Parent and Student Testimonials
Woodside is very different from any public or private school. My understanding is that this school is closer to homeschooling with very selected and qualified teachers coming in for each subject. With not more than 70 students they offer 4 foreign language options and so it goes with other fields of study. It is a miracle that this small school can offer so many class options. As for the school’s academic standards as a college preparatory school, my boys did take AP tests in as many as 8 subjects and did take the SAT and SAT subject tests and both were accepted by UCLA. I must say the school does qualify well to be called a college prep. Obviously the classes are all very small and the content can be tailored to each child’s needs. Any student can benefit from this learning environment.The student body is diverse in all ways but I do not think the child necessarily has to be “different” to benefit from what this school offers. I believe my boys can classified to be normal. My boys have always respected and enjoyed the time with their teachers. They both loved their time in school. I am very very thankful to Ariel and all the teachers.
– Y.N., Parent
Woodside International School is a much better fit for my son than the large public high schools in San Francisco. The education has been personalized and the school has a philosophy that supports learning and community participation. He has received a much better education at Woodside than if he had stayed in public school and is now heading off to college in the Fall! Thanks to Woodside and its teachers for being wonderful educators of my son! They have inspired in him a love of learning and knowledge.
– S.C., Parent
My daughter received a top notch high school education from a school that was concerned about her. Woodside is the best! She has now moved on to college, prepared and doing well.
My son was having a difficult time in the High School he was attending and we made a bold decision to transfer him out in the middle of his Junior year. It was the best decision we ever made! As a parent I cannot commend enough the attention that all the staff and teachers have given to us and to my son as he transitioned into the school. The school provides a very safe environment for the students to learn and grow. While the school is small, I find that the curriculum is competitive and the school is professionally run and managed efficiently. Grades and progress are monitored closely so that issues and difficulties can be nipped in the bud immediately. As a result of the close knit classroom environment and caring faculty my son’s grades have improved tremendously and he is for the first time enjoying school and his success. He has gained so much confidence as a student. The staff have also worked diligently with my son’s transcript making it college ready and we are so grateful for all the attention and care we have been provided. His prospects of entering a good college have been vastly improved as the result of our decision to choose Woodside International School. My son had a demanding sports/ training schedule but the school was flexible and worked with us every step of the way to make sure he accomplished both athletic as well as academic success.
– F.S., Parent
This school does not have a library, a cafeteria, a gymnasium or playing fields for sports. The school uses the public library a block away and the Golden Gate Park for sports. The students bring their own lunches. What it does have is small classes, attention to individual needs and teachers who care deeply about teaching, who because they are not oppressed by bureaucracy or distracted by trying to keep discipline, can work their magic under ideal conditions.The school also has a complete lack of bullying or nastiness; the students are — hard as it is to believe — nice to each other. There is also a good mix of students, some rich, some not so rich, some American, some foreigners.The students work hard, but they also enjoy life, because the philosophy of the school is to encourage students to enjoy learning, which most of them do. The staff is also wonderfully accessible. Every parent is perplexed some of the time as to how to raise a child. I got all kinds of good advice from the staff. I put my nephew in this school because the one he was in before was robbing him of his childhood. The classes were large and the work so onerous that he worked 12 hours a day seven days a week. He was doing well by the standards of the school, but the main lesson he was learning was how bad life could be. He was also learning to hate learning. After three years at Woodside, he is a happy, well-adjusted young man, learning more than he is required to and on the way to get into a good college.
– R.H., Guardian
I only have positive comments about WIS. When we moved to San Francisco I had a hard time trying to find the “ideal” high school. My son joined WIS during his sophomore year and I was very impressed about his academic performance improvement. The main school asset is the faculty. Teachers really love what they do and they are very committed. The small size classes allow them to know each student and understand their needs to be able to provide the best support on a case by case basis. Even when the school is small we found diversity in their student population. They make students and their families feel welcome to the WIS community since day one. WIS offers a variety of elective classes and also their tutoring program is a plus. My son is learning a lot, in a safe environment and is part of a community which shares our values and goals. I don’t think I can ask for anything else.
– S.B., Parent
Woodside gives an incredible opportunity for an international student to adapt to the American system of education. The school has a perfect balance of necessary and reasonable academic load that is essential in entering a good university. For me one of the most important things about Woodside is a friendly environment and a very attentive and concerned attitude towards the success and the individual growth of my daughter. I really appreciate a very prompt reaction towards any type of problems. My daughter has been studying in Woodside since her Freshman year. By the end of her Junior year, she took the TOEFL exam and passed it obtaining 83 points. Being an international student, this result lets her choose almost any university. The school helped her to determine what field of studies is the most appealing to her. She is much more confident, calm and positive. I’m glad that she’s going to finish the high school in Woodside.
