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K-5
Public
Berkeley, CA
Students enrolled: 535
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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1731 Prince Street
Berkeley, CA 94703

School website
(510) 644-6313
(510) 644-6297
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Map of Malcolm X Elementary School address.

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October 28, 2013
Malcolm X is simply amazing. I feel honored everyday that my children are able to attend a school with both a strong arts and academic focus and such a wonderful teaching staff.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2013
Malcolm X is a wonderful school with a diverse community of students, parents, and staff. We have had consistently great teachers for our three years there so far. When you talk to parents at other schools, you almost always hear them say there are one or two teachers at the school who are less than wonderful. I have honestly never heard such a complaint at Malcolm X. I really appreciate the music, art, and gardening pull-out programs my kids get, and that the class sizes for the lower grades are kept at 20 kids. Overall we love Malcom X!

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
Malcolm X is a fantastic school. What sets it apart are three things: (1) the quality of the teachers; (2) the involvement of the parents; and (3) the quantity and quality of the "extras" (music, arts, dance, drama, gardening, conflict manager program). In addition, Malcolm X does a fantastic job teaching kids kindness, emotional management, and other social/emotional skills. It is a big, beautiful physical plant (including a 4,000 sq ft garden and a great rock garden space for climbing, plus a large yard, lots of grass, great playground spaces.), with large classrooms and community spaces. It is a large, diverse school, but it also has an intimate community feel because of all of the involvement by parents, and the dedicated, communicative staff and teachers.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2013
We just started at Malcolm in September with a kindergartner and we couldn't be happier. Looking forward to the next 7 years (when our younger daughter goes through, too!). Malcolm was our first choice (Berkeley has a lottery system) and we have already had our expectations surpassed. They put a huge value on diversity and understanding, and every teacher and the principal are highly involved. Already there have been several community events and my 5 yo feels like part of something larger than herself (the whole point, I think, of a public school experience). Nothing I would change. People are saying "within the confines of a public school" and I don't know what they mean. We wouldn't rather be anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2013
Malcolm X Elementary has been a great fit for our son and by extension - our whole family. By incorporating various arts practices like painting, cooking, and gardening into the academic curriculum, Malcolm X creates a unique and balanced approach to learning that engages students wholly. Recently, the school has implemented a new learning module called "Toolbox" that helps support social/emotional growth among students. We've all benefited from these 'tools" and continue to discuss and use them at home. Great community-minded school and supportive learning environment. We love Malcolm X!

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
I have a new kindergartener at MX. The transition to a big school from a small preschool was an adjustment, but with the gentle beginnings that MX does to fit the kids with a balanced group of classmates & a teacher who is a good fit for the child really helped. Only 2 months into school & my daughter is blossoming into a confident new reader while making many friends. The school is large, but the close knit community of very caring, friendly & generous families make the school seem cozy & homey. The parents really go the extra mile at this MX to make the experience for all the best it can be. The extra school activities at MX really bring a lot to the table by engaging the students in a variety of ways. I love that teaching comes in many forms to hopefully get the educational material to sink in one way or another depending on the child's learning style. MX is also doing a wonderful job in fostering kindness & understanding between the students. It warms my heart to be in the classroom & see the children actively lifting each other up with compliments, completely on their own, without coaxing. The children are sweet, challenged & fostered here at MX- so happy to be here!

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Malcolm X is an amazing school! Our son is attending kindergarten there this year, and we have been highly impressed with every aspect of the school, from the teachers, to the staff, to the community, everything about the school has exceeded our expectations.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Malcolm X Elementary is a fantastic school! Our son likes it since the very first day. We were, like most parents probably do, worried about the transition from preschool to kindergarten, but the teachers did a great job to make the kids feel "home". What I really like about Malcolm X is the diversity of students, and that it is really a lively place for many people, be it children, teachers, or parents. Everyone does his or her best to make this a wonderful community. There are also many ways for parents to get involved. I think within the limits of a public school, people at Malcolm X do everything possible to make this a great school, and a great place to be for our kids. What I love in particular are all the activities beyond the core curriculum, like music, cooking, gardening, drama, etc. that make being a student at Malcolm X an unique and wonderful experience. Thank you!

