« Back to compare
/ / School Profile
K-5
Public
Berkeley, CA
Students enrolled: 330
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

Contact this school

1400 Ada Street
Berkeley, CA 94702

(510) 644-6298
(510) 644-6984
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Jefferson Elementary School address.

Profile Completeness

INTERMEDIATE

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
 
December 02, 2013
This is hands down the BEST school my daughter has attended. The BEST teachers and administration that I have ever dealt with. I am a very visible parent when it comes to my daughter and I have no problems having my questions answered and/or addressed. My daughter is very soft spoken, she has a sweet spirit which of course in some schools can be a very easy target for bullying and was bullied at her previous school. Her teacher prior to moving to Jefferson was horrible, she taught like she would rather be somewhere else, but her degree choice stuck her there. My daughter came after Christmas Break and right off the bat, Mr. Keller was great and continued to be great the duration of my daughter's fourth grade year. No complaints whatsoever only praise. This school is a big family of love and education. The children are being taught to respect and find greatness in differences. I love this school and I am very sad that this is my child's last year here.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2013
Jefferson elementary has a tightly knit community of educators, students and families. Teachers, school staff and volunteers go above and beyond to ensure all students are cared for and a love of learning is truly nurtured here.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2013
Jefferson has an amazing staff. During career day they put up posters about the colleges they went to. I was surprised at what an overeducated group of teachers we have. They are really dedicated to making sure that every child gets what they need to achieve their best.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2013
Amazing school. The teachers are all excellent. The JefferSons and daughters program that helps families in need with things that make kids feel part of the school (holiday costumes, back to school backpacks) so kids feel great being part of the school. We love it.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2013
Fabulous teachers and community. Strong parental involvement and excellent range of PTA-run activities and after school classes. Principal is obviously dedicated, but often does not appear open to input from either parents or the PTA.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2013
I have two children at Jefferson -- a first and fourth grader. It's a small school with a great teacher and parent community, and deep commitment from both! The teachers are really committed, and work hard to meet the needs of the kids and to be sure kids are having fun in the process. The school is under construction this year, but that doesn't seem to have dampened the spirits of teachers who are working hard to keep things 'normal.'

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2013
This is a really good local Berkeley public elementary school. The teachers are great, the kids are happy and engaged and the sense of community is strong. The only downside this year is that some of the school is blocked off due to construction. But, that is going well. Next year when the new library and classrooms are ready it will be really great.

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2013
I don't fail to be impressed by the quality of education my girls are receiving at Jefferson. I went to a fancy-pants private school when I was their age, rated one of the best in the state; I mean it when I say that I'm pretty sure my girls are receiving an education that is every bit its equivalent, if not its better. Every teacher we've had (one girl has been there 6 years; the other has been there three) has been impressive; engaged and engaging. You would be hard-pressed to find a more committed principal than Maggie Riddle. Lastly, parents are highly involved and lend support the the Jefferson community in hundreds of ways, big and small. We feel extremely lucky.

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2013
Due to a spread in ages for our three children and moves in and out of state, this is actually the fourth Berkeley elementary school at which I've been a parent. It's only been a few weeks, but we've been extremely impressed with the quality teaching staff, as well as the overall morale and just the good feeling on site. We're very happy to have landed here!

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2013
Teachers are very caring and form a supportive community. There is a healthy PTA and the school actively works to address the opportunity/achievement gap. All in all, it's an excellent school. The only concern I have is that this year there is a large construction project that will disrupt the schoolyard. But the staff seem to be making every effort to keep it from affecting instruction.

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2013
Recent transplants from Brooklyn, NY and feel so lucky to be part of this school. Berkeley schools limit the number of students to around 20 (in Brooklyn we had 25-30 per class). I also really like the small size of the school (~300), strong PTA and the teachers & headmistress seem very dedicated and enthusiastic.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
Jefferson is an excellent school. Our boys Zach (5) and Caden (7) are thriving. The parent community is involved and active and the teachers and school principal are engaged. It's a great school!

