Great teachers. They are dedicated, skilled, and experienced. Teachers are particularly enthusiastic about the Bay focused curriculum that is being developed to aid learning- and there is a happy and friendly air to the school.
Paden is a great school- academically challenging, supportive, and diverse. It exemplifies the best of the Bay Area with its rich culture, full of educational opportunities (with fun school traditions around math, music and PE), and imparts the importance of community and stewardship.
They do involve student leaders in this, which is good. We did have one incident in which our son was being picked on by older kids. The older children who intervened did not do a great job, which left my son feeling a bit shamed. The principle tried to stay open and listen, and did a decent job with this. However, we did not feel that the school really did a great job at understanding the situation. This, however, was just one incident. I wouldn't want to judge the school on not handling one situation the best, and we had no other concerns.
Our son just attended part of one year in Paden, but we were very satisfied with the school for the most part. We did not find it as impressive as the other school our son attended on the island, but were overall happy with the school. In particularly, we appreciated that the school tried to build an appreciation for nature. The education he received was good. We did not feel his teacher was as invested in him as what we had at the other school our son attended on the island, but we did like the teacher. Communication with parents overall could have been somewhat better.
Our daughter started K at Paden a couple months ago. I am a teacher, so I took the school search seriously. We looked into several Alameda elementary schools and talked to a lot of people before deciding on Paden. I even attended a PTA meeting at the end of the last year. I was immediately impressed by the diversity of the parents involved in the PTA. The PTA raises funds for teacher to use in classrooms and larger expenditures like computers, keeps a school garden, supplies docents to teach supplemental art classes, puts on community events, and so much more. There is a very dedicated core of parents, and they manage to get nearly everyone involved in something. The teachers are a diverse group in age experience and teaching style. I was really happy to see some men on an elementary school teaching staff. My daughter is in an afterschool program where she interacts with students at all grade levels. The community is truly welcoming and caring. The principal, seems very solid. She appears to be supportive of her staff. I see her interacting kindly with students in all grades. She seems to know everyone, parents and students.