Commute to Francophone Charter School, Oakland


Our son is young, but we're in the process of considering some language immersion programs for preschool/elementary. I'm very interested in French immersion, but don't know how challenging it might be to commute from North Oakland/Berkeley down to the Francophone Charter school. Do any parents have thoughts on this? Do the families attending that school live in the surrounding community or not? If we stay in the North Oakland/Berkeley area, does EB just make the most sense?

Thanks in advance!

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Families come from all over Oakland to attend Francophone.   We commute from North Oakland to the school and we have a carpool with 2 other families so it has worked out great (every morning someone else comes directly to my door to pick up my child, can't beat that!).  There are several carpools and new ones get organized each year.  Some parents drop off at the school and then commute from San Leandro or Coliseum BART or take the AC Transit transbay buses that leave from the area like the NX4.  Another strategy is that the JCC in North Oakland picks up from Francophone each day, so if you can afford their aftercare program (which if you're also considering EB I'm assuming you can?) then they'll bring your child back to North Oakland each day and it's only the morning commute you'd have to figure out.  There is some uncertainty about the second location of the school next year that's still being sorted out, they're dependent on OUSD to rent them space in available campuses so factor that in when considering the school. 

My daughter goes to EB and we're happy with the school although it is expensive. We live in Oakland in the Dimond and the commute in the morning isn't bad although in the evenings it could take 40+ min to get home. If you're in North Oakland/Berkeley the commute would probably be a lot better especially compared to Francophone. One thing to note is that Francophone doesn't have a preschool (just TK) so EB might be your best bet if your son is young. Also, we have friends whose kids go to Francophone and they told us the school will likely move next year to the Oakland Airport area. Not sure if that affects your decision or not. I assume price isn't an issue because in that regards Francophone is the far better a choice. A number of kids at EB left for Francophone once they start kindergarten for the cost alone.

We applied to the francophone charter school and got number 150 on the waitlist - so if you try for this school be sure you have a good back up option.

If price is not a consideration, you choose EB without hesitation. I live in north Oakland (lower Rockridge) and my commute is 20 minutes on bike to EB. Driving can take anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes depending on traffic. Class size doesn’t exceed 18 in the lower grades and we love the international vibe of the school. Go check it out.