My daughter just started kindergarten here and, so far, we are very happy with the school. She made friends right away and is excited to go to school each day. Her teacher, Sr. Pastrana, is top notch and his Spanish is excellent. Her Spanish immersion experience seems to be very rich, she is already coming home with Spanish words.
When we started here five years ago the school and its staff were AMAZING. But over time and changes in administration things have gone south. The teachers that are there are great, although most of the originals are gone. And newbies only stay for a year. There has been a lack of communication and orginization, teachers have left mid-year, and it just doesn't seem like stable environment.
Social and emotional justice was originally one of the key components to the design of the school. But it has fallen out of practice. I feel like the expectations for student behavior have fallen greatly.
Manzanita Seed is a good school. I'll surly recommend the school. The teachers instil alot of discipline into the kids and teach them well, giving every child an opportunity to express themselves. The after school program is awesome, They reinforce the teachings of the day. The only issue with the after school program is that there is no Spanish class. My child really enjoyed the school for kinder and first grade but we had to move due to my job. The principle listens to constuctive suggestions and she really tries by getting alot of grants for the school.
My son graduated/promoted from SEED in 2009(the first class since it opened). The teachers were really good then but I'm not sure about now. The faculty members and teachers would stay after to help students out if they needed it. The after school program was great. There was not a day where my son came home unhappy. He is now in his junior year of high school at Encinal in Alameda and still misses this school.
This is an excellent school where children learn by doing. Songs, rhythm, and projects are used often. Classes are bilingual, students spend half the day with an English speaking teacher, and half the day with a Spanish speaking teacher. The afterschool program is designed to enhance the day program, not just keep the children busy. Gardening, yoga, music, theatre, and many field trips are all included in the curriculum. I cannot say enough good things about this school.
My son is starting here and the school so far is pretty lackluster. It's split between rich parents who don't want to pay tuition at EBI for dual immersion elementary and monolingual latino families. If you are hovering above the poverty line but well below the county average in earnings expect to be alone. Do not expect to get into their after school program as 90% of slots go to sibling preference. Also don't expect the school to be efficient in processing applications for anything. They make you turn things in obscenely early and then notify and hand out decisions the day before so it's difficult to plan anything. I guess it's what you get if you cannot afford private school.
I agree, Manzanita SEED is a great school. There is tremendous support by Ms. Carter, the principal, and her dedicated. Also, the Spanish immersion focus is stellar. However, I have to say that the school is lacking tremendously for children with special needs--they simply don't have the support from OUSD (Oakland Unified) to give to the students that aren't 'typically developing.'
This is our daughter's first year in elementary school and we couldn't be happier with out choice! Our daughter has already learned so much and her Spanish language fluency has skyrocketed. I love the diversity and the many ways the school celebrates it. The teachers and the principal and all the staff is amazing!
My son began at SEED as a kindergartner. He is now in 3rd grade. He loves school, and he is on his way to becoming truly bilingual. He especially enjoys the after school program drama, art, and sports classes.