88 out of 10GreatSchools

Walter Hays Elementary School

Palo Alto, CA
  • Public
  • |
  • Grades K-5
  • |
  • Enrollment: 371


Walter Hays Elementary School
1525 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 322-5956
Walter Hays Elementary School is located in Palo Alto, CA and serves grades K-5.It received a GreatSchool rating of 8 out of 10
This information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Student Diversity



Native American
Pacific Islander
Two or more races

Reviews2 Reviews

Walter Hays does the best it can do given it is a public school in an extremely involved, well funded, wealthy area. The PTA and PiE funding allows for lots of STEM and Arts education as well as support via Aids for in class support of children with learning differences or needing support as second language. The problem is meeting the right balance to challenge the kids who excel and those who are behind. This is addressed as it best can be but it's adequate at best. The SEL stuff is phenomenal. Some say that could be more important than anything.
Walter Hayes is a good school. In California. You have teachers here who are well compensated and very accomplished. In my opinion, that doesn't exactly translate to being awesome. We went to this school from 1st grade to 5th grade. I have family in public schools in Texas that frankly put this school district in the average rating. But in California, where public schools are not super well funded, Palo Alto is considered one of the best. The dollars per student are quire high considering all the private funds that flow into the school. The hype around the district is that you are in a very high per capita income neighborhood and of course this attracts super professional track educators. There are a lot of well educated and successful people who live in the district. Sounds like a perfect world, but in our experience, the results and the experience was good to average. We came from a private school and in retrospect we wish we had stayed in private schools. But you are talking minimum 25k a year for private elementary schools here, so you are talking like 150k or more for your kid's K-5th. Sometimes I felt that the administrators and teachers get a bit of an ego boost because they work for such a prestigious district, I know that several teachers approach or exceed 100k a year in income (happy for them, but sometimes there is just a bit of a snobbish or stand-offish vibe). In this community the first thing anyone asks you is where you work. Not what your kids are into, not where are you from, just straight up, where or what do you do for a living? It's an awkward part of living in Palo Alto for me, where so much emphasis is put on your employment vs who you are. There _are_ some amazing educators and some really good people here, but in all reality, compared to a school district like Cinco Ranch in Katy, TX (with brand new buildings and stellar national ratings) PAUSD is just good. And if Walter Hays was without all the private funding and very well to do and educated parents from tech companies, the super old buildings and average to good performance would be just any other average school in the US.