I am updating my review of a couple years ago, when I had rated it highly. The school has changed, and not for the better. It is a terrible place for kids who are not perfect gifted kids. If your child has a learning disability or any kind of learning difference, run don't walk away from Menlo Park Academy. They now have very poor IEP/ special needs supports, and the place is chaotic. There have been 4 school directors in the past 5 years and teacher churn is awful. Last summer there was a mass exodus, including all my child's teachers who quit the month before school started. Parents should know the teachers are paid badly, there are too many kids in the classes (gifted like other special ed should have small class sizes and they INCREASED class size Summer 2015), the building is dreary and over-crowded, and the current director is weak. The place is a disorganized mess.
Thank you to my student for putting up with the nonsense at Menlo Park Academy this year. I am sorry I did not move you to a different school for the 2015-16 school year. If I had know that all your teachers would quit the month before school, there would be a new director, and more and more chaos... I would have transferred you earlier. I regret not moving you to a different school when I first had the instinct to, even if it meant starting a few weeks late in a different school, and I regret that this year has been a complete and total waste.
Most of the students who come to this school have these characteristics already. The ones who don't will fall between the cracks, because there is no consistent programming to help them develop these traits.
Poor leadership, inconsistent. It is hard for the students to develop respect when they don't feel respected and when the leadership is unstable, the teaching staff is a revolving door, and there is no charisma at the top. They just have to be lucky enough to have a decent teacher who can somewhat shelter them from the chaos and provide some guidance.
The school is really too inconsistent to make a judgment on this; I am not wowed by any special character skills that are being championed consistently throughout the school. Seems it just depends on whether you are lucky enough to get a decent teacher.
I have been a student at Menlo my entire life and anyone who thinks that the rich kids get more, are completely wrong. Menlo submits to everyone's needs and brings out every unique part of every person.