This school had always been on my radar, and I wish I had enrolled sooner. I transferred my younger daughter (3rd grader) here in November and she couldn't be happier with the change. She feels safe, loved, understood, trusted and inspired. When there is a question or glitch, as there always will be, the staff is highly responsive, takes ownership of problem and most of all has the motivation and skill to come up with effective strategies to get things on track. Her vocabulary and mental math have flourished and most of all, she is excited by the things she is doing at school. I love The Berkeley School and encourage you to check it out.
I went to this school when it was called BMS for Kindergarden, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. The old princapal did not really take an interest in what was going on in the school, or show leadership for the school. Each year I was there you get the same teacher, and students in your class. The teachers did not teach what you needed to know in a regular public school. I left this school at the end of 2nd grade and went to a public school in 3rd grade, the public school was much better! I am still at the public school. Now BMS is TBS and has a new princapal.
Let's face it, our pre-schoolers would be safe, fine, and maybe even learn something in pretty much any Pre-K program. What you DON'T find everywhere is the perfect storm of highly competent administration, outstanding and loving teachers, and great parents. The Berkeley School has it all. And I believe its focus on expanding the Montessori basis with the judicious application of the most recent cognitive science in children's learning along with a deeply humanist approach to the childrens' personal development is EXACTLY what Maria Montessori would be doing if she were alive today.
We have been part of The Berkeley School (formerly Berkeley Montessori) community for 10 years and have been very satisfied with the quality of the academic program. While we were originally drawn to the Montessori program, the school has evolved its pedagogy to include the best of other teaching philosophies. The goal of helping to create students who are actively participants in their education, however, remains as strong as ever. TBS has a deep commitment to teacher development which is reflected in their commitment and passion. I highly recommend TBS.
Berkeley Montessori School has been an amazing place for our daughter who has thrived there for the last 3 years. The quality of teaching and staff is exceptional and we could not be any happier! There is something magical about the school and the environment is both loving and warm. The teachers are well trained and able to provide the students with an incredible experience. We feel truly blessed to have found BMS and we plan on staying there for a long time!!
We are entering our 6th year at BMS and have been very pleased with the combination of a challenging and engaging curriculum paired with a profound commitment to fostering a love of learning. The philosophy that education is not 'filling a bucket, but rather kindling a flame,' is apparent at every level at BMS, and I have been impressed with how children emerge from the program so much more than excellent academic preparation for high school and beyond. They also have a great deal of self-posession and confidentce in their ability to learn new things, as well as a truly remarkable understanding of themselves as learners. They know how they learn best, what are their own unique gifts and challenges are, and how to work effectively alone and in groups.
We have been at this school for 7 years and have been very happy. Our two (very different) boys have both found a home here. We have been particularly pleased with the middle school, it's teachers and academic rigor. Our older (now 10th grade) son got into all three private high schools he applied to. We will be very sorry to leave this caring, diverse and involved community.
We came to BMS 5 yrs ago from another private school (our now 10- and 12-yr old sons needed more challenging academics). They're so happy with the math, science, literature, history, etc. and, a plus, they love to learn (a common culture among BMS children). Interestingly, we've found BMS more diverse than most other schools -- in cultures represented and in students' acceptance of differences (not just in skin color, but in interests, behavioral challenges, abilities, etc.) -- teachers have an entire social curriculum that teaches this -- it has enabled our sons (who would've been earlier labeled 'bookish') to excel in sports as well as academics. Children are not expected to fit into square pegs at BMS -- and they get neither bored or burnt out. We feel very lucky to have found BMS for our kids.
BMS has a lot going for it--very dedicated staff, a beautiful campus, and a general application of Montessori methods including mixed classrooms and lots of hands-on, experential teaching. However, it lacks diversity, and for me, this became an issue. Another issue is the teachers' ability to cope with some of the challenges some students present: While the BMS community is warmly and appropriately inclusive of kids with learning or behaviorial challenges, to date, teachers haven't been given the kind of support some of these challenges require. But there are many, many 'gifts' here for the right family.
I have experience with the early childhood campus only (there is also an elementary school at a different location.) The facilities are the nicest I've seen, the teachers are attentive, experienced, and warm with the children. Children generally begin reading in the second year (around 4 years old) although this I'm sure this varies by child. They have a music specialist that instructs once per week and a wide variety of after school classes in language, art and physical education. The montessori materials are effective and interesting to the kids. They are able to truely grasp meanings and concepts through multi-sensory input; they develop great focus, and independent learning skills. Overall, this school offers an excellent early childhood education.
this school has two campuses.,one on francisco st and the other on university ave. in berkeley. the university campus goes up thru 8th grade. The teachers are very involved with the students. Each class has two teachers with three grades together, such as 4th, 5th and 6th. The middle school has 7th and 8th together. The middle is very good because there are 4 to 6 teachers involved and each teacher has equal amount of students to advise. There's a special ed teacher for students need help. It also has elevator for handicapped students.
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