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
My daughter is in her 4th year here (she started here in first grade after completing kindergarten at a charter school that closed abruptly) and I have been consistently impressed by the quality of the teachers, staff, and parent community. Everyone here is committed to kindness, inclusion, diversity, and treating the kids like human beings. In addition, you get the benefits of the Berkeley Public Schools gardening program, plus art, dance, drama and music. The parent community is quite active and does several fundraisers a year to make sure that the school has enough funds and supplies. My daughter is thriving here and I couldn't be happier. Can't think of anything that would improve it except for maybe a bigger budget to bring the cooking classes back (CA state budget cuts), the kids miss them.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
This school is a great school I think. When we moved to Berkeley, my daughter was sent to the 1st grade here. School has many PTA enrichment programs for the students. In addition, teachers seem very helpful and nice. My daughter has homework everyday, which keeps her in the right track and good studying habit!

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
My daughter just started kindergarten here at Malcolm X but what I have seen so far is great. Her teacher Ms. KC is very sweet, patient, and dedicated. My daughter gets to do dance, music, gardening, and PE mostly due to the excellent PTA. She loves the 1-hour after school enrichment classes such as Fairy Tales Dance. I really love the school-wide Toolbox program which encourages emotional development. My daughter uses her "breathing tool" and even reminds me to use it when I get upset with her. There are a lot of community building events - potlucks, PTA meetings, etc. Unfortunately my daughter isn't excited about school but I blame that on the nature of public school in America these days. Kids should be running around, playing, and learning more organically but I digress. As far as public schools go, Malcolm X seems great.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Great community, very active PTA, excellent teachers and staff. It's getting pretty big and community events have to be limited to one grade or we don't fit in the auditorium. Amazing integration of arts and different learning modalities into curricula.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Malcom X is a great school. Although on the physically large-side it has it's advantages (great garden, performing arts program, lots of friends to choose from, etc.) and disadvantages (4-5 classes per grade, intimidating for those that require quiet attention and intimate spaces). Overall the teachers are excellent and work closely together. With a long history of excellent management, the staff is charismatic and caring. The parent community, if you choose to get involved, is very engaged. It's a Berkeley public school so all those wonderful and negative elements apply too, but by in large - thumbs up.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Our daughter is a fourth grader at Malcolm X and has truly blossomed. She has been supported while being offered challenged at the same time. The teachers have been very sensitive to her as an individual (a special shout out to her 2nd and 4th grade teachers -- thank you!). We are impressed by both the focus on core curriculum as well as enrichment. The gardening program is irreplaceable (where else would kids eat a 'weed burrito' -- a weedo -- and swear it was the best food ever!). When we saw the school first we were concerned by the size. But, we've never felt other than welcome and part of the commuinty here. The parent involvement is one of the best things about the school (always wish I could do more -- thank you room parents and other parent-volunteers!)

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
My son is in 1st grade, and I absolutely love this school. He started here in Kindergarten, and I can still remember my eyes filling up with tears during the Kindergarten open house when we were still deciding which school was going to be our first choice. I was filled with tears of joy as I saw the amazing community that the school had. I was impressed by the commitment and dedication of all of the school teachers from every grade level. I am moved to tears during every single school event because there is just so much love and community throughout the school. I am so grateful for our experience thus far, and can't wait for my younger two children to begin school here at Malcolm X.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Malcolm X is a wonderful elementary school and is about more than just high academic standards. Malcolm x is dedicated to providing a rich variety of experiences including (arts, drama, dance, music, gardening and cooking) to each student. It also has a multicultural student population. The school teach's all students conflict resolution skills. I am so happy my daughter is fortunate enough to go so such a well rounded and loving school.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2013
This is an excellent school! This will be our family's 7th year at Malcolm X, and we have had almost entirely positive experiences. Teachers and staff are experienced, loving people who want to be there. Classroom conditions are right for kids to learn. The variety and quality of "extras" like music, art, cooking, gardening, drama, dance, etc. are wonderful. The community is inviting and involved.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2013
We love this school! The teachers are dedicated, the community is very involved and loving. The arts programs are fantastic- drama, dance, and music. And the garden space and teacher have created a special place and connection of my daughter to nature. Thank you!

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2013
The passion and dedication of the teachers, principal and parents is truly outstanding! The commitment to non-core enrichment curricula (music, cooking, gardening, drama, etc) rivals private schools. I am thrilled at the anti-bullying policy that has engendered respect between students and an effective conflict resolution approach.

