This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Harding Elementary School4
Posted September 10, 2014
- a parent
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.