School HIstory

School HIstory

School History & What We Value at LeConte
The first LeConte Elementary School was established in 1892, which means our school is nearly 120 years old. It was named after Joseph LeConte, a founding member of the Sierra Club. The main entrance was on Russell Street and the school only served student in grades kindergarten through third grade for most of its existence. The building has undergone major renovations including additions for more classrooms, the second floor, the farm and garden, and relocation of the main office and library. Recent construction was for the garden near the rear playground and site landscaping in 2006. This summer, the interior and exterior of our school was repainted and classrooms received new flooring and carpeting.

To honor LeConte’s 100th birthday, our school received a congressional recognition certificate signed by Ron Dellums, then a member of the 8th Congressional District, and a proclamation signed by Loni Hancock, then Mayor of Berkeley. It includes language that continues to highlight the promise and legacy of our school:

            WHEREAS, LeConte is committed to serving a multicultural student body in an atmosphere of cooperation and community collaboration, and

WHEREAS, LeConte demonstrates a continued commitment to the environment with
its unique farm, garden, and environmental education program; and….

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Loni Hancock, Mayor of City of
Berkeley, proclaim May 30, 1992 as
in the City of Berkeley and hereby commend the entire staff for tirelessly
working to promote excellence in education in the Berkeley community.

Our Farm and Garden program celebrated it’s 25th birthday in 2007, making it one of the oldest gardens within the school district. It was originated by LeConte families and included chickens, roosters, rabbits and goats.  Our Farm and Garden and cooking classes continue to be among our student’s favorite reasons for coming to school. The classes give students an opportunity to see the results of their hard work because they eat what they harvest and grow.  As a result, most of our students are more open to cooking, trying new foods and healthy eating. Some of our students have prepared meals for their families based on a menu they learned during cooking class.

The value of hands-on learning experiences along with other enrichment classes provides students with knowledge that has life-changing consequences. Our expectation is that students who learn about diet and nutrition will have a significantly decreased chance of starting or continuing habits that lead to obesity and diabetes. Additionally, our students start the day sharing a healthy breakfast together which not only fills their bodies and brains for optimum learning but also build community.

As of this year, students in grades first through fifth will be taught music and all students, K-5 will receive art instruction by specialists. Art and music instruction address different learning styles and encourage students to use creative thinking skills, learning subjects, such as mathematics, and offers students an opportunity to build on a hidden talent or desire to pursue art or music as a career.

Students enrolled in the Two Way Immersion program not only become bilingual but also bicultural as they learn more about Latino cultures. In short, we value an education that taps into different ways of showing intelligence and classes that open students’ minds to diverse interests, experiences and pursuits. We strive to stimulate and serve the needs of the whole child for meaningful and continued lifelong learning.