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Shu Ren International School

Private | PK-4 | 45 students


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Living in Berkeley

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $450,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,290.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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7 reviews of this school

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Posted January 11, 2014

We have been so pleased with the teachers, administration and IB curriculum. We are a non-Chinese speaking family and weren t sure how to measure progress. Much to our delight, my son passed a Mandarin fluency exam at age 4 thanks to his tremendous learning experiences from Shu Ren. The IB curriculum has made the boys very curious and they can constantly link ideas and concepts because of this global style of learning. The teachers are warm, compassionate and knowledgeable and have helped my sons become more confident. Initially they would never speak out in class and are now able to raise their hands and feel comfortable speaking in front of the class. I love how the teachers teach the kids the skills necessary to solve problems rather than solving problems for them. I remember seeing my son struggle with a puzzle and instead of stepping in to solve in, they helped give him tips so he could solve it himself. We are so fortunate that the social, emotional, language and interdisciplinary subject skills the boys are learning at Shu Ren have given them such a strong foundation that will provide them with so many options in the years to come.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 4, 2014

On the preschool front, Shu Ren is lacking. Look beyond the glossy Mandarin-immersion and inquiry-based promises and remember what a child needs for preschool: safety, socialization and love of learning. The small class sizes that the older reviews talk about no longer holds for the preschool program. There has been high teacher turn over in the last year, including the departure of the preschool director. The preschool parents are talking among themselves and many have concerns with safety, TA quality, and a traditional chinese education in place of progressive learning. Administration has failed to communicate significant changes to both the pre-K and elementary programs. Bottom line, the kids are not as happy this year and that is the most telling.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 28, 2013

My children have thrived at Shu Ren, both in the Pre-K program and now in elementary school.The Pre-K is a warm, nurturing, engaging environment in which children are constantly exposed to hands-on projects, art, music, and simply amazing, dedicated teachers. And the dedication to language immersion is truly impressive. The same philosophy and atmosphere continues in the elementary school, where students engage in inquiry-based learning through thematic units of inquiry. The children are fully engaged with the subjects they are learning in a very personal and experiential way, so that they are genuinely excited about and invested in their work. The classes are academically very challenging but the small size allows each child to truly work at their own pace. The IB curriculum is also developed in a way that focuses on developing the whole child, including emotional and social development as well as non-academic skills, such as personal management and time management, which are truly invaluable. To top it off, the parent community is fabulous, kind, and very supportive. We couldn't be happier with the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 28, 2013

Shu Ren is a wonderful school. We have been so happy with the preschool. The preschool teacher is just amazing and has an amazing talent at understanding the needs of every child- whether they are shy or outgoing . The assistants are also kind and caring to the Children and our child's needs are always met . It is amazing how well our child's command of Mandarin is doing in just a short time. In addition we love that Shu Ren is now an accredited IB school. This curriculum allows the students to learn Mandarin at an even deeper level. I highly recommend Shu Ren for preschool and even the elementary school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 7, 2013

The school has good teachers and a strong group of upper school parents who know what they want. However, there's been high staff turnover. The owner of the school and the administration notify the parents of changes to staffing and issues at the last minute, if at all. There is a often a lapse in communication where nonsense gets sent out in emails and the real info is left out. We don't know who the assistants are in our daughter's prek4 class. They've been changing for the two months. The other reviewers mention small classes. That's not true for the lower grades. Our daughter's class has more than 22 kids and they plan to fill it until it reaches 24.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 21, 2011

We have 2 kids at Shu Ren. Our kids were adopted from Taiwan and China so it is very important to us that our kids learn Mandarin fluently and early. It is equally important to us that they be in a caring environment where they will be happy and develop a passion for learning. Shu Ren has been ideal on both counts. The kids have been there for 3 years and are thriving. They are learning, growing and love going to school. The leadership and teachers at the school are passionate and outstanding. We have come to greatly appreciate the emphasis on becoming an IB school although initially this was not a key criterion for us when looking at schools. This school has served our children wonderfully and I highly recommend it to parents that wish to have their kids learn Mandarin fluently and develop a passion for learning in a warm, creative environment.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2011

We have been at Shu Ren for over two years and have been extremely happy, with the teachers, the curriculum, and the overall environment. My son is reading and writing in Mandarin and advancing well in English too. I'm consistently impressed with the work he brings home and the topics that they study, from the rainforest to the human body to story-telling and the imagination (just to name a few of the major topics they have studied this year.) They also have a wonderful music program and the classrooms are filled with art. The head of school has a clear vision for the school and is dedicated to realizing it. We feel very lucky to have found Shu Ren.
—Submitted by a parent

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Two or more races 32% 3%
White 12% 26%
Black 8% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Hispanic 0% 52%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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1333 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
Phone: (510) 981-0320


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