Carl Munck Elementary School


Public School
operated by Oakland Unified School District
Phone: (510) 531.4900
11900 Campus Drive Oakland, CA 94619

Parent Q&A

OUSD grass valley elementary and Carl Munck Apr 4, 2019 (3 responses below)
Recent Experiences with Carl B Munck Elementary Mar 14, 2017 (1 responses below)
  • Can anyone reflect on your personal experiences at either of these two schools? They are in the hills but are they also considered hills schools when their test scores and rankings are so poor? Trying to understand why there’s such a gap between rankings at various hills schools and to open my mind to the positives about these two schools. 

    I used to live in the Carl Munck zone.  The problem with Carl Munck is that there aren’t many elementary age kids living in the school zone, and the kids that do live there attend other OUSD schools or private schools.  When we toured it, we were told that only 5% of the students live in the catchment area.  The principal said that she feels like she is building a school to help underprivileged kids escape from gang violence.  

    Most parents do not consider Carl Munck to be a “hills school”, and most people have never even heard of it.  It is located in a safe and beautiful setting.  It’s worth touring the school if you are considering it.

    I have been trying to find an answer to this same question for months now.  I went and toured Carl B. Munck and met with the Principal. She indicated that the school is a commuter school and that local children typically do not attend. I got the impression because it is right off the freeways parents who commute to Oakland and San Francisco for jobs drop their kids at this school. Local children are sent to private. Are you zoned for Carl B. Munck or Grass Valley? I could chat about this for a really long time. Let me know if you are interested as I have been trying to connect with local parents.

    My child attended both. We started at Carl Munck and transferred to Grass Valley. Both schools have a very high composition of students that are not from the local neighborhood. Many of the students are from areas like East Oakland where the parents are wanting to escape the schools in those neighborhoods. When you visit both you will see that the facilities are suffering from lack of funds and unfortunately the PTAs for both do not have the same deep pocket books that the hills schools do in the northern part of Oakland. Both also have very large average class sizes.

    On the surface the schools look very similar. but between the two I would, by far, recommend Grass Valley over Carl Munck. I could give you a very long list of why we left Carl Munck but instead here is what I really like about Grass Valley

    • They figured out the formula for teaching the kids how to respect themselves and others. All of the bad behaviors, bad words, attitude that our kiddo would pick up at school totally disappeared after we made the transfer to Grass Valley.
    • The teachers and staff are not burned out, they really care about the kids and are doing their best with the limited resources they have. I have been impressed with every staff member I have met. I also get the sense the staff are all friends and have a lot of mutual respect for each other which in turn creates a great community at the school.
    • Their PTA is growing. They may not have a ton of funds, but they have heart. The school community outreach director is head of the PTA and Dad's Club and is a strong leader for the school. They throw a few events each year (pancake breakfast, fish fry, holiday party, harvest festival) that seem to be just as much about bringing the community together for fun as it is about fundraising.
    •  Coach Justin leads the after school program. He and his team have put together a great program that builds character, teaches the kids new things and gets them moving in fun ways.
    • Anytime my child had academic or behavioral needs to be addressed my voice was heard and supportive solutions were proposed by staff and administrators.
    • There are adults available to my child when he needs it - I can list at least 4 different adults that my kiddo feels comfortable going to at any time to seek help for emotional support.
    • I wouldn't say that they have a super robust arts program, but I've seen Grass Valley do more with their funding than other schools.
  • Hello BPN Community

    I'm looking for recent experiences and reviews about Carl B Munck Elementary school. We did not get into any of our 6 choices and have been assigned our neighborhood school Horace Mann Elementary. Since we can appeal to only 1 school, I thought it might be more strategic to appeal to a school with a higher chance of acceptance like Carl B Munck. Your comments, suggestions, and strategies are welcomed!

    I cannot answer your question directly about Carl B Munck. I will say that I have had friends who had children there several years ago, and they have mixed feelings about the school. Honestly, when we applied to the Options program this year, I felt that Grass Valley Elementary was the better choice between Carl B Munck and Grass Valley after touring both schools and reviewing some of the statistics and trends on both schools. We are currently debating whether we will enroll into Grass Valley or fight hard in appeal. But you are welcome to contact me directly so we can chat offline. I'm actually looking to gather like-minded parents who might be interested in Grass Valley, because I do feel that it's the next Hills school that could really see a sea change with motivated parental support. So I encourage you to check it out too if you're considering Munck. You might want to also look at Laurel Elementary, as I also liked that school when I toured it.

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews



Carl Munck or NW zone of Berkeley?

Nov 2008


Hi BPN... My daughter will be entering kindergarten next Fall and I'm caught between moving within the northwest elementary school zone in Berkeley and within the Carl Munck elementary school zone in Oakland. My destination at this point is going to be based on the (public) schools...I am a single mom, and commute daily to work. I'll need before and after school care for my daughter next year. Some of the discussion on bpn is outdated, and I'd appreciate any advice, feedback, experience etc. from other parents whose children have been to or are currently students at any of the schools in the zones I'm considering- Munck, Jefferson, Thousand Oaks, and Rosa Parks, as well as before/after school care programs serving these schools/areas... -working mama wanting good edu exp for my little one

I don't know anything about Munck but I can say with confidence all the NW zone schools in berkeley are strong. They are very different from each other, but all very good. My son is at Rosa Parks, which we love, and we have friends and neighbors who are very happy at Jefferson and TO. So you can't go wrong, you just might feel like one or the other is more of a ''fit'' for your family. Good luck! Happy at Rosa Parks

Hi, I have a son in 3rd grade at Munck. I encourage you to check the school out for yourself. There are things about it I like and others I wish were different. Feel free to e-mail me specific questions about the school and I will answer as best I can. I really like living in the Munck neighborhood as it's quiet and right near Redwood Regional Park.


