Looking for Feedback on Thousand Oaks Elementary School

We are considering moving to the Thousand Oaks neighborhood. Part of the allure is the wonderful community feel as well as being able to send our children to public schools. Thousand Oaks is listed as a 5 out of 10 on Great Schools. From everything we hear it is a great school so we can't reconcile the low rating. Anyone have children currently attending or have a recent grad that can provide any feedback (good and/or bad)? Our son will be starting kindergarten in the fall.

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Hi, there! Our daughter went through Thousand Oaks, and it's awesome. But it's important for you to know that our school district does NOT assign by neighborhood; your child could very well be assigned to Jefferson or Rosa Parks instead, and will be supplied a school bus to get there and home every day. All of the schools are fantastic, so where ever you land, you will be in good shape. 

Research how schools work in Berkeley. You don’t necessarily get to go to your neighborhood school because schools are sssigned by lottery within your zone. Berkeley is split into 3 zones. Look at all the schools in your zone. 

Be advised that moving into the neighborhood doesn't mean that your child will be assigned to that school.


As far as the school's score, please drill down to check the components of the score, there are several factors that make up the score and many schools are still "good" even with a lower score. You can check to see how students of your demographic are doing as well. There are also schools with higher scores that just don't work for some kids.

If you drill into that score some more, you'll notice that there are racial and socio-economic correlations with standardized test scores. White students scored better than black and hispanic students on the standardized tests. Low income students score poorly.  And because their student body comprises of multiple ethnicities, the school average score is not so high.  We love our son's school because it's close, and it's part of the Berkeley public schools in which no school is worse or better off economically (cf. the PTA of a public school in the Mission in SF raises $90K whereas one in Noe Valley raises $400K!).  Personally, in our family, we know that we can readily support our children academically.  What we can't easily supply is socio-economic and ethnic diversity; learning about people from different walks of life, with different problems, exhibiting different kinds of resilience.  

So... if your child is black or low-income will she do poorly on standardized tests?  Of course not necessarily.  And, the comments seem very positive.  I have some white (jewish) friends whose kids went there.  One's at UCLA now, the other probably will go to a comparably competitive college when she graduates BHS.  For another data point.  Good luck!

The community - teachers, parents, and students are truly awesome  - diverse, friendly and approachable. The teachers are also really passionate. I also found them to be very kind and nurturing. 

However, they also have their challenges. With not too many resources to rely on (like most public schools I guess?) their plates are full. So, a child who is going well might not get much attention to further his or her learning or to keep him/her engaged. In one particular year, the set of students in my son's class had some disciplinary issues and most of the teacher's time was spent on kids that needed attention on that front. And of course on slower learners as well. This adversely affected his learning as he stopped caring about doing his best as no one seemed to care. We ended up moving him.

However, the same school turned out OK for our daughter whose personality is very different and doesn't care about getting validation from teachers.

Besides this, we hated that the school did not teach the kids science!  The science teacher was terrible. In 5th grade, the teacher only covered 1/3 of the state syllabus in class. I brought this up with the principal but nothing changed. 

That said, we loved the teachers! We're still friends with a few. The music program is awesome! We also loved the gardening program (not sure they still have it).