As a grand-parent of three students and an educator, I observe that CSCE is proactive in meeting the developmental needs of young children while negotiating the changing landscape of public education standards and testing, bringing both the arts and an artistic approach to delivery of core academic curriculum. The school is actively building a community that celebrates its urban diversity while nurturing each individual's human potential. CSCE's teachers embrace the challenge of bringing the educational philosophy of Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) education to the rigors of preparing children for academic opportunities beyond elementary education. Where other schools have cut back the arts, movement, creativity and community initiative, CSCE endeavors to embed these enriching aspects of the human social fabric into the daily life of the students. This young school has surpassed all expectations in seeking community and institutional support and involvement while establishing itself in the heart of Oakland. As it grows to full K-8 capacity, this support, along with that of committed and active parents will assure the success of its mission.
Unfortunately, our experience was not as steller as the others. I don't know if the support staff (afterschool and teacher's aides) are going through a transition, but I found they and the the general culture of the school to be quite punitive. Too much yelling at children and not enough positive discriplie. It is supposed to be a Waldorf inspired school, but it is hard for an average parent to see that. Dr. Oberman is fantastic and so are many of the teachers, but the neighborhood and the negative culture in the school is challenging. We made it 9 weeks before we switched to a more traditional school. This one just didn't work for us. Do as much research as possible and make sure you visit more than Ms. Paredes-Brown and Ms. Hill's classes. Also, check out the afterschool program. It need a lot of work.
This school is a great fit for my family! My child is in first grade. We love the diversity and the attention to each child. We find the staff to be exceptional. Principal is very intelligent and kind. Parents are always welcome. My son has a wonderful gardening class, and a special science class. The first week he came home very excited about liquids changing to gasses. my child is getting a fantastic education. I think there are very strong academics while also being nurturing and progressive.
CSCE is a unique educational expereince for students and families in the Bay Area. This public charter school in a urban setting infuses a rigorous education with Waldorf teachings, making it a wholistic approach to education. Our family loves the diversity of education and community, and the commitment of the school to meet the students where they are and bring them into being the best they can be. This is a young school and much growth is on the horizon: aiming to become at k-8th. The biggest improvement we hope to see in the future years is parent involvment and more thorough communication between school activites and family participation.
My son has been in Transitional Kindergarten at CSCE for two weeks now and I want to share with you how awesome it is for his first real school (not preschool) experience to be at this school with all of its wonderful staff. Everyone is very warm and caring and I feel like it is an environment that my son will truly thrive in. He asks if he can go to school on Sundays and when he came down with a stomach bug and had to miss two days he told me many times " I wish I wasn't sick, I miss Ms. Brown". They do so many awesome thing at CSCE to truly treat the children as the capable beings that they are. If not for CSCE I would likely have to spend thousands a year on private school to get an equivalent experience for my son. Thank you CSCE I am truly grateful.
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