Madera Elementary School

8500 Madera Drive, El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 231-1412
9

(out of 10)

Public Grades K-6 525 students 19 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

86%
46%
56%
84%
51%
65%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

74%
37%
46%
85%
58%
66%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

95%
55%
65%
97%
62%
72%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

81%
46%
60%
84%
51%
65%
80%
42%
57%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

80%
48%
60%
76%
42%
55%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Madera Elementary School is a public middle school in El Cerrito. The principal of Madera Elementary School is Alison Makela, who can be contacted at amakela@wccusc.net. 525 students attend Madera Elementary School and identify primarily as Unspecified; Multiracial; and White, non-Hispanic. 17% of the Madera Elementary School students have "limited English proficiency." 18% of the 525 students here have subsidized lunches. The ratio of students to teachers at Madera Elementary School is 19:1. Portola Junior High School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Drawing painting

Sports

  • P.E. classes

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Unspecified 5% 5%
Multiracial 4% %
White, non-Hispanic 38% 11%
Filipino 3% 5%
Asian 29% 10%
Hispanic 15% 46%
Black, non-Hispanic 10% 23%
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.6% %
Pacific Islander 0.6% 0.6%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.4% 0.2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.2% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 18% 64%
Limited English proficiency 17% 33%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    Our principle Ms. Makela is really committed and she really makes an effort to connect with the kids instead of spending all her time doing administrative work in her office. Also the PTA here is off the chain! So much energy love and pride here. A couple of my child's teachers have seemed burned out ... I guess that's better than being young and inexperienced? Anyway we are proud to send our 4th grader here.

  • (1 year ago)

    This is our neighborhood school and we are committed to making it the best it can be. So far after two years we are pretty satisfied. The new principal (Alison Makela) is stellar and has great vision and leadership abilities. The best is yet to come! The teachers are case-by-case. Many of the older teachers seem very set in their ways and resistant to change or new more creative methods of teaching. Madera could use some new blood mixed in with the old if only the unions/district would allow that. Parent involvement is otherworldly. Madera would be half the school it is without the dedicated parents of the PTA and other committees who fund and staff all of the enrichment programs. The comments about parents being "cliquish" are baffling. I am lucky enough to be a parent who devotes hours of unpaid time to making programs for *all* of our kids and I say "PLEASE JOIN US!!". We want everybody to participate and work together. No cliques here. We would love it if more would join. It's the same handful of families providing most of the financial and volunteer support so why not be part of it instead of complaining? We all have the same goal let's make it happen!

  • (2 years ago)

    My son has been going to Madera since Kinder..He has nothing but positive vibes coming from this school. The principal who originally there when he started isnt there anymore but the new principal is great also! I am very impressed by the homework and how they helped my son along the way these past few years. Special thanks to Mrs. Ruby in the office she has been helpful to us also! My fav part of Madera is the PTA they have enormous help from the parents here! We love you Madera! Akili & Akyla's mom

  • (3 years ago)

    I am a Madera parent and and educator of 15 years. My 2 children are starting their 3rd year at the school. I feel compelled to balance the reviews below. While I will agree that some teachers depend too much on handouts I have also seen WONDERFUL projects hands on science computer class field trips music talent shows cultural events carnivals and an amazing garden education program. The community is very diverse and welcoming. During a very difficult time for my family the Madera community was a stable source of solace. Both of my children have flourished including one with special needs that are addressed! They perform above grade level and have developed a deep love for reading fostered by their teachers. The Madera community has faced some challenges including year after year budget cuts and staff turnover but we pull together as a community to continue to provide an exceptional if imperfect public educational experience for children at ALL levels. Montessori it is not but Madera is under NCLB where curriculum is mandated. If you have tolerance for these mandates and want a diverse safe public school then Madera can't be beat! Go Madera!

  • (3 years ago)

    The recent comments posted here are very disturbing to this El Cerrito resident. From the test scores Madera is at the top of a small group of successful schools in a notoriously bad school district. If these comments are at all representative of the parents at the highest rated school in the WCCUSD I beg the school board members to declare bankruptcy and dissolve the district.

  • (3 years ago)

    I hope but doubt that the new principal will make a difference. The parent and teacher cliques are very strong. Madera also lost four great teachers this year. As a parent of two students I find this school disheartening with little hands on work of any kind. There is a high focus on drill paperwork without balance. I am fortunate to have got places for my kids in another district school.

  • (3 years ago)

    I just want to say as a former student that this school is just not satisfactory. It does not challenge a gifted child whatsoever. In a regular class you will find that 2/3 of the class will be dull minded and 1/3 of the class will be at the least average. The other kids will slow you down. This school used to be AH-MAZING but it all changed after the end of 2010. The parents form cliques with one of the cliques being the moms who are all on the PTA and who are always hanging around the school. Even some grades have cliques. The 6th graders ``date`` each other and try to run the school. Most of this happened because of lack of principal leadership. Teacher quality has declined; principal leadership has declined and all I can say is that this school MAY just get saved by the new principal.

  • (3 years ago)

    Wow I thought I was the only parent that felt this away about this school! A handful of parents might be actively involved but they are extemely clickish. The principal seems inexperienced and unable to manage different social issues. I haved moved from the area and have placed my children in another school. It was the best thing I have ever done. I wish these reviews where here before I had my children enrolled at Madera. I would have thought twice.

