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About This School

Woodland School is a private middle school in Portola Valley. The principal of Woodland School is Mr. John Ora. 265 students go to Woodland School and identify primarily as White, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; and Asian. The student to teacher ratio at Woodland School is 9:1. Woodside Priory School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Band
    • Ceramics sculpture
    • Chorus
    • Computer arts
    • Dance
    • Drawing painting
    • Orchestra
    • Theater drama
  • Languages Taught

    • French
    • Mandarin
  • Sports

    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Cross country
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Gymnastics
    • P.E. classes
    • Soccer
    • Softball
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Track
    • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School
White, non-Hispanic 70%
Hispanic 3%
Asian 26%
Black, non-Hispanic 1%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (4 months ago)

    I have had a child in every grade now at Woodland School and have been very happy throughout my 12-year involvement with the school. It is a preK - 8th grade school with a focus on 1) academics 2) character and 3) community. The curriculum is continually updated by amazing teachers who are well-trained and care about every student. The school has ethics and S.E.L instruction weekly for every grade. The community is diverse and representative of Silicon Valley who place a high emphasis on education for their children. There is a nice global focus as well with 4th-8th grade weekly current event reports the 8th grade Capstone project and the trip abroad.

  • (7 months ago)

    If your child has learning differences I would not send them to Woodland. While you may get buy in from the administrators you won't get it from the teachers in the upper grades. While some schools are almost too kid focused this one seems to be too teacher-focused. On the other hand the parent community is hands on user friendly and welcoming. The kid community is genuinely diverse with plenty of opportunities to share that culture with others. The school also had good handle on the bullying issue among the students. Some of the teachers like to rule with a heavy hand--verbally not physically--however.

  • (1 year ago)

    Woodland is an amazing school. We moved our 6th grader this year (he had attended K-5 at a Catholic school in Redwood City) as we felt he needed a more challenging curriculum and smaller class size. It was definitely the right move. The staff and teachers are so positive and truly work with your child to make sure they succeed. We have been impressed with every aspect of the school. Making the move to Woodland was definitely worth the money. We feel our child will be ready for high school and beyond with the education he is getting here.

  • (1 year ago)

    We're a middle school family and have been impressed with the teachers curriculum and support for our child. The block model scheduling allows time for deeper learning in the classroom. Homework is not just busy work - it's thoughtful age appropriate and not overwhelming. The Head of School has done an excellent job bringing motivated inspiring and talented teachers in to join the Woodland team. We are very happy at Woodland and think it's an excellent middle school option.

  • (1 year ago)

    Our family loves this school. We toured many schools both public and private when choosing a kindergarten for our oldest son. Woodland's students overwhelmed us with their authentic kindness to each other and their enthusiasm for learning. The community is welcoming and diverse. The principal and all the teachers are extremely engaged with the kids the academics are excellent and there is no lack of fabulous creative classes like art music language and sports.

  • (1 year ago)

    5 stars for the kids & families - 1 star for the leadership (with the exception of a new & extremely committed asst. head) Children get a comprehensive education in a nurturing and positive environment. K-4th grade has been a wonderful experience with tenured competent and caring teachers. There is a significant decline in quality of curriculum from 4th grade to the upper grades. My take on this is that it is a staff leadership issue. The new teachers that have joined the upper school are excellent unfortunately they seem to be somewhat hamstringed by the old guard. The athletic program is not strong. Students participate and are enthusiastic but coaching is poor with inconsistent practices and spotty communication. A positive about athletics is that students are welcomed in any sport and encouraged to try new things.

  • (1 year ago)

    We've been with the school since preschool. So many wonderful changes have taken place in the last three years. The teachers and staff are well educated caring people who genuinely love to teach and interact with the students and parents. We especially love the small class sizes knowing our children will receive the individualized attention they deserve. We also appreciate that the school is outward looking as well. There are a number of philanthropic programs in the school in which all students Kindergarten and up may participate. Unlike some private schools parent involvement is welcomed and encouraged but not required. There are many opportunities to be involved in the school. We have found Woodland School to be a warm and nurturing environment. We wouldn t send our kids any where else!

  • (1 year ago)

    Woodland is a fantastic school. The teachers and the children have welcomed my son and this is his first year at woodlands. We are very happy as parents to see a school with great structure and a warm community. it offers a dynamic environment for academics and a great social environment for children.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am a 9 year-old student at Woodland School. What I love about Woodland is that everybody is unique. The parents and students are from many different countries. I learn a lot about different cultures especially during cultural arts week. The teachers explain things in a way that is easy to understand. My teacher is the best teacher I have ever had. It is very easy to transfer to Woodland because everyone is so welcoming. I love taking French music and gymnastics. I like having morning assembly every morning. I also love Mathletes and how the school is very flexible. I am so happy that I came to Woodland.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am a student at Woodland School. I like my classmates because everyone has something interesting to say. It is a school that welcomes newcomers. I think it is fun and all of the teachers care about the students and love teaching. It is challenging and I am learning so much more than at my old school. I love going to school at Woodland.

