This is our child's third year in the Fairwood Explorer Program after beginning in kindergarten. It is in the process of expanding to the entire school. it is very exciting to see that the Great Schools rating has increased from 6 to 9 since our child has been here, and it is well deserved. We have been very happy with all three of our child's teachers at this school. They are very dedicated, and it is obvious that they truly care about their students and want them to succeed. Parent volunteers give our children a lot more opportunities for learning and also make it possible for additional cooking, art, garden and science projects. Our child absolutely loves school and has advanced well above grade level. There are also a lot of great after school activities and social events offered. We love the community and have made many great friends here. We have a new principal this year and so far he seems very nice. Can't say enough great things about our school!
Great community. Warm and accepting. They typify the term, "It takes a village". It am very at ease with my child being cared for both by the other parents and the staff. I appreciate that there is true diversity on campus both socioeconomic and cultural. There are some transitional bumps as the whole school moves to the parent participation model. The board is working diligently to make it happen and I believe strongly they will be successful. Very pleased with my child's experience.
It's a bit of a generalization for the reviewer below to paint all negative reviews as linked to a new charter school opening up. With all due respect, you are very new to the community and haven't witnessed most of the growing pains. Even last year there was inner strife. Feel free to look at the messages on UpToUs from last year as proof. We were bombarded with arguments through mass emails each day. There is a reason why discrection on UpToUs was stressed at the beginning of this school year. This is our 4th year at Fairwood and used to be like you and wonder why families in the upper grades were unhappy because we didn't see it. K-1 is Fairwood's strongpoint. For grades 2-3, only one teacher is worth having. The other two are very unorganized and lack structure and communication. There is a grade 2 class that has many complaints from fellow parents I know for several reasons. We have gone this far, and haven't reached the threshold for leaping yet. Private school is not an option and new charter school isn't viable for us yet due to unknown stability. We hope there is an improvement in 4th grade teachers next year.
My daughter is in second grade in the Fairwood Explorer program and has been there since kindergarten. When my daughter was ready for kindergarten we looked around at our home public school and some of the private schools for a program that we felt would fit our daughter's learning styles and our desires for her to have a wide range of experiences while being in a smaller school environment. We found the Explorer program and are excited to be directly involved in her learning and belonging to a community that is looking for a similar experience and willing to put the time in to make it happen. The parent participation has been the key for me. Beyond allowing more individualized attention than a standard classroom it has allowed me to know my daughter, her classmates and her teachers better. My daughter has grown over the years both as a student and a person. I have also enjoyed seeing the students I work with grow as well. I do reading coaching this year and have been impressed with the kids' progress. I am excited for my son to start next year and to see, and help, the program grow as it becomes a campus-wide program.
Been here since the start and see truths to many comments below. Yes-growing pains. Yes-hard working teachers and involved parents. Yes-adjusted vision. Yes-email sent requesting proper ways to voice parent complaints. Yes-heard both support and complaints from parents. Yes-principal allows for major variations of how teachers interpret program's mission. I've worked in classes where kids obviously put in wrong groups (slow readers with more advanced and vice versa). I've been in classes where I've helped to supplement curriculum and utilized every minute, while for another teacher many classes were unorganized and most parents sent home regularly even at the beginning of shift. Several worksheets for HW in one class, optional for another. Glad to see positive discipline classes for kids, but have seen yard duty and teachers being harsh on children without having them work things out. I saw a girl get pushed by another child. She turned around very upset, and teacher blamed her. When I stepped in and explained what I saw, the teacher just walked away. Pros and Cons. Program still in infancy. Wondering if it will mature by the time my child leaves.
This school is in chaos!!! I've read all the reviews and anyone considering this program should take into account, that there are two sides to this story. Those that love the school, the principal and the new philosophy and those that feel the original vision of the program was not implemented as they were told it would. I'm currently still at the school, but completely unhappy with the leadership and implementation of the vision. One comment below talks about how all the parents are energized, which is pretty funny given that we recently received an e-mail from our prinicipal to ask us to stop talking on the playground about how bad the teachers are and how we dislike the program. Of course, that isn't wise to talk where children can hear, but from the e-mail, we can all see that it isn't a positive school environment where most people are happy. I'm so tired of all the drama. I'm excited to hear that the original parents who started the Explorer program (since all leaving the board of directors by choice on the same day last year) are creating a charter school (Spark Charter School). Perhaps the original vision will now be realized in another school.
FAIRWOOD ELEMENTARY IS A GREAT SCHOOL. IT'S SMALL IN COMPARISON TO OTHER SUNNYVALE SCHOOLS AND TEACHER FRIENDLY, PARENT FRIENDLY ALL IN ALL A GREAT SCHOOL TO ATTEND. AND THE PRINCIPAL IS RIGHT ON THE BALL!