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K-8
Public
Saratoga, CA
Students enrolled: 443
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

Contact this school

12211 Titus Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070

School website
(408) 253-4696
(408) 865-0684
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Christa McAuliffe Elementary School address.

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November 24, 2013
This is our third year at this school, and each year is an eye opener, to the way the kids blossom. With parent aiding comes the responsibility of getting to know every child, the school philosophy and developing a deep understanding of what makes the kids grow self esteem, confidence, develop a sense of community and collaboration while developing academically. Teachers are very focused on each child's unique needs, and small groups allow for diversity in learning and emotional levels. Parent-teacher meetings are not limited to scheduled ones, every conversation with the teacher is enriching. Very recently, middle schoolers took ownership of changing out our school's old flag, debated how it should be properly retired, educated every class from k -8, and the new flag hoisting ceremony had a huge voluntary turnout with many tears expressing the profound emotion befitting the stature of the national flag. Those who doubt parent-teacher-administration-student respect and care in this school only need attend the school site council meetings and hear the student members share, opine and debate at ease with the many adults around.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2013
YMMV but my experience is that the day to day practices at McAuliffe fall short of their stated ideals, the training is good but inadequate, grounds supervision and teaching (outside of the evaluated subjects) is almost entirely delegated to parents and thus there is little individualized feedback in those numerous areas, and the constructivist style learning is not nuanced. If this sounds like Greek to you, then simply ignore this review. If not, then you may want to visit the school outside of its normal tours to see how the children spend their time during field trips (read the school newsletters for upcoming public sightings), and how the parent aides and children act both during and outside of school hours on campus. Nothing controversial but a good reality check. I think it would also be good to get a sample breakdown of the weekly activity schedule to better understand the frequency of transitions, the amount of teacher vs aide involvement in your child's day, and balance of academic, to social, to co-curricular lessons. All that said, if you want a progressive education for your child and public schooling is your only option, this one is probably a leading institution.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2013
I went here as a child. Favorite teachers are Steve and Ben. Wish they were a little firmer on standard practices like deadlines. Their Pass / Fail / Mastered grading system could use an update. Most valuable characteristic i learned here was collaborative team building. Now making over 100k, so it worked.

- submitted by a community member
August 11, 2013
There is a new principal there now; I hope they can turn things back around. First time through we had a great experience, second time through it was completely different; the best teachers left, the previously friendly teachers were not friendly anymore, and some didn't even teach anything at all, not at all the same experience.

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2013
My two children have attended this school, once since 1st grade and the younger since kindergarten. My children are very different, my first being very math & science focussed, my second being very drama & story telling-centric. Both have blossomed and been lead to their best in each classroom they've been in. My first born is extremely gifted & has always been stretched & celebrated by each teacher. He has not been bored. We don't do any outside classwork, beyond things based on their interest, & this may make school seem exciting as opposed to students who do an after-school academic day care, or school-work at home. However, my son purchased & worked through an algebra book in 4th grade on his own after school, & still found in-school math fun. A key difference is that this was his choice & he loved it. He was never moved to 'the next level' in math, however, but was given deeper & more subtle challenges within the grade level. I'm very glad this was the approach taken. Both of my kids don't see academics as a 'to do' item, but as a passion.

- submitted by a parent
February 02, 2013
Also to the parent that complained about the contribution: What is mandatory is that you do a tour and attend an information session about the school. When you do this, you become aware of the many extra's you get at McAuliffe that include: field trips, supplies for the classroom, supplies for art, science, math, literature, PE, gardening, cooking, two part time librarians and instructional aids for ALL classrooms. You also become aware of what will be asked of you when you VOLUNTARILY come to McAuliffe. That includes a monetary contribution, aiding hours in the classroom and driving/chaperon hours for field trips. If you do not like what is being asked of you, do not choose to leave your neighborhood school and come to McAuliffe. IF you make a choice to have your family attend this school because of the many field trips, unique learning opportunities, small group activities, etc...you need to participate and fulfill ALL your commitments to the school. Please keep in mind that we do not ask you to sell popcorn,cookies, gift wrap, candy nor do we ask you to wash cars to raise money for all the items I have previously listed. We ask for a contribution, not fundraising.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2013
To the parent that complains about the contribution. The payment is not mandatory!!! This contribution pays for the instructional aide for every classroom, field trips, cooking class supplies, classroom supplies and much more. if you go to Stokelmeir there is 1 instructional aide to 5 classes. Please go to your home/local school if a contribution to your school community for an instructional aide in each class and other ammenities is not what you want.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2012
It is supposed to be a public school, though there is a m-a-n-d-a-t-o-r-y "contribution" (donation!), to be paid, 1k per child, and it is right down annoying if you are late at paying. Also, they want you to pay checks in advance if you don't pay the full amount at the beginning of the school year. This is a public school that demands this payment. As a donation I wish they would be more flexible as to timelines and not remind parents, it is your "commitment" (which alternative do you have if you want your child/children to go to this school?)... Maybe all parent associations are like this, but, kind reminder, this is a p-u-b-l-i-c school. And 1k per child is a significant amount.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2012
Our 8th grade daughter has been at McAuliffe since Kindergarten. We are very pleased with the education she has gotten. As a member of MENSA, she has been academically challenged sufficiently without the stress or threat of grades. McAuliffe offers her the opportunity to explore her interests deeply in the context of student driven projects. Through these projects she has developed valuable critical thinking and researching skills that are usually addressed in high school.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2012
Describing a school is like the blind men describing an elephant: there are so many different facets, they are all true, and none is exclusively true. My experience has been that my son is flourishing, and having rich experiences that friends at other schools aren't. And, I enjoy the heck out of working in the classroom and feeling part of the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2012
Dogmatic adherence to their stated philosophy results in a curriculum dumbed-down to the lowest common denominator. This school offers little differentiation to match the amazing variation in curiosity, drive etc across its students. If you believe your child has average intelligence and curiosity and want your child educated at a mediocre school, send them here-you won't be disappointed! If you want your child to retain the twinkle in their eye that emanates from a genuine love of learning, look elsewhere. And, if your child has top decile+ IQ-this school will almost certainly be a disaster-your child will likely be extremely-bored. Further, if you are a parent of a boy please think even harder before enrolling here. One of this school s many weaknesses is its inability to celebrate boy energy. Parent participation is terrific in theory; as practiced at McAuliffe, it can be downright intimidating to some kids. The training parents receive is not remotely enough to effect fundamental change in, say, temperament; many 'parent-volunteers' have absolutely no business being around children (some parents do not realize the scarring that can result from yelling at 5 year olds).

- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2012
Excellent school --- lessons go beyond classroom; students take ownership of their learning --- critical thinking, research, creative problem-solving, teamwork --- students develop desire for lifelong learning, not working for a grade or a reward. Excellent teachers who care and teach meaningful concepts, not rote memorization and worksheets.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2011
Too much horsing around. The parents build a universe around the kids, and they act accordingly. The kids show little curiosity outside of play time. This is too far of an extreme from traditional schools, and very few kids every get their outside assignments done.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 19, 2010
Very special program with great students and parents!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 19, 2010
It is like a Montessori school. The parents and teachers are very tight knit community who are very helpful and the teachers are great

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 19, 2010
Christa McAuliffe provides my grandaughter with much more than the 3R's by providing hands-on learning experiences, exposure to the arts, development of communication and decision-making skills so important for life in the real world.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 19, 2010
I love this school because the staff and the teachers are great and very friendly.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 18, 2010
I have never seen a school program that teaches children to think for themselves and problem solve at such a young age as well as Christa McAuliffe Elementary. I am amazed at how much excellent out of classroom experience the students receive, that obviously creates an atmosphere of excited learning. My niece constantly surprises me at the level she can think, communicate and confidently speak her mind.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 13, 2010
Without this school's participation, 'Their Future is Now' Campaign wouldn' have raised the 3 million it needed to save 115 teacher's jobs! The parent involvement in this school is phenomenal!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
Heard good reviews about the school; nurtures kids and lets them be kids

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
My kids love going to school everyday and I believe they are learning the skills necessary to succeed in the work place and in life.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
This school offers a perfect alternative to our districts K-8 schools. It gives students a wonderful way to enjoy learning and prepares them very well for high school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
They really design their teaching approach to your children's needs instead of a 1-technique works all!!

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2010
teachers, staff, parents greatly involve in school activities.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2010
education is high priority along with community and school extra curriccular activities are encouraged as well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
The parent participation is like having another family like environment at the school.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2010
We love McAuliffe for its focus on deep understanding of academics (vs. rote learning) and the incredibly strong and involved community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
Christa McAuliffe school has a great community. they give full attention to each child and provide an environment where 'failures' can be a part of a learning process . My daughter and I love this great school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
They are so community oriented that it feels like a family

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
No homework, but instead, in-depth useful projects in school. Lots of parent support and creative ideas. Best of all, kids love it!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
Parents are encouraged to be involved in the school via fundraising or volunteering at school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
Both of my kids had a WONDERFUL elementary school experience at McAuliffe with hands on learning, small group instruction, and amazing parent involvement. I highly recommend it!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 11, 2010
They teach conflict resolution in Kindergarten. The kids feel respected and they feel safe to voice their opinion.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 10, 2010
It is a great school where parents take huge responsibility!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 10, 2010
This parent participating school definitely is the best. It offers an excellent alternative to traditional school.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2010
I think the high quality, extensive parent involvement involvement helps create community and gives students access to many supportive adults besides their teachers and parents.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2010
Great students, parents, teachers staff. That is why they get results.

- submitted by a community member
May 09, 2010
It is about teaching the whole child, not just thenacademic portions

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 08, 2010
Because my grandson is getting a good education and enjoying the school

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
This school is accepting of everyone students and parents alike. It teaches children and adults the importance of cooperation and supporting each other through good and bad times. The community welcomes the class of challenged students with enthusiasm and caring.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating May 07, 2010
Parents are respected and partnered with in this school.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 07, 2010
We belong in a wonderful community and school district that works together to save our teachers. Our children have dedicated parents and teachers striving to protect their education despite any devastating budget cuts.

- submitted by a community member
May 07, 2010
Students come out of the McAuliffe prepared to take on the world. They learn how to collaborate with other students and with adults. They are confident, self-assured and well-rounded.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2010
Great community at this school - families get to know each other and continue to be part of the school community for years afterwards. Innovative use of email. Lots of field trips that are blended in to the curriculum.

- submitted by a community member
May 07, 2010
McAuliffe is the model for educating young people to think, respect and act. The curriculum is driven by educators who practice and model the process of learning, of struggling with life issues and holding oneself responsible for creating workable outcomes. This effort on the part of staff creates an environment where 'failures' can be managed as part of a process, are expected and can be learned from rather than something of which to be afraid. this is the kind of education I wish was available to all. I believe 'we' would be much better equipped to work through our local, state and world issues if we practiced the processes and model which makes McAuliffe the unique institution of learning it is.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
Christa McAuliffe Elementary School and all other schools in Cupertino school district are excellent. The schools have best teachers, hard working students and wonderful parents.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2010
Its a great school with lot of good programs.Great teachers

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2010
My son went to Christa McAuliffe School. He enjoyed his school life at McAuliffe. It was precious time for him. Great school! We realy love this school.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 07, 2010
It not only provides a good education but teaches the children to be good citizens of the world

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
It gives more individualized educational plans..not a one plan fits all approach to learning. They use creative techniques to teach math et all. I love their attention to each child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
The school to choose if you believe that children should learn more than just math, reading, and writing.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
It's got a great community of parents who want to help their kids

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2010
For the diversity, and the 'whole' child atmosphere.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
This school offers non-traditional learning. It uses real-life experience for children to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
School that feels like you are going to the house of someone in your family

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
- teachers pay attention to individual difference - the school and parents form a great community where everyone support each other

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
My son learned self confidence and self motivation as well as how to be creative. He's now in a private college-prep high school and getting straight A's. Wonderful school!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
I love the developmental, constructivist, hands on, experiential, 21st century classroom curriculum and the wonderful community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
My kids love this school and I love too

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
I love the parent teacher collaboration in this school. Teachers take deep interest in individual student's performance. Not only this when it coems to acting as ONE for the community this school is THE BEST starting from principal to every single teacher and student give all their needed help to help with classrooms and outside classrooms as part of the community. Great Example of future building.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
The whole parent-participation 'community' at McAuliffe is wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
It has caring teachers and staff. They try to meet each kid's needs. Kids love it here.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
Children learn to become involved citizens because the school teaches the whole child - emotional, social and academic. Lots of field trips provide hands on learning, kids are encouraged to question and explore to learn on their own, in addition to the teacher-directed lessons. Performing arts are a big focus and many alums go on to star in performances in high school and beyond. Lack of homework in the early years causes kids to love school and not get burnt out before they get to high school. Overall it's a great school and a great community.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
There is lot of parent involvement which helps the kid interact better in school.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 06, 2010
the school encourages students to love to learn, not just learn to take tests. every parent volunteers and there is a true community!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
The school's emphasis on respect and individual responsibility is wonderful for encouraging true learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
It teaches my son to think, understand, create, collaborate, resolve, ask, speak up and accept others. I learn a lot too!

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
Great interaction between students, faculty, staff, and parents!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
I love how teacher treat the kids, and respect that kids show to adults!

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
I love their philosophy of hands-on learning and their campus

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 06, 2010
It's a wonderful school with great teachers and lots of parent involvment

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2010
Just an awesome school with caring teachers, parents that are truly involved in developing our children

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
A wonderful alternative school in the Cupertino Union School District, with lots of parent involvement.

