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Public district
El Cerrito, CA
Students enrolled: 365

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7230 Fairmont Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530

School website
(510) 231-1413
(510) 559-1365
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Map of Harding Elementary School address.
February 23, 2015
This school has an active PTA. If you are thinking of working here, get an insider's perspective first. Do not expect support. In the last few years, a number of teachers were treated poorly and left.

- submitted by a teacher
September 10, 2014
This is my 4th year as a parent at Harding and I currently have two children there. Overall, we are very happy at Harding--we've had had some very good teachers, my children have nice groups of friends and are engaged and eager to go to school, and the community is very welcoming and supportive. I have had several interactions with the principal mostly because of volunteer work I do at the school, and I have always found her to be straightforward and easy to work with. The one time I needed to talk to her about an issue with my child, she responded promptly and the issue was resolved to my satisfaction. It is through her support that we have two great programs funded by the PTA: Youth in Arts and the Edible Garden program. She is actively working to promote a kind, respectful environment for everyone. I think she is doing good things for Harding and making it a better place for everyone--we are lucky to have such a dynamic, hardworking and dedicated principal who is making real changes for the better. Yes, she follows the rules, but that is her job and she is very clear about what the rules are and is happy to listen to your point of view and work with you if she can.

- submitted by a parent
August 16, 2014
Harding has some great teachers and families. The principal seems to have administrative and personality weakness. There should be signs on the fence around Harding that read "BEWARE Of PRINCIPAL" and "enter at own risk."

- submitted by a community member
August 06, 2014
I have been a Harding parent for the past 2 years and I have been so pleased with our experience so far. It's a very small community with a lot of active parents. It has a wonderful community feel to it. The principal has made some amazing changes there and some of the "bad egg" faculty have departed since she came in. This has improved the morale among the parents and gives us with younger kids only good feelings that it will only get better there. Do they have everything that I had in public school growing up? No, but only wealthy CA schools have everything. Our PTA raises a fair bit of money and we have a gardening program, arts, music, and a ton of other programs that not all schools have. Plus we have really fun family events that are great for socializing and meeting others in your neighborhood.

- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2014
We have been happy with the number of enrichment activities available to children after school. Depending on the teacher your child has, there can be some additional opportunities during the day. Teaching is average to slightly above average. The main thing I would warn parents' about this school is that it has a strange social climate for a school with as many resources per its location and parent involvement. Depending on the year and your child's personality, you may have to deal with bullying issues. The school administration tends to look the other way and almost always cover it up. It can be really frustrating and hurtful if your child is on the receiving end. You may end up really liking this school or wanting to pull your kid out. Some kids find their own peer group and are very happy and it works for them. Not a school I would recommend for the brightest or the most sensitive.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2014
This is our neigbourhood school and we have a 5th grader and a 2 nd grader and we have been at the school since my oldest started kindergarten.Sofar we have been very happy with the teachers of our kids even with the ones that have not been the "preferred"teacher of that grade.When my youngest was in kindergarten did I always agree with the teachers way of teaching and testing the kids? No,but the important thing was that my child loved his teacher ,was happy in the class and was learning. This year we have some great new programs amongst others our new garden coordinator who incorporates gardening and schoolwork and the drama and dance program from Youth in Arts which both my kids enjoyed a lot.If you want to see projects or art the kids are doing they are shown in various glass cases throughout the school and right outside the classrooms.We have the spring concert coming up where the music and vocalteachers show what they have been working with .We have a great new newsletter,the sciencefair,an ice cream social,bike recycle and rummagesale.Is this school perfect?No.It is however a good neigbourhood school.I volunteer a lot inclassand outside of class.It does take a village.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2012
Our oldest child has been attending Harding for a little over a year now, and we couldn't be happier. The teachers, parents and principal are dedicated and work hard to make sure the kids have everything that they need to learn. Principal Takimoto is very respected among the teachers as well as the kids, and has been implementing great programs to ensure the school keeps going in the direction it has been. Harding has a diverse group of kids, from all socio-economic backgrounds and some with special needs which is also a wonderful learning opportunity for my child. From my experience all the kids, no matter the teacher, have learned all that they are supposed to be learning and at the end of the day, that is what matters most - not a teacher's popularity contest. Thanks to Harding, my child and my family have met wonderful friends and neighbors thanks to the many opportunities the school, the PTA and the Dad's Club offer. When the kids connect at local events and outside school -- they are genuinely happy to see each other and are respectful of one another and that is priceless. So take the tour and learn more about our amazing neighborhood school.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2012
Since there hasn't been a review posted in two years, I thought I'd update from the perspective of someone who has lived in the neighborhood since 2002 and who has had children at Harding since 2007. Harding has become an outstanding neighborhood school. Anyone looking to move into the neighborhood, or already in the neighborhood and weighing options for your pre-K child, should not hesitate to take a tour and talk to parents of current students. Yes, there is still an achievement gap between non-economically disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged students; and, yes, that gap also happens to fall along race/ethnicity lines. But Harding has a committed and experienced principal who is respected by the teachers, and a broadening base of parents who are engaged in everything from yard supervision and classroom assistance, to fundraising and community events like Harding's amazing Fall carnival. Don't hesitate to check it out.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2010
Small classes, a beautiful campus, and strong classroom teachers. The only downside: a small group of entitled parents who indulge in a lot of gossiping and back-biting--mostly about teachers and other parents they don't like. It's very tiresome. It's a tiny minority but if they would vote with their feet and leave, instead of endlessly complaining, it would be more fun to be involved. Office staff and principal are great.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2010
Our daughter has attended Harding for 3 yrs. K-2. We have had mixed experiences. There is a teacher in every grade it seems that is very unfavorable and the other is usually very good. If you happen to get the right teachers, it can be great. We have had both. The principal although very involved and energetic doesn't seem to have any power to make changes to the staff as they are protected by tenure and the union. It's a beautiful school and there is a wonderful core of families who are very dedicated to making it better. The after school enrichment classes organized by the PTA are awesome. The after school care mediocre.

