UCB Parents School Recommendations

Cornell Elementary (Old reviews)

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Nov 1999

We recommend Cornell School enthusiastically (for some reason it does not get as much "good press" as Marin). Our daughters have both attended Cornell School (K-5) and had excellent teachers and wonderful learning experiences. K-3 are all classes of 20, the teachers are energetic and inventive, and the class work and projects have been great.

Oct 1998

I was reading the questions someone had about kindergarten teachers at Cornell and had to reply. I have two children at Cornell now, one in kindergarten and the other is in third grade. My son (3rd grader) did not have a very good experience in kindergarten at Cornell, but that teacher is long gone.

My daughter is in the afternoon class with Ms. Kaye and couldn't be happier. She is excited about learning and making a lot of progress socially and academically. Ms. Kaye is a fairly new teacher and has a lot of enthusiasm for teaching. She has a great sense of humor and a deep understanding of what it is like to be a five year old. She is patient and very well liked by the children. My daughter is challenged, yet not pushed to learn. I was a bit concerned at the baginning of the year because my daughter was already starting to read and I felt that she wouldn't be challenged enough. I was wrong. She is reading her Arthur books now with great happiness. She is having a wonderful year!

I do have to add some imminent changes that will be happening in Albany. The middle school will open next year, leaving the old site available. It sounds like the old middle school on Buchanan will become another elementary school. Who knows which teachers will be moved to that school. I believe there is a PTA meeting coming up on Tuesday or Wednesday (Dec. 1 or 2) concerning these issues. Call Cornell for the exact date! Susan

I would like to add my complete agreement with Susan's letter regarding Ms. Kaye's Kindergarten class at Cornell. I, too, have a daughter (Melina) in her class, and she couldn't be happier. She LOVES Kindergarten and adores Ms. Kaye. This is so wonderful to see, after at least a year of her trying to fake being ill to get out of preschool in which she was bored. I cannot speak highly enough of Victoria Kaye-- very creative, energetic and sweet with the kids. Kris
While I can't speak to the quality of kindergarten at Cornell School, I and my daughter (a 4th grader there last year) found the environment to be extremely inattentive to children's emotional needs to the point of being fairly hostile. I place most of the blame on the then principal, who I believe has been replaced, but there were numerous incidents in which the adults could have eased my daughter's transition into the school and chose not to do so. Rather they set up situations in which she was constantly reminded that she was a new kid and therefore, an outsider. Pam
My daughter attended Cornell during grades 3, 4, and 5. Out of the 3 grades, I felt 4th was the only one where my daughter was given any support, and it was because she had an excellent teacher ( Mr. Childers). My daughter is also very creative, bright but very shy, and tended to "fall through the cracks" a lot.

I did not feel the communication, support systems or teaching was adequate, nor the Principal particulary interested in what was going on... Cornell is very crowded and because there are a lot of students that do not have even a basic understanding of English, and only one ESL teacher, the support goes to those who need it the most... (The ones who cause the most trouble/need the most help, get the attention)...in 5th grade, her teacher left in mid-year on maternity leave and the entire class seemed to lose all of it's momentum--totally a waste of time. (One thing that REALLY set me off was on her report card--she was marked down because she didn't socialize enough with all of the students (she is very shy but has many friends) and needed "work".I didn't feel the teacher had a clue who she was...

If I were to do it over again, (contrary to my daughters desire to stay with her friends) I would have sent her to Marin School (I was given a choice). It is a much better school and doesn't have the large ESL population (from Univ. Village) and tends to service the more affluent Albany residents, which sadly but true also seems to have more resources. Good Luck!

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