  • (2 years ago)

    After several dismal years in our local public school we started at Woodland this year. We could not be happier. The teachers are loving and supportive while strictly adhering to rigorous academic standards. The head and assistant head of school are actively looking to improve the curriculum and teach skills that are relevant to our evolving global world. My daughter's work receives an amount of teacher scrutiny that justifies the time that she puts into it. We also love the focus on historical and geographical knowledge- this year she has learned about world rivers Canada native peoples throughout North America and the colonization of our continent. And it is only November! My daughter wakes up in the morning and cannot wait to attend school. Every day she thanks me for sending her there. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that her classmates are an interesting funny respectful group of students who have a lot to contribute regarding any topic! Not only has she gained incredible amounts of cultural knowledge but her vocabulary and emotional development have increased by leaps and bounds. We are just so thankful that we found Woodland School!

  • (2 years ago)

    There are several bad reviews here about Woodland's administration & past history. I want to add a *loud* THANK YOU to Mr. Ora the headmaster. I find him brilliant and deeply committed despite being a little odd. I can't imagine a headmaster better matched for my 11 year old son who is very smart (made 8's and 9's on the ISEE and ERBs) and has ADHD. The process of looking for a new school after graduating Trinity was horrible. I felt discriminated against bc we didn't have money and I disclosed my son's ADHD. When we applied to Woodland Mr. Ora asked to see me privately. He spent 90 minutes w me and talked about ADHD. He very clearly told me that "not all teacher's *get ADHD"" which had been our painful*experience the last year at Trinity despite having a committed experienced teacher. I have an academic background and believe Mr. Ora *knows* education and how kids learn and that *not all kids learn alike!* He is eager to maximize each child's learning differences w a structured and character-building based school. I have no complaints about the teacher quality or parent involvement. I'm glad to talk off line if interested.

  • (2 years ago)

    I go to this school and I love it so will you. This school is one of the best schools i have been to and my friends say the same thing.

  • (2 years ago)

    I agree with the previous review. You should always take reviews with a grain of salt - between the extremes. There is always some semblance of reality in between ... My advice to would be parents is to ask the following 1) Longevity of Teachers and span of control (how many grades does the teacher cover) 2) Credentials 3) Facility renewal 4) online grade system (better transparency with grades) ... Sad but true - when you have the enrollment of the school change with a big teacher turnover what does that mean? Check the facts and draw your own conclusions. There are plenty of biases and conflict of interest. You need to look at the facts sieve through the claims and watch out for your child.

  • (3 years ago)

    I confess that I often discount extremely positive or negative reviews on the Web similarly to Trip Advisor. Someone has a bad day and writes a scathing yet anonymous review--often over a specific encounter/issue. I have had children at the school for many years. As with every other school some grades are fantastic and some need improvement. What doesn't get emphasized enough in these reviews however is that Woodland kids are by and large truly wonderful human beings. Routinely hosts for field trips report back that they had never had nicer or more well-behaved children. At Woodland being "an idiot" is not cool (in contrast seemingly to so many other schools in the area). You get what you pay for at Woodland it is less expensive than many other private schools in the area yet has some incredibly dynamic teachers and a safe/caring atmosphere for your child. The school has just begun a more formalized annual fund and charitable giving program however unlike many other private schools in the area you are not ostracized for failing to meet some type of "giving quota."

  • (3 years ago)

    In two years at Woodland we have experienced each of the 1st through 6th grades and it has been a perfect fit for my three children. The teachers were attentive to my children's successful adjustment to the academic program. We love that there is strong emphasis on love of learning core virtues academics and balance. My children love going to school.

  • (3 years ago)

    Our three children have been at Woodland School for 4 years and we treasure the wonderful education our children receive and the amazing community of families. I cannot say enough about the perfect balance of academics character development and play. They are all thriving and really enjoying their experience. The school has grown and improved each and every year and we feel we are a part of something truly special. The parent community is amazing and everyone is so supportive. Our children are also very aware of the wonderful safe community as well and it means a lot to them. I think back to my own search and I nearly missed out on Woodland. I'm so very thankful that I did find it and I recommend it be on everyone's list to visit.

  • (3 years ago)

    We have two children at Woodland and we couldn't be happier. We've seen both our kids do well both academically and socially. We love that there is a solid Core Virtues program diversity amongst the student population and extra-curricular activities which make it great for families with 2 working parents. The parent community is wonderful - and we have made some really great friends there. Everyone seems to truly value and support quality education. And with a class size of about 11 for the incoming Kindergarten year ... that's awesome.

  • (3 years ago)

    I just have to address the last two posts - I couldn't disagree more. The administration is working to make changes - necessary changes. The leadership prior to this one was lacking is so many ways deficient by most standards. Woodland is a safe warm good academic choice for children. I feel confident that my child is getting a skill set that is necessary for placement beyond elementary school.

  • (3 years ago)

    Need a major change starting with the head of school. When a school have their strongest teachers it is pretty telling. The school program is in a tailspin... The school is in a dire need of a leadership rehaul. No amount of 'propaganda' or sugar coating can change the reality. The wholesome school with a child at the center - is definitely there for the select few. These few make up the committees etc. All the rest either fall through the cracks or receive well crafted ambiguous academic responses. If you want a school that delivers takes action and truly practices whole child this ain't it. The reason is simple - lack of true commitment courage leadership and genuine interest in the child.

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