Hanna Ranch Elementary
I just transferred my son from Castro Elementary in El Cerrito to Hannah Ranch Elementery in Hercules. He's in the 3rd grade. I don't see any reviews about that school on this site, so i'm interested in finding out news about his new school. Mom in Hercules
While I hesitate to post a glowing review of Hanna - since there is already a huge problem with kids registering there illegally - it really is a great school.
I have three kids, two who are in Hanna Ranch now, and one that graduated and is now in middle school. Hanna is about as close to the ''old fashioned'' public school as you can get. They still have a great music program (band, orchestra and choir), as well as a nice computer lab, and specialized teachers brought in to teach art and science. The regular faculty is gennerally outstanding, as many of the best WCCUSD teachers wait years to transfer to Hanna. There are, as is always the case, a few 'lesser' teachers, but even those are not too bad. Hanna Ranch has a very active PTA, and the parents are quite involved in the classrooms. It is also in a beautiful, quiet and safe setting...way back in the hills of Hercules. It's so much nicer than any of the other local school campuses. Hanna is surrounded by a soccer field, a baseball field, and the before/after school childcare center. There are a very large number of GATE students at Hanna, and my son who is now in middle school had no problems earning straight A's in 6th and now 7th grade with what he learned at Hanna.
There were some disgruntled parents at the beginning of this school year because their kids didn't get the teacher they wanted, and they directed their anger at the Principal - who from my experience is very good and will do anything in her power to make everyone happy. It is the unfortunate fact that some teachers are just more popular, and not all the kids can be in those classes. In fact, it is the teachers who decide on the placement for the following year, and not the principal so I think these parents anger was misplaced.
Oh, I also have to say that the principal at this school is known for not turning down any transfer requests, so there is really no reason to be sneaky and ''lie'' to get into the school. My guess is that only about half of the kids actually live in the Hanna district, and the rest are there as legal intradistric transfers or illegally. I know that when we ask for addresses from the parents to send birthday invitations, that only about 2/3's offer them freely! hanna mom
It's as good as public schools can get under NCLB and the rule of Open Court in WCCUSD. The principal, Ms. Hayward, is the best I've ever seen, and 3rd grade has brilliant teachers like Mrs. Cutright and Ms. Kole. Jon