Don't be fooled by the so-called 'gifted' program. The program, with includes almost half the students, is not a true gifted program. It is a largely socio-economic distinction because students can qualify through outside testing services or recommendations. Basically, if you pay for the test, your student can qualify. If you have a truly gifted student, they will be held back by the mostly average students in the 'gifted program". In addition, the school is grossly overcrowded. It was built to handle about 60% of the existing students- so it is 66% overcrowded!
In addition, since the school has a good reputation a significant population of the students do not actually live in the district- they just use a friendly address on the application- which not only contributes to the overcrowding but makes what should be a neighborhood school really a regional school.
All in all, it is a good school, but the overcrowding and faux 'gifted" program knock it down to average.
This a good public school with many dedicated and caring teachers. But earlier comment of being run by a clique of rich moms is unfortunately true. Administrators and teachers close their eyes because those moms raise mucho dollars for the school selling $30 t-shirts and $300 arts and crafts classes afterschool. Each year it seems to get worse and more expensive. My daughters have loved their teachers and the fun activities.
The real problem at this school is parents who have an inflated sense of entitlement. My family hasn't always been well off. My oldest daughter attended a school in a "poor" neighborhood before we were fortunate enough to be able to relocate. Now my youngest attends this school. Parents here think their money allows them to get their way, and can't handle reality outside of their country club bubble. If they spent five minutes in a truly "bad" school they would high-tail it back to North Beach as fast as their Porsches will take them. I've seen dirty, disgusting schools with teachers that don't care - this certainly isn't one.
This is a continuation of my previous review dated February 14, 2015. The school counselor was extremely unprofessional in an incident I had before my child went to gifted. She sat on my child's application and recommendation to the gifted program for almost an entire school year causing him to miss the program one whole school year. Rather than acknowledge her mistake she threw one of my child's teacher under the bus stating that the teacher never submitted his paperwork to her and rushed to have his current teacher to sign a brand new recommendation into the gifted program. Unfortunately she did not realize that the teacher that had originally recommended him to the gifted program had confirmed on more than one occasion by email that she indeed personally turned in the paperwork to her the previous school year and could not believe of what was happening and that my child missed the entire school year.
The parents are working very hard to make this school great and there are wonderful teachers. It is a shame that the principal does not help lift this school the level it deserves. Rather than welcoming parent input and participation in the spirit of the IB program she begrudges thoughts and inquiries from parents and quickly dismisses their validity.
I witnessed multiple teachers calling children 'horrible' and 'idiots.' (not mine or stuff would hit the fan, although I wanted to just go and hug whoever's little boys they were!) Why do some of the teachers think they can speak to the children like they are morons? They are little people, not minions to order around! It is ironic how they sent home a paper that both children and parents had to sign about what RESPECT means. I think the teachers should have to sign it too! They are very condescending. I truly feel bad for these children that have to experience that every day and think that is normal behavior. I reported what I witnessed to a vice principal twice with the response being 'Those teachers have been here a long time so we can't do a lot about it, but we will talk to them.' What?! School is run down and disgusting. My children have never experienced a more terrible school. It's really quite disappointing.
My son just graduated and went to middle school and I still have a 3rd grader who is 2 years in at this school. The school is awesome, its like a private school but for free! Great education, beautiful historic building, good sized classrooms, and the school is about to get capital upgrades including new windows, new AC, and a brand new PE field, basketball courts and playground! The parents are warmly welcomed to be a part of things and there is a great sense of community. Truly an "A" school!
Very disappointed with the administration at this school. It is so difficult to voice your concerns and actually get things resolved for the benefit of the student. Yet they are always open to discuss and accept monetary donations. The office assistant is very rude. Currently my kid is in a classroom with 28 students where the limit should be 18 for a third grade class with one teacher. Every year it's a mess with moving kids around the first two weeks of school. The classes should be distributed accordingly before classes start to eliminate all this chaos. The teachers at this school have been very kind to my child in which I am very thankful to them.