Kaiser Elementary School

About Kaiser Elementary School

25 South Hill Court
Oakland, CA

Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. School strives to provide a complete academic program in a stimulating and creative learning environment where all can feel respected, valued and safe. We seek to impart the necessary skills for student excellence and to produce well rounded, reflective, socially aware individuals. We value those qualities that cultures and races share, as well as those that make them unique. Our school is an open-enrollment school which focuses on integrating the Arts and Humanities into the curriculum. Attracting students from all over Oakland, Kaiser is unique in the district in the way it brings together children and families from so many diverse backgrounds. Ethnically, Kaiser is a microcosm of the city of Oakland. We celebrate children from a broad range of economic classes and cultural backgrounds. What some see as special challenges we view as opportunities to build community. Our children learn by seeing our efforts to do this. Our parents understand that their efforts to be inclusive and connected with each other provide youngsters with a valuable example. Parents volunteer regularly in the classrooms, chaperone on field trips, provide classroom parties and feasts, help in the office, and maintain a high visibility throughout the school. The high quality of our program would not exist without this extensive community support.

We have eleven classes resulting in an enrollment of approximately 250 students. After the 1991 firestorm, Kaiser was one of the few remaining buildings in the area. Following a district directive to expand or close, we expanded to a K through 8 configuration. After ten years of working with this configuration, we have phased out the 6, 7, and 8th grades and offer two classes at each of the primary grades. Our facilities are very crowded, but well maintained. There is never a moment when our 8 classrooms, three portables, converted storage room, and a half sized computer lab are unoccupied. The multipurpose room is used continuously throughout the day for enrichment classes and Adventure Time, a private childcare company. Our lower yard has classroom garden beds, while the upper yard is a play field.

Our Arts and Humanities focus emphasizes branches of learning that include literature, history, mathematics, dance, music and fine arts, as well as integration of these disciplines. At Kaiser, we believe that learning is developmental and children need a sustained, supported system of parents, teachers and administration at critical junctures in their emotional, intellectual and physical development. We pride ourselves in keeping open lines of communication among these partners. Our philosophy guides a varied integrated curriculum, which is culturally diverse and centered on the whole child. The children engage in thematic projects in the humanities that are open ended and provide opportunities for values education. The key dynamics in a Kaiser education include hands on involvement in academic and social problem solving, critical and creative thinking, and cross age interaction. The diverse makeup of Kaiser promotes cross cultural familiarity and friendships, as well as positive social attitudes. In the end, the environment at Kaiser helps solidify these attitudes and contributes to a community of well adjusted citizens who are able to interact positively and productively with people of all backgrounds.