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Old 02-16-2014, 04:31 AM
 
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Which neighborhood in Berkeley or Oakland should we focus on for good schools and access to BART? Thank you.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Piedmont, which technically isn't Oakland. And it's not too close to BART, either.

Other than that...Rockridge/Elmwood/Claremont, though there are no good public highschools in those areas. You'd be better off school-wise in Albany. There's a BART station nearby in El Cerrito, bordering on Albany, and north Berkeley is close by, for good shopping, restaurants.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Berkeley, S.F. Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cris81 View Post
Which neighborhood in Berkeley or Oakland should we focus on for good schools and access to BART? Thank you.
North, Downtown, or West Berkeley without a doubt. These are really great neighborhoods with near non-existent crime. South Berkeley is a little rougher but is pretty peachy and easily livable; not as bad as North Oakland, and the only real crime is the occasionally suspicious sounds and bike-theft. Something common in almost all parts of Oakland.
The schools in Berkeley are unique in that they often throw students on the other side of town, they do this for diversity reasons. So half of the kids from South Berkeley end up going to North Berkeley, Berkeley Hills schools and vica-versa. But no worries, the school buses take kids promptly to their Elementary schools.
For Middle Schools, there's only three and public bus lines easily reach all of them. They're also in easily reachable areas. North Berkeley BART is next to Martin Luther King Middle School and Ashby St. BART is near Willard. Longfellow is in-between.
The High school is called "Berkeley High School", and it's perhaps one of the most highly funded public High schools in the Bay Area. Berkeley citizens often pay much more in property taxes towards public school (willingly), because Berkeley is without a doubt really concerned about 'public education.' BHS is located very close to Downtown Berkeley BART. Also, it should be noted that Berkeley schools take in a lot of students who don't live in Berkeley, but Im not sure how it works. A lot of people from Oakland, El Cerrito, Richmond, ect take BART to get their kids to Middle and High schools.
But i'd advise to move to Berkeley anyways, just to not deal with that. But if you look at Berkeley High and the Middle Schools, they're clearly funded to sustain kids beyond Berkeley's capacity.

Simply, Berkeley for the schools.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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[quote=GalacticDragonfly;33513469]North, Downtown, or West Berkeley without a doubt. These are really great neighborhoods with near non-existent crime. South Berkeley is a little rougher but is pretty peachy and easily livable; not as bad as North Oakland, and the only real crime is the occasionally suspicious sounds and bike-theft. Something common in almost all parts of Oakland. {/quote]
This is not really true. South Berkeley has plenty of issues, and parts of west Berkeley as well. Drug dealing, muggings, car breakins and the like. I'd skip anywhere near Ashby BART all together, not worth the price compared to the level of sketchiness. The Solano Ave area is my favorite part of Berkeley. Other places you start getting too close to campus and too many students.

Apples to apples, neighborhoods that are similar in Oakland and Berkeley have similar rates of crime and issues.

Quote:
The schools in Berkeley are unique in that they often throw students on the other side of town, they do this for diversity reasons. So half of the kids from South Berkeley end up going to North Berkeley, Berkeley Hills schools and vica-versa. But no worries, the school buses take kids promptly to their Elementary schools.
For Middle Schools, there's only three and public bus lines easily reach all of them. They're also in easily reachable areas. North Berkeley BART is next to Martin Luther King Middle School and Ashby St. BART is near Willard. Longfellow is in-between.
The High school is called "Berkeley High School", and it's perhaps one of the most highly funded public High schools in the Bay Area. Berkeley citizens often pay much more in property taxes towards public school (willingly), because Berkeley is without a doubt really concerned about 'public education.' BHS is located very close to Downtown Berkeley BART. Also, it should be noted that Berkeley schools take in a lot of students who don't live in Berkeley, but Im not sure how it works. A lot of people from Oakland, El Cerrito, Richmond, ect take BART to get their kids to Middle and High schools.
But i'd advise to move to Berkeley anyways, just to not deal with that. But if you look at Berkeley High and the Middle Schools, they're clearly funded to sustain kids beyond Berkeley's capacity.

Simply, Berkeley for the schools.
Berkeley schools are generally pretty good but they are also "urban schools" and there are big issues around income and class stratification and other things. Berkely also has lots of really cool programs. Your kids can definitely get a good, unique education in Berkeley, and the schools are pretty competitive (which can be good or bad, depending on your view). And it isn't like a typical suburban school where everyone is of the same social class.

You should look in neighboring Alameda and Albany for other good schools, and similar amenities (which I am assuming you want to live somewhere denser, walkable and that has diversity.) Albany is the least diverse of Berkeley/Albany/Alameda trio. El Cerrito has pretty good schools and much more diversity than Albany.

Oakland has tons of good elementary schools, but around middle school, middle class (and up parents) tend to move or send their kids to private schools for high school. Areas like Rockridge, Trestle Glen, Crocker Highlands, Montclair and the Glenview all have great elementary schools. Oakland Tech in North Oakland is a great high school, and scores keep improving. Not very sure about the other schools, but I hear good things about Skyline High.

Piedmont does have great schools, it is proxy, but if you live in the less posh lower Piedmont area, BART isn't too far, less than 1.5 miles. And you are more likely to be walkable to Piedmont Ave or Grand/Lakeshore.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
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Personally, any part of Berkeley is fine as far as I'm concerned. Drug deals, car breakins etc? You describe each and every neighborhood in San Francisco. I live in South Berkeley, and though I can't discuss schools since my daughter always did private, nor should you even be asking about schools on here but researching on greatschools.org or some similar site with actual experiences. But yes we live in South Berkeley, have 2 foreign cars that are parked on the street and live in a very mixed neighborhood that always feels safe and never had any problems.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davachka View Post
Personally, any part of Berkeley is fine as far as I'm concerned. Drug deals, car breakins etc? You describe each and every neighborhood in San Francisco.
Hahah! Very true. I don't like people to get the false idea that Berkeley is crime free. Most of my friends who live in Berkeley have had their car broken into (and one had her car stolen). Not all blocks of south Berkeley feel sketchy (and it has improved a lot over the past 10 years). But there are definitely plenty where I do not walk around at night, as it doesn't feel safe. There was a rash of muggings with guns not too long ago.

It is safe for an urban area.....but don't forget it is still an urban area.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:36 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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West Berkeley is the last place I'd recommend someone live if they're concerned about crime. East Berkeley and north Berkeley around Solano Ave. and in the hills are free of car break-ins and other problems. But I'd still recommend Albany or El Cerrito over those areas, for better schools, especially highschool. Unless you want to try for a partial scholarship to one of the private schools when your kids get close to HS age. Then Berkeley or Rockridge would be fine. Your rent money would go farther in Albany or El Cerrito, though.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:08 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I will look into all the suggestions. Does Rock ridge or Albany border Berkeley?
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,118 posts, read 33,301,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cris81 View Post
Thank you everyone for your responses. I will look into all the suggestions. Does Rock ridge or Albany border Berkeley?
Rockridge is an neighborhood in Oakland that borders Berkeley. Albany is a town that borders Berkeley.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,817 posts, read 27,972,781 times
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Someone else mentioned greatschools.org. A good place to check reviews of schools and rankings:

GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

For crime info, if you find a particular address you want to check out, here is a decent crime data website:

Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

Last edited by Yac; 02-19-2014 at 06:12 AM..
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