As far as public schools go, especially in CA this is a top notch campus. Great teachers, wonderful and very involved principal. I transferred my child from private school and was so hesitant, but I couldn't be happier!
This is the highest API scoring elementary school in the system. Surrounded by million dollar homes in the Northgate area, the kids are academically advanced and all speak excellent English. By contrast, some of the other schools in the system are overwhelmed by Spanish speakers. Some of the other schools are too close to the Concord border and suffer bleedover from Concord. Most of the parents have Masters degrees and many of them are physicians. The gene pool is excellent so your student will be academically challenged by their peers. The teachers are top notch and just happen to live in Northgate as well.
This school is overrated. The class sizes are around 31-34. Teachers are ok. Parent volunteers are great but its all the same 100 or so parents who keep it all going. Its a nice school but you can get the same across town and with a lot less homeownership cost.
Walnut Acres is an excellent school in a supportive and safe neighborhood. There is an enormous amount of parent involvement in the classrooms as well as on the Parent Faculty Club. The vocal music program supported by the PFC is outstanding. The Principal provides strong guidance and is always coming up with ways to improve the school academically and socially. The teachers are dedicated and genuinely enjoy teaching. I would give the school 5 stars if it were in a smaller district, ideally the 5 schools that are in Walnut Creek that are currently in the MDUSD.
Class sizes are quite large (34 kids per class in the upper grades) and could go up to 40. The school district is struggling and sadly, it shows. GATE (gifted) funding has been averted to other areas as have funds for other programs. There are many furlough days throughout the year because of the districts financial issues. Test scores are high purely because of demographics. The parents and many teachers care, but they can't rectify the school districts problems and we are told there is no sign things will improve anytime soon.
This school could use more parent involvement and a better academic program as well as a better school district. This school/students are suffering from there school district which has no $$$ for great programs, teachers and extra activities.
The instruction is well rounded - parents are really involved. They still include music which is essential for a well rounded and conscious growing child. And...they rock!!
It's a wonderful neighborhood elementary school. Involved, generous parents, great PFC, and the teachers are dynamite!
We have 2 sons going Walnut Acres. The teachers here are so awesome. They are dealing with the budget problems with a 'make lemonade out of lemons' mentality. For instance, the 3rd grade no has 10 more students per classroom. Well, this meant that there ended up being 2 classrooms empty. So, the school converted these to a special needs room and a dedicated science room. The parent involvement and student behavior are the best I've come across.
Our family moved to Walnut Creek from San Francisco this school year and we have been very happy with the high standard of learning, teacher engagement, parent participation and student behavior. Our boys have bonded well with the other students and as well as their teachers making the transition from the city a huge success! I highly recommend Walnut Acres!
My husband and I moved here from San Francisco 2 years ago specifically because of the school system. We had three children in private schools in SF (public was not much of an option) and being third generation San Franciscans, it was a tough decision. I have one in Walnut Acres, had one go through Foothill and one at Northgate. As for Walnut Acres, I cannot even compare it to the private schools they attended in SF. The class sizes are smaller here, there is more one on one teaching and the teachers are highly educated. Parent teacher communication is wide open. Parent participation is overwhelming! My son is thriving, and really enjoys school. My only regret is, I wish I had done this sooner.
In our opinion, a somewhat underachieving school given the demographics and the parent involvments. Part of problem may be that it's part of the massive and bureacratic heavy MDUSD. Principal Lock and admin staff are capable and competent. Typical of public schools with tenured teachers, they range from great (Rubenstein) to terrible. Facilities are woefully outdated and lacking.
My daughter has spent 3rd, 4th and 5th grade at Walnut Acres. She is happy and has made many friends. Driven by the Star Test, this school spends it's efforts on teaching the test. The level of parent involvement is high, and the music program is superior. Lots of homework, at least two hours each evening. I think this area's schools are so focused on high test scores due to funding, they regetably produce a lot of 'worker bees' but do not develop or inspire any 'great thinkers.' I would advise to watch your measuring stick. We researched all schools, private and public, and learned about different school philosophies. We do not wish to stay in this area for our daughter's middle school years and are thrilled to be moving to an area with more choices.
Walnut Acres is an excellent school. We have been in the school since Kindergarten, now going into 5th grade, and we have been so pleased with consistently high standards with regard to our child's education but also the overall community involvement. This school is truly the center of our community in this neighborhood. Test scores tell a lot, and of course Walnut Acres has stellar scores, but they don't tell about the children and parents and teachers and staff that make up a school community... this school has wonderful families and top notch teachers and staff. Parental involvement is unsurpassed and allows Walnut Acres to be one of the best schools in the district.
I am very impressed with the school. It is very well maintained and it shows.
We have two children that attend this school. Parental involvement is almost overwhelming, they make things happen and support the school with time and money. The teachers are all experienced, manage their classrooms well, and those that can't don't stay around very long. My children have had wonderful classroom experiences, and the teachers put in that extra effort to find resources and materials that will add excitement and new ideas to the curriculum. The only negative is that the school is part of the MSUSD, so has to deal with the large district issues. This is one of the top schools in the district.
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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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