Renaissance International School for Elementary?

We are currently thinking about sending our children to the Renaissance International School in Oakland for Elementary school. There are a lot of things we like about the school, but we are hoping to get some opinions from past and current families.

If you're a current family: what do you like and dislike about the school as well as how long you have been in the upper school.

Specifically, if you left the school for a different school:

  • How long did you stay?
  • Why did you leave, was it at 6th grade or before?
  • How well did your child transition to the new school? 
  • Were there issues because of the different teaching style? ie: math, spelling, homework, different classroom structure
  • If before 6th grade, what did the new school offer that was not at Renaissance? 
  • Have you been happy with the switch?
  • If willing to share, what school you went to?
  • Some of the things that are really alluring are multi-language instruction, foreign cultural trips, outdoor education, small classrooms, music, art. Did you find ways to supplement those things at the other school? Or did you not find them to be as valuable to your child's education that you thought it might have been.

I'd love to hear from families whose children stayed through elementary or middle school and what your take was on the education your child received there. If you could do it over again, would you?

We are lucky that we live in an area where there are so many schools to choose from. But all that choice comes at the expense of feeling a bit overwhelmed with the options and wanting to choose the right school for your kid. 

Thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking to time to help give us some larger perspective.

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

My daughter attended TRIS from pre-K through 5th. We loved the school for all the reasons cited -- learning languages from native speakers (both French and Spanish) -- including being taught other subjects in those languages -- and the unparalleled music and art. Having the kids go immediately to choir and sing first thing in the morning I thought was particularly inspiring. In the early years, in particular, we thought the Montessori method was a great approach that instilled independence and a love of learning. Our daughter would come home and whip up crepes because she learned how to do this in school. Ultimately we moved her to a traditional school for middle school since this was the entry point at competitive private schools, and the transition to tests and homework, which we were worried about, turned out to not be a problem at all. Her math skills improved radically (it was a challenge learning math in French) but otherwise didn't find that she was lagging in any subjects. My daughter is now in college, so we've been out of TRIS for more than 7 years, and while the school was not perfect, we do feel that it was overall a wonderful experience in our daughter's overall education.