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
October 23, 2008
HASEP is indeed a wonderful program and the two co-chairs deserve all the credit in the world for their excellent work, however, I think the previous post is way too hard on our teachers. Like any group some embrace change, some resist it, and most are willing to consider any reasonable request or thoughtful suggestion. I have been impressed by how much staff members do to accommodate requests/support the school. Many of them co-chair PTA activities and contribute generously to fundraisers. Teachers from almost every grade level showed up at the auction last year which raises funds to support art, music, and science. Some of them helped with set-up for the carnival this year. A few of them co-chair PTA events (family math night and the variety show). Most try hard to teach the rigorous CA state standards and advocate for their students. Give them a break! --big fan of hard working teachers

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2008
The community of parents is great and the HASEP classes are fantastic thanks especially to the 2 moms in charge. The teachers, while great, are entrenched and resist change. Sometimes it's like shucking an oyster with a butter knife as far as getting communications going with them. The principal is a godsend on that and many other fronts! She is devout in her belief in the children and 'her staff'!

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2008
Great families, teachers, and principal! Beautiful newly built school with tons of after school enrichment classes!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 01, 2007
This school is great & the parent participation makes it a wonderful Harding community :)

- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2007
Harding elementary has an excellent staff of teachers! This school district has a great staff of teachers! I hope that they do the right thing and take care of the teachers so they will remain in the district. We need a new school board!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2007
Harding is an excellent school! My family has been very pleased with the overall instruction at the school!

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2007
Harding is a great school for exceptional learning! No, the test scores are not that attractive but take a look into the entire school year progress! Testing is for the District. Look deeper into what the children are accomplishing! The children experience hands on learning and have lots of fun as well. Harding is great!

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2005
Great teachers. Strong music, art, and science programs. Outstanding academics. Ignore the test scores and rankings. Come and see for yourself. Visit online at www.hardingpta.org

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2005
I am very impressed with the academic programs and the availablity of 'The Arts' at Harding. Thanks to Tova Halpren and the entire staff at Harding; they helped my daughter love school again. Keep up the great work!

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2005
My daugther is in kindergarten at Harding and we are very happy there. They have music class once a week and will have a new campus for fall 2005. The parent involvement is very high and Harding has an active PTA. Her kindergarten class is geared for learning in a fun and challenging environment. We love her teacher and all the kids in her class are really really good kids.

- submitted by a parent
December 08, 2003
We have found at Harding Elementry a truly diverse group of students, teachers and parents who all care alot about children's education. Test scores alone do not tell the story of Harding. There are many very bright students at Harding and some who come from disadvantaged homes who with the help of the excelent staff are able to make great academic strides. We are looking forward to moving into our new school in the Spring of 2004.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: February 23, 2015

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Harding Elementary School
7230 Fairmont Avenue, El Cerrito, CA  94530
(510) 231-1413
Last modified Harding Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Harding Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 26 reviews. Top