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Re: Music-focused public or charter kindergarten?
I would stick with your local Oceanview elementary in Albany. It's a great school, with amazing teachers and a very diverse student body (due to many children of international students/fellows from UCB). And I've heard that starting this fall they are really beefing up their music program in the elementary schools (as music had previously been very downplayed in elementary in recent years)-- Now it will be for all K-5 kids and will be taught in the Kodaly style. I don't know much about their curriculum, but I know my children's former music teacher, Jeff Luna-Sparks, is one of the teachers, and he is amazing-- a total local gem. You can look him up under ''Jingle Jeff'' or ''Jingle Jamboree''-- maybe he can answer some questions about the program for you. I'd LOVE to be in your position of being zoned for the excellent Albany Schools, which sadly are totally out of my price range, alas! --envious!
Hello BPN community, I am looking for advice about the Ocean View Mandarin after school program in the Albany School District. I have heard there is a long waiting list for this program, but when I call the Albany Children's Center it is very hard to get information about this program. I am planning on visiting the Albany Children's Center in person to try and set up an appointment to visit the after school Mandarin program. However, I am looking for advice on a few things:
1. Do the children really learn Mandarin in this program, even just a bit? My son is an English speaker but we are really looking for language immersion programs while he is young and his brain is open to language. He is 4 now.
2. I read an article in the Albany Patch from 2008 that there are no native speaking teachers in the program anymore. Is this true?
Any information would be helpful as I am also considering the Bahia after school program as well.
Thank you Wishing CA public schools cared more about languages!
Last year there was an incident when the new school year started. They had a non Chinese native speaking teacher there for a short while. However after couple months a proper Mandarin speaking teacher was being assigned to the class.
They always have two teachers in the class, one teaching the kindergarteners and first graders; the other one teaching the rest of the grades. Not only my son learns how to speak and write from the school, he also learned many Chinese songs from there. They had performances normally during Chinese New Year and Ocean View's talent show.
Try to talk to the Albany Children Center's director, Susan; or the assistant, Felicia Lien. Good Luck! Mom of Ocean View School
Wondering if I can get any current opinions/feedback on Ocean View Elementary. Specifically, how is the new principal? What do you think of the school's large size? What are the kids/families like? Thanks in advance! DDP
My daughter has been attending OV for half a year and we have been very happy. OV has the highest test scores of the Albany elementary schools most recently but I think they are all pretty much the same statistically in the area of test scores.
Specifically, how is the new principal? Terry is very responsive and proactive. She has a strong presence with the kids and parents.
What do you think of the school's large size?
The school's size can be a little overwhelming at first (especially on the playground), but after only a few weeks my daughter was quite at home. K has a separate playground and activities are organized on the field for older students.
What are the kids/families like?
We have met some very nice families to carpool with and appreciate the diversity. My daughter has friends from around the world. OV Family
Re: Albany Elementary Schools...What are the pros/cons?
I'm an Ocean View parent. Yes, O.V. does get a lot of kids from UC Village and some of them are English Language Learners, but in my experience it is NOT disruptive - there are extra sessions and aides for helping these kids catch on, and as far as I can see most of them are doing pretty well. They have an annual event called the International Potluck, which is pretty good fun - food (and people) from all over the world. I like being at the school of the village; many kids walk to school with parents or their friends, very wholesome scene. (But we don't live in the village, and when we drive, it's hectic - not a great drop-off situation, and people are well advised to park a block or two away and walk.)
The downside of O.V. is, they've had to take in a big portion of the increased student enrollment in the last couple of years - more than their fair share, I've heard. So there is some tension about having enough playground supervision to keep everyone safe; my kids have survived it, but my older kid did find it a little too noisy (may just be her temperament, though). O.V. parent
Re: Cornell or Marin elementary?
Our son is at Ocean View kindergarten this year and doing great. I am writing on the ESL question; I learned when I did my research that all the Albany schools have a good many ESL students. There was a Russian student in our son's class this year who entered speaking NO English and is now chattering away. I don't view this child's presence, or that of the many other predominantly (and well varied) Asian ESL speakers as a disadvantage. On the contrary. My son has in no way been held back academically, these kids are learning at many times his rate and often lead his own 'bright' self in the full range of academic activities. In addition, he has learned what it is like to interact with kids who don't speak English or speak it well (and who don't look just like him) and to still value and respect them and make friends with them. He is even learning about their cultures and places of origin. I find it hard to identify a more valuable skill set for success of any sort in the world these children will live in. Margaret
Re: Kindergarten Options in Albany
My daughter just started kindergarten at Ocean View, where she attends after school care at Cedars (literally next door to the kindergarten rooms!) We have been very pleased with her teacher, the kindergarten program, and with Cedars -- almost every day when asked how her day was, she says ''FanTAStic!''
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