We are considering North Oakland Charter for our Kindergartener

I am looking for people’s advice about North Oakland Community Charter School? I like that the school is educating the whole child and the citizens of the future - also I hear the sense of community and family participation is quite strong. Not very impressed with the academic scores though but I know they are not everything really especially when you have a big portion of school population free and reduced lunch students. What do people know/think? Many thanks- Mi

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

I have a son at NOCCS and he learned to read and has been challenged academically throughout this pandemic which I find to be an incredible accomplishment. The scores are great schools for a K-5 school only take into account 3-5 grades and are related to tests from way before the present administration. There are tons of articles about how any diverse school that is inclusive will never have a 10/10 just based on how they work their numbers. This is a small school with a great community that is getting better every year. I can't wait for my second to start kinder next year! 

Hi, For context, I happen to be the Head of School (and a future NOCCS parent). I took over the school in 2018 and have led a really significant refocusing on academic rigor since. Unfortunately because state assessments were canceled during the COVID pandemic, we can't use last year's test score to prove what we as a staff know from our internal work: students are making massive improvements in reading and math while continuing to learn global citizenship through the arts. I hope some current parents can speak to their experience, and I would be honored to have my child taught by any of the NOCCS teachers, especially the kindergarten team. Please join us on a tour (virtually or in-person, Tuesdays at 9 a.m.) or email me with any questions (director [at] noccs.org). Warmly, Mr. Kloker

I have one daughter attending NOCCS (her third year, 2nd grade) and one who graduated last year and attended for three years. We absolutely love NOCCS; our daughters' awareness of the world around them and academic thinking have soared in each successive year there. I hear from other families that their child found themselves in a safe, warm, caring community when they switched to NOCCS after having negative experiences elsewhere. Teachers and staff there really care about their students and families.  I really like that they emphasize arts integration and social justice. During distance learning, kids have been allowed to bring home instruments and various school supplies. The school was quick to take action when the building had to close last spring - teachers were quick to start meeting kids online for live lessons and continued this throughout the pandemic, including beautiful online events such as talent shows, winter showcases. Love the school and wouldn't do anything different.

We’ve had a fantastic experience! Our older son is halfway through kindergarten and is getting the hang of reading, writing, and math. I think the funky scores came from exiting grades. Just last year they had middle school kids and now it’s K-5. The atmosphere is very intimate and I’ve found the principle to be conscientious, considerate, and very approachable. Our kid’s teacher, Mr. Kevin, is just incredible and you can tell his heart is in it. Our son looks is excited to go to Zoom school everyday and has even somehow made friends with classmates he’s never even met. We will definitely enroll our younger child when it’s his turn, and I’m glad siblings get priority because I’m confident the school’s enrollment will tighten up once again. 

My son attends NOCCS and I couldn't be happier with the school. I was floored by how efficiently and effectively they pivoted to online learning during the pandemic. My son's academics are continuing to improve, and he's one of the more advanced students in his class. He gets individualized attention to challenge him despite the discrepancy. He is in 3rd grade in Ms. Ridolfi's class.

The community at this school is second to none. I've never seen a school with a parent and staff community that is so committed, empathetic, and passionate about their learners. It's truly a gift to be a part of it. Families at NOCCS are extremely involved if they can be, and support is offered for those who can't.

I only wish my son could continue attending beyond 5th grade, but we'll only get to be here for two more years. If you have any more specific questions, I'm happy to answer them.  

I recently pulled my son after four years with NOCCS (we’re now at our local OUSD school) - the teachers are a revolving door, and even though I’ve seen them all try VERY hard, they’re not supported by the principal.  There are a number of bright spots there, but overall it feels like it’s at the end of its lifespan.

We have a K student and have been so pleased with the school and their ability to support students during this remote year. Some things that really have stood out to us as positive elements to the school:

  • The classes are structured so that students will have the same teachers K/1, 2/3.... etc. This continuity in teacher and classmates feels really great knowing that our child will not have a restart when we begin class next year. Our student has made progress on writing, reading and math while remote.
  • Strong, committed and diverse community of teachers and students with a very intimate neighborhood feeling.

Thank you very much for the useful information all! Sounds like a wonderful place for our Chile to grow. We will sign up for an online tour and get the feeling the school and how it would work for our family. Best! Mi

I highly recommend NOCCS. Below is a copy/paste from a Facebook group post I did offering my unsolicited opinion about our experience this year as a new Kinder enrollment. Happy to answer any questions.

Oakland Unified School District enrollment for next year just kicked off. I wanted to give NOCCS an enthusiastic recommendation.

We pivoted last minute during the pandemic to send our 5 yo to her first year of Kindergarten. It was a spontaneous decision due to a suggestion of a trusted family friend. We liked that they were semi-autonomous from the greater system and community guided in their decision making. Previously they were not even on our long list of considerations.

Our experience has been amazing. Her teacher has navigated Zoom learning with five-year-olds amazingly. Our daughter adores her teacher despite only meeting her twice in person. She even feels connected to her classmates. Her learning pace has been phenomenal, especially considering the circumstances. Not to mention her supporting art, music, and movement teachers.

They are very mindful of equity and inclusion. The principal and his team have been very communicative and transparent regarding the pandemic. I really feel heard with our family's concerns.