- submitted by a community member
May 06, 2010
Lots of parent involvement and hands-on learning for the kids!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
Not many public schools have an educational 'philosophy' besides just spoon feeding the kids the materials. McAuliffe staff works with a model that involves parents and a 'whole child' philosophy that is a joy to behold.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
Great school, Wonderful community. My child thrives here, and that's true for us, parents, too.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
kid directed learning. Kids learn in a way where they truly understand concepts of what they are learning. Lots of parent participation.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
Integrated curriculum, small group work, and development of the whole child

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
The parents are active participants and the children love to learn!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating May 06, 2010
its teaching my nephews how to navigate our world in a positive way.

- submitted by a teacher
May 06, 2010
A wonderful School where the the children love to learn. A great part of the exceptional Cupertino Union School District.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
A place where real learning takes place. A lot of parent involvement. Part of the Cupertino Union School District

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
My nieces love their teachers, and they are helping them to grow into such responsible young adults.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
Wonderful school... focus on whole child... parent participation... happy children engaged in learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
Progressive education at its best! Amazing community of parents that volunteer multiple hours per week per family - makes a huge difference for our kids.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
This is a terrific community for all kinds of kids and their families.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
Top-notch teachers, excellent parent involvement, integrated curriculum, great school district!

- submitted by a community member
May 05, 2010
Project-based education makes so much sense in the 21st century!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2010
It is a great environment that fosters excellence in education for every child encouraging them to succeed at everything they do.

- submitted by a parent
May 05, 2010
One of the very best I've ever heard of for great spirit and wonderful parent-family involvement

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 05, 2010
wonderful parent group.... very charged and very involved.... caring teachers.... Go McAuliffe!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
Because it supports its community, even beyond that of its immediate school community.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2010
It's a rare school that can teach creativity and collaboration, and even more rare that a public school is able to do this. McAuliffe is just such a school. Through my work at IDEO, a global innovation company based in the Bay Area, I know very well that the skills that our school fosters are exactly the skills that the citizens of tomorrow will need. McAuliffe is a school of the future - America needs more schools like this! Hans Haenlein

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
I love McAuliffe because it provides an environment were children are not only taught academics, they are taught the skills they will need in order to grow into happy, healthy adults.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 03, 2010
I love McAuliffe because my kids view adults as collaborators and facilitators. I am welcome on our middle school campus and my 7th grader is not embarrassed to give me a hug. I have learned at least as much as my kids have through the years, with Systematic Training for Effective Parenting classes and aiding in the classroom. I have chaperoned the most amazing and worthwhile field trips. I get to know every child in my children's classes and work closely with the staff. Our community holds each member dear and my children look forward to each day at school. I know they will look back on a magical childhood. : )

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2010
Super close-knit community; kids' well-being always comes first; curriculum integrates different subjects into big projects. Love it.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2010
McAuliffe is a school and also likes a family for me for last 13 years (yes, I am still here). I have to point out that McAuliffe had/has a most wonderful and powerful PFG, they worked closely together and faced/overcame all the obstacles in front of us for all these years. Great job, MCPFG!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
Christa McAuliffe in Saratoga proved to be an environment where *both* my daughter and I thrived... the best elementary school experience ever...

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2010
Its a school that teaches you all aspects of living well, learning well, developing deep conceptual understanding amidst caring, concerened and progressive community. A fabulous community of involved parents who bring in their talents to the classroom as well. I particularly like the math program here. I am glad our family is a part of this community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
I loveMcAuliffe! It helped me become a better parent and classroom aide. It made it possible for my kids to learn in a holistic and rich environment. They worked with many adults and became confident and effective at those interactions; however, even more important, they learned conflict resolution skills that gave them a much broader range of resources when faced with difficult situations long after they left. I loved that they cooked, went on many field trips, performed in plays, and participated in classroom projects--things that I never hear about in the school where I teach now. From other parents whose kids are much younger, I know my present employer (school) would NOT have been the right place for my kids, and that McAuliffe was the best thing that happened to our family. All our kids love learning and have stood out wherever they go as creative problem-solvers and socially capable people.

- submitted by a parent
May 02, 2010
They treat kids with respect, which inturn teaches the kids to respect others and builds self cofidence.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
The way the school community pulls together to create an environment that supports the growth of the whole child is why I choose this school over any other in the silicon valley. The project based comprehensive learning environment that encourages cross subject use of knowledge and creativity is great! I would like to see more use of grouping kids by skill level so those working above grade level in certain areas are not held back by those not at the same level. Parent participation as aides in the classroom environment can be a good thing - however, they should not be responsible for teaching a core subjects. aiding should allow for greater dialog/participation in small groups after delivery of subject matter by a credentialed teacher. Other than that, we still are quite happy with the skill set our child takes away from this unique program.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
21st century learning focused on advocating opinion and critical thinking schools

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 02, 2010
I take every opportunity to brag about my experience at McAuliffe: hands on, supportive, community oriented and FUN! As an adult and college student, I feel that McAuliffe reflects what I believe an academic institution ought to be in order to foster the best learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 01, 2010
Christa McAuliffe has such an amazing community...everyone pitches in to help each other!!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2010
It's an absolutely awesome school! They care for the needs of each and every kid, not just their educational needs but also their emotional well-being. They're a school that truly cares :)

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2010
This is one of a kind school with Amazing community, good field trips, exposure to different kind of activities. My daughter loves going to school everyday even when sick. She says, 'I don't feel good but I have to go to school today'!! Haven't heard that from many kids that go to other schools. The school provides life long learning.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2010
This school has hand-on learning which provides the kids with an education that they will remember for a lifetime. It also has a wonderful community of parents and teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
we have always heard people say 'it takes a village to raise a child'. That is what Christa McAuliffe is about. Not only do the teachers teach the kids but they help build community and as parents we have a support system of friends and well wishers who celebrate our successes and are there when there is a crisis. It is a great school for children as the kids themselves are responsible for their learning. Field trips and hands on activities enhance their learning instead of just some information being thrown at them.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2010
Good team of teachers, staff, parents and children make McAuliffe truely child centered great school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
I've been at McAuliffe for 5 years and am very happy with my children's education. The staff is amazing, and the community is one of a kind. My children have been getting a well balanced education. They've learn to help others and help themselves. I feel very fortunate we can be part of this community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
I love that my kids learned how to explore, not just to memorize. I love that my kids can cook, pack a suitcase, ask questions, and respect people from all over the world.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 30, 2010
My kids love school and love to learn. they also have a sense of confidence that I have seen blossom at this school. The way math is taught is fantastic. They get a great foundation of the basic concepts and logical thinking.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
As a parent, I wanted my son to have more social skills which one of the Christa McAuliffe's philosophies. It have been my pleasure to see a school that has less pressure on the children to learn and still be able to build a complete child. Teachers and parents share same goals. As a parent involving in the school, gives an opportunity to be close to my son, and see and recognize his strengths and weakness.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
My sister's kids go to Christa McAuliffe and they really love the school. There is great parent involvement at the school.

