My son is a 7th grader this year, and an alum from Chabot. He had a great year last year - straight A's, advanced on the CST's (no drop from Chabot), and made some good friends - thanks to good principals, strong teaching staff, and the good community. This year is going even stronger, except for gym. He really likes the design thinking and making class and the enrichment wheel, both unique to Claremont. His favorite subject is Algebra. Fortunately, the Mr. Richardson's believe in offering math at different levels. Algebra has proven to be very challenging, but he likes a challenge. We are very pleased with Claremont and feel honored to be part of the vibrant Claremont community.
My daughter is an 8th grader at Claremont and has enjoyed her time here. Not many fellow students from Chabot came to Claremont with her and we did have a bumpy first year with the administration roller coaster ride. However, since the Richardsons came on board last year as co-principals (no more asst. principal) things have really turned around. School culture, academic rigor, increased parent participation, teamwork among the teachers. It hasn't all been because of them, but they have led the entire community to make the changes. My daughter is a high achiever and looking forward to AP classes at Oakland Tech. She feels the majority of her teachers have challenged her to learn what she needs to be a success at the next level. Claremont has students that come from all over OUSD and not just the nearby schools with so much support. It has been inspiring to watch the teachers and administrators accept ALL children into the fold and work to bring them up to a higher level of achievement, not just the kids with parents who are involved. My daughter has enjoyed the extra-curriculars like Math Counts and Running Club. I have enjoyed the engaged parent community.
My daughters last year tears! When she first began there it was Extremely scary. The assistant principal was great! The teachers were Awesome except her art teacher! Anywho! Now the Co-Principals have made me wish I was in school again. They communicate with Parents and children in a Positive way always. I always hear how we'll my child is doing from teachers,librarian,office staff,nurses and the security guards! I know my child can be a handful she's the baby of the family! However the Claremont Middle School remains so Positive! I help out at the school when I can! The security guards speak to the children as if they were young adults! They know the children names. I feel so Blessed to have them! I never hear them shout! They walk are run lol! To the children and speak to them. I heard one shout as he approach child for safety purpose only! He first called out to the gym teacher. Then he got closer called out the child his shoe laces were all over the place and the child was going to trip. It was so caring. I wish I could take the staff to my child's High School!
My son is now a seventh grader at Claremont. I have been impressed how the school administration is fostering positive changes at the school. The teaching staff is getting stronger and many of the teachers are phenomenal. Enrollment is up significantly this year as word of Claremont makes its way to the community. The Claremont Principals are loved by many in the community including, teachers, kids and parents. Even though the school is not perfect I feel we are part of a community that is helping this school again become a gem.
I have a 7th grader at Claremont. This has been a great year for him. The new principals are AMAZING! They have been such a positive influence and have provided fantastic leadership. The parent community also amazing and very invovled. The teaching staff is engaged and committed. My son has a wonderful group of friends also and is thriving. If you haven't given Claremont a chance, you really should!
My 6th grader is having a great year at Claremont! The new principals are awesome, he's made some wonderful new friends, and nearly all of his teachers are terrific. He is challenged, getting good grades, and feels very comfortable at school. None of our initial worries about a public school experience in Oakland have been borne out--in fact, I would say it has been an experience more full of opportunity than I ever imagined. The Claremont community is truly special.
Our son, a sixth grader and Chabot alum, has had a great fall at Claremont. His teachers are hardworking, creative, intelligent, and compassionate. The new co-principals are brilliant in all aspects of their work, and excellent communicators with both students and parents. Our son has had a couple of issues that might fall under the "bullying" category but the principals have handled them beautifully and the problems have been solved in the fullest sense of the word, not just papered over. I am pleased to report that our son been just as enthusiastic, confident, enriched, and comfortable this year as he was at Chabot -- maybe more so. Our anxieties about middle school have all but disappeared in light of the great beginning he's had at Claremont. I look forward to the school's continuing to bloom in the years to come.
