LGBT Parent Communities in Oakland Hills Schools (OUSD and Private)

We are looking for elementary schools (preferably public, open to private) in the Oakland Hills that have supportive communities and culture for LGBT families. We are two moms and unfortunately have already experienced discrimination in our small school community, so wanting to get a better feel for the different schools. 

Oakland Hills Schools considering (Redwood Heights, Montclair, Thornhill, Crocker Highlands, Sequoia, Glenview, Hillcrest; and Private: Head Royce, Bentley, Park Day, Redwood Day)

Thank you!

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Kaiser school, formerly Henry J Kaiser Jr school in Hiller highlands near Bentley school. We are finishing our 10rh year sending 2 boys through k-6 there. Very diverse open supportive community with families from all over Oakland. LGBTQ families, single parents, adoptive families, mixed/multi ethnic-race families, you name it. We LOVE Kaiser. Check it out!

HI!  I am surpised and sorry to hear about discrimination. We have kids 14 and 17 who went through Oakland schools and have never experienced discrimination- it was a complete non issue. The only thing I would say is  we are often called by the other mom's names, but it wasn't discrimination, just that we all learned adults by the parent of so and so.  Dad's club went out of their way to invite us, boy scouts went out of their way to say we would be welcome, and the "Father/ Daughter dance became the "Adult/ Child" dance when we were there. We know parents of a child who identified as trans at Thornhill and the school went out of their way to education teachers and the community to support that child.  I think any of the hills schools would welcome any type of family structure.

I can't speak to the other schools but we are just about to start at Glenview and I've already met several LGBT families even in the prep for kindergarten. The principal (who is unfortunately leaving but I assume/hope the culture she helped create will carry on) made a point at the info day to say that they have many LGBT identified teachers and senior leadership and that the school is really supportive of all kinds of families, gender non-conforming kids etc. We are a not an LGBT family but our kids came to us in a non-traditional way so it was important that we find a school where diverse ways of being a family was an open discussion. Glenview happens to be our neighborhood school so I was partly already assuming we'd end up there, really, but I was really encouraged that out of 7 tours I went on (private and public, many of the schools you mentioned) it was the only school where this was proactively raised. FYI I am also a twin parent if you want to reach out (assuming based on your handle!) and I'm happy to share more.

Hi

We are also a same sex couple with a child in Oakland. We were also wondering about the schools you recommend or avoid. If you have any suggestions or get feedback please let us know.

Thank you

Grace

We are going to The Academy this fall for our 6th grade. At the recent open house for new familiar. I met two LGBT families. Everyone seems welcoming. It’s s private school and maybe more progressive with civil rights and open framework. The school is academic teaching French and Latin in middle school. Also they teach 1.5 grade above level. Hope this is helpful!

I recommend expanding the schools you are considering to include Kaiser Elementary.  It is a small public school not far from Bentley.  We are also a two mom family, and found Kaiser not only to be supportive, but inviting and welcoming of our family.  During the 10 years we spent at spent at Kaiser with our two kids, we never experienced discrimination and were never the only LGBT family in a classroom.  The teachers and staff are loving and committed to both academic and social-emotional development for all kids.

Aurora has a strong LGBTQ community with many out queer folks on staff.  They even celebrate Pride Day.  It's in Upper Rockridge attached to Holy Names HS.

Sequoia is super LGBTQ friendly and an awesome school!

I would totally and wholeheartedly recommend Aurora School in the Oakland Hills in Upper Rockridge near Broadway Terrace.  It's a small, independent progressive school.  Progressive, meaning the type of learning they offer (project based, hands on, oriented to each kid's level, etc) and the attitude towards inclusiveness.  We are also a two-Mom family with a son who has been at Aurora since kindergarten and who will be a 3rd grader there next year. We have always felt completely part of the community and have always felt all families regardless of their configuration are treated with the same respect.  I have been part of the Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee and really believe that the school is committed to making sure all the kids and families feel welcome and included. 

Hi there. We are a two mom family and our son is just finishing 2nd grade at Aurora school which is a small private elementary school off Broadway Terrace/Harbord Ave in the Oakland hills, between Montclair and Rockridge. We've been at the school since kindergarten and plan to stay through fifth grade, and even middle school, if they start one!

I can't say enough good things about Aurora. It is led by a very smart and skillful head of school, and her team of gay-positive, inclusive teachers. The school creates an environment of openness to everyone, and as such, helps everyone feel like they belong, whether they're adopted, have learning differences, divorced parents, single parent or two moms (no two dad families at present). This leads to a very collaborative and inclusive experience, as well as early intervention whenever anything problematic happens on the yard. Staff provide a lot of supervision, and help the kids "talk it out" when needed.

Aurora's summer camps are an excellent introduction to the school, so you might explore them for your child too. Josh Johnson, who runs the camps, is a pivotal person at the school throughout the year, and hires alumni as camp counselors as well as specialists for the theater arts and creative camps on offer.

https://auroraschool.org

Hi.  I would recommend Aurora School for it's inclusiveness.  We are a two-mom family and from the moment we took the tour to check out the school we have always gotten a positive vibe from the administration and the staff, as well as the community of parents with regard to our family.  We currently have a boy and a girl who just finished 3rd grade and Kindergarten and are excited to rejoin Aurora in the fall.  As other families from Aurora have mentioned below, the school is actively looking for and encourage diversity in the community.  Nothing feels 'weird' or 'forced' about the acceptance of our family.  Please check it out - I think you will feel welcome and you and your kid(s) would enjoy the experience and community at Aurora. 

Oh, one other thing.  My daughter enjoys dressing as a typical girl at times, while other times she wears her older brothers basketball shorts.  At other schools we looked at prior to joining Aurora I felt as though she would be made fun of for dressing in a gender-neutral way.  None of the other kids, staff or parents make fun of her.  I'm proud and encouraged that she is being allowed to find whatever identify she chooses for herself without the negative influence of other kids / folks opinions swaying her.  This attribute of Aurora is priceless to our family,

Sorry to hear that you've had a rough go so far. We are a two-mom family and have had a wonderful experience at St. Paul's Episcopal School (SPES) in Oakland. We have both a 6th grader and a 4th grader. In both grades, there are multiple two-mom families, as I think there are in every grade. The teachers are great in terms of how they talk about families in the classes, making sure to include LGBT stories and history in the curriculum, not as a "token" but as part of the larger inclusive atmosphere in the school.  The teachers are always great with both of us and there are several LGBT teachers on staff. The school always has a contingent in the Pride parade in Oakland and it's a great mix of all the families, those who are LGBT and many allies, which is great for all to see and feel the support. I can't say enough about how great SPES is in terms of LGBT issues and overall, is a wonderful community. We are still so thankful to have found the school and think the world of it! 

Agreed that both St. Paul's and Kaiser should be added to your list--we are at one of those and have good friends at the other and both are very supportive school communities for LGBTQ families. You don't say which of the publics on your list is your neighborhood school--that's important, since all of the schools you list have lengthy waiting lists and several of them did not take all of the neighborhood families this past year. So you may not want to spend too much time deliberating over those you're very unlikely to get into. Kaiser and Montclair take the most non-neighborhood kids for kindergarten, and Sequoia and Glenview take a small number. The other four are very difficult to get seats at if you do not live in the neighborhood. If your child is older than kindergarten, you may have better luck, but it's still very hit or miss with the in-demand schools and you may need to be willing to wait into the first weeks of school.