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2010
My son wanted a school where they 'didn't make you sit all the time.' We wanted a school in which our son could be engaged. We both won. We transferred to this school for 1st grade and my son is now in 2nd grade. Every child receives a prereading skills test in 1st grade (30 minutes 1 on 1). With the parent volunteer force, this testing is possible. This knowledge allowed us to get into their coached Barton Reading program & our son went from lowest reader in 1st grade to reading above his 2nd grade class level in just 1 year. We are thrilled. Their theater space is in constant use. Music is a strong component . . . every day begins with singing plus they have music & folk dance classes. Lots of field trips, and thinking skills are nurtured. Independent working skills are taught in class, rather than homework outside of class that detracts from valuable family time. By the time my child is in a grade that assigns homework, he will have the skills to do it on his own. Lots of activity goes on in the classroom. It could be a challenging environment for a child that works best with minimal distraction since children are sometimes in different stages of an ongoing project. The school is fabulous for a child who learns best through hands on learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
Christa McAuliffe is truly a revolutionary school. From cutting edge teaching methods to powerful philosophies, McAuliffe is more than a place of learning; it is a strong community of passionate people who are fiercely committed to guiding children through a unique and exciting learning adventure. I've had the privilege of observing and being a part of the 'magic' that happens at McAuliffe for five years. Children are not just learning, they are understanding and applying knowledge. They become confident and able to express their ideas and feelings openly with adults and their peers, they are mentored by older students, they experience the joy of becoming the mentor, they see their work displayed proudly throughout the school corridors, they see their writing become plays performed on stage, they muse at the flurry of life that can be discovered in a local creek and how we as humans must protect the fragile eco balance, they take silent walks on the beach under the light of the moon and reflect on the rythmic sound of the waves becoming filled with wonderment at the earth they live on, they cook and taste food from many cultures, they celebrate success and they learn to laugh when things don't go quite right and always try again. Children at McAuliffe sing with joy, they cry and find comfort in each other, they resolve their conflicts by listening and being heard. They learn. They experience. They live. They find themselves. They glow. It is possible and necessary for education to be child centered. To create change will take revolutionary ideas that are deeply and profoundly embraced by educators and parents who have been given the gift of children.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2010
My nephews attend this school and I am very impressed with the quality of education and the deep passion of the teachers and the parents.

- submitted by a community member
April 29, 2010
Not only did McAuliffe help to produce two of the most amazing people in this universe, but McAuliffe also taught me to be a better parent to my two children who went to McAuliffe from K-8th grades. My daughter is now in her 2nd year at UCI, at only 19 years old and has a plan to finish in 3.5 years. My son was suspected of having Dyslexia by his 2nd grade McAuliffe teacher. I believe that this early detection was due to McAuliffes program which allowed his teacher the time to pay attention to his special needs. He is now an honor roll student at Fremont High School and brings home A's in his Lit and Writing classes! Success story that I attribute to the care, nurturing, proactive environment that IS McAuliffe. I could rave all day about our positive experiences at McAuliffe, but the bottom line is that McAuliffe's program has the breadth and depth to evaluate, educate, enrich, and a broad range of student needs. McAuliffe is a community not just a school. It helps build confidence in both the students and the parents. I wouldn't send my kids any place else for their early learning. I heart McAuliffe!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
love how they work with the whole family and lots of hands on.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2010
It is a school which allows a child to be creative, explore, and develop a love to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
Because McAuliffe is a parent participation school, we see it's priciples at work daily: work and appreciate each child as an individual; develp the whole child; focus on understanding underlying concepts, not just facts; develop a love of life-long learning; foster respect for one another, the community and the environment; encourage children's innate desire to give back; and as important--have fun doing it all!

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2010
My grand niece and nephew are getting their education in this school and I find that the schools approach to educating them is very practical.They encourage creative and independant thinking and also teaches them social skills.They have teachers who really take interest in their students and are very polite

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 29, 2010
It's a school that educates the whole child, kids work in teams on projects, no testing in elementary, little homework, many field trips, drama, art, music weekly, hands on science, small groups for math & reading, parent participation. Public school that felt like a family. My kids got a great education & learned to love learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
The school is able to work with each child on an individual basis to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
The school sees where each child for who they are. Assessment is authentic and they learn how to be great citizens not just great students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
Christa McAuliffe provided a true wholistic education to my children, with emotional/social learning, the arts and practical hands-on curriculum as well as parent participation and education- all at a neighborhood public school- I am ever grateful it was there for my children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
parents involvement in this school is outstanding!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
Christa McAuliffe is truly unique. It's is one of a few schools that provide progressive education for our children.The teaching methods and philosophy are tailored to meet the needs of each child to foster their academic, social, and emotional development. This is the school where both teaching staff and parents share same goals and make sure that no child is left behind for real. There is great parent involvement and big sense of community as well.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2010
This school is dedicated to the whole child approach in education and life long learning. The students enjoy learning, and excited to go to school every day. The level of education is top notch, and some of the most wonderful teachers teach in this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
This school has a truly passionate and dedicated staff. Their approach is one of fostering well-rounded growth and learning, with a focus on discovery, collaboration, self-expression, sharing, thinking and problem solving skills, and learning by doing things. Talk to some of the kids, parents and staff and you will learn that there is something special going on at McAulliffe.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
They teach kids to enjoy learning and to care about others.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 29, 2010
I love Christa McAuliffe school as the staff & parents really make it a great place for the kids to me

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2010
The teachers and staff are excellent, numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and others have attended and profited by the teaching they recived.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 29, 2010
My son told me he feel safe at McAuliffe and he loves his school. He wants to go to school even on weekends.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
An excellent school that understands the nuances of education,..has great teachers and support staff.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
Everything...Its a whole child philosophy...and they walk their talk

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
Great school, great community. I can see now how my son is solving any problems, I love that approach, not for a tests, but for knowledge!