We have a a 6th grader and an 8th grader at Claremont. Both kids are happy and thriving. They feel safe and appreciated and they get plenty of individual attention from their teachers. Nearly all of their teachers are exceptional instructors and people, who have very much zeroed in on who my children are and what will make them thrive. Is every single teacher outstanding? No. Show me any school, public, charter or private, where every single teacher is outstanding. But that is by far the exception, not the rule. The new principals have had a wonderful impact on the culture and feel of the school--they know every kid's name, and are extremely committed to the success of Claremont and its students. My children have a greatly heightened cultural, social and community awareness and sensitivity that I directly attribute to attending school with kids from all over Oakland and of many different backgrounds. That is invaluable, in my opinion.
To the person below, please update these comments in January if you are still at Claremont. As you noted, an accurate review cannot be written without some time passing. And again, from what you have noted, things were ok for about a month. Given the date of your post, it seems that things have not been ok in your opinion for about 2 weeks. I assume that you have gone to the administration and the parents' group about your concerns and it would be nice to hear if anything happens with some time passing. It seems 4 months would be more than sufficient to be able to see something occur which is why I asked for an update in Jan (again, assuming you are still there). My son is at Claremont and we have not experienced this year what you are describing at all, however, I do not want to discount your experience. I am hoping that the administration and parent group will hear your concerns and changes will take place for you.
We are very disappointed with CMS. Notice that a lot of these positive reviews have been written within days of the first day of school. I don't think an accurate review can be written without some time passing. For us, things started out okay. My son came from a great local, public OUSD elementary school. After about a month, the issues became apparent and are happening with more frequency. To start, many teachers seem disconnected. One math teacher in particular is very disengaged from students and parents and is dismissive when approached.. He (like other teachers at CMS) is very hands off. There is a lack of instruction and a tendency to direct students to a lesson, have them sit quietly and finish with very little support or interaction. It feels cold and lacks the spark that should be present when learning. Education and school should be fun. Not at CMS. More importantly (in my opinion) is the bullying. Bullying is a HUGE problem at this school. These kids are being harassed and belittled and theft is a common issue. This isn't just happening to us, it's widespread. I'm not the only parent considering a change of schools. Beware!
I've seen another school become a national blue ribbon schools with the same community support that this one now (finally) enjoys. --/-- My daughter has been coming home with challenging, interesting and inspirational homework. She feels safe and at home there after a few short weeks.She feels an intense loyalty to the CMS community--which is to say that she feels a part of the school. That's fantastic. There is exceptional light currently shining on school culture and learning by the new principals. I fully expect improvement to be revealed here (objectively with data) - on this website within one year.
Our son just started sixth grade at Claremont. A month into the 2012-2013 school year we are feeling very pleased and optimistic about our choice, and our son genuinely looks forward to heading out the door every morning to go to school. The new co-principals have been fantastic: they are smart, capable, responsive, and extremely dedicated to making Claremont a safe and nurturing environment for all students. We've been really impressed with most of the teachers as well, and the small class sizes really help. It's not all perfect of course there have been a few bumps in the road but the administration, the teachers and a bunch of highly engaged PTA parents are working hard to make things even better at Claremont. The bottom line: Our son is learning, making friends, and getting influenced by some truly exceptional role models among the teachers and the school administration.
My child has been at Claremont for 3 years and we'll be sending child #2 there. There are several levels of experiences with schools: admin-parent, admin-student; teacher-parent, teacher-student; parent-parent, student-student. Not all levels have been perfect, but my child's day-to-day experience has been mostly positive. As parents, we have been very happy with most of our child's teachers. What we liked regarding the teachers: strong commitment, communication, interest, skills. We have also liked the strong parent involvement and only wish a larger percentage of parents would participate. What we haven't liked: problems with unstable administration and poor communication. Some of those are issues entrenched in OUSD budget, red tape, management. Some of those can be fixed at the school level. But we have found that schools only improve when parents are paying attention - voicing their opinion, researching, lending a hand, donating time and money. Things don't change if nothing is noted.