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2013
I am a grandma of two students at Malcolm X and volunteer in the school. The teaching quality is exemplary. Artistic expression is highly valued. The teacher's high moral and cooperation with each other makes a big difference. This is a school where teachers want to work and it is reflected in their teaching.

- submitted by a community member
February 13, 2013
My child is in kindergarten at Malcolm X and so far I have been very impressed. Her teacher is very, very good. Every day she comes home with some new tidbit she has learned at school and has made leaps and bounds in reading, writing and math. There is huge amount of parent involvement. It seems that the kids in her class who need extra support receive it. The PTA is very active and funds a lot of extra programs for the school and does not seem clique-y at all. My daughter has music, dance, gardening each week. There is no official P.E. but the kindergarten teachers take turns teaching it. Unfortunately, I don't have an opinion of the principal because I have never had the opportunity to interact with him. When we toured Malcolm X the principal did not come out to talk to our group. When I asked I was told that he didn't participate in tours. Seems like a missed opportunity for him to make a good impression on prospective families.

- submitted by a parent
February 12, 2013
I am a parent at Malcolm X Elementary and think the school has a lot to offer. The parent community is very supportive and welcoming. Many of the teachers are excellent and absolutely committed professionals. However, our personal experience with the teaching staff has been mixed. I also feel I cannot give this school a high score in large part due to my experiences with the principal. As noted by another reviewer, the current principal is not a strong leader and not very "present." Based on my personal interactions and observations of him--he does not demonstrate strong leadership and does not seem to want to roll up his sleeves and deal with things directly. He has been unresponsive and/or dismissive of issues I have raised and does not seem to have a very good handle on what is going on on a day-to-day basis. It seems that he delegates a lot of responsibilitiy to the teachers and his aide/secretary, and shows up for school events (but is not an active participant/leader). I really think this school could be amazing with the right leadership--but it does not have that right now.

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2012
My child has attended Malcolm X for several years. It is a terrific school. Malcolm X was named a California Distinguished School for 2012, so there is no need to rest on achievements of 20 years ago. The school is achieving great things right now. The principal is now in his 3rd year. He had difficult shoes to fill, as the previous principal had been there for more than 20 years and was somewhat of a legend. He has done a fine job. The staff is wonderful and truly work together as a team. There is very strong parent support. Last year the school's gardening and cooking programs were threatened with a zeroing out of funding. A parent group got together with other affected Berkeley schools, came up with a bold plan that was presented to the school board, and stormed the school board meetings with droves of kids and parents. They got the needed funding for another year. We feel very fortunate to be able to send our child to Malcolm X Elementary.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2012
I am currently attending SFSU and I am proud to say that I am a product of the nurturing of MX. I truly believe that I wouldn't have made it to college if I wasn't taught at MX. I started kinder back in 1998 or 1999 and I had recently moved here from Mexico. I didn't speak English do it was extremely hard for me to follow instructions, however, Ms. Cannon went out her way to find a tutor and mentor who would work with me in class. The teachers at Malcolm x are committed and are passionate about providing the best quality education to each individual child. By 3rd grade, my English and Spanish were at par. I am glad I took part in all the social activities there like the walk a thon. I played major roles in annual plays. I learned civil engagement and responsibility there. This school is great for children that are destined to give back to the community and participate in the arts. I recommend this school without a doubt. I am proud that my MX class mates are now attending prestigious colleges all over the states. We have all stayed close because we were taught to value one another at MX. Also, the experience for children is even better if parents committ to participate.

- submitted by a community member
November 04, 2009
This school is great! We feel so blessed to be able to have our children there. It has a wonderful program of arts and academics with a social justice focus, but above all else, the principal and teachers are all very committed and have excellent skills in working with a diverse group of children.

