Stratford School: High Expectations Yield Extraordinary Results
Courtesy of Stratford School
The world is becoming an increasingly competitive place so preparing young students for higher education, and the world beyond takes much more than traditional schooling. It requires a program whose instructors possess a true passion for teaching, whose students are eager to learn and develop, and whose goal is to create a unique educational experience for children.
The program, if it expects to succeed, should deliver a unique combination of high academic standards, a caring culture, and passionate faculty who foster curiosity and achievement in each and every student. In short, the educational institution must embody the spirit and embrace the philosophy of “summa spes, summa res”—or “highest hopes, highest things”—believing that all children can achieve success if given the opportunity to do so.
One such school has adopted these principles and is thriving as a result. Stratford School is an independent, private preschool through middle school with 20 campuses in Northern California, and three campuses in Southern California. Stratford is providing a learning program enriched with challenging academics taught in a fun, collaborative, and engaging school environment. In addition to its forward-thinking core curriculum, Stratford features STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), foreign language, fine arts, and music programs all designed to ensure that their students can become the next generation of thoughtful innovators, creative problem-solvers, and confident leaders.
Success increases when they introduce students to the curriculum at a young age. Stratford has designed its preschool curriculum to develop the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical building blocks that last children a lifetime. Hands-on, multi-sensory activities—including some very imaginative STEAM exercises built around play—motivate preschoolers to play and share with others while as they build their own self-confidence. Stratford teachers reinforce these academic lessons with “elements of fun” to help children discover and appreciate the joy and excitement of learning itself.
Stratford steps things up in its elementary curriculum. It challenges students more with an accelerated core curriculum that exceeds California’s academic standards. It provides a rich balance of art, music, history, science, physical education, and foreign language programs. The curriculum also encourages the student to experiment with both collaborative and independent thinking. In the end, students experience a well-rounded education enhanced by each teacher’s individualized approach to learning.
Stratford’s middle school curriculum serves as the launch pad for whatever comes next. This is where students are prepared for high school, college, and beyond. The instruction takes on a wider base of knowledge and skill development. Students study more advanced arts and sciences. Their vocabularies are broadened, they learn foreign languages, and their analytical thinking abilities are tested. Meanwhile, their teachers move beyond the role of instructors and become mentors.
The result of their preschool, elementary, and middle school programs has been profound. Students are routinely welcomed into the top private high schools and the advanced placement programs at public high schools. Later, these same students frequently go on to study at many of the nation’s premier universities.
Stratford’s admissions process is notable as well. Most schools have specific enrollment periods during which students can enroll. Stratford, however, welcomes students to enroll throughout the school year as long as there is space available and the child is grade level ready. Also, unlike other schools, Stratford requires no yearly registration fees, no parent volunteering, and no donations, and no participation in school fundraising. Families with siblings who enroll also qualify for a discount.
Stratford School has Northern California campuses in Danville, Pleasanton, Fremont, San Francisco, San Bruno, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, Los Gatos, Milpitas, and Morgan Hill. It's Southern California campuses are located in Altadena, Los Angeles Melrose, and Mission Viejo. They offer tours upon request, and more information can be found on their website.