School appears to be an up and coming school with some significant challenges. However, the staff appears to be committed to utilizing all resources to meet those challenges and the school appears generally safe. I was pleasantly surprised after being invited to walk the campus and meet some of the parents and students of my son's class.
Columbia is NOT the school it used to be. API scores (and all sub groups) have gone up steadily over the past 3 years. It seems that when parents are looking for a school for their child/children the API score is the end all be all...SO not true. The only reason Columbia has what some consider a "low" API score is simply due to the fact that there's a high percentage of English language learners that are still leaning how to comprehend English...this is not an easy task. It takes years to be fluent in English. The principal and staff are obviously doing something right!
I moved to Sunnyvale from East Palo Alto because I just knew that the schools would be better, right? No. We live in the Fairwood area so for 5th grade my son went to Fairwood which is an awesome school. For middle school, the kids from our area have to go to Columbia which is in the Fair Oaks area. The kids can't wear red or blue because of gangs. They don't let the kids wear plain old winter hats. My son went there for 6th grade. It was horrible. I couldn't get him into any of the after school programs designed to help him improve his grades because he knew how to read and knew his multiplication and division. The staff wasn't understanding at all with the exception of Mrs. Carmack. I got my son tested for ADD and I couldn't get any accommodations for him. The teachers didn't want to help him. It was so bad that I considered putting him back in school in East Palo Alto. Luckily I got him into a charter school. This is a horrible school. As a parent, I didn't feel right sending him there and I thank God I got him out.
Columbia is making a come back! Please ignore all the reviews prior to 2009. They were written when the school had a different principal. Over the past few years we have implemented a number of new programs, both educational and behavioral. The dedicated teachers and wonderful students are making huge strides in a positive direction. Our API jumped 20+ points in the 2010-2011 school year! That is a very difficult feat. Most schools increase 5 -10 points a year, if they increase at all. The school has just undergone a complete renovation also. Our classrooms are new, and full of technology. Yes, we have students involved in gangs. This problem is being taken control of, it is NOT apparent on campus. Any school in a similar neighborhood would have similar problems. These students seek gang involvement because a lack of parental involvement in their lives. If you are a parent involved in your students life, you have nothing to worry about, your student will succeed at Columbia. I am a proud Columbia teacher doing my best to give our students the best future possible. Please do not let rumors hinder your student from attending Columbia. Come see us for yourself.
Columbia is a awsome school i go to this school and some people say its an a terrible school but its not. Our school has a coucler which she could help you out. there is only one teacher i hate so much i cant say who he is but i want him fired
Columbia is a great school, it has a bad reputation due to some incidents that have occurred at the school. There are a lot of positive things happening at Columbia and they seem to be overlooked due to the few negative events that have happened here and there. The Music Department is amazing, they are award winning, they travel to Disneyland to perform in front of thousands, and they perform for many City of SV events; the Drama Department is very talented as well, they have a cast of students with awesome energy and charisma. I am tired of CMS constantly being compared to Sunnyvale Middle, FYI, SMS has it's "crime/issues" as well, maybe they keep a little quieter about it, but believe me they have had fights, drugs, graffiti, etc.....please look at the big picture and stop dwelling on the 3% of negative and focus on the 97% good!
Columbia is the worst school in Sunnyvale. I am go to this school and I am constantly getting harassed by the teachers. If you would like your child to succeed, this is NOT a recommended school. Lunch is also highly overpriced.
Columbia is in a low income area. But not all of the families are of low income. I will say that most of these families are have both parents who work. This is limiting the involvement of the parents for extra activities. The students overall are good kids. The teachers try hard. The staff and and Athletic Director, Mr Barelli are great. There are too many kids who go to private schools around here. This drives scores on the 'average' side. My son enjoyed his 3 years at Columbia.
the crime around columbia makes the school look bad, but its not. The schools staff is great. I am an eight grader and i am planning on graduating by the end of this school year! When i was in elementary i hated reading and doing my homework. Now I love to read I learned alot from computer classes that will help me succeed in my future. My grade are a b avergae. I try my best, and the teachers can open doors for me, but it is my choice to walk through the doors. I choose to go. Most of the students, including me, have a great apportinity to go to Columbia Middle School, Class of two-thousand and ten!
columbia is a great school. there is high crime in the area but it is a wonderful school. After columbia then high school many kids get great careers my brother learned mechanichal engineering at columbia in high school he continued with it and now hes going to college all because of columbia
Well i was an eight grade student at Columbia Middle School, and I am proud to say that i loved the school. I recently moved to Vallejo, CA and schools/ students are no where near columbia. Columbia does have Gang problems, but its not like anything really ever happends. Its more or less a bunch of wannabes. The diversity is wonder. I dislike all the princibles or the nurse, but they do get all the job done. Seventh graders hope for Mr.Brax. Old students appreciate he school. Parents, we need your involvment, You are the biggest influence.
I'm a student there and i think that those bellow me or above are rude comments are school may not be the best but it is a great school.i am a 7th grader and i think that it may be a bit out of order but princibles are helping and i dont know why there saying the princibles are not taking care and are rude.it is not true they spend there time atlunch and brunch wathcing over the students.We have a problem with gangs but that can be taken care of with many things such as police,more rules,and color codes+the teachers are cool and they rock (Mr.Brax )hes the coolist teacher ever and also my volleyball coach rock on mr brax .
students run the school......no consistant method of discipline.the principals hide in their offices instead of being involved with their student body.
Very negative environment. the hidden curriculum taught here is that of unacceptance,disrespect, and superiority. The new principal spends most of her time sitting in her office. She is condecsending to staff (including teachers and support staff) and has shown little interest in contecting with the student body. There is no discipline matrix and kids run the school.
Administrators at this school are unaware of the laws and how they pertain to special needs children. Teachers here seem to be more self serving than anything else.
I have a child who is currently attending Columbia and I'm very happy with the school. The teachers are great and I have had several meetings with the principal, and she has been very helpful. My experience with all the teachers except one has been exceptional! They have a wonderful resource program for children who may need extra help (I don't understand the negative comments about special education at Columbia). I give them two thumbs up!
The teachers and staff at Columbia are great. You couldn't ask for a better group of teachers. The principal is involved with the students. One of the teachers helped us with my oldest daughter. She was having problems in school and at home. Well it turned out this teacher was able to point us in the right directions we held an SST meeting and had a whole room full of CMS teachers and administrators there to help. Our daughter was diagnosed with ADHD. Without this she would have failed.
new principal is rude and condescending. She makes little effort to connect with students or staff. It is unfortunate, this was a good school.
Teachers and administators really care about kids---all of them. I would recommend CMS to any other parent.
There is a focus on improving student achievement--the new principal cares about the kids and is whipping the place into shape. It is nice to have a strong smart principal in a public school
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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