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Shelton's Primary Education Center

Private | PK-5 | 100 students

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Living in Berkeley

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $451,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,390.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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Community Rating

4 stars

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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21 reviews of this school

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Posted April 14, 2009

Sheltons is good, but it could be great. Our son has had both amazing and horrible teachers in the two years he has gone here. I wish that Sheltons would focus more on quality control through periodic classroom observations and reflections in order to support, or get rid of , the horrible teachers. The parents and students of Sheltons are amazing. My son has made great friends at this school. There seems to be a good balance between play and academics. They provide great lunches (i.e. chicken and waffles!) and great field trips too. They are losing funding, so the playground equipment is old and the balls are flat. There are some teachers who engage the students on the playground and some who just sit the whole time, drinking coffee, yelling accross the yard. Again, there needs to be some quality control.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 6, 2008

I currently have two children at Shelton's who began in the first of the three pre-K classes. I cannot begin to share how much my husband and I value the leadership principals Shelton's as instilled in our children's learning experience. They surpass the cognitive level of many of their cousins around their ages. I beg their parents to please consider Shelton's. Sheltons' instructors are a unit of superior instuctors who are completely devoted to enriching developing minds. They respect every individual childs attributes. I love to brag about the education my children are receiving at Shelton's especially the emphasis on Black heritage and achievements. This is so important for our children. I can not thank the Shelton's directors and staff enough for the the life long committment they have to given the generations of childrens who have passed through the Shelton's education system.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 3, 2008

Shelton's is unique in that it is small, independent, family operated with focus on African American pride but it has many issues of concern. The staff & administration are not approachable. Parents are not being heard . It requires going to the top, such as board members but even the top doesn't take responsibility and disregards feedback. Shelton's struggle with funding and enrollment. The building is outdated with hazards especially the playground. There is disrespect amongst the children and choas in the classrooms because there are no clear boundaries set. My child has attended since preschool but we are leaving. Shelton's is not worth the cost.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 24, 2007

My child has been a student at this school for a few years now and my family is very pleased. The teachers have all taught her well. She is often exposed to something new and she is excited about going to school everyday. Shelton's has worked together with my family in instilling a level of confidence in my child that is surely going to take her a long way in life. They have also given her a very strong academic foundation. I know she is going to exceed in what ever she chooses to do and I thank Shelton's for being a part of that.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 17, 2007

I have been a parent at Shelton's for several years. I am quite pleased with their academic program and extra-curricular offerings. The staff is friendly and from my experience they are open to feedback. If you are interested in checking out Shelton's, I suggest that you take a look at the shool for yourself. I have another child who I fully intend to enroll in Shelton's as soon as he becomes of age. Shelton's is a unique educational institution that I beleive is a great place to learn.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 15, 2007

I'm a new parent at the school with a child in Pre-K. I am very excited about the new board and the direction the school is going. The school seems to be open to parent involvement and wants our opinion
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 25, 2007

Shelton's quality of service has gone down. The professionalism is nonexistant. Making money and being frugal seems to be more priority then having a solid teaching curriculum They seem to have dropped the ball on education. Especially for the 1-4 graders.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 18, 2007

While Shelton may have made a name for itself in the past, largely due to the passion of its founders. Today is a new day and the school is nothing short of attending a public school. they have not been practicing what they preach. And a lot of parents are no longer feeling compelled to be involved.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 12, 2007

While Shelton's may have made a name for itself in the past for excellence in education as an independent school; today it shares the same struggles as many publicly funded schools: over worked, under paid teachers, (in some cases under qualified), overrun/outdated facilities, and a stagnant curriculum. Although the landscape for independent school are continuously being challenged by external variables (economic fluctuations, new charter schools, etc) The majority of independent schools in the East Bay have seen a steady increase in enrollment and have been able to turn lemons into lemonade. Unfortunately, by comparison, it appears that Shelton's has not faired as well. Shelton's impetus for running this school like a family business verse a non profit was once considered endearing and naive, has regretfully become their Achilles heel. It is my hope that one day the school will be able to reclaim their status as a 'great place to learn'.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 5, 2007

