Very active diverse community with celebration culture enrichment activities. Over crowded and redirecting to other alameda school from mid year enrollment has been a problem and will continue to be a problem unless the district population/data growth projection team can gets its act together
First grade teacher Danielle Gilbert is my son's favorite teacher so far. I know many other children and parents who feel the same way. Our reasons for being so grateful for Ms Gilbert are her demonstrated respect for children as people and her celebration of what makes childhood great.
By asking their input, listening to their comments and answers, and observing closely, Ms Gilbert treats children respectfully and receives their respect in return. She also allows the space in her classroom for spontaneous and imaginative learning. Thank you, Ms Gilbert!
Good community and diverse student population. Teaching methods are surprisingly traditional for the Bay Area with a strong emphasis (and reliance) on testing. School is bursting and many grades are over enrolled, which means you may be bumped after the first week if you are new and the grade is over subscribed. Principal is energetic, but not a able to successfully direct all of her teaching staff. Instead she does quite a bit of "horse trading," rewarding active volunteer parents (who will complain) with spots in the best classrooms (so they won't complain). This is not really a secret among Otis parents. We were new to the school and (no surprise) our child landed in one of the marginal teacher classrooms. Rough year for our child, who made great social connections, but was not supported well and lost a year academically. We tried to address with the principal mid-year and didn't make any real progress. After solid and caring K-4 teachers at our child's previous school, Otis was a huge disappointment for us. Happy for a fresh start at a new school next year.
Otis has been great for both of my kids. I had one child who was in GATE and one who gets special education support, so we've experienced how the school works for two very different children. My academically successful child had advanced reading and math and I always felt that the curriculum was adequately challenging. The support that my more academically challenged child is receiving is phenomenal. The classroom teacher goes way above and beyond in providing help, and special ed provides several hours a week of general one-on-one help, social skills, and OT. It's overcrowded so space is an issue, but kids don't get lost in the shuffle. The parent community is highly involved and a lot of fun. It's a great community of people and a great school.
Otis is a warm community school with a REALLY high level of parent involvement. The community at the school is a bit quirky and you can definitely feel the unique culture at Otis. The PTA funds field trips, classroom supplies and buys technology for student use. Dr. Clem does an amazing amount with the few resources the district gives her and motivates the school community to make up the difference. My children have had teachers who work hard to provide an education for them. I can't say that all of the teachers are innovative but they are still effective at their craft and care a lot about the students. It is overcrowded but the staff does a good job in managing that.