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
I love Christa McAuliffe School because of its whole child and global learning approach to academics. I also love the way the community comes together to tackle problems.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
What an incredible learning environment for my children. They learn vs. being taught. They have become passionate about wanting to understand subjects at a deep level. I'm always amazed at the level of Math at this school. The cooperative learning which resembles real life. I wish my parents had sent me to school here. My children know how fortunate they are.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
McAuliffe School is a true community where teachers, parents, instructional assistants and all of the staff see children as whole individuals, not just as vessels to be filled with knowledge. Their thought processes are honored, investigated, and expanded upon in several ways. Their feelings and developmental level are always part of the equation.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
The amazing teachers, staff and philosophy. My kids love to go to school and they are learning in a way that is meaningful that will last their entire lives.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
I have also transferred from a traditional 'good' CUSD school after k-3 there. My son didn't have any academic problems or behavioural/emotional problems. But he was fast learning to 'hate' all things academic. Since the transfer, he has discovered he has natural aptitudes in math and science. His interest in the physical sciences and engineering has soared and he engages me in highly detailed, dynamic, and remarkably descriptive discussions regarding anything and everything physical from science fiction to real world, concrete cutting edge devices, always hypothesizing on the hows, whys, and wherefores. Being heavily oriented towards science and math myself, and having the privilege of aiding in the classrooms, I can now understand how the math and science programs at McAuliffe are exceptionally effective at extracting the natural aptitudes in students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
There are so many great things about Christa McAuliffe - being developmentally appropriate, parent participation, it teaches conflict resolution skills and the teachers are amazing.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
It's been a great place for my daughter to grow personally. I've really appreciated the math, and the deep understanding of concepts that my daughter has achieved.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
I love it because my kid gets to learn a wide range of knowledge, social, emotional and personal, from a great community with rich resources and excellent sharing tradition.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
Hands on, experience based teaching. They allow the kids to explore many ways to get to an answer.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
Committed, skilled Parent-Faculty Group that goes all out for the students. Whole child curriculum that is not corrupted by high-stakes standardized testing.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
I am glad my child goes to this school. Christa McAuliffee offers an environment where children learn and excercise problem solving everyday. I particularly love the math and writing programs here. They are encouraged to learn deeply and be creative in writing. The execution of the hands on program is made possible by the presence of involved and caring parents who are there to enrich the experience with their talents as well!!

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
The Whole Child Teaching Philosophies. Encompassing life skills. The wonderful community

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
The school staff and parents embrace whole child development, through learning by doing instead of rote memorization.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
Has boosted my son's communication skills and given him an in depth knowledge of concepts in Math and Science. This school has done wonders to bring out is creative side as well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
... the children, parents and all others are treated with respect.. The children are taught to be independent learners with a thirst for knowledge and understanding. The school teaches the values my family care about.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
Kids are taught to think rather than just memorize. In addition, they are taught and then put into practice social skills and other life skills that other schools ignore. The result is a much more well-rounded child with the tools needed to navigate real life rather than a STAR or SAT test.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
The school's focus is developing the whole child not just academics. We are supporting the future of business and industry by fostering creative, cooperative problem solving.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
The ability for my children to learn outside the 'box'!

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
My son is getting the education he needs. The teachers and parents really care about the students. McAulife is so different then the traditional schools. My son switched to McAuliffe in 5th grade and we are amazed at how different it is. He is an 11 year old boy who Loves going to school!

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
great teachers, amazing curriculum, great community

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
The school does all the things education experts say traditonal schools are missing. No sitting at your desk repeating lessons. Hands on learning, accepting responsibility for your actions, building social skills through interaction with parents and children of all ages, respect for individuals are just a few of the things our children learn at McAuliffe. My children are excited about school and excited about learning. What could be better?

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
Great school, great teachers, great parents. The community, hands on activity curriculum, non judgmental environment, creativity nourishment, everything we want our kids to have, its here.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
Because we encourage our students hard work instead of a labeling them.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 28, 2010
Great school. Great teachers. Well rounded education for our kids is the hallmark of Christa McAuliffe.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
Promotes creative thinking. Many creative exploration activities. Very professional teachers, great staff. Close and supportive community. Their philosophy is exactly what I want in a school. They don't 'teach the test', but promote creative, independent thinkers.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
It has been pretty great for my child i so love the community and parents i now consider family. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am a firm believer in this. Peace.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
My kids love to go to school. I love that they are learning to think for themselves, work in groups and express their thoughts and feelings.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
McAuliffe's whole child philosophy provides an incomparable education for our children. Its commitment to small classes and parent participation allows children to learn at their own pace and in their own ways. The community created by this environment is warm and inclusive, for students and their parents!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
The Parent Involvement, gives me a way to be a integral part of my children's education.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Whole Child Learning! Great school where kids aren't lost in the crowd. With so many parent volunteers we have break out groups for the different levels of instruction. Children are held accountable for assignments and are expected to behave in a respectful manner while celebrating their individuality. It's a true community with many wonderful opportunities for children to explore and learn about their likes (and dislikes). My daughter has learned so much in every aspect of her life.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Watching the children develop strategies of problem solving and conflict resolution is one of the greatest gifts given to the next generation. Having a school for my child who is 'out of the box' is such a gift. He gets to excel in school rather than be belittled for not fitting the mold. Because it is a parent participation school, I know all my son's classmates and their parents! What a gift.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
McAuliffe offers an alternative style of learning that allows each child to develop at their own speed and ability and encourages them to think outside the box. They learn through real life experience and teach each other. Parent participation only adds to the experience, children build relationships with adults that help them communicate on another level and parents have much world knowledge to contribute.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
The children have an amazingly rich experience at McAuliffe. They develop the confidence to think, to ask questions, to work with others, and to take smart risks. The community is a fabulous bunch of caring and involved parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Mcauliffe teaches children to take charge of their learning. Parents and teachers are partners with the students not authority figures to be feared. Our students go into secondary school knowing how to ask for help from others, how to give their opinion in class, how to get a group going on a project, not afraid to talk to adults.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
Learning, not cramming. Hands-on, instead of being told or watching a movie. Knowledge, not grades. Respect, not bullying. Giving choices and learning from mistakes, not limiting choices and punishing mistakes. Connections, not compartmentalization. Conflict resolution, not policing.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
I really like the 'hands-on' experience the kids get, and how all of the lesson plans revolve around a theme. The children are definitely challenged and are encouraged to work together and to be creative.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Students learn to think, to solve, to apply, and to generate new ideas, not just memorize and regurgitate. They learn to think of themselves as citizens of the world, to empathize, to consider others' perspectives. They also embrace the joy of learning for its own sake, not for a tangible reward- a rarity in our instant gratification society!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Children are respected as equal members of the learning community. Students' independent thoughts are more important than good grades on a test. School teaches children to become self-motivated learners. Great, resourseful, passionate about children community. Teachers are dedicated to children and their needs. Parents get training in Positive Discipline. Children get to practice the peaceful problem solving. Learning by doing. Finaly, Yes, there is a homework at McAuliffe!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Some of the great attributes of McAuliffe: hands on learning makes learning fun and meaningful, caring teachers, caring community, kids learn conflict resolution skills, kids can learn through different modalities, kids learn to work cooperatively in a group (as well as on their own), understanding is important (not just taught to memorize), creativity is fostered, ... and the list goes on. It's a great school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
This school is a rare and unique educational environment where pressures and stress which have come to be accepted as the inevitable price to pay for a 'good' education are non-existent. This school generously gives the children what they really need to thrive - a genuinely child-centered environment connected to life in very real ways: gardening, cooking,amazing field-trips,love of good books, performing arts, leadership skills, relating to others in meaningful ways... A school that makes time for the children to talk,explore, create,and learn in genuine ways is a real treasure and a gift to our children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
We have a great community with lots of family involvement, wonderful teachers, great hands on learning with creative and critical thinking.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
The philosophy teaches children to be strong global thinkers who work independently as well as collaboratively. The academic curriculum is focused on problem solving and encourages a deeper level of thinking by using small groups, curriculum focused field trips and hands on creative activities. No boring worksheets and homeworks, but projects that are connected to the lessons. Strong parent involvement allows children to learn from different styles and experts in different fields, eg., science, arts, music, etc. Small school allows the kids and the parents at different grade to get to know each other. Great community spirit. My son enjoys going to school.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2010
Great filosophy but poorly implemented. Classrooms can be described as chaotic or a disaster. Too many free choice time or reading on your own or activities that can be done at home. Lack of instruction or teaching from the teachers. Consider homeschooling before sending your kid to this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2010
My child has been in Mc Auliffe since Kindergarten. I have seen her grow and transform to the confident young girl. The school is a nuturing environment, great teachers who develop a love of learning in students. Parent participation adds the third dimension due to which the classrooms are able to focus on multiple activities that cannot be done in other schools. The results can be seen over a period of time. And parents have to truly embrace the philosophy. The child has to be self motivated learner, so if there are special needs requiring structure this is not a suitable place.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2010
We recently joined this school and after 3 years at a 'main stream' good school I can compare and say that this way of teaching should become the norm. While you cannot see its fruit immediately, I deeply believe that its' benefits will emerge and take my child farther then any other school could. As opposed to memorization that does not 'stick' for long, the kids really learn academically, socially and emotionally and their full potential is extracted. My believe is that creativity leads to ingenuity and that will help THEIR future be brighter. It's not perfect...but then again, nothing in life is...;)

