At first we were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of parent involvement expected and the continuous fundraising efforts, but then we quickly realized how important it all is in maintaining such excellent standards. Thanks to the strong community commitment Del Rey has maintained low student/teacher ratios, produces excellent test scores, provides a fabulous healthy lunch program, and offers wonderful enrichment programs around languages, arts, science, music and sports.
We moved to Orinda, CA specifically for the public school system. Unforunately, our timing was not so good...Del Rey's library staff was reduced the year our first of three children entered Kindergarten as well as some other minor reductions and cost savings measures were implemented due to the California budget crisis. My wife and I both went to private schools and decided to make the switch for our children. It was not a choice that we wanted to make but felt compelled to make considering California's current and forecasted budget projections. During our stay at Del Rey, we were completely thrilled with the teacher to whom our daughter was assigned. Time has since passed and we are had time to compare and contrast public vs. private and we feel we made the right choice for our family.
Del Rey is located in an environment with a very strong sense of community. Parents are generally quite involved and place high emphasis on education. Very safe neighborhood. School is actively supported by a lot of good people. Most teachers are good to very good. Some of the teachers are absolutely incredible. I have 3 boys there now.
We moved to Orinda several years ago for the schools. This is a great school system, and it's great because of the combination of parent and teacher involvement. The system is really a hybrid private/public school. Over 30% of Del Rey's budget is directly provided by parent donations to maintain the art, music and other programs that would have been cut otherwise. Parents are expected to donate money and an overwhelming majority willingly donate both time and money to the school. While this is technically a public school, there is a private school atmosphere to Del Rey because of the involvement. Compared to what you would pay for a private shool, this is far cheaper than any private school around. The annual donations, the teacher involvement, and the family participation is what keeps Del Rey and all the other Orinda schools highly ranked.
We moved to Orinda specifically for the schools. We've not been disappointed. Del Rey is a gem among the Orinda elementary schools. Teachers are amazing and so dedicated. Parents are incredibly involved yet also very down-to-earth and sane even in this crazy and competitive enrvironment in which we're raising our kids. Del Rey is small and has a very strong sense of community. We are lucky to be able to send our children here.