The school overworks and under-pays its staff. They throw a lot of homework at the kids. Yet, because education is so evolving. I honestly think the school doesn't have the spirit or drive to want to improve academically. I'd hate to say something bad about my child's former school but these are observations I've noticed and the truth does hurt.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 24, 2007

Shelton's is not like it use to be. No one speaks out and no one takes responsibility. They are losing credibility
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 12, 2007

Shelton's has truly been a blessing for me. My son who is 4 years old, has developed in ways that aren't even imaginable. The classes are very close knit and provide a family oriented environment. Because of shelton's my son has a strong sense of who he is, where he's been, and where he's going.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 12, 2007

Shelton s provides a comprehensive academic program in which my son is empowered with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenges in an increasingly complex competitive world. This school fosters an environment that aspires to nurture his ability to develop self confidence and the skills needed to achieve any goal set for him. What I love most about the Shelton s is they educate my son in the manner that most suits his individual needs allowing him to understand his heritage of where he came from and helping him to develop his full potential of what he would like to achieve in life.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 12, 2007

Shelton's has been very responsive to the special needs of their students and creative in developing solutions. Young Black males get the love and support they need to enhance self-esteem, to grow and develop emotionally and spiritually, culminating in a strong sense of self worth and pride in being an African American. The emphasis on public speaking in and out of the classroom, and in Kawanza and Black History program performances gives our children a hugh dose of confidence that prepares them for life's challenges.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 12, 2007

I am a very proud and honored Shelton's mommy.I thank the entire Shelton's family for the quality of education,love and support you give my daughter. It truly shows when she is out in the community, as the question that is always asked;'What school does you daughter go to?' .We proudly say Shelton's!The place to be!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 12, 2006

I chose SPEC because of the emphasis on African-American/African culture, history, class structure, and community pride. I appreciated the African-American leadership at every level. The tuition is also extremely reasonable. So, far the school has met and exceeded my expectations. My daughter has been in Shelton's Pre-K program for almost six months now (she is 2 1/2). She came from a small, family daycare and was extremely shy when she joined her class. Everyday, I am amazed at how much she has grown academically and socially. Her teachers were very observant and we worked as a team to help her get acclimated to her new environment. She is always enthusiastic about her friends and teachers. Everyday is excited to share a new discovery. I believe that my daughter receives quality instruction.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 15, 2005

My twin preschoolers are not only excelling in the basics but they are learning the same information in Spanish. Shelton's provides a caring, nurturing, academic environment. When people ask me what school my children are in, I am so proud to say they are at Shelton's. My children excited about learning and spending the day with their teachers and friends. They do a great job.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 29, 2005

My child has attended sheltons since preschool. Sheltons provides a safe and healthy learning enviornment for the children. Although last year some of the services were cut back I still highly recommend the school. You could not ask for better teachers and cirriculm.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 23, 2005

My child has attend SPEC for the past four years. I think it's a great school for young Af. Am. to learn more about their culture. They focus lot of Af. American history.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 8, 2004

This school was once a premier school for culturally centered, high achieving academics. Over the course of attendance, we experienced disregard for parent involvement and feedback, grave safey issues, disrespect between children, and more focus on scores than on learning as some of the issues. There was no opportunity to address or resolve problems and there was very little leadership. In fact we have resolved to remove our child from the school.
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics

Arts & music

  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Dance

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish
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School basics

School start time
  • 9:00am
School end time
  • 3:00pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Sharon McGaffie
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
  • Nonsectarian
  • IIE


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Mathematics
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish


Transportation options
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Parent involvement
  • Active pta group that meets once a month. each family is asked to volunteer at the school at least 20 hours per school year.
School leaders can update this information here.



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Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
St. Paul's Episcopal School
ASA Academy & Comunity Science Center
Redwood Day
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3339 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94703
Website: Click here
Phone: (510) 652-6132


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