- submitted by a parent
October 18, 2009
Malcolm X is a superb elementary school, easily matching or outmatching any of the private schools in the area. We now have a fifth grader and a first grader, and each has had a good to excellent teacher every year without exception. The offerings at Malcolm X are amazing: along with academics, they have dance, drama, art, PE, gardening and cooking as part of the regular weekly curriculum. And Principal Cheryl Chinn works miracles to support the teachers and the programs through tough economic times. It's also great to have the urban kids all growing up together. In the early grades, the relationships are sweet and the kids know each other just as people. When culture and race start dividing the kids more in the middle grades, that deep familiarity with each other really works against fear-driven stereotyping.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Excellent teachers and staff! Wonderful community - diverse, vibrant, and inclusive. My kids are getting a great education here and they love it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
It brings beauty, art, knowledge & so much to South Berkeley...where there are more less fortunate children who don't have much else to look forward to. Malcolm X Elementary School is a shining gem in a hard environment - it is HOPE.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2009
Malcolm X is a terrific school in every way. My daughter, now entering fourth grade, has had skilled, caring, inspiring teachers every year. The curriculum is rich, there's lots of creative, collaborative teaching going on, children are educated as whole, developing persons, parents are involved and welcomed and school feels inviting, safe and fun. Hurrah for principal Cheryl Chinn and for Berkeley's commitment to public education.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 01, 2008
Love this school. It's got everything you want for your kid, plus a lot that you might not have thought of. We couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a parent
December 28, 2007
We moved our first child from a local private school to Malcolm X when he was in third grade, primarily because we have three children and the financial burden of the private school was too much. After four years attending MX, we still absolutely adore the school. The teaching staff, principal and families are truly amazing. There is such a positive, upbeat energy about the school, you can't help but love it. The school educates the whole child and doesn't gear it's curriculum to prepping kids for the State tests. The children are exposed to drama, art, dance, music, gardening, cooking on a weekly basis. I always tell people that if I had the money, I would pay to go to Malcolm X.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2007
MX is extraordinary. Students get a great education in a vibrant, diverse environment. My first child to attend MX blossomed and thrived throughout his years there. My next child to attend MX is in his final years there, and he too is thriving. Both kids have enjoyed MX and consistently scored high in the standardized tests. This combination of enjoyment and performance attests to MX s integration of arts and academics. I've had issues with the school but over the course of six years and two students, it's unrealistic to expect that every program and teacher will be perfect. Credit for this school starts with principal Cheryl Chinn. She s highly competent and dedicated. Under her stewardship, MX has developed a skilled staff. The PTA is also strong and that s critical, because even at schools with excellent facilities, teachers and funding, students need parents that are involved Schools can t do it alone.

- submitted by a parent
November 01, 2007
I always love the opportunity to rave about my son's school, Malcolm X Elementary. It's a warm and inviting place. The teachers seem to love working there, love working together, and love working for/with their principal, Cheryl Chinn. My [son] has had great or really great teachers each year so far (he's now in third grade). The community of parents is diverse in every way. Many families are involved in the school, and there are numerous ways to be involved. I have made great friends, and so has my son. There are many special classes: art, music, dance, drama, gardening, cooking, library.... The teaching, as much as possible given state standards and the terrible overhang of test scores and No Child Left Behind, is innovative and individualized. I am so happy with my carefully made decision to send my son to this school!

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2007
Everything you read here about the excellence of Malcolm X is true. Our daughters are now finishing their fifth and final year, and for them and our family it has been enriching to invest in the excellence and diversity of Malcolm X. Parental involvement is exceptional. We believe that no private school could have given our daughters as much educationally and socially as this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2007
Malcolm X Arts and Academic Magnet is simply a fantastic school on every level. Our daughter is in her second year at Malcolm X and we could not be more impressed. The principal and teachers are top notch and super excited about their work. There is a strong value of excellence among the teachers. The school's focus on and integration of arts into all elements of the curriculum strengthens and bolsters the academics. Parent involvement is extremely high with committees bursting with energy and getting great work done. After-school enrichment activities are terrific. Malcolm X has started a super innovative school/neighborhood Collaborative that maximizes resources available to the school and involves many local arts organizations in programs. The school also created a fantastic campus Arts and Grounds Master Plan in 2007, a blue print for creating wonderful public art on campus involving our kids. A very special A+++++++++++ place.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2007
I have to agree about the kindergarten program here. It is at least as good as the private school programs that my older children attended. The art, dance, drama, music, gardening, and cooking classes are a wonderful part of the curriculum. The field trips have been a lot of fun, and the parent-teacher community is warm and inviting. I had also worried about the size of the school, but my daughter has blossomed and acts like she has ownership of the school. The afterschool program (X-Plus) is superb, with amazing projects for the kids. My daughter learned book binding, paper mache, mask making and much more. The school has a diverse student body and has had wonderful multi-cultural PTA programs. I give this school my highest recommendation.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
June 03, 2006
The school seems crowded to me.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2006
This review submitted without content.


