I have two kids who are very challenged and happy at Claremont (sixth and seventh grade). They both care deeply about academic achievement and adore their teachers. They have a great group of friends, and they manage themselves very independently, walking to and from school together and participating in after-school enrichment programs that require no parents driving them around! The whole family loves it!
Our daughter started 6th grade this year, and she (and we) couldn't be happier. Her teachers are all incredibly engaged, committed, and creative. Although math is her most challenging subject, it is our daughter's favorite class, because of Ms. Thacher. The enrichment programs (zero period Spanish, rock-climbing (on actual rocks in N. Berkeley!), jazz ensemble, theater) are amazing. The student community is diverse and respectful. Highest recommendation!
My son is in sixth grade at Claremont, and he is having a great time there, both academically and socially. His teachers range in experience from veterans to relative newbies, but they are all talented and they share a passion for the job. My older child attended Claremont for the last three years, when there was a lot of transition going on; it's amazing to see how much positive change Principal Mayer and Asst. Principal Coleman have brought about since Aug 2014, in terms of school climate as well as quality of instruction.
Our 6th grade son started this Fall at Claremont, and so far we are having a TERRIFIC experience! We enjoy the smaller school size (around 400 kids) and we love having our former Chabot Elementary principal, Jonathan Mayer, at the helm! The staff are a delight, and Mr Mayer has done an excellent job attracting and managing great teachers. The computer lab is state-of-the-art, there is a new and robust afterschool enrichment program, and overall our son is both challenged and happy!
My 7th grader has been excited about so many classes since starting at Claremont in 6th grade. His teachers are great, they challenge the kids, and keep things interesting. We're especially impressed with the science teachers and the computer animation program (which just took 60 kids on a field trip to the Dreamforce convention!), as well as all of the teachers' commitment to holistic learning. And the principle, Jonathan Mayer, is excellent. He's a good communicator, seems to work well with staff and teachers, and gets things done with OUSD. Plus he seems to be in it for the long-term. The after-school program offers an incredible range of classes. The atmosphere of the school is also comfortable and supportive (the front office staff are amazing), and I've seen my son develop into a confident, independent kid who is doing extremely well academically. Best of all, my son is really happy at Claremont.
Every single teacher my son has had so far in 6th and 7th grades have been super communicative, committed, and engaged. They seem excited about their work, and they like inspiring the kids. We're really impressed overall. And I've never heard my kid say anything negative about any teacher; he genuinely likes them.
As mentioned, the "advisory" class really fosters these traits in kids by allowing them time to talk about issues that are important to them in a safe, private setting that encourages kids to be open and supportive of each other.
My son's "advisory" class (like homeroom) designates a portion of the time for reading and a portion for discussing issues that are on kids' minds. They focus on tolerance and acceptance, and creating a safe place for kids to share feelings. Kids pick the topics and agree democratically on what to discuss. I think it's a great class.