Overall, this is a great school, with tremendous parent involvement. There is some room for improvement, particularly around the math curriculum - although there is a supplemental math program which is great. Not all of the Spanish language teachers are native speakers, but they are all committed and hard-working and care a lot about the kids. There is some differentiation in the classrooms, and quite a lot of technology available to this kids (iPads and laptops are brought in semi-regularly to the classrooms). There is a lovely school garden, but so far the garden hasn't been worked into the curriculum. There are also social cliques, and some social tensions between the Spanish and English students.
I moved to Palo Alto from Europe in June and I was lucky to have my son accepted at the Spanish Immersion Program at Escondido. He is in second grade. I can say that, hands down, this is the best school my son has ever attended. He attended two private schools in Europe and I have never encountered the level of professionalism, support, and care for children that I witness at Escondido every day. I have studied and visited schools all over the world. From this vantage point, I can say that my son's teacher is fabulous: Experienced, dedicated and knowlegeable. She adores her children and keeps a very close eye on their needs and progress. The administrative staff and the Principal are extremely responsive, easy to deal with and "on the ball". Escondido provides a safe, age-appropriate environment where children can thrive academically and developmentally. My son is HAPPY at school. Every day! Children cannot learn if they are not happy. He loves his teachers and classmates and I know that he is in the best possible hands. I highly reccomend Escondido as a most solid, caring, professional establishment where children can achieve their best in every aspect of their lives.
This is a great school. The principal is awesome - she really listens to parents, and does a great job balancing the needs of teachers and parents while always remembering that our kids come first. The teaching staff, though not always 100% able to accommodate the needs of each student (possibly because of dictates from the school district - like using the dreaded Everyday Math), is super dedicated and hard-working, and you really couldn't ask for a more involved community of parents! We are very happy at Escondido.
Parents should chose this school if they want a good basic education, lots of enrichment and field trips, and a warm caring parent/teacher community. The Spanish Immersion program is an absolute gem. They will teach your child to reach and speak Spanish even if you do not know the language at all. If you can get into this program, you will be giving your child the gift of a lifetime. The principal is new this year, but she seems to be well liked.
My kids were studying in Vargas (Sunnyvale), Escondido and now in Los Alamitos (San Jose) Elementary schools. Escondido was our favorite. The kids there come from all over the world and they have a lot of fun. The staff at Escondido is wonderful and everyone loves the principal. My girls still remember fondly all their teachers.
This school does a really great job teaching and instilling a love of reading. It also has a multitude of after-school activities that are available every quarter ranging from language courses, art, science, math, chess, tennis, basketball, dance, etc. I think that it could do a better job with teaching math concepts in the younger grades but after-school math advancement courses are offered. It also has a fabulous anti-bullying policy and an awareness that kids, even at these young ages, deal with this stuff everyday. Fabulous librarian as well, Ms. Lee! All in all a wonderful school with a very diverse group of children from all over the US and the world.
My daughter is in the Spanish Immersion Program at Escondido and it is a wonderful school. We have not been crazy about each and every teacher, but that is true at every school. Overall, it is an extremely fine school with very involved parents, a great PTA, and excellent relationships between the school administration and the PTA. The children get art, music, and sports enrichment programs paid for by the PTA and the PTA also subsidizes classroom aides. It is a very active school community. The Spanish Immersion program gets excellent results.
My child is in kindergarten at Escondido school. So far, we are extremely pleased with the teacher and the principal. I work in the classroom each week helping with math. The kids in the school are also very impressive. Books are sent home almost daily and my child's reading skills are developing quickly. The teacher is warm but strict, a perfect combination. The school has a great atmosphere, intellectual yet down to earth. We feel very lucky.
Contrary to the other excellent reviews I've been disappointed by the academic level at this school. Having moved to Palo Alto from a school district that is considered 'less good' I expected to find an academically challenging environment at a school next to Stanford. Instead, my child has continually commented on how easy everything is and how much harder and more advanced work he was doing at his previous school. The teacher does not seem to be willing to go beyond the standard curriculum, which from what I can see of the other students in the class, seems to be too basic for most of them. Math in particular is very weak -- there is no reason that children need to spend two years understanding what numbers mean before they can begin real math. No wonder our country is performing so poorly on international tests...
I have two words for you, Gary Prehn! This man is the super glue that holds this entire place together in a beautiful state of cohesion. I have moved away to Miami but my two sons loved this school as did I. The parental participation is at the very core of the feel good nature of this school. And the teachers are just out of this world. I really miss it and still keep in contact with one of my son's teachers. Also may I note the extremely shiny happy faces in the office, always ready to help! This will be the best time of your life, especially you are somehow tied to Stanford!