Melrose Leadership Academy (Oakland, CA)
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Melrose Leadership Academy (Oakland, CA)
Manzanita Seed vs Melrose Academy
Hi! I recently toured both MLA and Manzanita Seed and didn't feel like I got a
thorough sense of the school community.
I'm interested in hearing stories from families that looked at both and decided
with one vs. the other. Happy with your decision? What do you love most about the
Thanks in advance,
searching for spanish immersion in oakland
I, too, did both school tours and had a difficult time choosing. In the end, I
chose Melrose Leadership Academy based on speaking with parents in the school,
talking further with Principal Moira about the curriculum and school ethos, and
reading more about the 90/10 immersion approach (vs. 50/50). I am very happy
with my decision. My son is thriving academically, and is learning Spanish very
quickly. He also loves being at school and actually asks me to pick him up late
from the afterschool program.
Parents at MLA are really committed and I am amazed at how everyone works
together, volunteers willingly, and wants to make this a better school. We
recently worked one weekend to put together garden boxes and create a green
space on the blacktop playground. We also cleaned classrooms and washed rugs
that same day. I had heard that MLA had a strong PTSA, but I am witnessing
first-hand how committed everyone is and I think it is great.
I also love the diversity and the strong cultural learning that my son is
receiving, not only in school but in the after school care. My son is learning
yoga, Capoeira, doing lots of art, and dance. (This weekend he had a capoeira
class and performance and I was really impressed by how much they have learned)
He gets a lot of time outdoors too, which he both needs and wants.
Needless to say, I am really grateful to have my son at MLA. There are always
going to be things that are not ''perfect'' with a school but I believe that it
is up to the community to do something about it, and at MLA, I believe that our
parent community steps up to do so.
Good luck with your decision.
Re: Bilingual Schools in Oakland and Berkeley
check out melrose leadership academy in oakland, mills college/maxwell park
area. it is a two-way immersion program growing to 8th grade. kinder starts
out at 90% spanish. currently k-3. we've been very happy there but more
importantly my son loves it.
Re: Expeditionary Learning Schools
The two Oakland schools using it are Manzanita Seed and Melrose Leadership Academy. My son is at MLA
& this is the first year they implemented EL. He loves the expeditions they have done so far and
has been very engaged with the process. We are looking forward to what they do with EL for next
Re: Spanish Immersion after 5th grade
In Oakland, we have Melrose Leadership
Academy, a public two-way immersion school that is building a k-8.
Right now I have a son in 2nd grade and every year a grade will be
added until 8th.
Re: Comparing school districts: Bilingual Immersion
If you change your mind and consider moving to Oakland. There is a public dual
immersion (span/eng) school in maxwell park called Melrose Leadership Academy
that has been phenomenal for my child.
Hello- I live in Maxwell Park near High Street in Oakland and
wonder about this new-ish school in our neighborhood called Melrose
Leadership Academy. It is a dual-language immersion school
(Spanish/English) which appeals to me, but beyond that I don't know
anything else. My kid will be attending Kindergarten not this
coming Fall but the next. I'd love to send him there since it is
close to home and he would learn Spanish, but how is it REALLY? Do
any of you have feedback about your experiences with this school?
Thinking ahead about my options
Melrose Leadership Academy has just completed its second year with an
elementary K & 1st grade dual immersion Spanish program (which means that 50%
of the student population speaks Spanish and 50% speaks English as their
primary languages and are immersed into a Spanish educational program).
MLA has been in existence for about 10 years as a middle school 6-8th grades
(which have many Spanish speakers but is not an immersion program yet) and now
has Kindergarten and 1st grade and will add a new grade each year.
The 2011-2012 school year will include 2nd grade.
The administrator, teachers, support staff, families and community are working
together toward its goal of having ethnically and socio-economically diverse
classrooms along with a balance of English dominant and Spanish dominant
students who will become bilingual and bi-literate and will develop a respect
for diversity of language through the intentional inclusion of multi-cultural
My daughter has attended MLA for the last two years and my son will
begin in the fall. I have served as a member of the design team for the
school and am also part of the Parent Teacher Organization for the school. I
would be happy to chat further about MLA please feel free to contact me.
I too live in maxwell park. We have been part of MLA since the beginning. We
started in the first kinder class and now my son is going into 2nd grade. We
are a spanish speaking household. MLA is unique for many reasons but the two
that stand out for me is that it's growing into a k-8, I personally love the
idea that my son won't have to transition to a new school when his hormones
get all wacky and it's two-way immersion vs bilingual so the focus is for ALL
students to retain their mother tongue and to learn a new language too. The
classroom is purposefully designed to have 50%native spanish speakers and 50%
native english speakers. Kinder starts 90% spanish/10% english and tapers off
as the grades get higher. For ex: 2nd grade next year will be 80/20. There are
also many exciting things happenning right now: collaboration with stopwaste
to improve our schoolyard, a weekly farmer's market, restorative justice
practices, and a strong parent group. But most importantly, my son loves going
to school. He is happy there and feels loved and safe. Having said all this,
we are a growing school so hence we have some growing pains but with that
there are so many parents stepping up to say how can we help/support. I really
can't ask for anything more from my neighborhood public school. If you'd like
to know more or get a sense of the school community please free to bring your
family to a workday. We have them the first saturday of every month and we'll
start again in September. Feel free to email too. Good luck with your
To the person who lives in Maxwell Park and asked about Melrose
There are a few families in the neighborhood getting together in the fall
to talk about neighborhood options for the school year 2012-13. We are
hoping to hear from families of both Maxwell Park as well as MLA students.
