"We are best known for excellent academic performance."
Students enrolled 390
Hours no info
School leader Steven Daubenspeck
Transportation options no info
District Oakland Unified School District
Before school Yes
After school Yes
Summer program no info

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5880 Thornhill Drive
Oakland, CA 94611

School website
(510) 339-6800
(510) 339-6801
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Thornhill Elementary School address.

4 stars
Based on 29 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 11, 2014
My child is in third grade at Thornhill. We have been here since kindergarten. I like the teacher my child has. She is caring and supportive. The new Principal however, just hides out in his office all of the time. He is not warm and welcoming as the wonderful previous Principal. Who knows if he will be our Principal next school year or if we will have a new one. There is too much homework and projects for a child of 8 or 9 to do. It's like the homework is for the parents. If your child doesn't fit their mold then the school is quick to state that your child has "problems". Nice variety of after school programs. Lots of stay at home parents and and work at home parents. There are some bullying issues, that are not dealt with properly. Lots of parent volunteers. Recess is only 10 mins in the morning and in the afternoon. Short lunch also. We are currently looking into private school or homeschool.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2014
This school was a great start. I couldn't have been more pleased with the parent involvement, and the teachers care, but some are better and more organized than others. Kindergarten is a wonderful experience. Summer mixers turned into friends on the playground and the weekends, for the parents and children. Despite mostly all being from wealthy backgrounds, there is never a feeling of elitism, and there is diversity. The parents are also highly organized, and involvement opportunities are as frequent as you can make them. The school itself is worth a 5 star rating, but leadership changes cause me to dock it a star. For political reasons, things went south spring of 2013, and OUSD assigned a new principal, starting the '13-14. He is the polar opposite to the previous- our new one is not charismatic, seemingly has no point of view on education, and doesn't truly engage the parents (although he will hear you, there is no action). He is not a servant leader; he only operates the school. *Surprised* no one has commented yet. The education doesn't seem to suffer, but aside from your own teacher engagement, you won't get that warm fuzzy feeling that the school is going good places.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2013
the school might have good rating, but for the special education classroom is bad. if i wouldve know how it actually is in the classroom i wouldve looked for another school. the teacher seams unexperienced, and looks frustrated with her inavility to control the classroom and the kids. the teacher/student ration is redicilous! the director is not as friendly and great as they make him seem endless your a white upper class parent! He lacks understanding and compassion with the special needs children and from my experience i believe he needs more education on Autism and understanding them and their behaviors!!

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2012
After having spent the last six years at Thornhill, I have seen the breadth and depth of the school. The principal is extremely caring, involved, open and has a lot of OUSD experience -- both as a teacher and a principal. Many teachers have lots of experiences and there are a handful of new teachers which keeps things fresh. They all share a deep commitment to the students. The school works really well on a number of levels and it is due to the combined commitment of the families, teachers and staff. Like any school, there are imperfections and things that can be improved, but the children are happy and they all leave the school to move on to whatever next step is right for them: OSA, Montera, private middle schools.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2010
Thornhill is a great school because the teachers are caring, the parents participate, and the children are curious. Thornhill also has a great principal that knows all the kids, keeps things running and under control.

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2009
My son went to school here for 4th and 5th grade, 2004 - 2007. He adjusted well as a transfer student, and the kids were friendly. There was good parent involvement in the school. The teachers were very caring and attentive, and in great communication with parents. My son thrived there academically, and also got extra assistance where needed. There were also fun after school classes, like martial arts and acting.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 17, 2008
Thornhill is a terrific school: the quality of the teachers, principal, programs, parental involvement, etc. I too think there's a bit much homework, but this is largely driven by the state and federal level who demand relentless testing and 'accountability.' This is a public school issue generally and not a Thornhill specific issue. Thornhill has programs that other public schools in Oakland generally don't offer because the parents fund them. Parental involvement is very high here and that's one of the very strong points about the school. Parents who are critical of the 'snobby' attitudes of the parents have probably made that assessment from 'afar' and have not made an effort to get involved.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 06, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2007
This is my child's last year at Thornhill and while I believe it is a good school. I have always found the parents there very difficult to talk to, they are not down to earth but quite snobby. My child's progress started off great but then went down around the third grade. I think she started to see the polarities of treatment between the races. She especially is aware of it now and tells me what goes on. My experience of speaking with the teachers and the principal has been basically like speaking to a brick wall. I am sure they considered my concern as being overreactive. I have basically watched my child's enthusiasm for school wane tremendously but I am very optimistic that she will do better in a more multi-cultural nurturing environment.

- submitted by a parent
December 22, 2006
Having had kids in Thornhill and other schools that give less daily homework etc. I would have to say that more is not better. More homework does not make a child smarter. But I will say this, Thornhill school is a great environment, the parent involvement is fantastic, and the kids seem really happy to be there. There's alot that happens at Thornhill that could happen at any school with motivated staff and parents.

