Lincoln Elementary School
About the neighborhood school: That would be Lincoln Elementary in Chinatown. My oldest is almost ready for kinder, and it was so frustrating that almost nothing has been written up on BPN about Lincoln. From my neighbor in my bldg whose child has attended K, 1st, and will be continuing in 2nd: academically rigorous, with lots of homework, even in K. Since the school's in Chinatown, almost all the kids are Asian, and they start school academically well-prepared and continue along that path with the assistance of the teachers. By the time they finish K they can add and subtract and read. If you adhere to test scores, you will see that Lincoln boasts the highest Math API score of all the Oakland public schools. Lots of field trips (her 1st grader had 5 or 6 field trips in one school year!). The school playground is actually the park that sits right next to the school.
My partner and I are considering buying a home in the Oakland/Harrison neighborhood of Oakland (a few blocks from the Whole Foods). The zoned elementary school is Lincoln Elementary in Chinatown. I tried to look for reviews of Lincoln Elementary school but couldn't find any on BPN. It looks like it has good CST scores and received a national blue ribbon honor in 2010 but I'm wondering why I haven't heard of it and why there aren't any reviews on BPN. Does anyone have recent experience with the school? Oakland parent
We live in (and love!) this neighborhood, so I can share what little I know about the school--we're still a couple of years from kindergarten. Historically, Lincoln just served Chinatown, so the school has built its success on really embracing the Chinese-American community. The school newsletter is published in both English and Chinese; most of the teachers speak Mandarin, Cantonese, or both; students learn Chinese dance, Chinese instrumental music, etc. Clearly, it's worked, as the school is incredibly high performing and has a waiting list every year for people trying to option in. However, as a result, the student body has not been terribly diverse--one concern for our family. (I have heard that the Lincoln parents' group recognizes and would like to change this, though.) When Lakeview Elementary closed in 2012, parts of the Harrison/Oakland neighborhood and Adams Point were assigned to Lincoln. There hasn't really been enough time to see how many families here will actually choose the school and how the school demographics may change as a result. (It would actually be amazing if OUSD took the opportunity to make it a dual immersion school, but I haven't heard anyone even suggest that.) Right now, the neighborhood elementary kids we know are at a range of schools--about half are at nearby private schools, and the other half are at other high-performing OUSD schools they got into through the Options process. Some Lincoln pluses I do know about: the school campus is relatively new and Lincoln Park has a terrific playground. There's talk of making it a K-8 school, which would be great. The after-school program is supposed to be quite good. The biggest minus for us is the distance; it doesn't feel like a ''neighborhood school.'' (Half of our neighborhood is assigned to Piedmont Avenue Elementary, too, to further complicate things--we also plan to take a tour there.) I hope somebody currently at Lincoln will weigh in, since we are also a very curious prospective family! A Harrison/Oakland mama
I asked questions about Lincoln three times in the past two years and also heard nothing. I think this is because very few Berkeley Parents' Network families attend Lincoln, and very few Lincoln parents read BPN. So I did my own research and visited the school. It's an excellent school in many ways, but it's rather traditional in teaching style. In the end I decided Lincoln was not a good fit for us and entered the options lottery for another Oakland elementary (with lower API scores), which we are very happy with. Adams' Point mom