Kindergartener entering into Montclair Elementary Fall 2019

Our son will enter kindergarten at Montclair Elementary this year.  Any advice from parents with kids attending the school?  Are you and your child(ren) happy with the school, teachers, principal?

We haven't been able to find out much information online and would any advice or experiences you are willing to share.

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My family has been part of the Montclair school community since 2012. My son finished last year and is a sixth grader at Montera and my daughter is a third grader at Montclair now. They love school and our experience has been great. It is a big school with lots to offer and the challenge for new families is figuring out all the pieces. Register for MemberHub to receive school communication (find link on school website). Try to attend as many of the new family events as possible. There will be an orientation this month (May) for new families on a Tues evening at school with the principal and PTA leads -- it's a good overview of the school. Call the school office if you don't get an invite via email or robocall this week. There will be kinder playdates during the summer, a new parent mixer usually the Thurs before school starts where you'll get your teacher assignment and meet parents of kids in the same class, and a family picnic the Sunday before school starts that will feature classroom tours (a great preview that can diffuse some of the first day anxiety). The new principal is fantastic and the kinder teachers are great. As an OUSD school, Montclair is chronically under-funded and dependent on volunteers and donors to help teachers deliver quality 21st century education. Families organize to support the school via the PTA, which pays for library, music, art, and garden instruction plus chromebooks, classroom expenses, and intervention team members. The strength of MES is a function of parent participation. We need all the help we can get! Contact me if you'd like more info or have questions.

We are there for TK and will continue in K. We have a had a good experience there. We have a new principle, who we love. We are getting an intervention team coming on to handle students with special needs and behavior. It's a big school with a lot of resources. 

Hi there and welcome to MES!

I had the same issue when our child was entering Montclair - just not much info. The website is pretty robust, so if you haven't looked at it already, that's a good starting point. Aftercare was the biggest mystery to us; the biggest program is called "AT" (Adventure Time) and takes place at the building just north of the school. Getting in to AT is not guaranteed, so if you need aftercare, do it the moment the registration opens. There is a new principal who is just taking the reins after two years of a wonderful interim principal, Dr. Saddler. We decided between a few private options and going public with Montclair, and we are mostly happy with our decision. There are some things that have been frustrating, especially as a new parent that doesn't know the "system", but within a few months you'll feel comfortable. Budgets are always strapped in OUSD and the dysfunction is real, but the MES teachers are committed and the PTA is powerful and active, and fills in many of the gaps. The community of parents and kids has been my favorite thing; the people are just awesome. It feels good to support public school and do your part via volunteering and contributions to help it flourish. If you want more info, feel free to ask the moderator for my contact info!

My son is also enrolled for TK at Montclair in the fall, and we haven't received any information about an orientation for new families in May. I have signed up for and receive the newsletter, and haven't seen anything. I've called the office and only get voicemail. I have left several messages and no one calls me back. This is very disconcerting, as starting TK is a huge transition for young children and new families and there seems to be no support. How am I supposed to send my child to a classroom I have never seen with a teacher I have never met? Is this how public schools really function?