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.
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.
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.
Great school and a supportive environment. The principal has been very active in creating an academic and inclusive school for all kids and parents.
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.
Jefferson has a wonderful Chinese bi-cultural program, many great after-school enrichment classes, and fun, special social evening events throughout the year.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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