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2010
Great school. Positive- parents participation : kids are heard, nurtured and empowered to communicate their thoughts and feelings, students are developing high social skills and problem resolution skills, students are not rushed to grow, great balance of pacing and leading teaching and exploring, great balance between structuralism and freedom of choice. Negative: school doesn't fit all students. Child needs to be motivated b/c there is no punishment involve in not doing the work, only natural consc., which doesn't apply to every child. My daughter is blooming there, and we are enjoying every moment of her growing knowledge and confidence.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2010
Fun school experience for students. Lots of opportunities for creativity, and self expression. Compassionate teachers and support staff. Field trip, theater opportunities and respect for the whole child. Not right for every child,as curriculum is self directed and students who have many learning issues may need more structure.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2010
Positive aspects: very good parent participation, fun field trips, communication and critical thinking encouraged, no homework, great for kids with learning or behavior issues Negatives: No formal instruction, not academically challenging, teachers do not teach but only let kids explore, basic reading/writing skills are ignored, classrooms are chaotic and haphazard (call it dynamic), kids are not actively engaged with the teachers enough, curriculum is dumbed-down I believe children are at a high risk of falling behind their peers and their potential. I had to move to a private school after 2 years here and it took more than a year of hard work to get to the appropriate academic level my kids should naturally be at.

- submitted by a parent
December 26, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating October 05, 2009
A wonderful child-centric community where both parents and children learn through collaboration instead of competition. We celebrate a whole child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
This is an incredible school where kids learn life skills in the context of acquiring knowledge. Working in effective and satisfying partnerships with other students from K-8, learning how to solve conflicts in a positive and productive way, and acquiring academic skills that enable them to go on and be successful in high school and college -- what more would you want from a school? Community? A sense of belonging? A place of accountability? A safe place to take risks and challenge yourself? Christa McAuliffe Elementary School is a one of a kind place to start your academic career. Our kids are so lucky to have the dedication and passion of the administrators, teachers, and parents who truly care about education each child, as a whole child.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
I think fundamentally, the most significant advantage the children have at McAuliffe is the individualization/customization of their education made possible exclusively by the coordinated efforts of multiple aides all orchestrated and guided by the classroom teacher. Ultimately, the resulting teaching and learning environment is enormously effective for each individual child. In addition, I find the academics to be far superior to the traditional directed instruction. For example, the school allows the students to choose whether or not to participate in standardized testing. This is a hugely significant advantage as the school is therefore no longer driven to maintain high test scores and is now free to provide students with meaningful challenges in all academic subjects. It s the direction of the challenge that s critically important here. Instead of the challenge being directed at repetition and drill of a relatively narrow portion of the given subject material, here the students are free to explore the curriculum in it s entirety allowing each individual student, as appropriate for that student, to break down the mechanics of any given subject material to it s most fundamental form or to first principles providing a depth of understanding as yet unachievable in other educational programs. Here the challenge is directed towards achieving this fundamental understanding as well as promoting capabilities in analytical and critical thinking, problem solving, innovative and original thinking, etc. Working in research and development for almost 2 decades now, we as an industry have no lack of professionals with the ability to reproduce information by rote. This is a very common capability and I believe a direct result of our traditional classroom. We are, however, enormously disadvantaged in that a relatively very tiny percentage of very highly qualified professionals have the actual real capability to think originally, innovatively, analytically, etc., an absolutely critical need for success in research and development. I believe McAuliffe is one of the very few schools that promote these capabilities above all others.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
McAuliffe teaches age appropriately and does not push down. The teachers meet each child where they are and bring them along with help from parents and aides. The school exists to benefit the children, not the children having to fit into the school's routine. Our children transitioned successfully to high school and love to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 04, 2009
It's a true community that teaches the whole child. There are lots of 'extra' enrichment activities that provide meaningful and fun learning.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
McAuliffe is simply a wonderful school. All my 3 kids went to (or are) at McAuliffe. The teachers are experienced and talented. The learning is very hands on and the kids really enjoy learning and school. There is little 'busy work' and a lot of emphasis on nurturing creativity, deep understanding of mathematics and science concepts.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
Our school is an alternative school in the Cupertino School District, CA. Our school teaches the whole child with small groups, hands on learning, and field trips. Our school encourages children to become thinkers, ask questions, and develop a passion for learning. We are a parent co-op school and parent involvement makes all the difference!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
whole child education, emphasis on social and emotional growth of k-8 kids, differentiation teaching

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
In Silicon Valley, where many schools focus on filling students minds with volumes of information, McAuliffe offers children a learning community of educational excellence where parents report that their children acquire the following benefits: Love of learning Critical thinking and a questioning attitude Secure foundation from a caring community Developing higher-order thinking Understanding of concepts taught Internalizing math concepts, not just memorizing Social-emotional growth Developing intrinsic motivation Knowledge of how to find information Comfort with group projects Comfort with adults Self-expression and leadership skills Experience of helping others (service learning) Environmental consciousness

