School review & community guidelines
School reviews help parents find the right school for their child. When you write a review of your child’s school, you’re offering other parents something that data can’t — your personal experience as a member of that community. Plus, it’s a great way to show your gratitude for your school’s greatness (and offer feedback on where they might improve).
Sharing your experience
School reviews are a way for parents, teachers, students, and caregivers who have had recent, direct experience with a school to share its strengths and weaknesses. Sharing your honest opinions will help other parents make more informed decisions about which school is best for their child.
To ensure your review is helpful to as many parents as possible, we ask that you follow our review and community guidelines, and check out our tips for writing an effective review.
- Please be civil: We’re all in this together. Please be thoughtful in your review. No obscenities, hateful, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate language. This is not a space for personal attacks. Aside from a school principal or leader, who is a public figure, we discourage use of proper names in school reviews and may remove reviews disparaging school staff or community members by name.
- Focus on quality: The most helpful reviews provide information about the overall quality of a school and feedback on specific themes that matter most to other parents, like observations about school leadership, homework, bullying policies, support for learning differences, character development in students, school facilities, teacher quality, parent involvement, and programs offered (or lack thereof).
- Safety always: Safety is important to all of us, especially when it comes to our children. Threats against a school, its staff, or its student body are unacceptable. Additionally, if you are concerned about or know of illegal and/or criminal activity, please report it to the proper authorities — school reviews are not an appropriate space to address allegations of illegal activity. If you are a student and are having suicidal thoughts, please know you are not alone. Call the suicide hotline 24/7 to talk to someone who can help: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Keep it current: We prefer reviews from parents whose children have a recent, direct experience with the school, students (age 13 or older) who attend the school, and current or recent teachers, staff, and volunteers at the school.
- Right to express opinions: Individuals have a right to express pure opinions even when those opinions are negative. For example, a characterization of someone as a “bully” is subject to widely varying opinions. People may characterize a person as a stern but fair disciplinarian, while other people will characterize that same person as a bully. These opinions are not provably false, but rather are an expression of a user’s opinion based on their experience with the school.
Review moderation policies
At this time, we allow one review per person, per school, for each review topic.
GreatSchools publishes all reviews that adhere to our guidelines. That includes a wide range of positive, lukewarm, and negative reviews. In most cases, an otherwise acceptable review will contain just one name, word, or sentence that violates one of our guidelines and results in the review not appearing on our site. To ensure your review is posted, please read through these guidelines carefully.
To ensure high-quality school reviews on GreatSchools.org, we employ both automated and manual moderation systems. Due to the volume of reviews we receive, we are not able to read them all. Instead, we rely on you to flag reviews that do not meet our guidelines.
Please keep in mind that while community members are responsible for the content of their posts, we reserve the right to remove any review that does not meet our guidelines or that we deem inappropriate or offensive.
All reviews submitted by students must be read in advance by a moderator and are posted if they meet our guidelines. Please be patient as this may take a few days.
Frequently asked questions
I’m a principal and I see inaccurate and/or unfavorable reviews on my school profile. Can you remove them for me?
GreatSchools will only remove a review if it violates our school review guidelines and/or our community guidelines. We do not remove reviews because they are critical or simply because a school asks us to do so. Principals and school administrators can share their perspective by signing up for a School Account. Writing a School Leader review is a great way to set the record straight and share all the best aspects of your school with families who use GreatSchools.
It seems like you only post positive reviews. Do you post any negative reviews?
Yes, we do! GreatSchools publishes all reviews that adhere to our guidelines. That includes a wide range of positive, lukewarm, and negative reviews. In most cases, an otherwise acceptable review will contain just one name, word, or sentence that violates one of our guidelines — and still we must remove it. This also happens with positive reviews, though less frequently, of course. We understand that not all experiences are good ones, so please help us help you get your point of view published by stating your opinion constructively and by adhering to our guidelines.
How do I flag a review?
To report a review to our moderation team, click the “report review” button located in the lower left corner of each overall review, or the “report” link located underneath each topical review. Tell us how the review violates our guidelines and click submit.
Will I hear back from you after I report a review?
Thank you for taking the time to report a review! We really do rely on our responsible community members to alert us to a problem. Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests, we are not able to reply to everyone who reports a review. If you reported a review that remains posted, it means our moderators have determined that it is in line with our guidelines and will remain on the site.
Why did my review get deleted?
