Roosevelt Elementary School
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Roosevelt Elem in SL for gifted sensitive kid
I would love to hear current reviews of Roosevelt Elementary in San Leandro, where my child is likely to attend school next fall unless we decide on a private option. My child has some health challenges, some emotional challenges, and is also is academically advanced, especially in mathematics (can tell time and perform basic operations on numbers, despite no preschool instruction in these areas). Our preschool is play-based and has generally been a good environment, but I worry that a public school may not be able to offer the support needed for such a child to thrive. Can anyone comment on the school more generally and/or on how the school might function for a child who is academically and emotionally different than peers? -curious SL parent
We have two kids currently at Roosevelt (we have been a Roosevelt family for 6 years), and we have been very happy with the school. Both of our children are quite bright but they are very different in skills and needs (one also has some emotional issues), and both have been challenged, supported, and happy at Roosevelt. Some of the things we love about the school:
* The teachers are fantastic. Most have been there for years, and are very supportive of each other. Every year several teachers participate in the Mills Scholars program of continuing learning for teachers, bringing their innovations back to share with the rest of the faculty. Overall the teachers seem to share a lot of learning and do a lot of problem solving together, and are supported in this by the principal. Most of the teachers are both proactive and responsive in terms of communicating with parents. In addition to the classroom teachers, the art, music, and PE teachers are also terrific. (Starting in 1st grade, kids go to art and music once a week and PE twice a week. Instrumental music is added in 5th grade.)
* The parent community is very active and involved. There's a large PTA, a ''Dad's Club'' (seems old school but it works), and several other parent groups such as Latino parents and an LGBTQS Alliance. Lots of parents volunteer in class too. People know each other and support each other and the school.
* We've had reason to use the special ed resources a bit and have been really happy with the attention and follow-up that our child received. Assessment and 504 meetings have happened on schedule, with willing participation of all parties and lots of open communication with us, and our child has gotten the services they need.
* The school truly has a special, sweet spirit. They have a ''Hornet Hustle'' 4 times a year where the classes all gather in the gym and dance; the children love it. The teachers actively teach Safe Schools curriculum and there's zero tolerance for bullying; the students seem to take being an ally very seriously. Children are recognized at monthly assemblies for things like pitching in with the lunch composting program or helping a friend in need. There's a new principal this year who seems to be maintaining the prior principal's high expectations and positive tone. We're happy with the leadership.
Some things we are not wild about relate to the Common Core curriculum, which I believe is still an unknown for every public school in California, and what seems to me to be too much of a focus on testing. I'm also not wild about the new emphasis on technology in the classroom, as I don't think it's developmentally appropriate at this age, though I know I'm in the minority on this. Whether you agree with me or not you should know the school is on track to have one computer (laptop or tablet) per 2 kids by the end of this year; both of my children are on computers at school almost every day.
Regarding the ''gifted'' part of your message: Students are tested for GATE in 3rd grade, but there's no separate program at the school for GATE-identified children. The teachers do some differentiation in the classroom, and both my bright kids have been well-challenged most of the time, although my older child has definitely been more bored this year. There's a Math and Science Challenge afterschool class which provides extra hands-on math, science and programming opportunities for kids who want more of a challenge, but that's not part of the regular curriculum. Overall our experience has been that lots of our children's classmates at Roosevelt are very bright, and there is pride and excitement at being offered extra challenges, no isolation or stigma about being smart.
Hope this helps -- good luck with your decision-making. -Happy Roosevelt parent
I wanted to respond to the question about San Leandro elementary schools. The most popular and best performing one is Roosevelt. My daughter starts kindergarten there this fall and I have heard nothing but good things about it. San Leandro schools are location specific and from what I understand it is dificult to transfer indue to its popularity, I just lucked out when I rented a house as I had not really planed that far ahead. As for preschool I have her at Camelot which is right over the border in Castro Valley and have been very happy with it although it is not the least expensive. Lambz
I have two children at Roosevelt, K and 3rd grade, and we have been very happy with the school. We have a very active PTA which has just launched a ''capital campaign'' to raise money for a whole host of improvements. Check recent articles in the san leandro times.
To find out more, you can join the following district-wide discussion list: http://www.topica.com/lists/SLUSDTalk I will warn you though that there are some nasty folks there and the discussion is sometimes contentious.
Regarding the GATE program, here is how it works. The district assesses students in the 3rd and 5th grades (I don't know about after elementary school); however, it takes most of the money it gets and spends it on teacher training to teach ''differentiated curriculum''. What this means is that they don't pull-out gifted students (note that ''talented'' is ignored) for extra classes. The good part of this is that all students benefit and that gifted students are accomodated starting in the young grades even before they've been identified as such. My son's teacher recently showed me the types of extra math problems she was assigning to him and 3 other top students. There's a staggared reading program in grades 1-3 and the children are divided into spelling, reading, and math groups at their level. The kindergarten curriculum has been revamped for the better, IMO, though the tracking doesn't begin until first grade.
The school is multi-cultural and multi-culturally aware. There's a good blend of hispanic, black, asian and white students. We're Jewish and have never had a ''December dilemma'' issue. In fact, I've twice invited my son's classes for a field trip to our Sukkah in the fall and they've eagerly taken advantage of the opportunity.