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
All three of my children attended McAuliffe. All made successful transitions to middle and high school. All three have attended/are attending college. In a strictly educational/academic sense, McAuliffe prepared them for whatever challenges they needed to meet in their continuing education particularly helping them to understand how to be learners. More importantly though, McAuliffe helped them grow into the amazing young adults they are today. The interpersonal skills they learned by truly being a part of a caring, respectful community of children and adults has been by far the most valuable gift they received from their years in elementary school. When we talk about what we want for our children in the long run, we don t list that we want them to be experts on, for instance - the French Revolution or to be able to solve complicated mathematical equations, we say we want them to be happy, respectful, honest, successful, caring and productive members of society. McAuliffe s community helps children learn the kinds of skills they need to take their places in a complicated and ever-changing world.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
Wonderful teachers, curriculum, and community. Our children (and we!) are lucky to be a part of this caring environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
At McAuliffe, knowledge is acquired through hands on learning instead of imitation or repetition.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
It is the best elementary school because it involves the whole child. My children get hands on experience with everything they do. I get to be involved in the classrooms. My children love to go to school and have their childhood back. All of the overnight trips from third grade on promotes independence. I love the elementary school.

- submitted by a parent
June 30, 2009
I now believe this school is fine for the K-5. but I was disappointed for the classes in 6-8. I felt that the teaching and learning were not nearly rigorous enough for those grades. My students left middle school far behind their peers from other schools in science and math.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2009
This school is unable to identify or place gifted kids appropriately. School has a lot to offer but When discussing this possibility about our child with several faculty we were unable to get an appropriate response. We had to eventually place our child in another school.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2008
All three of my children are either attending McAuliffe or have attended McAuliffe. My oldest child is now in the district Middle School, which is quite competitive academically and is doing well there. However, he is frustrated by the emphasis on regurgitation of facts and busywork versus analyzing the information and thinking about the content in different ways, which is what he did at McAuliffe. I am so proud that he understands the distinction between memorization and learning and that he has taken responsibility for what he feels is important to his educational experience. This is a critical part of the McAuliffe experience. My kids are all engaged with their learning and love school, which is the best thing a parent can hope for. I could not imagine a better place to send my children to help them on the road to a joy of life-long learning.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2008
All three of our children have attended McAuliffe. The whole child approach to teaching that is the core of this school's curriculum enables students to become curious lifelong learners. It is common for McAuliffe students to go beyond what is taught in class and to pursue greater depth on their own. By 3rd grade, students participate in defining their learning goals, partnering with teachers and their parents to take ownership of their education. I've been amazed many times by the maturity exhibited by McAuliffe students. They are extremely comfortable interacting with adults, and they address all adults by their first names. McAuliffe's parent participation in the classroom, combined with the parent-group-funded Instructional Assistants (IAs), plus the exceptional teachers fosters an environment where teachers can concentrate on teaching, and parents and IAs provide a motivated educational support team, creating adult-to-student ratios that encourage an individualized student learning process.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2008
I have two children in McAuliffe, one in Fifth Grade and one in Second. Both started in Kindergarten We chose the location of our home specifically so that our children could attend this school and have not regretted it. Each child is valued for who they are and what they bring. Their strengths are nurtured and their struggles are catered to. Although we came here for the focus on the whole child McAuliffe is also an intensely academic school if what you understand by academics is developing enquiring, critical and analytical thinking, working on learning concepts rather than procedures. Children learn to take responsibility for their own learning from the very beginning, including time management. If they complete their longer-term projects in the classroom then, no, there is no homework. We couldn't be happier with the school.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2008
My wife and I moved into the CUSD specifically so that our children could attend McAuliffe K-8. The school has provided a wonderful and challenging education. The school has a curriculum more typically found in programs for gifted children. Emphasis is on higher level understanding, synthesis, and problem solving. As an elective school, McAuliffe is excellent for those families that wish to participate in a creative and research based educational philosophy. Comprehensive assessments are emphasized rather than simple testing. McAuliffe has been the source of many district standards (Science kits, MARS testing). The school is currently collaborating with the Silicon Valley Math Institute and Noyce Foundation. It is a parent participation school so there is no dropping off at the curb and driving away. As a result I, and everyone else, know the staff very well. All three of our kids continue to flourish at McAuliffe.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2008
Like a privet school. Great teachers, very dedicated staff, dynamic learning environment. Kind and friendly. : )

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2008
I ve been at this school for four year and have never gone home with an empty brain . The teachers work very hard, spend a lot of time setting up our work, and help us find fun and new ways to learn. I can always find interesting things to do. My second grade teacher has the best collections of books ever, and there were always new objects to explore. The teachers are very strict about learning. All the teachers I ve had always talked about making your best effort. They said that you know if you did not do your best effort, and they know too. I feel I learn a lot at this school.

- submitted by a student
no rating October 13, 2008
My children attended McAuliffe and if I had to make the choice over, I would enroll them again without hesitation! The teachers are dedicated, caring, and have a strong commitment to the students, the school, and its educational philosophy. My children left the school with not only the basics in academics, but with a strong sense of confidence, a sense of obligation in giving back to the larger community, and the skills to think for themselves. One is a senior in a performing arts college conservatory, the next is in her third year of the PhD program in chemistry at Stanford, the oldest received her MBA from Wharton at UPenn. They have pursued their interests in their own way with passion and motivation and grown into adulthood as responsible and independent individuals. I hold a deep appreciation for all that my children received from teachers and parent volunteers at McAuliffe.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2008
Great teachers, very dedicated staff, dynamic learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2008
My 1st grader is becoming both more self-assertive and empathetic because of the consistency of adult coaching. Her math and science lessons draw out and build on her natural curiosity. She continues to read and write well ahead of her age group, and no one makes her feel 'nerdy' or superior about it. She enjoys helping others with writing, and welcomes help from others when she meets a challenge. The talent, discipline, and creativity shown at the school's variety show was stunning! She is surrounded with models of healthy behavior -- teachers, other kids and parent volunteers. Volunteer work does require family time management, yet we enjoy it because we learn about our daughter's class, and from other parents about setting consistent and reasonable boundaries.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2007
I would not recommend the school at all beyond the fifth grade. That is when my children began falling behind their peers at other schools.

