Choosing a Palo Alto Elementary school Schools & Kids, posted by seekinfo, a resident of another community, on Oct 16, 2006 at 2:09 pm
My family is exploring the Palo Alto public elementary school options. Besides the info. that I have reviewed from greatschools.com I would like more information. Can you provide feedback regarding attendance to Barron Park/Briones versus enrolling in a different Palo Alto Elementary school k-5. Thank you very much.
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2006 at 2:45 pm
As I think you may have posted your query on a thread about school lunches you can see my reply to you there. I would also add that at present there are some heated debates with varying opinions on the relative values of different types of school here in Palo Alto. The overall factor though is that each school does have a very close knit community with very committed parents willing to volunteer and I hope that you find this is a friendly and welcoming place to live.
Posted by Palo Alto Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 16, 2006 at 2:48 pm
Hi -- many people transfer out of BP. I believe very few people transfer out of Briones -- many of the BP transfers actually go there. You may want to try getting feedback through the Palo Alto/Menlo Park Mothers' Club (now Parents' Club) -- though you have to become a member to do so. It is a great resource if you're new in town. You may have trouble getting explicit feedback on Town Square, because it's so public.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 19, 2006 at 9:55 pm
Several years ago Barron Park premitted interested parents to observe classes in session. It can be very informative to observe first hand. Over the past few years I have heard mixed reaction for all Palo Alto schools, even those that were rated best.
Posted by Matt Passell, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Nov 7, 2006 at 10:01 pm
I can unequivocally recommend Juana Briones elementary school. My children are in 2nd and 4th grade. Of course most people in Palo Alto love their elementary school, but allow me to offer a few comments.
The teaching staff is incredibly stable, as teachers don't leave. They work well together and with the principal. Two of the three kindergarten teachers have worked together there for 20 years. (We opened up a third kindergarten this year due to the growing local enrollment.) Two of the first grade teachers have taught together at Briones for over 10 years. They do a great deal of team teaching, running a tremendous program.
We have been thoroughly impressed with every teacher we've had.
The kids' recess games are also designed so that all kids can participate. There is a strong no-bullies policy, and an emphasis on problem solving. One child who was overflowed to Briones decided not to return to his neighborhood school when a spot opened up. He has a handicap, but the other kids found a way to make sure he could play in their recess games. He knows he is accepted for who he is.
I could go on much longer. Let's just say it's a wonderful community with great teachers and great kids.
Posted by Pauline, a member of the Juana Briones School community, on Nov 8, 2006 at 11:55 am
I will add a big DITTO to Matt's endorsement. My family was one of many overflowed to JB from Nixon several years ago...and we never left. I love the teachers, the principal, the community and the kids. We have 2 kids there, one fairly disabled, and they both are treated with equal respect and concern. Like Matt said, unlike when I was growing up with my mentally retarded sister, I have no worries about bullies around either of my kids there. The teachers are committed to teaching each child in the best way for that kid. I honestly don't know how they do it, but if I could I would double all their salaries!