Paden Elementary School


Public School
operated by Alameda Unified School District
Phone: (510) 748-4014
444 Central Avenue Alameda, CA 94501

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Aug 2014

We are thinking of a move to Alameda and would find ourselves in the Paden Elementary boundary. It has a Greatschools rating of 7, so not impressive, but not terrible either. Does anyone have anything to say, good or bad, about Paden? Nothing recent posted here. Anything to keep in mind? What about Alameda in general - or particularly - living near the old naval base. What about the middle schools? And Encinal High? We are coming from Oakland - Temescal. We look forward to, but also dread, moving from such a vibrant area. Thanks! Simone

Paden Elementary is our neighborhood school and it's been a really good school for our son. He is entering 3rd grade now, having attended Kindergarten - 2nd at Paden, and we are pleased with his academic progress in reading, writing, math etc. One of my favorite things about Paden in that it's a true community school with most kids living within easy walking distance. Great for making friends, playdates, and parties since we're all so close. Paden is also the most diverse community I have ever been a part of; kids learn and play side-by-side others from all different kinds of socio-economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. And the yard has a terrific view of of the bay!!

As for middle schools and high schools in the area: Alameda has a number of successful charter schools that are really growing in popularity as well as the traditional district schools.

Overall, Alameda is the best of both worlds for our family. We get the community feeling of a ''small town'' (including lovely cafes, bookstores, shopping etc) along with easy access to all the wonderful things in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. Honestly, I sometimes think Alameda is the best kept secret in the Bay Area, but with rising housing costs maybe it's not much of a ''secret'' anymore! Paden Mom

Paden is a nice neighborhood school with skilled and dedicated teachers and a very motivated and involved principal who epitomizes the good life skills that are a primary focus of the school. Paden has community, spirit and diversity. People walk and bike to school, are very friendly and supportive, and are dedicated to the school and their kids education. What Paden- and it's families- doesn't have is lots of money to throw at the kids and programming. So expect to put in some sweat equity (and extra money if you have it) to help out during and after school activities. It's a great community and I highly recommend it. And, if for some reason you decide Paden's not the right fit for your child, there is a charter and a magnet school nearby that you can choose instead. Best, Jeanette Mom to a Paden Pelican

March 2006

Hi, I'm currently checking out middle schools in Alameda due to planned longterm move there but am getting conflicting pieces of information. On the official AUSD there seems to be three middle schools in Alameda but on other online sources Paden is listed as both elementary and middle. Can anyone please clarify this for me? I have already called Paden and left a message but have not yet received any feedback. As we would be only two blocks from this school it would be ideal for my son walking home on his own! Also, if anyone has children attending Paden middle school .... any feedback on programs and teachers and afterschool clubs etc? I read that Paden has combined it's kindergarten and first grade classes with very mixed reviews by parents. Thank you, any help or information would be much appreciated! MaryJo

Yes-Paden has a 6-8th grade program that has about 80 students in it. It is a great program but due to budget cuts it is in its last year-sadly they are closing. It was very hard to get into-open enrollment with a lottery- even students who attended Paden k-5 are not given a spot. You might wanr to look at Alameda Community Learning Center which is on the campus of Encinal High School. It is now 6-12th grade and is a great alternative. They just had a big parent information night and were accepting forms. They do a lottery too. Good luck Alameda Parent

Nov 2003

Paden School was highly recommended to me as having a great ''developmental'' program (where kids can learn at their own pace) and lots of parental involvement. During my son's last two years there (3rd and 4th grade) I have been impressed with the level of parental involvement and with the skills and committment of some staff members. However, I am getting an overall sense that this school, probably like most of the other public schools, is being strangled by the ''no child left behind,'' heavy-testing regimine that seems to be taking over our schools. Exciting ''extra'' programs like science, history, music, PE are giving way to more and more hours of ''basics.'' For instance, this year they quit sorting kids by math competence in the 4th and 5th grades (a hallmark of the ''developmental'' program) because they were forced to teach to the state standards, rather than letting kids move at their own pace. They cancelled the weekly ''Scientist Steve'' program (my son's greatest school joy) because they had to make more hours for math and language arts. The entirety of education is being reduced to its most basic (read: boring) components. More and more homework is being assigned, and less and less of it seems interesting or challenging. Etc. I do not blame my kid's classroom teachers alone; these are clearly orders from headquarters. But the net result has been that the educational process seems drained of excitement and creativity. I'd bet it's the same at all public schools right now. Welcome to the brave new world of education. Alameda Mom