Strong elementary/middle school Danville/San Ramon/Pleasanton

Hi,

I have a 2nd grader and we're thinking of relocating to Contra Costa county (Danville, San Ramon) or Pleasanton.  Any private or public school recommendations?  Our child does better where she is challenged enough academically, where there are ample ways to be creative on the writing and musical front, and where teachers 'get' it that each kid is unique with different temperaments.  Is there such a place (ha ha)?  

Mary

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I live in Danville and speak to a few things here. Parents generally are pleased with all the public elementary and middle school options in the San Ramon Valley United School District (which includes Danville, Alamo, Diablo and San Ramon). The differences among the schools seem to be minor (school size, how new playground is, after school offerings). But my child isn’t school age yet so I don’t have firsthand experience. You may want to come out on a weekend to a park or school playground and talk to other parents who can give you specifics, especially regarding music and creative education. I know there’s a huge emphasis on reading and math, but that’s not unique to this district. 

I also know there’s been declining enrollment in this district for several years that’s not attributable to population changes. Class sizes are big and I don’t know how much attention your child would get. I would say parochial schools are a popular choice when parents want smaller classes and more challenges but without the $30k price tags. 

Bottom line is I would spend time talking with parents to determine whether the grass is actually greener here. I feel that often there’s a disconnect between reality and reputation and before going through the hassle and expense of relocating, try to learn what you can. Good luck!