Melrose Leadership & Manzanita SEED

Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  We're moving to Oakland in July.  Our kiddo is entering 2nd grade and has been attending 90/10 Spanish Immersion since PreK.  His native language is English (at home) but he has attained Spanish fluency over the past 3+ years.  We've taken the time to read through the older posts about the OUSD Spanish Immersion programs at the various schools.  We're single digits on the waitlist for both MLA and Manzanita (and Greenleaf).  We would love to hear some thoughts from some parents out there who are currently attending any of the three schools and why you would or wouldn't recommend attending them.  We've taken the OUSD Spanish proficiency assessment so we're good to go there.  Would also be curious about the waitlist experience over the past year or two.  I know the current system is new-ish but some days it feels like we're waiting to find out whether or not we got into Harvard!! =p

Thanks in advance!

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Welcome (soon) to Oakland! My son is soon to be a first grader at Greenleaf. We're also currently waitlisted (again) at Melrose. I can share some about our experience with waitlists and with Greenleaf.

Waitlists: last year for kindergarten we were waitlisted for Greenleaf. I think somewhere in the upper teens or low twenties to begin with. We were offered a spot pretty early on in the summer. We are not in the neighborhood and had nothing to bump us up the list. Melrose last year we were in the thirties, move up a bit but not significantly. This year for first grade there we were 11 and are now 9. I'm guessing we won't get in but we'll see.

We have had a mixed but over all positive experience at Greenleaf this last crazy year. I think this next year will be even better with a return to in person school. My son is fluent in Spanish and English and had done Spanish preschool. Most of the kids at Greenleaf are bilingual to begin with and live in the neighborhood around the school. Our teacher was excellent and creative. She obviously loves what she does. The other families, from what we could tell online, are committed to learning and supporting their kids. This is no small feat when doing zoom kindergarten. When in person school resumed my child really struggled with classroom expectations. He is high energy, resistant to change and smart. His teacher and the other school staff really came along beside us, have several really productive and helpful meetings. I was impressed with how well they all seemed to understand him, their creative ideas for addressing what was happening and their commitment to making school a positive, nurturing experience for my kid. The only negative, which may be the confluence of the pandemic and the principal being out parental leave, was that communication from the school was really poor. We often got information very late or in part. Trying to juggle multiple kids and work that was really difficult. I'm hopeful that some of that will be ironed when we return to campus and a more regular school year.

I would recommend Greenleaf. We've been happy there so far. I think my kid is being taught well, nurtured and welcomed. We're on the waitlist for Melrose again because it's within walking distance of our house, but I'll be happy with our kid remaining there.

Just on a side note, if you're looking for another Spanish immersion school to get on the waitlist for International Community School seems great. The only reason we didn't put that at the top of our list was that is only goes through 5th grade. But I was really, really impressed with them when I toured (more than Greenleaf). You might want to check them out too.