Redwood Middle School (Saratoga, California)

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Redwood Middle School
Redwood Griffin
13925 Fruitvale Ave
Saratoga, CA 95014

United States
Type Public
Dean Kim Cunningham
Principal Kelly Green[1]
Color(s) Blue, White         
Mascot Griffin
Information 408–867–3042

Redwood Middle School is the only middle school in Saratoga, California, and serves sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. It is one of the four elementary and middle schools in the Saratoga Union School District. Graduates from the three local elementary schools, Argonaut Elementary, Foothill Elementary, and Saratoga Elementary School[1] regularly attend Redwood Middle. After graduating from Redwood Middle, students usually continue education at Saratoga High School.[2] The school has been bestowed numerous California Distinguished School awards, including in the current 2013-2014 school year.[3]

Academics Department[edit]

Redwood Middle School offers a variety of classes to its students, each class filling one period of a seven period day. Most students are required to take courses such as core, math, science, and physical education. Core includes language arts and history, and is extended to include literature in sixth and seventh grades.


In sixth grade, students are placed on an elective wheel. This elective wheel allows them to experience many of the electives offered for seventh and eighth graders, including Spanish, band and color guard, art, health, and media arts.[4] In seventh grade, students have a choice of one of the many electives, which include world language(Spanish 1A), symphonic band, computers, Griffin News Network(GNN), multimedia, studio art, and study hall. In eighth grade, they have a choice of two of many electives, including world language(Spanish 1A or 1B), student assistant(office, teacher or library), yearbook, leadership, symphonic band, computers, Griffin News Network(GNN), multimedia, studio art, and study hall. Admission to yearbook and leadership requires a completed application and has limited enrollment.[5]

Math Department[edit]

During the 2011-2012 school year Mathcounts competition, the Redwood Math Counts team placed 1st place in their chapter and in the state of California.[6] The team was led by P.J. Yim, one of the high school math teachers. P.J. Yim, winning the state competition, continued to coach the state team into nationals. This is the 4th State Championship for Redwood in 11 years. Redwood has captured State Champions before in 2001-2002 Led by Darren Yin, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 Led by Albert Gu.

Two members, Sean Shi and Celine Liang, proceeded to represent California in the National Math Counts competition, where Sean Shi placed first in the national written round.[7] This is the 5th time Redwood has sent members to Mathcounts nationals.

During the 2013-2014 school year Mathcounts, the Redwood team placed 3rd in their chapter and 2nd in the state of California. In the chapter, Nevin Liang, a sixth grader, placed second in countdown.[8] Brandon Wang, a sixth grader, achieved the prestigious title of 4th place in the state countdown round.[9] Redwood has captured Chapter championships in 2002, 2006 and 2012 previously.

Redwood also participates in the American Mathematics Competitions. Through the AMC 10, 13 students qualified to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, or AIME, in 2014.[10]

Science Department[edit]

Redwood has been actively involved in Synopsys Science Fair for several years, winning numerous awards.[11][12][13] Parents are able to sponsor their student in the Synopsys Science Fair.

In the 2012-2013 school year, six students continued to the California State Science Fair in 4 different categories. Amith Galivanche claimed third place in medical microbiology at the state fair that year.[14]

In the 2013-2014 school year, four students continued to the California State Science Fair in 4 different categories, including one alternate. Cameron Baab won second place in the category of Alternative Energy.[15]

Music Department[edit]

Redwood Middle School has an extremely active music department, including, but not limited to, a marching band, choir, and color guard. Music department staff include Mr. Jon Jow, Mr. Travis Gould, Mr. Scott Krijnen, Mrs. Aryn Krijnen, and Ms. Alex Conway.[16] The Redwood Middle School Marching Band and Color Guard was selected to represent the state of California in the 56th Presidential Inaugural Parade of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2009.[17][18]

Now, there are many different programs under four main categories: Band, Color Guard, Choir, and Orchestra.