The most common reason a review is removed is because the reviewer submits a new review for the same school. In that case, the new review will replace the old review. However, if you wrote a school review and it has not been published, please read our guidelines and write another review. If you believe your review meets our guidelines and you have submitted it twice and it has been more than 24 hours, please contact us for help. Thank you!
Can I use names in my review?
We allow reviews that use names of public figures, like a school’s principal or leader, and will allow positive reviews to post that name teachers and staff.
Do you edit reviews?
No. Reviews are never edited by our staff. Not even to correct typos. However, you can always change your own review. Just submit a new review using the same email address and your new review will replace your old review.
How can I edit or update my existing school review?
If you’ve written a review but would like to change it, you may submit a new review which will overwrite the review you previously submitted.
Why aren’t there more current reviews?
We post reviews in the order in which we receive them, with the newest reviews appearing at the top. We love new reviews and know that the more recent they are the more helpful they are to parents. If your school’s reviews are out of date, please encourage your peers to post new reviews.
When you post on GreatSchools.org, you are agreeing to abide by the community guidelines described below. Please read the following carefully before writing a school review and/or commenting on our articles.
- Be respectful of others and their opinions. While we encourage a healthy, even passionate, exchange of opinions, we insist that differences be expressed with civility and without insulting language.
- Do not use offensive language. No racist, sexist, ageist, obscene, sexually explicit, violent, threatening or otherwise offensive language is allowed. We reserve the right to remove postings that defame or insult anyone and that are abusive or hateful. Any postings that can be construed as stalking will be deleted and made available to the proper law enforcement officials.
- Be aware that this is a public website and what you post will be visible to all users of GreatSchools.org and could end up anywhere on the Internet.
- Do not post personal data — yours or anyone else’s. For your safety and privacy, please do not post personal data such as phone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers or any other private information. Do not publicly post content from private messages or email.
- Do not post sexually explicit images.
- Protecting the privacy of young children is especially important to us. If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use or access the website at any time or in any manner. If GreatSchools learns that personally identifiable information of persons under 13 years of age has been collected through the website without verified parental consent, then GreatSchools will take the appropriate steps to delete this information.
- You agree not to use the services to harm children or minors in any way, or encourage inappropriate interactions with children or minors of any kind.
- Do not collect screen names or email addresses from our site for any commercial use.
- Do not collect personal information from our site about any member of the GreatSchools community , or otherwise stalk, repeatedly contact or harass any member.
- Don’t believe everything you read. GreatSchools does not and cannot screen all the content our users post. When someone recommends something, such as a book, service or product, it is his or her personal recommendation and not one necessarily endorsed by GreatSchools or its advertisers, sponsors or partners. We recommend you use your best judgment in evaluating recommendations posted on the Internet, and we suggest that you backup all endorsements found in the GreatSchools community with further research before making a purchase or an investment of time.
- Please do not post advertisements. Advertising includes, but is not limited to:
-Work-at-home or other businesses;
-Products or services that you are selling (personal or professional);
-Charities and charitable causes;
-Call for participants for research or studies;
- Do not spam. Do not flood, spam, or post pyramid schemes or junk mail.
- Don’t use ALL CAPS in your posts. Posts written in all capitals letters are hard to read and give the impression that you are shouting. If you have difficulty switching from capital letters to lowercase letters, please just use all lowercase.
- Be a law-abiding citizen. If you are not sure that what you are about to say is legal, hold off and check. If GreatSchools is notified that illegal activity is being encouraged in our community, we will alert law-enforcement officials. You agree that you will not violate any international, U.S. federal or state law.
- Do not impersonate others or misrepresent who you are. Do not impersonate any person or entity, and do not misrepresent your affiliation with any entity. Please be aware that members may claim expertise or status (legal, medical, etc.) that they do not possess; use discretion in following any advice.
- Do not repost deleted content. Do not repost something that was deleted from the community. These posts will be deleted as well, and posting privileges may be removed for members who repost deleted content.
- Do not post links to sites that violate our guidelines.
- Report a problem. If you see a review that you believe violates our guidelines, you can alert our moderators by using the “Report review” button located under each review. We will look into the matter within 48 hours of the report.
- When you post on GreatSchools.org you are giving us permission to use your content. By posting your comments on GreatSchools, you give us a fully paid, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, transferable, worldwide right and license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute the content from your post and to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such content, in any manner and medium.
- We do not review all posts. However, we do have the right to remove any post at any time and without notice.