If you are interested in attending this meeting please let me know.
I am curious to hear more about Melrose Leadership Academy
and the dual immersion program that just started this year.
How are parents of kindergartners liking the program so far?
Can anyone share more info about the plans for adding
additional grades in the future? My son will be going to
elementary school in 2012 and I would love to keep him in a
Spanish language setting (he's at Monte Tavor now). I love
the idea of the dual immersion program but I have heard that
it can be difficult for kids who are Spanish speaking to
transition to the 50/50 language split since they start at
90Spanish/10English. Does anyone have experience with this
sort of program? Why do they start at 90% Spanish? How does
the transition to 50/50 work - is it gradual, or sudden?
What's the plan at MLA? Any advice or insights would be
great. I also plan to contact the principal this year but
love the advice from this community so appreciate any of
My son is in the current crop of kindergartner's at Melrose and is really loving it.
He is a native English speaker and had no background in Spanish. He's doing
great and the 90/10 set up of the program has not hindered him. It's my
understanding that 90/10 is more effective at getting children bilingual faster. I
believe that it stays 90/10 in 1st grade and then progressively moves 80/20,
70/30 etc. until it is a 50/50 program. The school plans on adding a grade a
year until it is a K-8 dual immersion program. Right now it is just K and 6-8.
My child will be in the 1st first grade class and an new group of kinders will
start in the fall. I suggest you speak with the principal, she has a very clear
vision for her program. We have a pretty involved parent community as well. I
encourage you to take a closer look at the school and its program. We've been
very happy. Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any more
Re: Kindergarden Next Year, but which one?
If you are in OUSD than I would highly recommend checking out Melrose Leadership
Academy in the Maxwell Park area of Oakland. It is a dual-immersion Spanish/English
K-8 school of which my son is lucky enough to be a student. Check it out here:
I've heard that Melrose Academy is a Spanish Immersion school.
Is anyone in this community going there? What have been your
experiences? I'm interested in all opinions. Thanks!
Should I send my child to Melrose?
Hi! My son is a student in the kindergarten at Melrose Leadership Academy. We could
not be happier with the community of children, parents and educators. It is a
wonderfully diverse group of kids and the program itself (90/10 spanish immersion)
was intimidating for me as a parent initially, but my son (with very very limited spanish
background) adapted quickly and loves it. I highly recommend speaking with the
Director, Moyra Contreras to get a feel for her philosophy and see if it works with your
You can also read about the school here:
and view a news story from Telemundo here:
My son, who is already a fluent spanish speaker, attends MLA.
It's only been a few weeks since school started but my son
loves it so far. He comes home singing songs and excited to do
homework. The principal is very experienced and warm. Also, in
a short time the parents have really come together to support
the program. His teacher is great too. The not so great? The
afterschool program is still getting it's footing though we
appreciate having a safe place for him to be, it's more like
childcare. They will be offering art and drumming so eventually
it will be more enriching. There are also some logisitical
issues with drop off that hopefully will be resolved soon.
Finally, they need more spanish speakers. There are current
openings in the program for spanish speakers so if you know of
any send them our way!
happy mla parent
We were nervous about enrolling our child at Melrose Leadership
Academy for kindergarten this year. There was no kindergarten
class to visit last year! It's been really great though, and
we are so glad we decided to go for it. We are thrilled for
our child to have the opportunity to attend a dual-immersion
Spanish/English public school, and amazed at how much the kids
are learning so quickly, in both languages. Both kindergarten
teachers are great, and the director is also wonderful--
experienced, and dedicated. We are also getting to know many
wonderful families in a very short amount of time. Many parents
are involved in the school, and also with volunteering in the
classrooms. A weekly farmer's market happens evey Wednesday
afternoon on the playground! There is also a beautiful garden
on the school grounds. The after-school program got off to a
slow start, but the kindergarten kids now have an after-school
art program, and capoeira classes, with more classes to come.
Come and meet this wonderfully diverse community!! The school
phone number is 879-1530, if you want to call for more
information about the program, or to come visit the classrooms.
The director's name is Moyra Contreras.
--Very happy MLA parents
I can't find any info on the BPN about Melrose Leadership
Academy's K-8 Spanish/English dual immersion program. My
understanding is that this is not a charter school, but a
regular Oakland public school. Can anyone tell me more about
No previous postings because it doesn't exist yet! Currently it
is a middle school. It is a small school and you can enroll in
it through the regular OUSD process. It's first dual immersion
K classes will be THIS Fall. They will have 2 Kinder classes
and each year will grow a grade until they get to 8th. My son
will be attending and we are looking forward to growing with
the school. The Principal is very open and I'm sure would be
happy to talk with you in greater detail.
Melrose Leadership Academy is an Oakland Public School not a
Charter school. Currently it is a 6-8th grade but is beginning
a spanish Dual Immersion Kindergarten this fall 2009. Spaces
are still available for fall enrollment.
If you are interested please contact Moyra Contreras
You are also welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am currently serving on the Design Team for the Dual
Immersion School as a public elementary school teacher and a
community parent of a child that will begin Kindergarten at MLA
Here are the websites available with information about Melrose
this page was last updated: Jan 26, 2014
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