Advice from current parents at Sequoia or Cleveland?

Some family decisions now hinge on where our daughter goes to school in 2021. I'd love to learn more about the Sequoia and Cleveland Elementary communities.

As engaged POC parents, we hope our kids' learning environment will have engaged and creative teachers, diversity diversity diversity (racial, economic, abilities, families and all), safety, and relatively ok academics. Really nice to haves are a big outdoor space, active parent group to get plugged into, a good teacher to student ratio, project based learning, art and an after school program.

From what I've read, cleveland elementary and sequoia check off many of those... But Im just piecemealing random sources. And I'm assuming there won't be any tours this year, though hopefully a virtual one. Any current parents that can speak candidly to their experience at Sequoia or Cleveland? What are the campuses like? Communication with parents? Is it worth moving to the school neighborhood? We're not far right now, close to the lake.

Lots of questions! The decision feels pretty big, especially with younger siblings to consider.

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I toured Cleveland and loved it. I think the values and community there will reflect your values. We are waitlisted there but we started at Lincoln. Please consider Lincoln too. It's a wonderful school and so far we are very happy with it. We are also near the lake. Best of luck with the decision! And remember there is a lot of shuffling in the first weeks of school, so if you dont get your first pick, you have a shot through the waitlist.

Cleveland checks a lot of the boxes you listed.

engaged and creative teachers — this is our third year at Cleveland and every teacher has been passionate, engaged and brilliant teachers.

diversity diversity diversity (racial, economic, abilities, families and all) — yes, yes, and yes

 safety — we feel quite safe at and around school.

and relatively ok academics. — this is dictated by the state and the district. We think it’s ok but sometimes we feel gifted / advanced kids get held back in public school. 

Really nice to haves are a big outdoor space — it’s not a big school. It has a garden and is not as ugly as some other schools but it’s not Park Day and it’s comparable to other public school. Why do all public schools look so institutional......

, active parent group to get plugged into, — absolutely! PTA is strong, engaged, and welcoming 

a good teacher to student ratio, — nope. This does not exist in any public school in Oakland. 

project based learning — nope. I don’t think this exists in any public school. Sadly.

 art — we have art, music and PE

 an after school program — yes. We have a few options.