It's only October, and so far I've had a parent hit my car while opening their car door, a child has attempted to break my antenna off my car (with me in it), and saw two moms pass dope to each other in the parking lot.
The neighborhood is extremely sketchy and it makes me sick every time I have to drop off and pick my child up from this school.
The only reason my child attends Columbia is because it is our assigned school and we lost out on buying multiple properties outside Sunnyvale to cash offers. Now we are stuck here unless we pull our child out and away from her friends.
This school is so good. The Principal is the heart beat of this school. If you email her she gets back to within a couple of hours. She is present at all school events and I have seen her at many School sporting events.
Columbia was just awarded the California Gold Ribbon award. formally called the distinguished school of California Award.
Columbia also received the 2014 Hoffman Award -- Awarded by the Santa Clara County Office of Ed to the top programs in the County each year. We were one of three schools to win it in 2014 for our Flex program.
THIS SCHOOL IS SO GREAT. I AM VERY PROUD TO HAVE MY CHILD HERE.
Columbia is a good school with many great qualities.
My daughter was a 6th grader and met many friendly girls. There are many wonderful teachers (especially the PE and elective teachers), and the administration is responsive and invests a lot into their students.
We have various friends at Columbia who have participated in the music program, the after school Tech Club and this year's Starting Arts play, 'High School Musical'. They all had great experiences.
Columbia has much to be proud of, including it's award winning FLEX program that sets a side a bonus class period to either catch up in a subject, or if no need, take a bonus enrichment class.
I don't know if it's the pressure of the high housing prices or what, but I feel that everyone it so intent on justifying the cost of their house, that any school, other then the one they've chosen, is painted as subpar. Don't believe the hype !
Columbia students, staff, and parents have Much to be proud of..... Go Bulldogs!
It's very unfortunate that this school has such a negative image with some community members. Our children attend elementary school at Fairwood Explorer, and one of the outstanding teachers from that program now teaches at Columbia. She has affirmed for us several times now that the middle-schoolers are sweet, the preschoolers on campus are safe, and that there have been zero incidents of concern in her time there. I trust this teacher's opinion immensely. Stigmas are hard to change.
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.