level learners above and beyond their current grade level work! The administration was very supportive and made sure I had everything I needed to present fun engaging lessons to my students. It was so freeing to be able to teach without having to do constant test drills & meaningless workbook pages.I felt respected by the administration who included the teachers in planning major school events and were quick to offer any assistance needed. Sierra School students also get to attend 9 field trips a year. They focus on the well rounded child by offering technology lessons, Spanish classes, P.E., and there is a heavy emphasis on the performing and visual arts. If we had stayed in California, I would have had my son attend Sierra, that's how much I love it!
I have taught/worked at this school teaching in the after school/enrichment program for over 20 years. In that time I have also taught during the regular day for musical theater program. The school offers a great drama and musical theater/arts program. They integrate it well into the school curriculum. The students respond well and it makes the school such a complete package of academics and arts related activities. The staff and administration is very supportive of each individual student. The love and care they offer is second to none. The administrative doors are always open to students and parents. It makes all the difference for the students. You can tell by the smiles on all the faces from K-12th grade!
My son attended high school here, graduating in 2010. I was extremely happy with this school. After attending a large middle school, coming here, was, quite frankly, a breath of fresh air. The school had everything we had been looking for - small class sizes, individual attention, and a wonderfully dedicated staff. I have recommended this school to several families. This is quite a "hidden gem" in the Bay Area.
I comment on junior and high school program. This school is very horrible! First, the school do not have classes for students to choose. If students want to take another class, they have to read a textbook by theirself, and take the test.Second, students may take the same classes with the same level which they already took. For example, computer, drama, music, and art classes are repeated every year. Third, the school's system and teachers are not professional. In addition, tuition fee is really expensive and there are plenty of unsatisfied things there. It is not worthy to spend a lot of money to study at this school!
This is our 2nd year at Sierra. We were scrambling to find a school once we didn't have much success with open enrollment in the public school system. We stumbled across Sierra and couldn't be happier. The teachers are so hand on and teach to the ability of each child. There is always one teacher and an aide. At present we have 13 kids in our kindergarten/1st grade class. Not only do the kids get along from kindergarten to 5th grade but the parents all know each other. We are a small tight community here.
My children attend elementary school at Sierra School. We have been very pleased with the quality of the elementary program here. The model is to allow every child to move at their own pace and master the subject before moving on. They are able to accomodate children above and below their grade level because of the small class sizes and the low student to teacher ratio. There is a teacher and an aide in each of the three multi-grade classrooms. The "pros" of the school are the small class size, low ratios and differentiated model. The teachers work hard to give each child the work that is right for them - they are what really make the program succeed. The curriculum includes not only the traditional academic subjects, but also a music and peformance program, art, PE and Spanish. We find that the children are very respectful of one another. The "cons" of the school are related to the size . There are less than 40 children in grades K-5, so the social experiences for children can be somewhat limited. It is not a deluxe campus like you would see at more expensive schools. But for us, the positive experience in the classrooms far outweigh these concerns.
My daughter absolutely loves it here. She adores her teachers & friends. It's an extremely small school with only 100+ students from K-12. You get lots of individual attention. Her class has 15 kids with 1 teacher + 2 aids. You get to know most of the parents and can have lots of play dates. They provide individual instructions/work time for math, phonics and reading according to your ability. Plus you get enrichment classes like Spanish, Choir, drama, computer, arts, PE, etc. They also provide additional fee-based after school classes like Lego, arts or karate. Overall it's a great little private school. The only 2 downsides I can think of is 1) lack of after school clubs, sports team or music band and 2) they use mostly standard teaching methods (which is no worse off than most public or private schools) but not enough hands-on or project-based as we would like.
We've been at Sierra School for 3 years. My child loves going to school each day. Instruction is tailored to bring out her best. Teachers are dedicated and caring. I received a report card each week and have easy access to the teachers. There are 12 students in the class a teacher and 2 assistants. With so much individual attention, my child shines. The students treat each other with respect. Misbehavior is dealt with appropriately. One student was asked to leave the school due to disruptive behavior. The classrooms provide an excellent learning environment. Spanish language, Art and Music are taught. There is after-school instruction as well. Teachers and Administrators are receptive and responsive to feedback. Weaknesses? This is not a school for kids who need sports teams/activities at school. Many kids join sport teams outside of school.
We found Sierra School to be just plain too small. room? Not even enough for decent games on the playground. Sometimes, kids do act out and need re-direction, not major negative consequences for minor infractions. The school pushed academics, but taught in such a way that the children reguritated lessons instead of truly comprehending them.