– I.K., Parent
My nephew came to live with me this year from out of state.I looked at several high school options for him, both private and public. I was attracted to Woodside because of the small class size, and the individualized approach that is given to each student with respect to past educational experience as well as future goals. I made the decision to enroll him even though we live in Marin and it’s a further commute. I have been incredibly impressed with Woodside. My nephew was just going through the motions with respect to school. He is now engaged in learning and regularly tells me how much he enjoys his classes, how much he is learning and has really started having a sense of accomplishment and pride about his education. The teachers at Woodside are always willing to meet with him or me and discuss how he is doing and give specific feedback about his work. It’s been such a joy to see this young man gain confidence and look forward to his classes each day. He was not even thinking about college before coming here. Now he is excited to continue his education and has a much better chance of not only getting into college, but also being successful once he does.
– V.D., Guardian
Woodside has allowed my student to grow and mature willingly at his own pace. Woodside also helps parents understand their teen in positive ways.
– T.S., Parent
WIS has turned out to be a great school for my daughter. Their approach to encourage free thinking and the respect they give their students has really allowed my daughter to blossom academically and socially. This is the first school in many years where she had felt totally at home and at ease.
– W.B., Parent
At Woodside every student is treated as an individual worthy of respect. The teachers and staff are flexible and understanding at the same time that they uphold good boundaries and maintain academic excellence. Thanks to Woodside, my daughter has grown and matured at her own speed, and takes great pride in her successes.
– A.B., Parent
My Daughter is a sophomore at Woodside. This is her first year here and my husband and I must say that we are very pleased with her progress at Woodside. She was previously a student at Mercy in San Francisco and was struggling immensely. It seemed as though she got “lost in the shuffle” academically. No matter how hard she tried she really struggled to keep up. That is, until she wanted to give Woodside a try. It seems as though she has blossomed this year. She is passionate with her studies and shares with us what she has learned in the classroom. Sometimes we have long discussions about what she has learned. Whether it be in biology or philosophy, English or history, she has opened up to us more and she seems a happier and motivated student than she was last year. The class sizes are small enough so that she can get more individualized attention and the teachers are available whenever needed. I am really impressed by the monthly progress reports. We can see how our child is progressing and have the opportunity to meet with teachers or the head of school if necessary. The lines of communication are always open when it comes to Woodside. This is a relief for me since we can work with her early if she needs extra help before it goes on too long and she falls too far behind.
– V.R., Parent
Woodside was our son’s third high school and we were losing hope that we would find the right place for him. What a breath of fresh air! The program is truly student-centered, each student is treated as an individual, the administration is flexible and understanding and the teachers are friendly and engaging. We feel lucky to have found this gem in our backyard.
– A.F., Parent
My son has adjusted well to WIS after spending his freshman year at another school. He enjoys being in a friendly, supportive, co-ed environment, where students are judged by what’s inside them, not by a specific dress code. He likes the variety in the curriculum and with class periods under an hour he can remain much better focused and engaged on the class material. Easy access to the administration and teachers, and assignments given on a weekly basis really help with organization and time management. The regular directed study periods help him keep up with his workload, as well as give him time to review material.
– M.H., Parent
Woodside International School has just the right chemistry for teenagers. Classes are challenging yet my son never has felt so overwhelmed that quitting ever became a solution. The most important thing for teenagers is engagement and support. In public schools my son was sent to the back of the room because he had hyperactivity and was often victimized by kids who did not care about school. My son has increased his GPA by two full points on average and he has never cut class. He feels an important part of the school community. He is able to be responsible and able to direct his energy.
– D.W., Parent
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! WIS has helped my son recognize and experience the pleasures and rewards of learning.
– J.R., Parent
Woodside is a perfect fit for my unique daughter.
– E.T., Parent
We are very enthusiastic about the education and support our son is receiving at WIS. The spirit of the school is one of optimism about our child’s ability to succeed in school and in life. The teachers, support staff and Head of School personally go the extra mile to encourage the individual child to develop their potential. This happens through the flexibility in the program and in course offerings. A student works at whatever level of competence they have reached in a subject and the school is able to provide advanced placement work when it is appropriate. From the Head down there is an attitude of respect for the student, paired with expectations that the student will achieve at the level of his or her capacity.
– D.H., Parent
We have been extremely pleased with W.I.S. Our son enjoys the feeling of community that is enhanced by the size of the student body and supported by the atmosphere of mutual respect which is cultivated and well maintained by the faculty and staff. Our son has been extraordinarily well supported in his adjustment to high school and in his development as a student. All members of the teaching faculty have taken genuine and detailed interest in our son’s development. They have always been able to treat him as an individual. They have been diligent through the hard times helping him build skills and recognize and realize his potential. As he has developed, they have challenged his strengths resulting in confidence in his abilities. We have been very impressed by – and grateful for – the commitment to working with us and with our son shown by each of his teachers. Not only has each teacher been available for consultation, but all have been excellent in following though on decisions made and in supporting our son’s development in this way.
– P.R., Parent
Changed my life, showed me what school is supposed to be!
– A.H., Student
I had the best teachers & I learned so much. I wouldn’t mind reliving my high school experience here but not changing a thing. I felt understood, listened to, and most of all enlightened. I really only have good things to say about my experience here. Thanks!
– K.G., Student
My daughter went from being a disengaged C/D student to becoming a vibrant, excited, eager learner and A student when she moved to WIS. This school has been worth every penny and has really set my child on the path to lifetime success and learning
– D.P., Parent