Kaiser Elementary School has been a wonderful experience for our son and our family. It is a welcoming enviroment for all kinds of families. Having toured many of the public schools in Oakland, Kaiser was the only school with high API, a diverse student body, located in a stunning location that welcomed our familiy with warmth and positive feedback. We were greeted with wonderful supportive teachers, parents and staff. The social and emotional enviroment grounded in the Roots of Empathy/Second Step Program spearheaded by our principle, gives the teachers and the students the room to solve problems. The academic success team in place for our son with five staff members helping us to make success part of the curriculum, the art teacher, music teacher, computer and PE teacher are great as well. We have engaged in after school enrichment programs and have friends from every district in the city of Oakland. It's Kaiser's 50th Anniversary of being a landmark educational institution and we will continue to celebrate as we work towards keeping it a thriving school for all of our students.
Well, I am admittedly posting to address the comment posted on 12/24. I am the parent of two Kaiser kids (one graduate). The principal that came after Katie McClain was a teacher for 15+ years prior. He stayed as principal for about 8 years. Ms. McClain still regularly volunteers her time. Kaiser's a family school with many different types of families, including the staff. It boasts some of the most longevity in terms of staff of any school I've seen. Mr. Avent is only in his second year and he HAS implemented changes, notably in the higher grades. I had one of the 2nd grade teachers still on staff. Her style was not mine. My children thrived academically and developed a love of reading and writing they still have today. There is attrition across the district in 4th and 5th grade. Dissatisfaction? Perhaps. The parents fought hard to keep a nontenured 4/5th grade teacher that was placed on the economic chopping block 2X, so apparently many parents are happy. I had the other two. They were very academically challenging (perhaps that is the source of the complaint?)If anything my older was bored the first year Middle School. They are now in advanced classes.
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,
I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader at Kaiser and I would strongly encourage any parent who has high academic expectations, a desire to see art, music and science programs and is hopeful that school can reflect the diversity of the real world to visit Kaiser! My daughter transferred in for 1st grade and her experience has been fantastic - great teachers, great staff and a terrific principal. I also feel strongly that the schools investment in a program to deal with bullying has yielded great results that make our school a better place for all kids. One last point - Kaiser is in the Oakland Hills at the bottom of Hiller Highlands - it's small, safe and my kids are happy to be there. If you are worried about your kids while they are at school, see if you can get them into Kaiser!
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!
My daughter is in second grade at Kaiser, and we love this school. It truly represents Oakland's diverse population, racially and economically, and the mix works with great success. There is such a strong sense of community. It provides before- and after-school programs through AdventureTime (AT) and many optional after-school programs. The parent involvement is unparalleled. Parents really work together to make this school succeed, including helping in the classroom so the ratio of adults to kids can get as low as 1 to 6 or 7. The school includes an empathy program that helps children learn how to handle disputes, and to accept and understand feelings of anger, sadness, and the range of feelings we all have. The teachers are excellent and the academic program very strong, enhanced by the combination of hands-on art projects in each area. The science fair last year was filled with imaginative and complex projects. Last year Kaiser won the CA Distinguished School Award. It is truly a model to which all Oakland schools should aspire.
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!
Our son will be graduating from Kaiser this year. This small school community has truly been a nurturing environment for him. He has learned a great deal and has emerged a strong, confident leader within a diverse social network which reflects all that we love about Oakland. Our daughter has just started Kindergarten and we are looking forward to six more fabulous years. Have I mentioned the amazing teachers?
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.
Kaiser has recently undergone some changes, but I think it is all for the better! We have a new princapal Darren Avent, who is *amazing*. The previous principal, Mel, had been there for many years. It was sad to see him go, but sometimes new beginnings are a good thing, and this is definately the case. Kaiser is very diverse school and an academically challenging many other classes that enrich the kids. There is also a very active PTA that helps support the school and the kids. It really is a great school!
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!!
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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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