My son is starting his second year at Claremont and he is having a very good year. The new administrators are energetic and a positive influence on the culture and community at Claremont. The academic teachers are, for the most part, amazing innovative, caring, attentive, and committed to creating a positive learning environment for all students. Last year was challenging for me as a parent (the disorganization of having 4 administrators in one school year), but a good experience for my son (great teachers, good friends, and a growing level of independence). I am extremely optimistic about the coming school year.
Firstly - ignore all of the hysterical posts about the previous principal - she's gone, that's all you need to know. After a year with an interim administration, we now have new (twin) principals - they have hit the ground running and are determined to put Claremont back as the natural choice for anyone seeking an excellent public Middle School in Rockridge. Both Peralta Elem. and Chabot Elem. are sending significant (and growing) numbers of kids to Claremont every year. The PTA is strong and effective. Maintaining an orderly safe campus is a priorities for our new administration, and the start of this school year has been a smooth transition. Claremont has a solid group of teachers, many are really outstanding individuals. The academic expectations are high. There are a number of programs at Claremont that you will not find the equivalent of in other schools - two examples would be the amazing Media Lab originally started by a group of tech. industry parents, and the outstanding music program run by our star music director. These programs and quality of the teachers at Claremont exceed anything I saw in the many private schools that I have toured.
My 6th grader is enjoying the Claremont experience so far: some excellent teachers, small class sizes, friends both old and new, safe climate. The new co-principals have already made an extremely positive impact, and they are committed to working with staff and families to help CMS scholars achieve success. Not everything is 100% perfect, but the administration is willing to listen and make improvements when possible. We are glad we chose Claremont.
I need to make some STRONG corrections in some of these posts. The previous principal WAS NOT found to have embezzled any money or anything from this school. She was moved because a group of parents and some teachers, put pressure on the District because they did not like her. After she left, they regretted what they had done. Claremont was coming back strong under her leadership but because she would not bow down to some people, they let her go. Many were upset including the children which is why last year was a diaster. Last year they went through 13 math teachers, they have now lost two of the best teachers and they went through administrative changes. Claremont can be a good school. It has the potential. Now they have two AfricanAmerican brothers as co-principals. I heard two different outlooks on them. Some say they are great, some say we may have a problem. Bottom line is CMS needs help. I hope they get back on their feet. I do love the school. I would encourage anyone who puts there child in CMS become a fixture in that school. They need every parent to participate and work hard.
Our 6th grade son is about to finish his first year at Claremont and the words right out of his mouth the whole year is , I Love it there! His friends from the neighborhood went together and love still having their connection. He has been on honor roll, loves his dedicated teachers, went on two field trips, movie night, and a school dance (Ms Crockett was out there dancing with the kids!) Middle schools get ignored when it comes to their needs and many parents there are passoniate about this school. It's the smallest middle school in the district too= plus!
Staff morale is quite low. Statistically significant number of formal complaints, filed in a number of arenas, including EEOC and union grievances, reflect the abusive authority used by the principal. If you want your child to learn how to bully and be abusive, you need look no farther than this school and its so-called leader. The principal literally screams at children, sometimes positioning herself no more than inches from the student's face. The handicapped students are not mainstreamed and are treated more like little Cinderellas in the basement. Parents are rudely treated. Rather than working to resolve a parent's complaint, staff, in the presence of the administrator, will make unkind and public comments behind the parent's back. A terrible ambassador for the district, administration supports her status as entrenched, and abusive of her staff.
The teachers at Claremont are incredible! We toured every public AND private Middle School in the East Bay last year, and chose Claremont for our 6th grade child this fall. Our experience this year has more than confirmed our instincts - that the Claremont teachers are dedicated, talented, hard-working, and delivering a great education to our students. Our Media Lab is a fantastic, and loved by educators and students alike. The District is working to extend our media arts program to Oakland Tech, and that will further enhance the program at both schools. Our art, music and after-school programs are also strong, and have talented teachers and staff behind them. Our parent involvement and community is also second-to-none. It's exciting to be a part of a diverse, dedicated and motivated school; to meet our challenges and goals, and to see our students thriving.
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