We opted to move out of our home school for several reasons, including low average test scores and large school population. Franklin has been a fantastic fit for our son, now a third grader. The teachers in earlier grades were not the best, in our opinion, but so second and third grade experience have been fantastic. The teachers are very caring, the staff is accessible, and the after school program is great. Our son has made many good friends, been academically challenged, and grown up surrounded by a vey supportive PTA community that provides for those school items outside of the traditional school budget. We feel very fortunate that we are Franklin Falcons.
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 Franklin parents. Lots of chess strategic moves by the principal to favor the active PTA complainers. 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, Franklin was a huge disappointment for us.
Addressing the ethnicity comments below. Yes, Franklin is pretty white like much of Alameda. Our son half Asian, half Caucasian. I have not personally felt looked down upon as a minority but I am very confidently not white. There are teachers of color and male teachers at the school. I'm not sure we should judge the staff by the color of their skin or gender but rather their competency.
I am very happy with the school overall. All of the things mentioned about staff, PTA, diversity of student body, and overall commitment by everybody involved is very impressive. However, I don't see much diversity in terms of teaching staff and school personnel. Students should see other ethnicities represented on staff. Perhaps something to consider when it comes to hiring time.
Our child went here for half of his elementary years. We were not impressed. The pros are great parental involvement (most of these parents have plenty of resources) and some very good teachers. The cons some teachers just teaching to the test, not a very inclusive community and a condescending vibe towards minorities. All the great things we had heard about this school seemed to be just parents wanting to believe their kids' schools is so great. Many of the wealthy families in the neighborhood are very invested, which also means they have a bit too much leverage with the principal. Not a bad school but it's not all the great things it's said to be.
Franklin Elementary is an amazing School, with caring and knowledgeable staff. I consider this school's community our extended family. Thanks to the small size of the school, and excellent communications between parents, staff, and the extremely active PTA, I feel blessed to have both my children be able to attend such a stellar public school. 5th Graders graduate with a wonderful set of life skills as well as a great foundation for middle school when leaving Franklin School.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have both our children enrolled at Franklin. The teachers are all fantastic as are the students. Both children have made numerous friends - which have turned into family friendships. The the community of parents (and grandparents!) contribute so much to this school: PTA involvement, volunteering in the classroom, art projects, etc. My children are thriving and we couldn't be happier.
We have had two children at Franklin School and have been very pleased with the school. On the whole the teachers are very good (although some are not as strong as others). The teachers are very accessible, and easy to reach if you have questions or concerns about your child. The parents are very involved, which I believe makes all the difference. We are very happy about how well-prepared our older daughter was for middle school. Most importantly, Franklin fosters a very positive atmosphere for the kids. Our kids have always been excited to go to school!
Franklin is a great small neighborhood school in the heart of Alameda. The PTA is very actively involved in enriching the students' experience, and the teachers really seem to care. The overall community of parents, students, teachers and staff are warm and welcoming. The school facility itself is a little lacking in green space -- having grown up in a suburb where every school was surrounded by lush grassy fields, this bothered me a little before my son started at the school. However, I am willing to overlook this minor flaw as the park across the street is very convenient for recess/PE/extracurricular picnics.
My husband and I are thrilled with Franklin School. Our 4rth grader and 1st grader have had excellent teachers who are passionate about teaching and learning, understand diversity and differentiated instruction, integrate creative projects throughout the year, and also know how to cover the basics. We also love the parent community. We've made lasting friendships and genuinely enjoy participating in school fund raising events, and community building activities because of how committed all the parents are (and how much fun we all like to have). The kids are safe, welcome, and always in good hands with community of parents and teachers at Franklin.