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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excellent teachers and staff! Wonderful community - diverse, vibrant, and inclusive. My kids are getting a great education here and they love it.
It brings beauty, art, knowledge &amp; 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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