Carl B Munck is our neighborhood school

Jan 2008


We would like to attend our neighborhood school (Carl B Munck). The previous postings and information I've found on the net gives mixed reviews and is not that recent. It doesn't have the best test scores, not that we should judge based on scores alone. We've been to visit. The campus is nice enough but I'm concerned about the apparent lack of parental involvement. Does anyone have any hands on feedback on this school? Is anyone in the same boat and is considering Carl Munck? Neighborhood children don't seem to make up the majority of enrollees. However I'm hearing that the chance of getting an alternative school assignment based on open lottery is going to be extremely slim. Other struggling schools have made a big improvement in a few years by pulling back neighborhood children. Some of these have parental action groups to help speed the improvement. Does anything similar exist for Carl Munck? Carol

My son is currently in 2nd grade at Carl B Munck and we are a neighborhood family. Generally we are happy and like the school. You are correct that the parent involvement is not what it would be at other hills schools because most of the students seem to be lower income, with 2 working parents and since most don't live in the neighborhood it's harder for them to be involved. The parents that are part of the Munck PTA work very hard. I would love to see more neighborhood kids at Munck and am glad to hear you have visited already. I am happy to answer any specific questions you have as best I can. Laura


Aspergers Inclusion at Carl Munck School, Oakland

Nov 2006


The Aspergers Inclusion program at Carl Munck Elementary School in Oakland has been suggested for my child, who is due to enter Kindergarten in the fall. I don't know anything about this program and would love to hear from parents about your child's experience in this program, and a description of what exactly the program offers to children. Thanks very much!

My son is in the Asperger inclusion program at Munck in first grade this year. He went to an integraged kindergarten at Tilden so this is our first year at Munck (it's also our home school). There are good things about the program and naturally it has some weak spots too. Have you visited the school? The inclusion teacher, Monica Novak, is fabulous! She totally ''gets'' our kids and has a huge bag of tricks to help them succeed. At the beginning of the year there were not enough aides and some kids were having a rough time - now that's better. Some of the teachers with the aspie kids in their classes have no experience with special ed kids so this can be a weak spot in the program. I like the school overall. I'd love to speak with you about the program if you are interested. Feel free to call or e-mail me. I'm committed to staying with this program and trying to make it better. If you are requesting this placement I suggest that you get a 1:1 aide written into you IEP.


Considering Carl Munck for kindergarten

Sept 2006


Hi. My son is starting kindergarten in Fall '07. We would really like him to attend public school; however we are zoned for Carl B. Munck Elementary which has had less than stellar reviews. I was hoping that I could get feedback from parents who have either sent their children to Munck or are considering sending them there and/or staff from Munck. Other than test scores, we don't know much about the school.
Holding out hope for Munck

We are in the situation. Our daughter could start there next year and our son in 2010. I hope to join with other parents and make Munck work. I would be glad talk and make this Oakland school decision easier and less daunting. Jane

Thanks for your post about Munck. We are in the same boat. Our son is also due to start kindergarten fall '07 and we are also zoned for Carl Munck. I have looked at test scores and am about to schedule a visit to the school as well as others in the district (like Thornhill, Montclair) for comparison's sake. If you are interested, I would love to talk to you in more detail about your plans, concerns etc. I am all for investing some effort into our local school and would love to connect with like- minded families. Laura

My son started at Munck in first grade this fall. It is our home school and also has a special ed program that he is part of. It feels early in the school year to have a strong opinion. So far I like it pretty well. It has a nice, welcoming feel and the teachers and staff I deal with listen to my questions and concerns thoughfully. The class was larger than it was supposed to be for the first 3 weeks of school and was then reduced to the 20 it's supposed to be - this was a little frustrating but may happen at many schools (I don't know). My son has fun at school. The homework load seems heavy to me but we will adjust. Feel free to ask specific questions and I will try to answer them. Laura


Anyone have any experience with Carl Munck?

March 2006


Our neighborhood in the Oakland Hills is zoned for Carl Munck Elementary. In checking out the average test scores for the school, I was, to say the least, very unimpressed. However, I know that a school is comprised of more than just test scores. I don't see any postings at all about this school...does anyone have any experience, positive or negative, to share about Munck?
A Concerned Mom

I used to teach at Munck, and now I teach at the high school level in Oakland. Munck is a lovely school. It has a beautiful situation geographically, and it has some of the best elementary teachers in Oakland.

Munck has a collaborative tradition. Teachers work together to create a continuum of education from one grade to the next. There is a rich tradition of art and music (although that is currently under attack by the District), and parent involvement has been high for years.

Munck has an emphasis on Native American culture, since the on- site Child Development Center (CDC) serves the Native American families in Oakland. Teachers at Munck emphasize that cultural connection, which benefits all students at the school.

If I decided to go back to teaching elementary education, I would definitely want to teach at Munck. It's a caring, creative place with excellent teachers.
Former Munck Teacher

Our designated school is also Carl Munck. Unfortunately, we found out early on, before having children, that absolutely no one in our neighborhood send their kids to Munck. We were very dismayed by this. Especially since I went to a public school with all of my neighborhood friends. I looked into it and even toured the school, but was not happy with what I saw and heard. When our son was born we too began to look at private schools.Yes, we crumbled and have felt a bit guilty ever since.
Would love Public, Pays for Private