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


- submitted by a teacher
February 22, 2006
I have a kindergartner and second grader (who started in K) at Malcolm X. Their teachers have been excellent -- very aware of each boy's individual strengths and weaknesses, and taking those into account in working with them. My older son does very well academically, and I feel like his teachers are working to keep him challenged. The school's arts focus is woven throughout the curriculum. I also like the level of parent involvement, both in the school program itself and in the afterschool (X-Plus) program. The PTA has organized afterschool classes that offer things like sports, martial arts, chess, circus, and ceramics. And the diversity of the school is a big plus -- many different types of kids and families. My one complaint is that I wish there was more supervision on the yard during recess.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2005
The teaching staff is wonderful, the school events are not to be missed. My child graduated with good academic skills and a performing arts background that gave him confidence. The 'extra' classes of dance and drama are particularly good, especially in the upper grades. The teachers work very closely with each other to ensure that students are taught the same curriculum in the same manner.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2005
I tutored at Malcolm X for three years and have never quite seen anything like it. If you want you child to have an appreciation for the arts, this is the place to take them. The teachers were wonderful to work with and the school is extrordinarily clean. There are lots of on-site afterschool programs, and the parents seem pretty involved. Its on the berkeley-oakland border so the group of kids is mixed: ethnically, culturally, and financially... but the kids seem to get along well. The school is BART accessible and it even has a garden that the children get to work in. I would send my kids here in a heartbeat.

- submitted by a student
April 21, 2005
I had the pleasure of being a student teacher at this school and truly cannot express just what a wonderful school this is. My learning experience there was amazing - the school is great, the facilities are wonderful, the kids are amazing, and so many of the teachers are truly exemplary figures of the profession.

- submitted by a teacher
February 06, 2004
I have two girls who are at MX and have been since kindergarten. We debated putting our oldest in private school and are so glad we did not. MX is a rich and supportive environment. The principal and staff are A+. They work together and support each other. They embrace the very diverse academically, socially, and racially population. I would recommend this school (and have) to everyone.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2004
Malcolm X is a remarkable school for many reasons, but they all start with the incredible leadership of Principal Cheryl Chinn. She is both an exceptional educator and administrator: a rare combination. My daughter came to MX as a 5th grader and had perhaps her best school year. My son entered in the 1st grade and is now in the 4th. Both of my children have benefitted from the wealth of enrichment opportunities ranging from garden & cooking, to music and drama, yet not at the expense of the core curriculm. The core curriculum and enrichment aspects are integrated into a total learning experience. Social issues are also integrated into the curriculum in a way that helps students to learn to work in teams and value what each member brings to the whole. Additionally, parent involvement is welcomed and therefore high.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2004
My daughter is due to graduate to middle school next year and words cannot express how grateful I am to the Malcolm X community, teachers, administration, parents, PTA, students, for having made her elementary school experience so enriching. From the beginning I have felt the utmost trust in this school for keeping her safe, respecting her needs, educating her, embracing her talents, encouraging her and pushing her to her fullest potential. I am extremely proud of our teaching staff and Principal who demonstrate team building on a daily basis. I will have two more years at Malcolm X with my son, still in third grade, and I will be sad to leave. Highlights of my years with this school include: the garden program, violin and music theory, field trips, the annual all-school chorale, participating in PTA, and reading buddies to name a few. Good luck in your school search. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with Malcolm X.

- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2003
We have had 2 children at Malcolm X and they both loved it. One child was very academically talented, and her teachers kept her excited and engaged. She loved the drama, art, and music programs. My son was not as quick a learner but his teachers pushed him to meet his potential. He had many friends of different ethnicities and loved both the music and the Creating Original Opera program. Both kids are highly successful middle and high school students. As parents, we made many great friends in the talented parent community.

- submitted by a parent
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Malcolm X Elementary School
1731 Prince Street, Berkeley, CA  94703
(510) 644-6313
Last modified Malcolm X Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Malcolm X Elementary School Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 50 reviews. Top