  • (3 years ago)

    Online reviews are designed to help others. I am a dissatisfied parent like a few others in this thread who have expressed their sentiments which emerge out of FACTUAL experiences and are NOT OPINIONS. With responsibilities of work and raising children Parents choose their battles. I wish to warn parents on taking 5 STAR rating on "Parental Involvement" with a grain of salt. Parental involvement can also translate into Parental Interference. As reported of cliques operating this site both the principal and teachers might just be under the influence of a handful of parents. Such political scenarios serve vested interests of a chosen few. I made a decision to enroll my child at this school based on Good School hearsay several years ago. I only wish sites like Great Schools had operated then. I would have SEEN ALL FACTS as they were so I wouldn t have to go through a sad experience back then. A rating of 10 for this school? It won t be a surprise if somebody with vested interest is monitoring the threads here too. Why? We don t even see this school listed on Rate My Teachers !!! Doesn't that make you wonder WHY?

  • (3 years ago)

    I have reviewed prior posts about Madera and all that has been read has been parents persoanl opinions and no facts. Yes this school has issues as well as any other school in any district anywhere has issues. I felt as I was in high school again as I read these posts or in middle school passing notes with rumors on them. If people want changes in the policys and feel that thier child is not gettting the best education then move schools! Let's not sit hiding behind a web site and cry and blame everything on the teachers and school staff on a blog. These issues should be brought to people in charge in person or threw the head school district office to higher up's in charge that can actually do something about it. This school is by far not perfect but which one is?

  • (3 years ago)

    I would have to say I agree 100 percent with the previous reviewer. This school lacks any creative way of teaching children. Madera also lacks diversity. Extreme racial barriers exist on this campus. Politics and clicks are major players at this school causing the real goal of schools to get lost. I have had children in AUSD and BUSD. I have never seen racial barriers so obviously than at this school. No matter how you put it Madera is still part of WCCUSD. Overall I'm extremely disappointed with the education provided at this school. There is no diversity little conflict resolution skills from staff and an extreme lack of leadership from the principle.

  • (3 years ago)

    If your child is gifted talented brilliant with exceptional abilities Madera Elementary is not for your smart kiddo. Your child will be torn apart amidst the politics and racial biases that plaque this campus. The teachers who strive to maintain high rating for this school practically serve no good to a student seeking challenge. Strong advice to parents - Please check for an in person reference on teachers of this school with other academic professionals in WCCUSD BUSD and AUSD. You will see the cliques that operate this site.

  • (4 years ago)

    Hi I am a student at Madera Elementary School. I am in 4th this year. I came to this because before I went to a private school and HATED it. I came to this school for 3rd grade on up. I ike this school because there is a HUGE yard for 3rd grade 4th and 5th.The teachers are very nice. In 3rd grade my teacher was super nice and loved her.In kindergarden 1st 2nd the teacher are EXTRA EXTRA nice.In 3rd grade the are NICE. But in 4th 5th grade the teachers way more strict so be aware. Also the district is adding a 6th grade!

  • (6 years ago)

    this is the best public school in west county school district .best teachers the best parent I ever seen .also the best administraton

  • (6 years ago)

    I drive across town so that my daughter could receive a better education then the school we were zoned for and I am so grateful for all that Madera has to offer. The parents are so incredibly involved the teachers are warm and motivating and the school offers so many educational and extracurricular activities that I am blown away by the quality of education my child recieves at Madera. I wish all schools rose to this level of teaching by setting such a high standard of education. I ama former teache rand am impressed on every level.

  • (7 years ago)

    I have two kids at Madera this year (1st & 5th) and can say nothing but great things about it. The teachers are great and in most of the kids they encourage a love of learning. I have also met many great parents as the PTA is very active and there is a lot of parent participation at Madera. This makes such a big difference in succes of this school. It's a great school and I feel lucky that I was able to get my kids into it.

  • (7 years ago)

    I find nothing wrong with traditional teachers that know what they are doing! I like the 'firm hand in the glove' appraoch. The faculty is outstanding (despite some of the comments posted). They have many years of experience and plan so many interesting events in their classrooms. Nay sayers should look somewhere else to locate such a fine group of teachers!

  • (7 years ago)

    I have two children in Madera and they have both been there since Kindergarten. I am very happy with the diversity of the student body and the PTA involvement. The school has one of the most beautiful settings with views of the bay. The teachers are pretty traditional and not very diverse but kids get a solid academic foundation.The PTA also funds the Junior Center for the Arts program many educational assemblies reading tutor field trips and many other programs. The prinicipal is experienced and keeps a loving firm hand on the campus. She is also direct and to the point so you can communicate openly with her. Parents can be involved at many levels in the Volunteer activities and they work well with the teachers. I have never felt more part of my community. Madera is a rich slice of the East Bay.

  • (8 years ago)

    We have a daughter in 5th grade and one in kindergarten. We've been very happy with Madera these past 5 years and look forward to another 6 years. It just gets better and better especially since the school renovations were completed a couple of years ago. Many new families have moved to the area to go to this school. Unfortunately there is now room for very few transfer students because it is filled with residents. Teachers are good -- if somewhat traditional. Parent involvement is incredibly high. After school care run by the City of El Cerrito is now provided completely on site -- at least for this year. There are a number of after-school enrichment classes also available (art carpentry Spanish creative writing guitar etc.)

  • (8 years ago)

    Still love it! We're going on our second year at Madera (5th grade) and I do not regret choosing this school for my daughter. I love that the school has children who are primarily high achievers and that the school promotes active parent involvement and I love its diversity. I just wished that there was someway that they could add 7th through 8th grade at the school; as the pickings for quality middle schools within WCCUSD are seemingly non existent.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 36 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

Nearby

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools