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Glenview Elementary School (Oakland, CA)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > K-12 Schools > Oakland Public Schools > Glenview Elementary School



Sept 2014

Hi - We are considering making an offer on a home in Oakmore that would have our (current 2 yr old) child going to Glenview Elementary. I am interested in any updated perspectives that people may have about the school, its leadership, and its trajectory? Any gratuitous information about Oakmore is also welcome! Thank you so much for your help!


I'm a parent of a first grader at Glenview, and I can't say enough good things about the school. We were lucky enough to option in to Glenview, and it was the best choice we could have made.

The teachers are dedicated to helping the children thrive, both academically and socio-emotionally. The school embraces a "whole child" approach and supplements academics with a focus on the arts. The principal, Ms. Toller, is outstanding. She is a calm and caring leader, who is an expert at bringing people together and working towards mutually agreeable solutions.

The children are engaged and excited, and love coming to school. Glenview is the most diverse school in OUSD -- ethnically, socio-economically, linguistically, in types of families, etc. -- and this benefits the children immensely. The community is really tight-knit. The parents are actively involved through the PTA and its many committees to bring art, music, PE, technology and more to the school (not funded by the district), and also to run lots of fun events and celebrations throughout the year. Volunteering is highly encouraged, but it's actually fun, and a great way to make friends. The school is a very close community and I have met so many wonderful people. Most parents work full time but there are still ways to be involved outside of school hours.

There are two aftercare programs onsite, plus lots of after school enrichment classes. Kids also participate in soccer and baseball teams, not through the school directly but they end up with Glenview teams.

I encourage you to come to our Open House on October 22, where prospective families can learn more about our school, meet the kindergarten teachers, and hear the principal speak. (Even though your child is only 2, you are welcome to start your research now). You can RSVP by going here: http://www.glenviewelementary.org/information-night-for-prospective-families.html

When: Wednesday, October 22, 6-7:30pm Where: Glenview Elementary, 4215 La Cresta (at Hampel) in Oakland

Dinner is provided, and even childcare (for those 2+ and potty trained). Happy Glenview Parent


Dec 2012

Hi Parents, The most recent posts on Glenview Elementary date back to 2009. Can anyone share their recent experience with the school? How is the diversity levels, teachers, academics, other focus, etc. Any thoughts are appreciated, Thank you! Liz


Answering quickly due to time here:
Community: diverse (families from all over the world)
Principal: wonderful
Parent involvement: huge and inspiring
Parent Community: very diverse and kind (lots of ethnicities and LGBT)
Teachers: Many wonderful with many great qualities, but we've had a couple who we liked but would have rather preferred some other practices from them. That being said, our daughter has done very well.

Bottom line: I think the best thing you can do for your child is know their temperament, know their strengths and weaknesses, know where they can rise to the challenge, visit lots of schools (public and / or private) because there really are differences, and trust you and your spouse / partner's gut feelings. Glenview Parent


We've got a first grader at Glenview and have been having a great experience. The principal is sharp, down to earth, easy to talk to, and energetic. Many of the teachers are long-term, lovely, experienced, and good at what they do. The few younger ones we've come in contact with seem inspired and excited to be there. There is great diversity of all kinds: color, family make-up, religion, socio-economic, languages spoken, and several other things I'm probably not thinking of. Our child has grown and thrived there. He is maybe a little academically advanced, and socially easy-going, but he has not ''fallen through the cracks.'' The parents that we meet are committed to making Glenview a better place each year; the PTA is extremely strong and motivated. There is a nice focus on literacy and science, with our read-a-thon in the Spring (often with great local authors coming to read, along with a lot of parents who come to volunteer their time), and our Science Exploration Night, which happens in the Fall, and features a portable planetarium inside, and weather permitting, huge telescopes that are brought by Chabot Space and Science Center. Last year the kindergartners went to art class each week, this year it's a music class, along with the library, PE, walks around the neighborhood, time in the school garden and more. We optioned into the school, which means we toured MANY schools. When it came right down to it we felt that the overall warmth we felt at Glenview, along with the strong staff, established PTA, and all of the other neat offerings made it the best fit for our family. We are so glad that we are there. Happy Glenview Family
Oct 2008

My son will enter kindergarden next year and we are very interested in learning more about our neighborhood school, Glenview Elementary. I'm eager to learn of families' recent experiences and also about ways parents of entering students can get involved to support the school. Ann


our first child has been at glenview elementary for two years now, and our second child will be enrolling with your kindergartener next fall. we love the dedicated school community, including the families, the teachers, and the non-teaching staff. you can get involved by financially supporting any of our fundraisers--the ecometro book sale or the spring readathon, for instance; by attending school events, such as the upcoming halloween festival; or by volunteering in any number of ways such as in the library or the lower or upper gardens. we began attending school events the year before we enrolled and attended incoming kinder park dates during the summer, and by the time school started, our family felt fully ensconced in the very friendly school community. looking forward to meeting you next year, if not sooner. pamela
Our daughter is having a great experience at Glenview so far- she just started 1st grade and LOVES school. Kindergarten is packed with music, drama, dance, art, science and PE. The kinder program at Glenview is one of the best in the district- the teaching team is top notch.

1st grade has been much more focused on academics and there doesn't seem to be as much time for music and dance like there was in kindergarten. They do have more science however. I was a little worried about the curriculum for 1st grade but my daughter and her classmates are thriving. Her skills are skyrocketing and she truly loves school and learning. I'm very impressed with both her teachers so far and I know that the teaching staff in the upper grades is also excellent so there's a lot to look forward to. There are also excellent after-school programs- chess, choir, spanish, art, etc so overall, I think she's getting a very well-rounded education. AT, the after-school program is great! Our daughter really enjoys it.

Glenview has a dedicated science teacher (we share her with Sequoia) and we're starting new programs- surrounding an editable garden and school nutrition. Parents and the school staff started a very successful composting program which has been a great teaching tool. The science fair is very popular at Glenview- and all grades participate. Our daughter is already planning her experiment!

The library is a highlight- we have a full-time, fully credentialed librarian and it's made such a positive difference at the school. The collection is being updated, the kids have their own library cards, authors come to read, etc. Our annual read-a-thon has been running for over 10 years, and attracts many local journalists, authors and artists to the school for the annual read-a-thon day.

On the downside, it's hard to get OUSD to come and fix things - it takes a lot of pressure and organizing to get things done. Luckily, we have a very active and organized parent community who really work hard to fight for what we need. I think you'll hear that from many OUSD schools- you have to work hard for basics- such as proper lighting in the auditorium, or drainage on the back playground. I find this maddening and depressing. But I am constantly inspired the parents, teachers, staff and administrators at the school site who all fight to make a difference.

I think the best way to check out the school before you make your decision, is to come to PTA meetings, come to the Halloween Carnival (a very big deal at Glenview), or the Science Fair (another popular event). If you're looking for a public school with strong parental involvement, excellent teachers and a truly diverse community- Glenview is a good choice. And- if you're local, you can walk- which is great fun! Paula


My husband and I were initially nervous when we chose public school over private but we have had no regrets. We absolutely love Glenview and have been so impressed with the school. We have a son in first grade and he again has a fantastic teacher this year. We feel really good about the education he is receiving. One of the things that drew us to Glenview was it's amazing diversity and this for us is a real plus. On the first day of Kindergarten last year, I looked around at my son's class and felt like they could do a ''We Are the World'' video. Or maybe at least a ''We Are Oakland'' since his class seems truly representative of the diverse culture we love here. We find the school very welcoming and the dedicated teachers and parents very inspiring. Glenview seems to get better and better each year with more parent participation and more neighborhood families choosing Glenview. It is easy to get involved with the PTA or just volunteer for the myriad of events at the school each year. The school has an open door policy so come check it out for yourself and/or come to the Open House on 11/5 for prospective incoming Kindergarteners. Good Luck! Mother of a First Grader
Dec 2007

Re: Oakland ''Hidden Gem'' Elementaries
I think of our school- Glenview Elementary-- as a hidden gem. Our daughter just started Kindergarten there this year and so far we are very happy with our choice.

Her teacher is amazing! I honestly can't imagine a better kindergarten experience for my daughter. The kids are great, very sweet, smart and engaged. She does so much more art then she ever did at the expensive preschool she attended. They put on puppet shows and sing songs while her teacher plays the piano (yes, they have a piano in her class!). The school has a pretty great science program and science fair and was the first solar school in Oakland. We have a full-time, credentialed librarian with a master's in library science. This is a great resource and the kids are really benefiting from her expertise. I also believe there are Macs in all the classrooms- including the library.

The school offers Adventure Time (after-school care) and also has a bunch of after- school classes such as Spanish, Choir and Chess. The PTA is very active and growing by the year. The level of parental involvement is still not at level of the 'hills' schools but it is growing. Last spring, a group of parents raised $90K to build a new play structure for the older kids and it's already installed (a major feat for any Oakland school!!). We have a garden committee with a school garden in the works and we'll be launching a new composting, recycling program soon. This year Glenview has 7 teams competing in Odyssey of the Mind- a creative problem solving program. I believe Glenview is one of the first Oakland schools to offer this. These are just some of the things that come to mind.

Come visit our school anytime. You can get a visitor's badge at the front office and sit in on classes. It's a great community. We're meeting lots of interesting and hard working people and most importantly our daughter is thriving.

Good luck in your search. I do think there are some great options out there! Happy Glenview Parent


Oct 2007

We have two sons, 5th and 2nd graders, who have been attending Glenview Elementary since kindergarten. They love their school, and so do we and here are some reasons why.

Our new play structure. It's very futuristic, put out by Kompan and the excitement the kids have for it is palpable! This structure focuses on creative play and upper body strength.

Our new fully-credentialed librarian. She has also taught for a number of years, will be able to do research skill lessons with the older grades and great book reads and talks with all kids. Plus she really knows her books.

Strong commitment to arts programming by our principal. Kids move through an arts rotation every 10 weeks, including science, visual arts, dance, music, drama, and video production. Many people say that arts programming is dead in public schools thanks to No Child Left Behind. But that's not true at Glenview.

And if you're an LGBT family, you are welcome at Glenview.

So when you're checking out Oakland schools, add Glenview to your list. We're in a sleepy little neighborhood between 13 and 580 with Park Blvd and MacArthur our main arteries. Teri and Karen


April 2007

I am interested in learning more about Glenview due to sudden changes to the after school program at my child's current Oakland public school. The last reviews of Glenview I found are from January 2005. I am interested in learning about teacher quality, parent involvement, PTA projects, and the after school program. Thanks very much. Help!


Glenview Elementary is a wonderful school. Our daughter has had a great year in K and we have made many friends. I love the school's real diversity in ethnicity, class and family configurations (we're a lesbian/gay parent family)that works rather harmoniously as a community. The principal, Ms. Atkins, is committed to Arts and Science programming and is well liked and respected by both the teachers and families. The PTA is dedicated and active check out the website www.glenviewpta.org. The kids are bright, well intentionned and happy. Good luck! Julie
Hi, I have a 1st grader going into 2nd at Glenview, and an incoming kindergartner in the fall. We live next door to the school and are very involved, along with many other parents in the neighborhood. I've served on the PTA board for 2 yrs and maintain the PTA website. Check it out at http://www.glenviewpta.org. You'll find lots of info on programs, activities, and events going on at the school.

My daughter loves Glenview. The wonderful staff, high level of parent involvement, and hard-working principal make this school the best it can be. I can't recommend this school enough. Also, the Adventure Time after school care is great. My daughter attends three days a week, and doesn't want to leave when I pick her up. Feel free to contact me if you want anymore info on Glenview. Good luck! Angelica


January 2005

I was planning to enter my daughter into a Oakland Public School. She will be in the 2nd grade for the 2005-2006 school year. She has always been in a private school environment and this will be the first time she will attend public school. My school district is Glenview. As a child, I went to this school from K-6th grage. But that was YEARS And YEARS ago. I have an oppourtunity to put my daughter is another school since this is open enrollement time.

I am concerned about Glenview because it is listed as one of the schools that need ''Improvement''. What does this exactly mean? I looked up Glenview's API score for 2004 and it was 732. I know the state's goal is 800. What does the API score really mean? Is that all I should be looking at?

Please, any Glenview parents, tell me your pros and cons of the school. I looked at the archives, but I need something that is recent.

Other schools I am considering is Crocker Highland and Carle B. Munck. Any parents from these school, can you please tell me your pros and cons.

I would like to make a good choice and I need current feedback of the school.

What are the nationality mixture for all three school. First Time Public School Mom


I have a daughter who will be in the second grade at Glenview Elementary in the fall of this year (she's in the first grade there now and attended k. there too). I think it's great that you are considering your neighborhood school and seem to have a very open-minded approach to this decision. We actuallly transferred into Glenview. We live near Lake Merritt and our neighborhood school is Lakeview Elementary. We chose Glenview (among other schools on the transfer form) after visiting them all (it seemed) along with many private schools. Here's what made the difference for us:

* Proximity to home. While we don't live in the Glenview, it's the next neighborhood up the hill and we already spend a lot of time at Dimond Park and walking the Sausal Creek trail. Glenview Elementary has a warm, welcoming, and commited group of families from the neighborhood and the energy they bring to the school, I believe, is partly due to their nearness to the school. If we had to give up walking to school, we at least wanted to feel relatively nearby, as the school community quickly became part of our extended social circle.

* The commited teachers and administrators at Glenview love their jobs and take their work seriously. I have found that as a parent and a volunteer at the school, the school staff pay an unbelievable amount of attention to the children in their classrooms. The principal reads every report card before it's sent home. I like that kind of dedication and, quite frankly, didn't observe it at some of the schools I visited that had higher test scores.

* Diversity is a huge plus at Glenview, but almost more important to us was that the kids at the school mix and play and enjoy each other regardless of age, class, race. Kate


I am a parent of a 1st grader at Glenview Elementary. We live 1/2 block away, and are very pleased with our decision to go to our neighborhood school. In the last couple of years, there has been a strong neighborhood movement to attend Glenview, and it has shown in the number of families who are actively involved at the school. My son has had two very good teachers and has made some of his very best friends at Glenview - and they're all in our neighborhood! Most of the students seem eager to learn and are stimulated by the environment. The down side of going to any public school is the strong focus on standards and testing. The upside of coming to Glenview is that despite this focus, we have a principal who is committed to making sure the children still receive a well rounded education and are exposed to the arts. The children still go through a rotation of art, dance, drama,and depending on the grade, instrumental music, spirit team, and video production. We have a newly renovated library and wonderful librarian. We also have a great variety of on-site afterschool programs. Test scores? Would you believe that some of the test scores are related to not having adequate attendance on test taking day? Glenview was short by less than 1/2 a percentage point, I believe (but don't quote me). Come to our general PTA meeting on 1/25 at 6:30 and listen to Gary Yee and our principal talk about this very issue and what Glenview needs to do to be taken off the Program Improvement list. Feel free to contact me if you have questions. Johanna
I am a parent of a first grader at Glenview Elementary School and my younger son will be starting kindergarten in the fall. My son loves his school and his teacher. Before my son started kindergarten, we participated in the open enrollment process. We got into Crocker Highlands. However, we decided to go to Glenview after visiting many schools. It was a difficult decision, but we are very happy with our choice. Glenview is a diverse school which I believe contributes to the enriching environment. The school has an extremely active parent group, many dedicated teachers, a very involved principal and a great after-school program. I love that I can walk my son to school every morning with other neighborhood children. My son has many friends at the school who live in the neighborhood.

In terms of your question about ''No Child Left Behind'' (NCLB), Glenview is on the Program Improvement List. However, we made Adequate Yearly Progress last year and hopefully we will be off the list this year. You must make AYP for two consecutive years to get off the list. I will try to briefly explain NCLB, but you should know that it has many problems and certainly cannot tell you everything about a school. At this point, not all schools are subjected to the Program Improvement List, it depends whether you receive certain federal funding. Glenview receives this type of funding. There are two criteria to NCLB and the Program Improvement List: you must have a 95% participation/attendance rate on the day of the tests for all subgroups (ethnicity, economically-disadvantaged, english learners, etc.) and you need to have a certain percentage (it increases over time) in the proficient and advanced range on the test scores (there are five ranges: far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient and advanced). During the 2001-2002 school year, Glenview made the test score percentages for all the subgroups, however, one subgroup had 93.4 for participation. In 2002-2003, a similar situation occurred, where all the subgroups made the appropriate number in the proficient and advanced range, however, one subgroup had 94.8 for participation. In other words, Glenview remained on the PI List for those school years, not because it did not improve the test scores of each sub-group, but because of a 1.6% and .2% shortage in the attendance on the day of the test for one sub- group (all other subgroups had 95% or higher for participation/attendance). As you can see, the PI List can be deceiving.

Come visit Glenview! There are quite a few neighborhood children who will be in the 2nd grade next year with your daughter. We are having a prospective parent brunch on Saturday, February 5th from 10am to noon at the Dimond Library Community Room (2nd floor). It is an informal gathering where prospective families can meet current Glenview parents and children. If you have more questions about the school or the brunch, please feel free to call me at 531-3124. Wendy


Dear First Time Public School Mom,

I am a Glenview parent and PTA president this year. My son is in second grade and is having a great year. He loves his teacher, he loves his friends, and he loves his school. There is so much to tell about this school, but I'd like to focus on a few things that I think you may find particularly helpful. I think the most important things to look at in a school are 1) academics/teachers; 2) parent involvement; and 3) enrichment (both academic/arts and social).

First, I'd like to speak to Glenview academics. While Glenview is on the NCLB program improvement list, as others have written, it's solely because of test attendance issues, and not low scores. Glenview students by and large score well. The API of 732 (800 is the state goal) is a good score, and the school plans to improve on that score this year. The teachers at the school are diverse, dedicated, talented, and professional, bringing to the classroom outside interests as varied as broadcasting production, jazz guitar, and native African horticulture. Some have special knowledge regarding special education and some hold masters degrees in education. All are fully credentialed and tenured. Most are fully dedicated to teaching to as many different learning styles as the OUSD curriculum will allow.

Second, parent involvement is very strong at this school, with little of the exclusivity found in other schools. We openly welcome any and all who wish to come forward with their ideas, creativity, and rolled-up sleeves! There is a wonderful sense of neighborhood , with much support and good will. All in all, a very smart, highly dedicated, down-to-earth, creative, and enthusiastic group of parents. I feel very privileged to work with them.

Third, the enrichment at this school is likely superior to any you will find at the other schools you are considering. This year, the children receive science as a separate class once a week. The teacher is Sue Morgan, director of the native plant nursery project for the Friends of Sausal Creek group. The school also offers both drama and art during school hours, as well as the Spirit Team, directed by E.W. Wainwright, a world-class percussionist who had the Glenview Spirit Team perform at Yoshi's this past December for a benefit. Like most OUSD elementary schools, ours has an upper grade instrumental program as well. The PTA has also organized after school programs, including Sarah Science, Berkeley School of the Arts, Spanish, Recorder lessons (with Louise Carslake, who teaches chamber music at Mills College), Chess, Oakland Youth Chorus, Rhythm Rocks, and Capoeira. Glenview's principal and the PTA are working on a matching grant proposal for next year to fully fund many of these programs so that all students may enjoy extensive art programs during school hours. There is a very real commitment to the arts and sciences at this school.

Finally, social skills are also an important part of life at Glenview. The PTA partially funds two social/emotional counselors at the school to assist children who are having behavioral or learning issues, or who are struggling with family break-ups, illnesses, or tragedies. Dr. Morgan and/or Mr. Scott are at the school almost every day helping kids. And Glenview kids are very well-behaved. A few of our after school program teachers (all of whom teach at other hills elementary schools in Oakland) have frankly commented on how well-behaved Glenview students are compared to other schools at which they've taught. Of course, Glenview is diverse. Recent statistics tell me that the ethnic makeup of Glenview is as follows: Asian/Pacific Islander-24.3%; African-American-43.4%; European-10.2%; Latino/Chicano-18.5%; Native American-0.3%; Other-3.3%. Along with such diversity comes the opportunity for kids to learn how other families operate and to make friends using the sounder barometers of sincerity and honesty, rather than skin color or material wealth.

And I'll quickly mention that Glenview has Sports 4 Kids on site for non- competitive recess play, a newly renovated and absolutely gorgeous library with 1.5 librarians to help maintain the thousands upon thousands of books on the shelves and to help kids check out books on a weekly basis and to conduct research for book reports and other projects. We also have Adventure Time on site, a separate before and after school program with coverage for many school minimum days and holidays as well. Great for working parents.

So, of course, I think your child should come to Glenview, and I hope he or she will. Glenview is a wonderful school, with wonderful teachers, staff, children and parents. Are there problems? Of course. There are problems at EVERY school. But we love our school and we love our neighborhood. At the very least come check it out. Please contact me if you'd like even more information (teachers, testing, other schools, etc.). Believe it or not, the information here just scratches the surface of all that is good about this school. I'd be happy to help in any way I can. Patti


March 2003

RE: Glenview's reading program and API score . . .

We are members of a neighborhood parent group committed to supporting our local public school and are advocates for our school and its teachers. We have asked the very same questions and commend the reader for considering Glenview AND for asking questions about it.

Glenview, like all Oakland Schools, is mandated to use the Open Court series for language development. While this phonics-based program has its strengths and limitations, the experienced teachers at Glenview manage it well, building student strengths of decoding and sightword recognition while supplementing direct ''phonics'' instruction with other, thematic inter- disciplinary materials. An experienced, knowledgeable teacher is the most important variable in improving achievement in the classroom and our school has a long-term, committed staff.

RE: API score--this score is used to rate schools by test scores and does not necessarily measure the quality of instruction or other support services provided. Test scores are normative, designed to rank students across a bell curve and test scores are central to the API score. Standardized tests generally measure the cultural and linguistic knowledge students bring with them to school, therefore, the API score is somewhat based on influences outside the school's control. Standardized tests do not directly measure what is taught in the classroom, but scores do correlate with parent income.

Glenview's projected API score for 2002 is 676. This score places it in the top 25th percentile of the district's elementary schools. Oakland schools have historically been under- funded and under-supported and our schools can and must be improved. Parents and teachers at Glenview are striving to improve our school because all schools need improvement, not because we don't feel positive about its current status. But do take time to visit our neighborhood school for yourself. The one most important way to improve public schools is to send our children to them and be active supporters.

Michelle , Glenview Parent


PROS:
1. Wonderful teachers. The kindergarten program is very strong, with three excellent, experienced teachers teaching reading, math, writing, science, art, music and social skills. You don't hear much about the middle grades (2nd, 3rd & 4th grades), but the teachers are strong in these grades too, with innovative ideas on how to add to California's required curriculum with field trips, cooking lessons, and pet projects, including a project with the Oakland Zoo planting a whole area of the zoo with native African plants. The 5th grade is incredibly strong with two superb teachers (Ms. Brouhard and Mr. Wolf).
2. A personable, flexible and warm-hearted principal who loves the school, the children and is respectful and collegial with the teachers. Ms. Atkins is truly open to parent participation and leadership. Beware: That is not necessarily true at all of the other schools...
3. A strong, dedicated and very active PTA with a drive to do more and provide more to the school community every year.
4. Wonderful kids with few behavioral issues.
5. Great before and after-school options that provide full day coverage for working parents. My son loves Adventure Time (AT- one of the options located onsite) and the AT teachers we have are fantastic.

CONS:
1. This is true for all Oakland public schools: the budget crisis is pretty stressful for the schools and for the parents.
2. The kindergarten class needs to be longer. Currently, it is 3 hours and 20 minutes long. The kids and the teachers need more time to learn and teach the curriculum and to have more time to play and learn materials beyond the curriculum.
3. We could use another portable.
4. I wish more neighborhood families would send their kids to the school...

If you are really interested in giving Glenview Elementary a chance, go to the school, meet the principal, meet some teachers, look at some classes. And stay tuned for the next Consider Glenview meeting. We will hold a meeting to discuss school choices within the next 2-4 weeks. Go to www.yahoogroups.com, and sign up for the considerglenview listserv to receive notices about upcoming Glenview Elementary events and Consider Glenview meetings.


January 2003

I have two questions about Glenview:

1.) Do they teach reading through phonics? I recall reading about how the whole language method was repudiated in the 90's at some point. But I don't know if all California schools were required to drop whole language as the teaching method.

2.) What's your take on why Glenview kids have poor test scores resulting in the low API ranking? Thanks


I would like as much info as possible on the pros and cons of Glenview Elementary. The ratings I have seen are not that great. We are seriously considering moving out of the Glenview neighborhood because of the school. However, I would like to give the school a fair chance. Thanks.
Glenview, as well as almost all of Oakland uses a Phonics based program called Open Court. It is very repetitive and I find that many of my students find it quite dull. Many of the stronger teachers in Oakland have found ways to suppliment and give a balanced education without boring the students to tears. My advice is to talk to the teachers and see their opinion about the program.. If they say that they love it as is, I would run fast. frustrated teacher
This is in response to the query about Glenview. My 3 kids have attended Glenview and I currently teach there. The school has a wonderfully ethnically, linguistically and econcomically diverse student population. Students who leave Glenview are prepared to work and play with all kinds of kids. As a parent of children growing up in Oakland this was extremely important to me. As a result, both my kids and I have built strong relationships with families we met at Glenview.

Now, on to what is probably of more concern to the person asking about Glenview -- the academics. First, the API issue. Glenview's API has risen 17 points in the 3 years since I have returned to teach at Glenview.Our API sits right in the middle of Oakland public schools.

Glenview has one of the best kindergarten teams in the district. The teachers work and plan as a team so no matter who your child gets, all kindergarteners are getting an equally good start. The teachers are warm, thoughful teachers who understand the developmental needs of kinders and work very well with parents. In first and second grades there are seven teachers who meet regularly to plan curriculum, discuss student progress, and have release time to do peer observations and coaching. In the 4th and 5th grade we team teach. In 4th grade, one teacher teaches math and reading, the other teaches social studies/language arts and reading. In the 5th grade, we have three teachers. One teacher teaches three classes of reading/language arts, another teaches math, and a third teaches social studies/language arts. So that we can share circuit prep time ( we have all day prep twice a month, allowing us to meet as a circuit for an extended period of time), 4th and 5th graders have enrichment Wednesdays -- science, music, P.E., video production.

We teach Open Court, like all Oakland schools do. Any school that tells you they don't is not entirely telling the truth or can expect a visit from a district literacy coach. There are many ways to embellish the Open Court program for strong readers. In addition to Open Court, we do literature circles, inquiry projects, and poetry projects, to name a few. My point to this long response is --- don't be scared away by the API or test scores. Glenview is a gem. Call the office, 879-1190 and make an appointment to check it out and talk to the staff and principal. Jennifer


I forwarded the question about Glenview's test scores and reading program to Consider Glenview, a group of current and prospective Glenview parents. Here's one of the responses, edited for brevity.

Open Court offers a combination of phonics, whole language and other strategies and uses literature to teach students. Some of the strategies at the primary level have students make connections to other texts and to themselves, make predictions, summarize what they read and ask questions about what they read. They also have students use art to make meaning of the text. Teachers read aloud to students, students do guided reading and read independently. These are strong components of a literacy program.

