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I've checked the archives and there are no recent reviews of NOCCS. We're considering NOCCS for the last two years of elementary and for middle school -- hoping that since we're high on the waiting list that we'll get in. Can anyone talk about grades 4-8? What is middle school like? What electives are there? What are the positives and the drawbacks? How do the mixed classrooms work? What about the cell tower near the school? Has there been any environmental impact? I'd appreciate any feedback about the curriculum and extra curricula activities/concerns. Thanks Thinking about NOCCS
First, the school is ''experimenting'' with allowing some teachers to go part-time - mostly four days/week. The substitute teacher on the fifth day (or whatever the situation is) is an ''accredited'' teacher, but never is this teacher someone the school would even consider hiring full-time. This has created quite a few problems across the classrooms where this has been implemented, such as continuity challenges for the students, so this is something to investigate.
More importantly, I think, is your question about the cell antennas. To be clear, European standards (i.e. the EU) require that *one* cell antenna be at least 1500 feet from a school, but there are now *nine* antennas 100 feet from our children at NOCCS. Yes, the current setup meets FCC guidelines, but these were written over 15 years ago and do not meet current cutting edge (and yes peer-reviewed) medical research and standards - just telcom lobbied standards. Certainly, there is a debate about the health effects, but NOCCS children are now guinea pigs in studying these effects. noccs parent
The upsides include small school atmosphere, a blended practical-intellectual approach (called "teaching for understanding"), good teachers, and the volunteer commitments of many parents. Downsides include difficulties in retaining some faculty, the widespread and constant struggle for funds, and the lack of a decent playground - though they now give credit for regular outside sports participation. Middle school elective period options: music, visual art, Community Action Learning (required), P.E. (required), Spanish, biz world, media and technology.
A set of 9 Verizon cell antennas were installed on the building across 42nd Street from the school last Thanksgiving after a long battle on the part of a small group of parents to keep them away had delayed but not stopped them. (It had been easy to get the permit; since then, Oakland has changed its regulations around cell antenna installations in mixed-use neighborhoods.) Recently the Verizon antennas were upgraded (power was increased) to handle the 4G network communications. Hooray for Verizon and its subscribers.
Any effects on students and teachers are as yet unnoticed (or unreported) but if there are any they may not appear in the short term. A small long-term epidemiological health study was started before the antennas were installed but the sample size may not be large enough to document the full effects. ItC",E!s not certain there will be any effects but itC",E!s not well studied yet in the U.S. Cbbbbbcause the FCC and Congress have done the bidding of the cell phone companies, and everyone loves the technology. A few scientific studies that appeared to show bad effects from EMF exposure were quickly disparaged. Who's working for whom? Anyway, so far, in 6 months of exposure, no clear and documented effects are known to have appeared at NOCCS.
I think that answers your questions but if you have more, e-mail me directly:
Dennis R., parent of 7th grader at NOCCS
I would love to hear about your experiences at NOCCS' middle school: teaching staff, curriculum, school climate, administration, school site. I know that the middle school is only a couple of years old and that there have been growing pains and bumps along the road. I'm not looking for perfection, but an honest assessment of how things are going for your middle schooler would be great. Thanks so much.
Hi, Does anyone know what is going on with plans for a cell phone tower near NOCCS, the North Oakland Community Charter School? I'm interested in the school but wondered if a cell phone tower is indeed going to be built close by. There was an article in the SF Chroncile about parents organizing against it, but I've lost track of what is happening with this. Much thanks, D.
Re: Kids of LGBT families experience: Oakland schools
It would be worth it to put your child's name into the lottery for NOCCS (North Oakland Community Charter School). We are also a two-mom family, and I cannot imagine a more welcoming, inclusive and affirming environment for our daughter. Respect for all kinds of diversity, including family diversity, is an integral part of the curriculum and the school community, and each child's experience/background is validated. Definitely check it out. happy NOCCS parent
Re: K-8 private / public school around or in Berkeley
North Oakland Community Charter School -- one of the Bay Area's most successful public progressive schools -- has expanded to a K-8 model. NOCCS is currently accepting application for students who will be entering grades K-7 in the Fall of 2009. We have one Open House left this year scheduled for Saturday, February 7th at 1:30 PM. The Open House is open to both students and their families. TO download an application, go to our website at www.noccs.org or give us a call at 510.655.0540. Carolyn
Hi All, We live in Oakland and have a child who will start kindergarden in 2010. We love Oakland and do not want to move, but are feeling grim about our public school options. I know that admission to NOCCS is through a lottery. However, I am wondering if there is any chance that I could increase our chances of admission by volunteering at the school for a year or so before we apply. Has anyone out there had experience doing this at NOCCS? Does anyone have any other suggestions? I have heard it recommended to do this at other public schools, but don't know if it would make any difference at NOCCS. Worried Wilma
I would like to hear some recent parent opinions of NOCCS. It seems like it's THE place to be, but I'm not totally sure why. I have friends who have their kids there & they are happy, though not blown away. Is it really that much better than, say Civicorp? I've visited both & spoke to the administrators and I liked them both about the same, but Civicorp was so easy to get into & NOCCS has such a long wait list. It seems like a fine school, but does it really live up to it's hype? -Can't decide!
