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Prospect Sierra School

Private | K-8 | 470 students

 
 

 
 

Living in El Cerrito

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $430,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,600.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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23 reviews of this school


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Posted April 4, 2014

We are an African American Family - our son attends Prospect Sierra and is a 7th grader. He was immediately welcomed into the school community. His transition went extremely well and has made some really good friends.The strong sense of community is driven by the Head of School (Katherine) and Head of Middle School (Heather) - Great and effective leaders! I like the collaborative, supportive and warm feel we get from Admission,Business Office and Admin. Support Staff; The faculty is a strong collective of committed and talented educators. They also effectively communicate to parents on their child s progress. The essential academic program is strong; effectively prepares students for the skills they will need for high school. The Arts, Drama, Music and Sports programs are all also very good! The class diversity numbers at the school (in terms of students of color) is not where they would like it to be The new Director of Admissions and Director of Diversity and Inclusion are committed to having a diverse and inclusive environment. I would urge all families (especially families of color) to strongly look at and consider Prospect Sierra Middle School for their child!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 17, 2014

I found this school to be extremely unwelcoming of my child, who did not quite fit the mold. The facilities are very nice, but that's about it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 3, 2013

This school has had so many problems for me, but maybe because I am personally not an "excellent" student. I mean if your child has extraordinary talents and enjoys school then they will love prospect sierra, but one thing that I do have to say is that the arts program is amazing. I would not recommend this to an average student like myself.


Posted February 16, 2013

This school was great in k-5. 6-8 the school starts to fall apart. i guess it's because the students start to not care. the teachers really try their best, but they think they know the students when they don't. I discribe PS school as a pink bubbly box in a very dark society. They dont do a good job in prepping the students to endure the harsh enviroment in the outside world. This is my rating for each of the subjects (out of 5) Science: 3 Humanities: 4.2 Math: 2.5 World language (Spanish): 3.5 P.E: 4.5 Art: 4 Music:4 Drama: 4


Posted March 15, 2011

I have never imagined that there existed an ideal school, however for our family Prospect Sierra continues to provide our children a wonderful education. The school's leadership across the board is talented, inspiring, and compassionate. The curriculum is challenging and thoughtful for its spiraling effect from the lower grades to eighth. We have built a relationship of trust with the school that continues to grow. We remain confident that regardless the issue this program is focused on the best outcome for our children. Fiat Lux!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 22, 2010

Our daughter recently entered Kindergarten at Prospect Sierra. In our experience to date , they offer top notch education combined with helping children develop into socially empathetic and literate individuals. The administration, teachers and staff are top-notch and you feel that you are investing in the future of not only your own child but of a healthy society.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2010

We thank our "lucky stars" to be able to send our children there. In our minds, it offers an amazing education while developing the WHOLE child. We could not be happier with Prospect Sierra School.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 28, 2010

I graduated this year from PS and i had a wonderful time while it lasted! The teachers were so caring and dedicated to getting us to our full potential. I remember transferring in 6th and everyone was very easy to get along with. And i made the best of friends. Homework isn't excessive if you manage you time well. I think service learning is well incorporated in to this school, you'd think it be boring but actually is great. It helps you bond with teachers and classmates. I would recommend this school to any kid. i loved this school. sadly its on to high school


Posted March 1, 2010

Prospect Sierra is run with a great deal of thought and care, from the top down. The teachers are seasoned, enthusiastic and dedicated. Our two sons have been very engaged by the environment here: we couldn't be happier.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 28, 2010

We continue to be impressed by the overall thoughtfulness of the school. Every decision seems to be made in such thoughtful manner. We really appreciate the schools' attention to the whole child - the motto of 'heart, mind, community' is not just lip service and is integrated into our child's day in so many creative and innovative ways.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2010

The teachers at Prospect Sierra are excellent. Not only are they warm, and caring, but also they are in tune with each student's learning needs. They catch academic and social difficulties early on, and suggest practical and workable solutions. They focus on what I see as life skills - organization, planning, time management, problem solving, service learning, and teamwork.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2010

The thing that sets Prospect Sierra apart is its inspired teaching. Grade after grade, year after year, on a whole, our two children have a stimulating, tailored and varied teaching experience. The teaching is really the background to great programs at Prospect Sierra. On top of that, great parent community and kids who are really interested in learning --as well as being 'just kids.'
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 17, 2010

Prospect Sierra School is a great shool,it has the best teachers, perfect class size, and a big campus.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 30, 2009

I have worked at many Bay Area independent and public schools and I have always found my way back to teaching at Prospect Sierra. I love working here.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted March 5, 2009

Prospect Sierra is the best priveate school you can go to! I love love love this school!!!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 13, 2009

I love Prospect Sierra and all the kids in it. I have tons of friends and its just so amazing. Its the best school you can go to.
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 28, 2008

As a parent, I love Prospect Sierra. It is both academically challenging and socially stimulating for the kids. My daughter is currently in Kindergarten at PS and couldn't be having a better year. They make the transition from pre-school into Kindergarten seem effortless. The school has exceeded my expectations on every front. My child is thriving academically, making wonderful friends, and loves learning and going to school. The sense of community amongst the parents is very strong. Yes, there are many affluent families who attend, but I am not one of them, and I have to say that I have not once gotten a whiff of snobbery from anyone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 18, 2007

Dec. 2007: We have two children at Prospect Sierra, a girl (3rd grade) and a boy (1st grade). They are very different, but both happy and thriving at Prospect Sierra. The school has met and exceeded all of our expectations. Our kids take the bus to school and have made good use of the AfterSchool and Enrichment Programs, which are outstanding. The art and science at the elementary school campus has been thrilling and exciting for them. Both Jen (art) and Phil (science) inspire our kids. The teachers are hardworking and dedicated to each child, and to working each each at his or her level. Our kids have had different teachers and all have been excellent. The kids are doing very well at reading and math. Of course, there is the development of a sense of community service, which is important to many of us who live in the East Bay.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 17, 2007

Prospect Sierra is an excellent school for K-8 graders academically. The teachers are dedicated and the curriculum is broad based (including an emphasis on community involvement and respect for self and others). As another poster comments, there is a fair amount of homework, but my two boys have not had any problem keeping up. They have made several very good friends at the school and the parent's seem to be of a like mind (focused on education and a positive learning environment). The school is fairly expensive (though not more so than other Independen Schools I would imagine) and appears to be attended by primarily upper middle class families. There is a bit of a snob mentality by the parents, but the children don't seem to notice. Also, there could be a bit more diversity. The ethnic make-up appears to be predominantly caucasian.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 1, 2007

Prospect Sierra's strongest assets are its teachers, who are talented and dedicated; however, I don't approve of the excessive amounts of homework that students are often asked to do. My child has made many friends at Prospect Sierra, but says he misses the diversity of the Berkeley Public Schools and finds PS 'preppy.' Nonetheless, he will be well prepared to meet the demands of a challenging high school program, which is very important to our family for his long-term success and happiness.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 59% 26%
Two or more races 26% 3%
Hispanic 6% 52%
Black 4% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Recycling club
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Rock band
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • French
  • Spanish
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:20 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Ms. Katherine Dinh
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (510) 232-7615

Programs

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • French
  • Spanish
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish

Resources

Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Flag football
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Rock band
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Math club
  • Recycling club
  • Robotics club
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

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What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
Local preschools

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$20000 - $25000
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

960 Avis Dr
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Website: Click here
Phone: (510) 528-5800

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