Kindergarten - alternatives to OUSD?

My son will be starting kindergarten in 2023 and while I had been planning to just apply to OUSD schools, with an eye on MLA and Manzanita SEED in particular, I am realizing it may be good to have some backups in case we don't get in or those schools don't seem like a good fit for whatever reason.

Are there any Oakland charter schools that have Spanish immersion at the elementary level? Any other elementary charter schools that people love? Any to avoid?

I remember reading that Piedmont was opening enrollment to Oakland students - has anyone done this? what was your experience like? In particular, I'm wondering if doing this means giving up your spot in the OUSD application process. Also curious if any of the Piedmont schools have Spanish immersion, from my quick search it doesn't seem like it. 

Finally, curious about people's experience at the private schools KSS and EBI - given other expenses, I think we could only make that work if we had a scholarship - so one of my first questions how likely is that for a family with two working parents, making just under $250k/year combined? is it purely need based or do they take other things into consideration?

Any thoughts or experience on school culture in Piedmont schools or the two private schools I mentioned also welcome...for various reasons I'm wary.... 

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We also looked at Spanish immersion schools in Oakland. I don't think there are any charter schools that offer that option.

While MLA and Manzanita SEED were also on our list, I'd encourage you to also look at International Community School and Greenleaf as well. (We've now got two kids at Greenleaf and really pleased for a variety of reasons.) ICS was by far the school I was most impressed with when I toured a few years ago but we ended up ranking MLA and Greenleaf higher because both of them go through middle school, which gives our kids more years of dual language education.

We had the experience of not getting into our desired Spanish immersion public school and applied for EBI. We have a combined salary similar to yours, but with house payments, student loans, and a younger kid in preschool, don't have anything close to the kind of disposable income needed for EBI. I think they offered us something like $1k in scholarship. I guess technically we could probably afford it on our salaries, if we refinanced our house and stopped saving for retirement, but those seemed like extreme measures so we gave up on the Spanish thing. I wouldn't count on getting much financial support at your salary level. 

Just a note that OUSD has more Spanish immersion schools than just MLA and Manzanita SEED, though those are the two best-known. If Spanish is your highest priority, definitely take a look at some of the others, too.

To enroll in Piedmont, you have to meet the interdistrict transfer requirements. For entering kinders, that's mainly that a parent works full-time in Piedmont or your childcare provider is in Piedmont and is responsible for taking your child to and from school. OUSD has been much stricter about enforcing these restrictions in recent years. (The criteria are set by the state.) And no, there's no Spanish immersion school in Piedmont. You don't give up your spot in OUSD until your transfer is granted, so if you think you qualify, you could apply and also do the OUSD Options process.

If you’re interested in Spanish immersion, I would highly encourage you to consider ICS as well. It’s much easier to get into than MLA and probably Manzanita SEED too, and it’s a really great school. (Our son is in kinder there this year.) very well resourced, lots of extras, and really dedicated teachers. The location can be a pain in the butt but location doesn’t seem like a concern of yours based on the schools you’re looking at.