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.
The new principal and secretary are awesome! Tons of parent involvement and this school has programs that other schools do not. Lots of homework, try 10 to 15 pages front and back plus 20 mins a day reading that u have to log, for a first grader. Very traditional learning. High turn over rate of teachers. About 28 kids per class. The school starts preparing first graders for API testing in first grade, because they want the kids to be prepared for it in second grade. This school is ALL about testing. A good public school. Lots of parents volunteer in class (I am in class everyday so I see the support). Before and after school care available. Enrichment after school classes offered: Mandarin,Spanish, Chess,music,yoga,lego,science and ect. This is not a super nurturing environment. Children do not receive on one help with anything unless there are parent volunteers in the class. This is because there are too many kids in the class for just one teacher to help everyone. Also, probably not a great school for any special needs kids. Asphalt play yard only 15 min in morning and 10 min in after noon for recess.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thornhill is a good school even though over the past 2 years it has had quite a turnover in 4th and 5th grade teachers.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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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