Remember that you are shopping for a school from K - 5. Kaiser is a warm campus with wonderful and involved families . In it's heyday under principle McClain, it was a great school. Today, it struggles. Two new K teachers this year. 1st and 3rd grade have absolutely AMAZING teachers. They care, work hard, and it comes through. There are very mixed feelings among parents about the current second grade. The numbers of students drop drastically in the 4th and 5th grades. The teachers, two of whom hold Oakland Education Association (AKA The Teacher's Union) offices, will attribute this to attrition, but many parents tell a different story. Some Kaiser parents refer to 4th and 5th as the lost years. The good about the Teacher's Union strength is how it helped to fend off school closure. Flip side is that it quickly becomes apparent that little teaching actually goes on in the 4th and 5th grades. The current principle (second principle since Ms. McClain retired) has some very good ideas, thoughtful about students, but has been unable to effect changes that need to be made. Best place to get the scoop - after school on the playground.
My son started Kindergarten here this year, and her loves it! The school is academically strong, diverse, and has a fantastic parent/family community. Our teacher is smart and witty, and she identifies the individual academic and social needs of each student. The children are thriving in her class. The Principal is a dynamic advocate for the school, the kids, and the teachers,
Kaiser feels like a private school, in terms of size, quality, and community. But not in a oh-so-snobby kind of way either. We truly have diversity in every sense of the word here: racial, socio-economic, and more! My shy and creative son has been thriving at Kaiser, and even if I had the money to send him to private schools, I would not, because of the amazing teachers, dedicated parents, friendly kids--in short, the community here is phenomenal! The principal is truly caring and a gem in a school that sparkles with heart.
We love Kaiser! This gem of a school has been a wonderful experience for our kids. Dedicated teachers, an extremely diverse culture and that view..
We are in our 4th year at Kaiser with our daughter. She has taken off socially, artistically but most of all- academically: she is reading and writing far beyond her grade level as her 2nd grade teacher just works magic in this area with project based instruction. Last year the school went through some upheaval, but I have to say that the staff and community did such a bang up job providing a positive learning environment, we have become closer and stronger. Our son begins Kindergarten next year and will be right at home. Being a small school, the staff already knows his name and his personality as well as his parents and grandparents. The collaboration of the staff and our extremely dedicated principal provides a focused curriculum tailored to the student's individual needs (no small feat- they work very hard at this) that they know very well, much like a private school. Others have spoken to the diversity, but really one must see it in person to appreciate it. This is Oakland at it's best!
The principal, teachers and support staff are second to none at Kaiser. It truly is a community school where families are very close knit and work together. Mr. Avent (our principal) and our amazing staff have been the back bone of Kaiser's success.My son is in 3rd grade and has been at Kaiser since kindergarten. My son's excitement and eagerness to get to school eveyday, let's me know we made the right decision to send him to this great Oakland school, that truly is a hidden gem. We appealed 6 times to attend this school and it was worth it. If you're looking for a school with a great afterschool program, this is it! The Adventure Time staff is dedicated to supporting families and they genuinely care about our children. This school is home to some very diverse families and it's one of the things that makes this school so unique. The PTA is very active and strives very hard to provide the school with the best programs & support systems. Kaiser truly is a GREAT school - second to none!
This is our second year at Kaiser Elementary and we absolutely love it! The teachers, principle, and parents are what make this school a shining gem. I've never seen such a dedicated and passionate group of individuals committed to children. The parents and children of Kaiser Elementary represent the rich diversity of Oakland, we are a truly diverse community. We are an Arts anchor school and it shows; I love walking through the halls and seeing/hearing the vibrant artwork our children. We truly would not choose to be elsewhere.
My daughter attended Berkeley schools (where we were happy) and when we moved to Oakland we made a tough decision to find a new school. Through the options process (our neighborhood school has very poor test scores) we were able to get her into Henry J Kaiser Elementary. Everything about the experience speaks to the needs and expectations of our family. High academic achievement, a diverse collection of families and students, an engaged PTA, a terrific staff and faculty, an arts magnet program. I want to single out one staff member - Amy Haruyama taught my daughter 1st grade and she is a shining example of what public schools can offer our kids. My daughter had a TREMENDOUS year in Ms. Haruyama's class - thrilled to go to school, challenged to reach her potential and happy at the end of each day. The staff at the after school program are also a terrific group. AdventureTime is great and now both of my kids are enrolled and having fun every afternoon. They help with homework, provide fun activities and the staff is just a great group of people. Check out Kaiser - the OUSD was thinking about closing the school but they backed off when the parents got VERY involved. 5 stars!!
Kaiser Elementary qualifies to be nominated as a California Distinguished School and this continued recognition of the "hidden gem of Oakland Schools" makes us all proud.
Kaiser is a school with a strong community from the parents to the staff to a lot of folks from all over Oakland that support this unique school. There's been some upheaval and worry all over Oakland, but Kaiser has weathered the storm and is moving forward with great plans for it's future. We are excited for the opportunity the storm has brought us! The teaching quality is unsurpassed! We spent k-1st with our first child in private and finally pulled her out because she was bored and only liked to go to school because of the great yard, garden and art. At Kaiser, both our children have a great yard, garden, art and they come home immediately going over what they learned in class. All the teachers through the years have been exceptional. Yes, it's a public school and it has its budget woes. But you will not find a stronger, more diverse and accepting, committed group of parents and educators anywhere else.
Sadly, the school in demonstrating a decreased commitment to academics, particularly in the fourth and fifth grade. Academically talented students and families are fleeing the school to avoid the fourth and fifth grade instructors.
2 Thumbs Way Up! It's a small school and feels like a private school with an awesome staff and great family participation and support!!
Like a private school, but with two big perks: No tuition and it feels like a family. My kids love. The after school program is great too.
Kaiser is a wonderful school with great teachers, administrators, and kids!!
We have been so pleased with Kaiser Elementary School. Both of our children, 4th and 3rd graders, have attended the school since kindergarten. Not only have they been exposed to excellent teaching and innovative curriculum, they have fostered a wonderful community of peers. Our children are engaged and inspired at Kaiser. As two highly creative individuals, they have been encouraged to pursue their artistic drives through the incredible arts curriculum. As a family we have formed wonderful life-long friendships with folks in the community. We are a multiracial family and have also appreciated the incredible diversity of the adults,students and families at Kaiser. This is truly a gem in the landscape of Oakland public schools!
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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