- submitted by a parent
October 26, 2006
Don't be fooled by the high API score--Thornhill students come from privileged backgrounds and would probably test well anywhere. As the number of students has increased, the district just plops down 'portables' (classroom-sized trailer homes) on the surrounding paved area. Thorhill provides an overscheduled library and 'Multipurpose Room.' Teacher turnover is surprisingly high, so there are a number of inexperienced ones. Extracurricular activities suffer from the lack of space. But--parents are warm and actively involved. Fundraising pays for a librarian, coach, music, and other extras. Thornhill is a good school for bright, mainstream kids who can satisfy their intellectual curiosity in other ways. Not so great for kids who need a nurturing environment to learn and be gently coaxed into loving school.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating May 08, 2006
For a public school this one really tried hard

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2006
Our two kids really enjoyed their time at Thornhill. Strong sense of community and diversity along with good teaching and leadership. The only negatives I can think of is the outdoor facilities are lacking (urban/paved setting) and there is a tendancy to teach and drill to the standardized testing which I don't approve of.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2006
This is a great school. In the struggling Oakland Public School district this is truly a gem. There are a wide range of supplemental activities available for students and the school offers music, motor skills classes and PE class. The parent participation is exceptionally strong.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2005
My kids both enjoyed Thornhill and received a good education. Only real negatives would be lack of outdoor sports space and a bit too much emphasis on testing.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
October 20, 2005
Thornhill is a great school. Even though it is public the academics are in line with a private school. My son has enjoyed the last 4 years. This school really believes in giving each child the best education possible. I feel so blessed that my son was given the opportunity to attend such a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2005
My child has been going here for 3 years and has continually progessing with advanced marks. The teachers are helpful and truly engaged in the fundemental education of the children. There is before/after care;safe environment. I would recommend this school dispite being in Oakland where a lot of schools are underperforming. Thornhill is not one of them.

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2005
Thornhill is a good school even though over the past 2 years it has had quite a turnover in 4th and 5th grade teachers.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2005
We have been very happy with all of the teachers and their approach to teaching and discipline. The diversity of the student body is celebrated thru various programs. Music, art & sports are enhanced through programs that are funded by the parent volunteer fundraising support. Parental involvement is encouraged for in-class teacher support, fundraising and enrichment programs. Additionally there are afterschool fee-based programs (science, chess, spanish & drama) with scholarships provided so all have an opportunity to participate. We love this school!

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2005
Thornhill Elementary was a terrible experience for my daughter and for my family. It was a hostile, unsupportive environment. The principal and particularly, the school secretary, were egregious and unprofessional, unsupportive and hostile with absolutely no consideration for what was in the best interest of my child. The third grade teacher epitomized the worst teacher available in any school system. My daughter never experienced so many substitute teachers during that one year. Without a doubt, my daughter's third grade year at Thornhill was atrocious and disappointing since it is supposed to be one of the better schools in Oakland.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 11, 2004
Our experience at Thornhill has been terrific - I feel the teachers and staff go out of their way to meet the needs of each student. They do well managing within the confines of the Oakland mandated curriculum (Open Court, etc). We very much enjoy the community, and feel lucky to be a part of Thornhill!

- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2004
Thornhill is academically vigorous but lacking in other areas. The school is not economically diverse and does not at all embrace cultural differences. If you are not a montclair stay at home mom, you and your child will feel like the bused in outsiders. The classist, superior attitudes are ever present. This is not what I want my daughter learning, we are looking at other options.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2004
My daughter has been attending Thornhill for 3 years now (K - 2nd). I think it is a wonderful school. I like the quality of homework and the scheduled parent-teacher meetings we have at least twice a year. Thornhill is like a private school, for the price of a public school.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2004
The community feel in Thornhill is authentic. Parent involvement is great. Teachers are doing well with the terms they are given in ciriculum and what is expected from the students. After 4 years in Thornhill my thoughts on high API scores is that it overshadows what kids actually get out of their education. My kids complain about teachers not explaining their assignments in ways they can understand or at all. All the parents I know are stressed out about the amount of homework. I see my children have no problems comprehending the homework but its volume is overwhelming. Most parents seem to feel the same way.

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2003
My son attended Thornhill last school year and he had a wonderful time. What sets the school above the rest is its commitment to education and that no child is left behind. The school is adroit in its methods of teaching. It is one of Oakland's model schools.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

As part of the school program all students receive weekly enrichment classes in PE, Motor Skills, Library, Computer,and Music (Orff and instrumental). Upper grade students also receive Art instruction. These classes are taught by specialists in their fields and are funded by our parent organization. Our PFC, or Parent Faculty Club, also supports intervention efforts by supplying three classroom assistants and a clerical aide. Classroom teachers also receive a per-student fund for classroom supplies and special projects. Parents not only support the school financially, but volunteer regularly in classrooms and on field trips. The success of the school clearly comes from the collaboration of faculty and parents.

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Last modified: September 11, 2014

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Thornhill Elementary School
5880 Thornhill Drive, Oakland, CA  94611
(510) 339-6800
Last modified Thornhill Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Thornhill Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 31 reviews.