Whole language has not been repudiated in the education world. Many of the elements of whole language--particularly using real literature to teach comprehension skills--have been embraced in California schools. Although whole language didn't get rid of phonics completely, many students lost out on phonics instruction. Research has shown that phonics is an important component in any primary reading program. Sound-letter recognition, the blending of sounds, etc. are crucial for the majority of students to know. Open Court is not exclusively phonics-oriented, but it has a very strong phonics base.

Some of the literature from Open Court isn't the most compelling for students, and some of it is decent to very good. However, like all good teachers, teachers bring in other reading for the students to work with and experience.

One of the concerns of Open Court is that it is ''teacher- proof'' meaning that anyone, as long as they have the teacher's edition and the materials can teach it. Teachers, such as myself, reject the notion of teacher- proof materials. What I have seen at Glenview is that teachers use Open Court as another set of materials to complement their teaching. They are required to use it, so they do, and they follow the Open Court progression, but they haven't thrown out all their creative teaching ideas and strategies.

As a parent, I cannot say I am displeased with the Open Court program. My kindergartner loves school (he even said he couldn't wait to come back today after our long vacation), is learning to read and write and is thrilled about that. Teri, Dashka


November 1998

This is in response to Glenview elementary in Oakland I have 2 children in Glenview one in 4th and other in kinder. I transfered into Glenview since I didn't like th school we are assigned to. I have been at Glenview for the past 4 years . I can address most of the questions.

Safety
I would say a safe school. Safety was an issue (what I mean by safety has to do with fights, no guns, no serious kinds of violations). We had a politcal problem with one child who caused havoc. With the diligent work of the teachers and staff at Glenview we got rid of the kid. We brought in an outside organization Sports for Kids to help organize games at lunchtime. That really seemed to help cut down on the fights. In terms of location, its nestled in with private homes, not a busy street. Its very community. I like the location.

Class Size
There are 465 students in the school. I belive there are 17 teachers. K-3, 20 children per class 4, 5, 6 up to 30. My son is in a 3/4 combination, 22 children in his class. I am happy with the class size. It has made a difference.

State Exam Performance
Glenview faired well for Oakland Public Schools. It was up there with Redwood Heights. My kids are doing very well. They scored above to average in different categories. I think you can't use those scores to heavily. You as a parent must stay involved. Help your children develop good study habits.

Level of parent involvement
The school itself welcomes parent involvment. Depending on the teacher, there are many parents who help out in the class. Those that can't help out during the day, help out by participating in the various events. When we have school events parents as well as the Glenview community come and help out. We have 2 major fundraising events: Walkathon in the Winter which has netted 10k and our Spring Fair which the Glenview Association is a very big part of the event. This year the PTA is taking over the Science Fair, we are incorporating a 5 week Saturday Science Camp for the children and in March we will have a Pancake Breakfast, Science Fair. Like all schools, its normally your same families that pull the weight. We would like to see more parents involved and its slowly coming around. The principal is open to parental involvement, ideas, events. We done the cookbook fundraiser, with school support, assemblies. If parents have ideas or connections for bringing in new programs or so forth. There are also on-site boards you can join. I for instance belong to the SCC, which is a school counsel which makes decisions and recomendations on how monies can be spent. There is also a bi-lingual counsel that parents can belong with same decision making abilities.

Teachers
We have been totally blessed. Everyone of my son's teachers except for 1 which was changed within 2 weeks of school and by the way is no longer there have been great. The teachers are the best. Both of my kids have the same kinder teacher--wonderful. My daughter, the kinder is beginning to read. She can read the very easy Dr. Seuss books. I have found that when the children are assigned to a teacher they attempt to match personalities and abilities. It really makes a difference. I have no bad words for the teachers at Glenview. I think they are dedicated to the teaching of children. They are also very willing to work with parents.

Overall recommendations
I think Glenview is a good elementary school. My kids are doing well. I really like the diversity at this school, it celebrates the different groups in classroom education, assemblies, field trips and so forth.

Cindy


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