In the Cupertino Union School District, there are a few choices for sending kids to elementary schools. The cost of private schools comes to about $10,000 – 12,000 per year. After about 2 years in a private school, where strictness and discipline can influence the grades as much as academics, my kids were ready for a change. The public schools included students from all backgrounds, and thus, the scores from standardized tests often reflected the diversity of their socioeconomic backgrounds.
Murdock-Portal Elementary School
1188 Wunderlich Drive,
San Jose, CA 95129
The top two schools ranked for academics in Cupertino are Charter Schools and admission is decided by a lottery. There are a total of four alternative schools in CUSD. For many years, Murdock-Portal Elementary School held the top scores for Math and English in Cupertino and was ranked very high in the state of California.
The enrollment process is lengthy, and admission is not guaranteed. Registration begins by indicating “school of choice” in January of each year. Interested parents are required to attend an information meeting. Only the parents who attend can apply for the lottery during open enrollment. During open enrollment, proof of CUSD residency is required to apply for the lottery. Parents can choose only one alternative school. Each school has a “wait list” for students who are not yet admitted. Seats are limited. My kids were on the wait list for a year. After being on the wait list for a year, they received admission to Murdock-Portal Elementary School.
Operations at a charter or an alternative school are different from the traditional public or private schools. Many programs are offered with the contributions from the parents and the teachers, which form the Portal Community. Parents can volunteer to help out with class projects, as guest teachers, and take an part in the school board meetings in making decisions that affect the children’s choices. Since this school receives public funding, district budget crisis can affect the charter school’s programs offered or staff expenses. Murdock-Portal also relies on Measure C and local taxes as alternative means of raising funds. The school boasts impressive technological tools, teaching aides, and upgrades, sophisticated class projects, and interesting field trips.
Grading and Curriculum
Since the Portal Community shares the goals of high achievements, students appreciate the experience of being here. Emphasis on common core standards and values are practiced by teachers and students. Each has an appreciation and pride of belonging to the Portal Community.
My kids have greatly enjoyed the benefits of being a part of Murdock-Portal Elementary School. The high academic standards and the programs taught have greatly contributed to their learning.