Advice chosing Oakland TK? (Emerson, Sankofa or Manzanita SEED)

Hi BPN families,

We're hoping to send our son to an Oakland TK program this coming fall and the schools we're looking at only have one review each from 2021, all the rest are really out-dated - I understand that TK is recent for these schools and I can't imagine what a nightmare it was for parents last year. That being said, if any parents have current thoughts about the following schools, I'd love to hear! Full disclosure: we had no idea TK was a thing, only learned from a preschool parent 2 weeks after the OUSD deadline. So, I'm hustling to learn and hopefully choose by March 24 - I'd love to not pay $25/k for a 3rd year of preschool if possible!

We're deciding between: Emerson Elementary, Sankofa or Manzanita SEED. 

I'm not totally clear what we're looking for, but I think: focus on social/emotional development, little to no homework, passionate teachers that have been there for a bit, some creative element, diversity (ability, socio-economic, racial, etc.), commitment to anti-bullying, after school options, etc. We're not concerned about testing scores or the other things Great Schools website focuses on. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated!

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

Our son is a first grader at Sankofa and we are sending our daughter to Sankofa for TK this coming fall. It is the first year for TK at Sankofa so it will probably be hard to find reviews on the TK program specifically but we can comment on Sankofa as a school overall. We absolutely love the school and the teachers we’ve met so far. The principal is amazing and very communicative. Sankofa United is a blended community and that process has been done with a lot of attention to equity and inclusion. Diversity, social emotional learning and inclusion are highlighted in the schools mission and values. I believe there is a Saturday play date coming soon where you could tour the school and meet some families, which I highly recommend. 

best of luck in your search!

Our son is in TK at emerson and we’ve been thrilled with his teacher (Ms. Sellers) and the school.  We’ve formed a really nice community as a TK class and the kids all seem really happy and sweet. Ms. Sellers manages the classroom beautifully and brings creativity, love and patience to the group. My son is learning so much and I believe will be well prepared for kindergarten from a social and academic standpoint.  He will be attending school at Emerson next year. Hope to see you there! PM me for more info.  Laura. 

I have a son in 1st grade at SEED and another son entering K next year. SEED is really wonderful and my son had really flourished there this past year. I’m sure you know it’s a 50/50 Spanish/English immersion school, and it’s been quite amazing for my son. I speak Spanish at home, but my husband doesn’t, so my kids get a decent amount of exposure at home. That said, my son has greatly improved his Spanish and is ahead of the average benchmarks for non-native speakers. Like many kids, he started below grade level this school year because of the zoom hell that was last year, and is now at grade level. He’s really progressed a lot and it’s because the teachers are so great.  The principal is new this year, but seems engaged with the community. The TK teacher is new as well, but he was is also really great. We actually know him because he was a student teacher in my son’s kinder class last year. He’s very warm, brings lots of energy, and the kids this year seem to love him. I do find it to be rare to have a male teacher for such young kids, and so it’s a great opportunity to give your kids a strong and compassionate male role model at school. We’re really happy at SEED. Hope this helps! Happy to chat further if you’d like.