Thoughts on BUSD Elementary schools in central zone?

Hi there,

My son is entering BUSD as a 1st grader and we’re in the Central zone. I’m leaning toward Malcolm X because it’s closest to our home but I’m wondering if folks can speak to how they decided on public elementary preferences in the central zone, pros/cons of the different schools, and what your experiences have been. 


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We put Oxford down as our first choice, both because of the size (small) and because we heard positive recommendations of other parents. After 3 years I can say we’re very happy with that choice. Beth Rhine, the principal, is truly wonderful and very involved in all aspects of the school. She sets a great tone and hires fabulous teachers! There’s an active PTA and a sweet feeling of community. 

I've been in the Central Zone at Oxford for 5 years (K-5th). I don't think there are many differences among schools, your kid's experience will be defined by their teacher. Some teachers are great and some are not that great. Proximity to school is important as it will make it easier for you to attend events that are taking place in the evening hours (PTA meetings, etc.). Before joining BUSD I had heard great things about Berkeley Public Schools but in my experience there is nothing special about them. The past 10 months have shown the true character of Berkeley schools. The teachers' union has incredible power and that's why Berkeley schools will not reopen this year and I doubt things will go back to normal in fall. Good luck!