Redwood Day vs St. Paul’s

I am wondering if there are parents of St. Paul’s and/or Redwood Day students who can provide current feedback. We have loved exploring both schools and are hoping to get real feedback on what you love and dislike about the schools (no school is 100% perfect, after all). Our child is pretty easy going and pretty average developmentally and socially, right now he can intensely focus on things he likes, but isn’t interested in much else. He will be entering K next year, but we are looking for a school for the next 9 years so we want to make sure he is challenged to grow both academically and as a person.  

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RE: Redwood Day vs St. Paul’s ()

We've had one child at Redwood Day (RDS) & another at St. Paul's (SPES), but I can only speak from the K-5th grade perspective. I preface by saying that your child will learn, grow, and succeed at either school. There are differences though & I'll try to break those down. In terms of facilities, the RDS playground, garden, outdoor spaces, design lab & classroom buildings are incredible. Recess is a blast! Gardening with Barbara is a joy! SPES uses the park, YMCA & neighborhood in addition to their facilities (because space is limited). Due to that, the students develop some city savvy. Teachers and staff at both schools are knowledgeable and great at what they do. I would say that the teachers & staff at SPES are warm, personable, and engaging to both parents and students (with a few exceptions). There are lots of hugs, meaningful greetings, high fives and words of appreciation.  As for RDS, I'd say the school culture/environment is more reserved. The teachers, staff and administration obviously care and are very skilled, but generally aren't as effusive (with a few exceptions).  My child there feels supported, but she wishes she got more hugs and had more people reach out and say hello to her by name. I realize that this matters more to some people than to others. My children have learned a great deal academically at both schools. I'd say the biggest differences are in science & art/performance. SPES doesn't have a dedicated science teacher or lower school lab like RDS does. My RDS student gets a more enriching & in-depth science education. SPES has amazing art teachers and chapel is great for many reasons. It's been a wonderful opportunity for my child to prepare & give speeches and presentations to the whole school (each grade does 2 per year).  Because of that, all of the kids get great public speaking/performing experience starting in K. We like the PE teachers at both schools, but their approach is different. SPES does more organized sports (including an Olympiad) and RDS focuses on game development, coordination & fitness skills. RDS is making great strides in their efforts around diversity and there are conscious efforts to examine hiring, teacher training & curriculum development/implementation. However, at SPES, the faculty is very diverse in lots of ways. Many teachers were willing & prepared to take on tough subjects and have meaningful conversations around race, gender, religion, and class with the students and incorporate those lessons into their curriculum. My child at SPES learned so much about marginalized groups and different perspectives. With the effort RDS is putting into this work though, I think they will be there in a few years too. RDS classes tend to be quieter, with more individual or partner work. It makes a big difference depending on your child's learning style. My SPES student loves the big class discussions though, but sometimes things would get unruly.  Our family has made lovely friends at both schools. I'm sure you will too.

RE: Redwood Day vs St. Paul’s ()

I don't think you could go wrong with either school! St. Paul's has been a great fit for both my kids, who have different personalities, learning styles, and interests. There are many wonderful things about St. Paul's, but some aspects that stand out are the focus on inclusion (in the school community and curriculum), terrific teachers, emphasis on social/emotional skills in addition to challenging academics, and strong performing arts. Also, as a family with two full-time working parents, we LOVE the afterschool program, which is run by the amazing Mr. Young, and which offers a mix of outdoor and indoor play, art, enrichment, reading, and down time.