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2007
My biggest pet peeves were lack of discipline and and a total disregard for the concept of homework. In kindergarten, my younger child came in knowing how to read, write and do math, but was not encouraged to develop those skills further. My older children were exposed to a more conceptual way of thinking but hardly received any homework even though they were nearing middle school. While I am not crazy about homework, I believe in practice and disciipline. Of course there were positives. The community is nurturing and the activities + fieldtrips are great. But not at the cost of acadmics.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2007
I transferred my child to McAuliffe and I saw her grow in ways unimaginable, while her academics have not suffered. While my kids teachers did not use Houghton Mifflin textbooks etc, they followed the district core curriculums. Many teachers are experienced, and selections of material are superb and support a wide range of learning styles. My other child, while in kindergarten, completed a 9x9 multiplication table on his own accord. This was only possible because his teacher encouraged each child to go at his own pace, so he developed the confidence to create and do his own work. I follow my kids learning at home through Spectrum and Core Knowledge series, and they are above grade levels. The principal is open and down to earth, yet firm and fair. It takes a lot of work, but for me this is my first school of choice, public or private.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2007
The school has both good and bad. The good is that there is a lot of parent involvement - it is required. The bad is that the academics are not very rigorous as the teachers often follow their own curriculum. A lot of time is spent in class meetings and many kids know how to use these meetings to delay doing other work. Also many students who have trouble behaving in other schools or have trouble academically come here. Therefore, there is a high number of students with behavioral and learning problems. Classes can be extemely disruptive and the principal will suspend students for all types of minor infractions. It does not seem to solve the problems. My kids had mixed experiences -they had fun, but I feel their academics suffered compared with kids at other schools.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2007
I had a very positive experience at my son's 'Parent Participation' preschool, and was curious whether there was something similar available for Kindergarten. I checked out Village, Discovery Charter, Mulberry, and several others, plus several 'Traditional' schools, and am glad I picked McAuliffe. The two Kindergarten teachers are models for 'Positive Discipline', and Parents are also trained in these skills. Because of the extra 'hands', the school can do things like story dictations for every child, and multiple activities at 'choice time'. There are commitments you need to fulfill as a parent (like come to class weekly, attend 'positive discipline' training & hold a class job), but these make you a better parent in addition to making classes run smoothly. This coming school year (2007/8) there are still spots for in-district Kindergarten students. Some out-of-district kids may also get in, but the waiting list for out-of-district is pretty long.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2006
Parent-participation required. This school provides kids with hands-on learning and many field trips and overnight trips to supplement their education. A wonderful community of people who are supportive of kids with a variety of learning styles.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2005
This school is wonderful.I recommendthis school.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2005
McAuliffe is a parent participation school with wonderful teachers. It truly is the teachers, the level of parent support and the philosophy that sets this school apart from others. If you are looking for a program where you can drop your children off and just check on them from time to time, this is not the place for your family. This school, is a community and it takes the whole community to educate our children. Parent involvement is high and it translates into a quality program for our chidlren. The curriculm is taught in a multi sensory experiential way that involves the children on all levels. This would not be possible without the parents. Our children experience cooking, music, science, art, and gardening on a weekly basis in additon to the standard curriculm you would find at any school. I wouldn't choose any other school for our children.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2005
Most of the teachers at this school are dedicated, creative and thoughtful teachers. They strive to make learning meaningful, hands-on, and fun. Parents are very commited to this school as well

- submitted by a teacher
August 21, 2005
Program is innovative and interesting. However, it needs a lot of parental involvement. This school is, IMO, not suited for situations where both parents work full-time, especially in tech company jobs. Another issue is the school philosophy doesn't believe in standardized testing. So if standardized test scores are important to you, this school is not the right choice.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 12, 2005
McAuliffe is an alternative parent participation public school. They have a wonderful philosophy of teaching to the child and allowing the child to lead the learning. They have a respectful environment and an over abundance of parent support. This school is a wonderful school for most children. If your child is LD or has special educational needs this may not be the school for your child. They lack firm structure and don't always understand what each child needs if it's different from the norm. Most of the teachers at the school are wondeful and would give thier right arm for the children, so many teachers try and provide whatever your child needs, however sometimes this is not enough and can't be created within the environment. If your child is a child with typical needs, this is a wonderful option. If your child has special needs, investigate thoroughly before enrolling them into this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2005
McAuliffe is an alternative school which has a strong emphasis on parent-involvement, field trips, hands-on learning, and conflict resolution. Each parent is required to work in the classroom one day/week and take on a classroom job as well as a school-wide job. The children take on a lot of their own responsibilites and frequently lead class meetings or discussions. There is very little homework, and the emphasis is on the process of learning, not the product. Testing, in the traditional sense, is infrequent. Most children, especially in the lower grades, do not take the California Standardized Test. I believe the writing curriculum is exceptional, and I feel reading, science, and social studies are stong. There is not as much emphasis on math as I would like. Children also participate in art, drama, music, cooking, P.E., and lots of field trips. The self-motivated child does extremely well at this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2004
Christa McAuliffe is a school whose teachers and parents are devoted to helping children develop at an individual rate, a love for learning. C.M. teaches not only academics, but focuses on teaching the 'whole child'. It's a very 'hands on' program. I have enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of my childrens' learning, by working in in their classrooms on a regular basis.It has been a wonderful place for our 3 children; two of which have graduated from the program. It's not only a great program, but a wonderful community of people working together towards a common goal.

- submitted by a parent
December 12, 2003
Superparents will feel at home here! This is a parent participation school, if you love volunteering, you will be jazzed by all the other people who are here for that reason. Volunteering is required, 4 or 6 hours a week in your child's classroom. Then there are schoolwide jobs. The philosophy is child-centered. There are no textbooks, there is no homework. Some parents are shocked by this, but consider the upside: school is not boring. Children learn to write by writing about what they do, not filling out worksheets. They learn math by counting the apples they collected on a field trip, not by answering questions in the textbook. They learn science by collecting and comparing leaves, not by reading a textbook. Learning is hands-on, curriculum is integrated. And the kids work hard inside the classroom, not only doing schoolwork but keeping the classroom running. They are learning responsibility as well. Integrated curriculum means the lessons aren't sealed off from each other. My child's class had an ocean unit last year. They researched one sea creature apiece, did an oral presentation on their creature after doing research in the library and classroom. They did math with sea life by counting numbers of species in different categories. They wrote poems about sea creatures. They had field trips to an aquarium and a marine laboratory. They helped write their own class play about sea life, helped make the set, and performed it for the entire school. They told jokes at the play about their sea creatures, recited their poems, and sang songs about the ocean. That's integrated curriculum and that's why this school is so special. There are few like it in the whole country. The small campus adds to the community feel, only 60 kids per grade; it's easy to know almost everyone in your child's grade. Starting in 3rd grade kids do overnight field trips. A beach trip in early October bonds the entire grade together. A spring trip will follow to a sheep ranch, where the kids will study California pioneers by applying for land grants form a 'governing board' (parents on the trip). Plenty of reading, writing, math, and history to write a successful grant! And that's why we don't need textbooks or homework!

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2003
Gives students a well rounded education, including social skills and performing arts as well as reading, writing and math. Going to this school as given both of my children a very positive self-esteem and preparation for success in life.

- submitted by a parent
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Christa McAuliffe Elementary School
12211 Titus Avenue, Saratoga, CA  95070
(408) 253-4696
Last modified Christa McAuliffe Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Christa McAuliffe Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 232 reviews. Top