Garfield Elementary School
Archived Q&A and Reviews
We live San Leandro and our two boys go to Garfield Elementary. We've been very pleased with the public school experience. Garfield is the only year-round school in the district (though news has it that the year-round calendar may be on the budget cut hit list for next year). It is also the only elementary school with a uniform code, albeit ''casual'' and voluntary. Why? Because the parents at the school came up with the ideas and worked to make them happen.
The principal and teachers are great! I swear the principal knows every single one of the 400 kids by name. My son's 2nd grade teacher left Head-Royce to teach at Garfield because she wanted more diversity. My other son's 4th grade teacher has a classroom full of reptiles, frogs and fish - and the kids love learning in ''The Zoo.'' This same son started 1st grade in the special ed program there - and is now doing 6.6 grade level math and 4.5 grade level reading in regular ed. I credit the wonderful staff at this school for helping him with his success. The school received a $100,000 3-yr grant, which they use to fund afterschool sports/enrichment programs, homework clubs and parent education events. There's a music program for all - and 5th graders can learn an instrument if they wish.
The parents are very generous with classroom activities (ie., donations, fieldtrips, etc.) - though I have to admit PTA meetings are sparsely attended (guilty). Three years ago, the school received state-wide recognition for the gain it made in test scores, which is particularly noteworthy because the school has a large population of non-native English speaking students.
I've thought about exploring private schools, but every time I go down the list of things I'd look for - I find that I already have it. Of course, what one values in a school experience is quite a personal matter and experiences/opinions differ. These are mine. Good luck as you explore your options. jj