66 out of 10GreatSchools

Clinton Elementary School

Maplewood, NJ
  • Public
  • |
  • Grades PK-5
  • |
  • Enrollment: 578


Clinton Elementary School
27 Berkshire Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040
(973) 378-7686
Clinton Elementary School is located in Maplewood, NJ and serves grades PK-5.It received a GreatSchool rating of 6 out of 10
This information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Student Diversity



Native American
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
Two or more races

Reviews10 Reviews

I am writing this review out of gratitude for this school - which is fantastic. Don't get distracted by the 7/10 score which is a result of test scores and doesn't capture the spirit, care, connectedness, and individualized support that exist at Clinton Elementary. The responsiveness of teachers, principal and vice principal to parents' questions or concerns is outstanding. For instance, after challenging the common practice of giving homework to kindergarten level kids, homework was eliminated for K and reduced otherwise. Kids experience an impressive level of personalized learning support and challenge. Parents are relatable, interesting, and gladly rarely at all type A - which makes pick-up and drop-off more enjoyable. Our son loves to hang out on the playground after school. Once, he and a friend dug up rocks and build an obstacle course right in front of an exit when Ms. Bodnar (the principal) stepped out of the door and stepped over the rocks laughing and saying "great play - exactly what they should be doing". One of many incidents that captures the spirit. On the other side, yes, I have concerns about Common Core and standardized tests and I do think some rest rooms need a paint job. Other than that, it's public schooling as good as it gets. Keep it up.
When we first moved to Maplewood from Brooklyn in 2013, it felt like the realtors mostly pushed the status of elementary schools like Tuscan and Marshall. When we realized we were zoned from Clinton, it felt like we received polite words from parents in other zones who said (a bit condescendingly), "Oh, I've heard Clinton is good." Now I feel like we TOTALLY LUCKED OUT with being zoned for Clinton. I really don't have one complaint about this school, and I could go on about how wonderful it is...We have a new principal, Ann Bodnar, who was Asst Principal at Clinton for years. She is smart, lovely, warm, and is very interested in making Clinton a leader in child-centered, child-empowered education. She is incredibly open to feedback, too, which I understand stands in stark contrast to some other area principals. Her new asst Principal, Mr. Beaumont is also wonderful; he is authentically interested in connecting with the kids and he even shovels snow on wintry days, suggesting that he's not above any role in taking care of the school.Our experience with our Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Hellthaler, has also been tremendous. She is an excellent, skilled instructor and has created a sense of responsibility, community, learning and play in her classroom. The children adore her.And finally, the Clinton parents and families. This is exactly the down-to-earth group of people we were seeking when we moved to Maplewood. The parents are smart, kind, humble, and fun. I never feel like there's some subtle competition between us (or our kids) the way I have in other parent circles; rather I feel like we are in a true community together, looking out for each other's kids and sharing the truth of the joys and challenges of parenthood on the playground. This school is the bomb. And I think within just a few more years the narrative about Clinton is going to be that once upon a time this was the school that wasn't as highly regarded--and NOW this is THE PLACE everyone wants to be. We love it!
We bought our house in this district thinking we would upgrade to a "better" elementary when we had kids. We ended up staying in our house, sending our daughter to Clinton and I am so glad we did. Graduating this week, she has been at Clinton all 6 years of elementary school. The community at Clinton can't be beat. Admin, teachers and parents are engaged in the emotional and academic growth of all children. My daughter is a good student, well behaved and performs well academically. I was worried she would get lost in the public school system since she is quiet and neither extreme. However, she has lots of support and encouragement to expand into involvement in student government, a love of art, music and theater and getting accepted into a competitive summer science program at a local college.
This school is the best kept secret in Maplewood. The staff and teachers are so creative and caring. The curriculum is rich. The community is amazing. It is like a private school.
Showing 4 of 10 Reviews