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
My daughter is helping me to write this. She says that Jefferson School is not just fabulous but fantastic. She just started and we love the fun energy of the school, the supportive atmosphere, the involved parents, and overall feeling of the school. All of the teachers and staff seem so dedicated, and her teach, Ms. Trevor, is supportive, creative and fun. We couldn't be happier, which is a huge relief since my daughter has transferred from school in England so this was a big transition. There is a very active PTA which shows the strong parental enthusiasm. And there is dedication to inclusion and equality.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
My son just started the 1st grade and we've been very happy with Jefferson Elementary so far. This is his second year there. The teachers are dedicated, the class sizes small and the children are looked at as individuals. The parent community is very involved. On almost any given day last year there was a parent volunteering in my son's kindergarten class. He learned a lot last year and consistently reports that school is "fun". The facility is a little bit old and there is not enough shade in the play ground, those are my only two complaints. It's currently undergoing construction to expand and do seismic retrofitting.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
Incredibly supportive community, caring and talented teachers, smart and capable principal = one great school. We believe that this is the best school in our area, not just because of the test scores, but also because our children are happy, creative, and love to go to school!

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
Jefferson is a first-rate public elementary school. I have 3 boys- one in 8th grade, one in 5th grade and one in 1st grade. All have gone to Jefferson. The quality of the teachers is very high with every single teacher being good to outstanding and most are outstanding. They take the extra time to make sure every child is succeeding and progressing. The principal, Maggie Riddle, is always present and a calm and reasonable voice. The school has a wonderful blend of diversity. There is good parent involvement and numerous fundraisers held throughout the year to support all the extra programs that make the school special.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
As the parent of two students at Jefferson, I cannot say enough great things about this school. The principal, teachers, staff and parent community bring together a positive learning experience for my kids, promoting a truly inclusive environment. The school offers a lot of wonderful community building activities (art night, science night, gardening parties, bbqs, and much more) that go above and beyond the tradition school curriculum to promote a well-rounded learning experience. Thank you, Jefferson!!!

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
Jefferson is a wonderful school with talented, committed staff, outstanding leadership, great morale, and super-involved parents. There's a palpable sense of community, and our family feels lucky to be part of it. Our son is enjoying learning and is excited to be in school. It's a very diverse place; as a two-mom family it has felt very comfortable and welcoming.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2013
Jefferson Elementary has an active parent community that works incredibly hard to round out the standard Berkeley education (which, all things considered, is pretty good). There's a stellar afterschool program run by the PTA, which includes chess, circus, art and lego classes. A Science Team is collaborating with teachers to enhance science education, and the Garden Team is nurturing the school garden, even planning for the official garden to be moved due to construction in the 2013-14 school year. And speaking of the construction, what could be just a total pain is being seen as a pain but also a learning opportunity by parents, teachers and students alike. Nearly all of the teachers at Jefferson are awesome; the principal is dedicated but hard to work with.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2013
We LOVE Jefferson. We are so happy that our daughter goes there and are excited for our youngest to start next year. We have loved all of the teachers our daughter has had so far. The parent involvement and the PTA is amazing. There are lots of community events that we enjoy. We are also very happy with the unique after school program- wonderful caring staff and lots of activities the kids can choose from. Jefferson didn't choose to do the construction next year and add the extra classes, BUSD chose our school because it made the most sense since we are the smallest school in our zone. While obviously dealing with the construction will be hard, we have made the most out of it by adding what will be a much needed beautiful new library and learning resource center, plus modernization and seismic upgrades. The results will far outweigh the nuisance of one year of construction. I'm really excited for it to be completed. Hats off to the principal for being a strong and devoted leader.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2013
Jefferson was the 'hot' school in the zone about 3 years ago, but it's undergoing some challenges which have impacted the overall environment. The Chinese bi-cultural program is completely gone. There is a large construction project starting in June 2013 which is estimated to last for one year and will impact on the play yard. The community hasn't been given very much information about the project or how the construction will be addressed during the school day. At the end, we will be adding another 80 or possibly 100 children to the site. We will also likely have very limited access to our amazing Librarian during the construction. The teachers are all quite good and definitely work hard. The leadership is actually somewhat problematic. If you agree with the goals of the administration, then you see an excellent leader. If you have an alternative view, then you are persona non grata. The community is good - the PTA works hard to keep special evening events going. Hopefully Jefferson will regain some of the positive momentum it had in years past once all the construction is done.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2012
This is an outstanding school, with outstanding leadership, succeeding despite diminishing resources from the state. Fortunately, Berkeley's parcel taxes have helped blunt the impact of state budget cuts. For anyone who thinks great public schools aren't possible, check out this school for a powerful rebuttal to that perspective.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2011
Great school and a supportive environment. The principal has been very active in creating an academic and inclusive school for all kids and parents.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2010
Jefferson is a great school.The principal has been very helpful to the kids and the teachers have been teaching the students to always ask questions if your stuck etc.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2010
Jefferson has a wonderful Chinese bi-cultural program, many great after-school enrichment classes, and fun, special social evening events throughout the year.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2009
The Jefferson community works really hard to make sure everyone in the school is learning and having fun. From great teachers to invoklved parents to great community celebrations, Jefferson is a wonderful school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
Jefferson Elementary has superb teachers, a rich and varied after-school program, and many wonderful events throughout the year (courtesy of our very active PTA), and we are unique among the Berkeley public schools for our Chinese bi-cultural program.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2009
i love this school.My daughter loves it but she never wants to leave.Sshes really sad that shes in 5th grade but she has an awsome tearcher, Rick Kleine