Band is the largest of the four different categories, with over 200 members participating in the 5th grade Beginning band, Redwood Middle School Griffin Band, and Redwood Symphonic Band. The Symphonic Band, taken as an elective, is the highest level band. The bands are directed by Mr. Jonathan Jow and Mr. Travis Gould.

The Symphonic Band makes up the core of the marching band and color guard. Redwood's band members participate in around four band reviews and tournaments each year, including the Santa Cruz Band Review and the Veteran's Day Parade in San Jose.[19][20]

Color Guard[edit]

The Color Guard and Dance Team is instructed by Ms. Alex Conway and Ms. Jenny Spohr. They perform with the marching band while spinning flags with the school colors of blue and white. Practices usually take place before school, and the team performs with the marching band at competitions.[21]


The Redwood Middle Choir is an open-access program involving students who sing regularly. The choir is often referred to as the "Rubato", a music term meaning "freely". They practice afterschool, and perform at assemblies and other gatherings.[22]


The Redwood Strings Orchestra, like most other string orchestras, consists of stringed instruments like violins and cellos. The students are split up into levels based on an audition with the string instructors Mr. and Mrs. Krijnen, unlike much of the music department. These levels include Beginning, Allegro, Presto, Vivace, and Chamber.[23] The combination of these five levels adds up to over three hundred students total.

Sports Department[edit]

Redwood Middle School's sports program is funded by Redwood Sports Boosters. The students play in a variety of sports, including basketball, soccer, track and field, wrestling, field hockey, and volleyball.[24]

Sports Boosters[edit]

Sports Boosters is a parent-run non-profit organization which supports athletic programs at Redwood Middle School. Redwood Sports Boosters donations helps to provide coaches, referees, equipment, uniforms, and athletic facilities for our students.[25]

Intramural Sports[edit]

Besides sports teams, Redwood also encourages friendly competition among students through lunchtime intramural sports. Students form teams and compete with each other in sports like basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and flag football. The students are encouraged to show up and play with their teams. This program has been jointly run by Mr. Eljas Long and Mr. Matt Grenier since 2006.[26]


  1. ^ a b "Saratoga Union School District Schools". 
  2. ^ Samuel Liu and Trung Vandinh, "French cut at Redwood", Saratoga Falcon, February 1, 2013
  3. ^ "2013 Distinguished Middle and High Schools". California Department of Education. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ "GENERAL CLASS INFORMATION". Saratoga Union School District. 
  5. ^ "Curriculum and Elective Guides and Report Cards". 
  6. ^ "MATHCOUNTS Santa Clara Valley". 
  7. ^ "2012 Santa Clara Chapter Mathcounts Result". 
  8. ^ P.J. Yim. "Redwood excels in 2014 Santa Clara Chapter Mathcounts Competition". 
  9. ^ "MATHCOUNTS NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COUNTDOWN ROUND" (PDF). California Society of Professional Engineers Education Foundation. 
  10. ^ P.J. Yim. "2014 Qualifier by AMC-B for Saratoga Schools". 
  11. ^ "Project Awards 2014". Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship. 
  12. ^ "Project Awards 2013". Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship. 
  13. ^ "Project Awards 2012". Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship. 
  14. ^ Jason Robertson. "Science Fair Archive". 
  15. ^ "2014 California State Science Fair (CSSF) Eligible Students & Alternates". 
  16. ^ "Redwood Middle School & SUSD Instrumental Music Program Overview". 
  17. ^ Associated Press (12 August 2008). "Saratoga's Redwood Middle school band to go to Obama's inauguration". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Redwood MS marching band, San Jose Veterans' Day Parade". YouTube. 
  20. ^ "2013 San Jose Veterans Day Parade --- Redwood MS Marching Band". YouTube. 
  21. ^ "Color Guard & Dance". 
  22. ^ "Choir". 
  23. ^ "String Orchestras". Redwood Middle School & SUSD Instrumental Music. 
  24. ^ "Welcome to the Redwood Middle School After School Sports Program". 
  25. ^ "Redwood Sports Boosters". 
  26. ^ Mr. Eljas Long. "Redwood Intramurals!". 

External links[edit]