About Hercules & Pinole Public Schools

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi-  My family is moving to Hercules from Oakland in the next few months.  My son is in 1st trade and is currently enrolled in a dual language school in Oakland. We are looking for a dual language (Spanish/English) school in Contra Costa USD.  We have heard mixed reviews about Stewart Elementary in Pinole, which would be the closest to us.  Does anyone have feedback on Stewart Elementary or other dual language schools near Hercules?  Our assigned school would be Ohlone Elementary in Hercules, which has good reviews. We are open to sending him there if we can't find a good dual language school.  Does anyone have feedback on Ohlone Elementary?  Thanks in advance for your responses.  Brenda

    My kids went to dual immersion, Spanish/English, at Washington elementary in point Richmond. It’s a bit of a drive from Hercules but we had an overall good experience there, K -6.  It feeds into Korematsu middle school where are the dual immersion continues but is much diluted. 
    we also had to drive them quite a ways every day to get them to Washington. We actually carpooled with some other kids part of that time. The main bummer of not having our kids go to their neighborhood schools is that they grew up not knowing any of the kids in the neighborhood. This made for some lonely days on vacation days when we weren’t out doing some thing else. But overall I would not have traded the experience. Washington’s student body, while we were there, was fully 2/3 transfer students from other parts of the district. Their dual immersion program  follows the research as closely as is practical and I thought it was quite good.

  • Dear BPN Network,

    We have lived in the East Bay for the past 25 years and plan to buy a home soon. We are looking seriously at Pinole and Hercules. Our son will be in 9th grade when we move. I would like to hear from parents with high school age kids currently, or recently, in Pinole Valley High, Hercules High, and John Swett High. I am aware that West Contra Costa schools continue to be underfunded, but really want to hear first hand experiences from parents (and their teens) about the challenges and positives of their schools (school culture, activities, teachers, class choice, feeling of safety, and more). Also, if you chose to leave any of these schools, why did you leave? Where did you go?

    I appreciate your candid responses. 

    Many thanks


    This isn’t a direct answer to your question, but if none of those schools ends up seeming like a good fit, Albany High School, which is within daily driving distance of Pinole and Hercules, is actively seeking inter-district transfer students. Albany High has a strong academic reputation and many extracurricular activities, so keep it in mind as a backup option.

  • Schools in Hercules

    (1 reply)

    We are looking to move to Hercules and would like to learn more about Ohlone and Hanna Ranch elementary schools. We like that both schools seem to have racial and income diversity (our children are Black/Asian Indian). We are looking for a school with music/arts, parent involvement, strong leadership and teachers, and a culture where students feel supported (regardless of race, income, ability). We're not interested in test scores alone and currently have a child at the Glenview school in Oakland and like the principle/teachers and social justice focus. Thanks!

    We LOVE Ohlone and the Hercules community!

    Our son has attended Ohlone since kinder, and is now in third grade.  As educators ourselves (my wife teaches high school in Marin and I teach community college), we have been very happy with the community, with it's focus on diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism.  It is an exceptionally diverse community in all senses of the word -- but also, we see integration, as is attested by the relationships our son has formed.  As to music, the program starts in 4th grade (we plan to join).  As to art, it was only twice a month (pre-COVID), but run by awesome parent volunteers.  There are many community programs for kids run by the city of Hercules (including the arts, dance, and so on).

    We moved to Hercules 5 years ago from Albany (and before that, Oakland). We were nervous about finding both a school for our son, and a home for our family.  We've found it here.  Even though COVID has pulled things apart (as with all places), we still pop by East Bay Coffee for take out, and often see fellow parents or neighbors; on our walks, everyone waves and smiles.  We feel very fortunate to have found this gem by the Bay. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Sept 2009

My family is considering locations to buy a home and have honed in on Hercules. We like the thoughtful development of the city and that there are many young families there.

We don't know much about the public schools, in particular the elementary schools. We've met some families in the area but their kids attend private schools. We'd love to hear from Hercules families who attend the public schools there - what works, what doesn't, are there schools/parts of town that are better than others?

Our oldest is three now but we know it will take a while to buy and be settled before kindergarten starts. Thanks in advance for the information! Hercules bound?

We have been living in hercules for the past 4 years and love it! Our son just started kindergarten at a hercules public school. We find that they get a lot of homework and the class room sizes are small. For kindergarten we are happy thus far. It does seem disappointing that there is no standard schedule for field trips, but that really is my only concern. drea