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 15, 2009
This school is a great place - the biweekly schoolwide assemblies, the infusion of art and color from parents and children, the community spirit - all wonderful. I was no fan of the prior principal, who in my opinion was the only weak link. Now, with a strong, committed, creative principal on board, the school is only getting better. The teachers are awesome, the parent community is involved and interesting, and the kids feel very safe and nurtured, and they learn!

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2009
We are so lucky to have our kids at Jefferson School. It's diverse. Families are involved. The staff are all extremely talented and dedicated to both providing a strong academic foundation for all students and to fostering creativity and enthusiastic learners. There's a whole lot of love at our wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2009
Our family could not be happier with the teachers, administration and family community at Jefferson Elementary in Berkeley. The principal Maggie Riddle (new principal starting 2007-08 school year, but a teacher there for 11 years prior) is a very hands-on and decisive leader and the teachers and other staff at the school never cease to impress me with their level of passion and commitment. All are united in the goals of nurturing a love of learning and a respect for others in our children. Benefits include bi-weekly school assemblies to build community and expose our children to arts and music from other cultures, an involved parent community, art, music, and science classes offered during the school day and as part of the PTA-sponsored after school classes, a well-supervised playground including organized games by PE specialists and a positive discipline philosophy. These and much more make Jefferson a wonderful school community.

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2007
We have a daughter in first grade at Jefferson who has done very well in her two years there. She is excited about learning, has made friends easily, is excited about going to school, and is exposed to a diverse student body. There are numerous PTA sponsored after-school activities to choose from as well as Voyager, an after-school program that runs until 6:00. There is little diversity at the PTA level and that has been disappointing. Overall, Jefferson offers the opportunity to achieve for most students. As in any academic environment, parent involvement is key to success and most Jefferson parents are very involved and attentive to their children's education.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2006
We have twin daughters just finishing second grade. Because they are in separate classrooms we've gotten to know all of the teachers so far...they are all very good. The Chinese bi-cultural program is great, but if you don't get in or don't want to get in the other teachers provide equally enriching programs. Parent involvement in PTA and events is also great, but that seems to vary from year to year. Our year happens to be very active. There is always more need for parents in the classrooms.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
August 15, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 09, 2005
My children feel safe and connected at this school. The playground dynamics are good --- strong feeling of community. However, the academics differ from teacher to teacher -- especially classroom management techniques. My daughter is bored and does not like her teacher. My son, who is in 5th grade has a teacher who is very kind and who understands the way 5th graders think. However, there are 32 children packed into that class. Overall, Jefferson is a decent school but even though most of the teachers are experienced, one might not agree with every teachers' methods. There does not seems to be enough strong overarching leadership from the Principal.

- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2004
My daughter attended Jefferson Elementary from K-2 until we moved. She was in the Chinese bicultural class which held her attention and kept her more focused. The teachers were great and they used a lot of art in teaching which was good for my daughter. The school has a great PTA program. Barbara Delaney is one of the 'coolest' school principle's I have ever known. She is always smiling, especially when she speaks about her favorite subject - reading. The school has a science fair every year and all kids in all grades can participate. They have a May Fair fundraiser in the spring which is very fun. The PTA fundraisers have managed to bring in enough to help keep some specialty teachers at least part time that other schools have lost due to budget cuts. Another thing I didn't realize I would miss was the diversity of the student population.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2004
My two kids both love going to school here. The teachers have many years of experience and know how to teach children at all levels. There is a consistent emphasis on the school building blocks: Be Kind, Be Safe, and Do Your Best Work. The recesses and lunches are staggered, so the K-1 kids are together, the same with grades 2-3 and 4-5, which makes for a calm and safe campus. Many parents are very involved in school activities. My kids also enjoy the Voyager after-school program, which parents also like because it is inexpensive.

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Nearby homes for sale

     

Last modified: October 28, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Jefferson Elementary School
1400 Ada Street, Berkeley, CA  94702
(510) 644-6298
Last modified Jefferson Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Jefferson Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 39 reviews. Top