My son came to NOCCS because he was suffering from teasing and bullying at a private school with a very similar ''progressive'' philosophy. At NOCCS he has become a very confident learner and a much happier kid. NOCCS really does walk the talk in terms of promoting respect among the students, and grappling with the challenges of meeting the needs of a community that is truly racially and socio- economically diverse. If this is important to you, and you/your child don't need lots of structure, I say go with NOCCS. Good Luck! bt
It's not perfect -- there are conflicts among parents, but that's to be expected in a place where parents are highly involved in their child's education. The volunteer requirements are vast and can feel overwhelming to some, but there are many ways to participate. I visited EBCC several times and was also impressed with their curriculum, so they seem like a great school, too. They have nice outdoor areas and gardens and seem geared toward conservation. I love that a major part of their curriculum is community service-based. If you have visited both places, you must have a gut feeling about them. Where do you see your child thriving? That's really what it's all about. Everything else will fall into place. Good luck. NOCCS Rocks
Re: Peaceful, Kind, Elementary School in Oak/Berk???
Try North Oakland Community Charter School. There is a lottery and a long waiting list to get in, but it is a great school. I work for OUSD and am there one day a week and have been very impressed with the way that peaceful solutions are found for ''discipline'' issues. I think it would be a good fit for you. noccs.org Laura
Re: Oakland ''Hidden Gem'' Elementaries
Try NOCCS, North Oakland Community Charter School. We are very happy there, Progressive education and lottery to get in. Tours are going on now. Google, NOCCS for info. Good Luck parent
Re: Lonely 2nd grader is the only African American in her class
I think if the private schools you are looking at will not let you see and observe the classrooms that your daughter would be in if you chose the school, and let her come and spend some time there so that you and she can get a sense of what it would be like for her there, then I would not consider that school as an option at all.
If you are an Oakland resident, you might consider looking at N. Oakland Community Charter School. It is fairly diverse, though small, progressive, and challenging, and you could see both of the K/1 classrooms and the 2/3 classrooms for yourself. There are probably no openings now, but could be for 2nd grade next year (there always seem to be a couple of spots, but you never know this early in the year). anon
We have been waitlisted for first grade at NOCCS (North Oakland Community Charter)and would like to hear from any families of color (African American/Latino) about their experiences there. We very strongly agree with their educational approach/philosophy, but want to know more about how students of color do there? Our daughter is currently at a very diverse school in Oakland and asked me when we went to visit, ''Am I going to be the only brown one there?'' I guess I would like to hear from any parents of color out there who have sent their kids to predominantly white schools and how they have fared? Any advice? Anon
I'm interested in learning more about the North Oakland Community Charter School. Any current parents or others willing to comment on quality of academics, teachers? North Oakland parent
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I found an old posting (2000) about this charter school which was just starting up then. Does anyone have their children there and have any opinions about it? I looked at the web site and it looks like a public school worth investigating, but I'd like to get some personal views about it. Looking ahead to Kindergarten 2006
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The North Oakland Community Charter School is opening September 2000 for a combined classroom of 20 kindergartners and first graders on College Avenue in the Rockridge section of Oakland. It is open to any California resident. One or two grades will be added each year through 6th grade. The school seeks to create an intellectually challenging, student-centered environment focussed on early literacy and learning for understanding. The school and has hired an experienced, dynamic, one-of a-kind teacher for its inaugural classroom. There will also be a teacher's aide and an on-site aftercare program. There are currently a couple of openings for first graders and a very short waiting list for kindergartners. The school's number is 655-0540, and a rudimentary website is at www.noccs.org. Allison
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