This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
The Renaissance School5
Posted March 03, 2012
- a parent
TRS is the only school in the East Bay that truly offers it all -- foreign language, music, art, science -- in an emotionally supportive environment which encourages exploration, creativity and instills a true love of learning from preschool onwards. TRS is education and community at its very best!
At TRS each child is treated as a creative being who passions and learning styles are as unique as snowflakes. The high teacher-student ratio means that children frequently receive one-on-one lessons. From the preschool - K levels all the concepts are taught in concrete, tangible terms. Mathematics, geography, written language comprehension - everything is taught through hands on and sensory materials. The result is that children at TRS are reading & writing and comprehending basic math at very early ages. Although the children of TRS advance quickly in academics, the culture of the school is not focused on achievement. The focus is on each child expressing their unique potential. Whether it is teaching a 2 yr old how to dress themselves, or teaching a 4 yr old how to cook chicken tikka masala - the focus is on self confidence and independence. The children learn new skills - from practical life skills to academics - as a way to help them trust in their own abilities and to open new worlds of exploration for themselves. When a child learns to do something on their own and is no longer reliant on the help of an adult - the look of pure joy and pride is incredible.
My 3 year old daughter is so much more confident, capable and often sited as more advanced than 6 year olds by other preschool teachers. This school provides all the skills to be successful in education and society. More and more Emotional Intelligence plays a role in a person's success and your child will learn that here. Really I am a TRS lifer!!
My son started at TRS when he was just 2 and is now about to enter 1st grade. The school has been amazing for him. The combination of a nurturing primary program and an intellectually stimulating environment has helped my little boy blossom. At 6, he is an enthusiastic learner, has a close group of friends, and is wonderfully self-confident. The multi-age classroom has been a blessing, allowing him to go through the journey of little kid to wise mentor.
Our kids have been at TRS for 3 years now and it's been a great experience. The language immersion is second to none. You won't find any school in the area with such great focus on language (french, spanish, english), music, arts, and academics. When we first heard of the school, we didn't know much about Montessori principles. After seeing the program and watching our kids grow into this environment, my wife and I can't imagine a better way to learn.
Both our kids attended preschool at The Renaissance over the last 8 years, one currently, and one a few years ago. This is an excellent preschool, and especially for working parents who want a rich, safe, and attentive all day program). It is rich with the Montessori focus on independent learning, a wonderful focus on language arts, (after 2 years our little one has picked up an amazing amount of Spanish comprehension because of their immersion approach with multi-lingual staff), music (fantastic music staff following the Kodaly method for choral/instrumental instruction) - they have a great choir program, and art (again, fantastic art staff and facilities that actually teach art skills while engaging the kids). This school cannot be compared to the 'typical' part day 'play' or 'arts and crafts' type preschool that is so predominant everywhere.
This school is the best kept secret in the Bay Area. I have looked at many schools and no other offers such a passionate music program, thoughtful bi-lingual program (French and Spanish), and true Montessori program. It's small and in a diverse urban neighborhood, which adds another dimension. A great school for those who believe in Montessori and want their children to grow up to be interesting people.
We sent our daughter at age 3 yrs and have been extremely pleased with the very hight quality of the music (up to 3.5 hrs/week) art (up to 2 hrs/week) and Spanish (semi-emersion with daily lessons in Spanish and 1 of 3 teachers speaking Spanish at all times) The Montasorri curriculum both academically and socially is very strong and the environment is warm and loving. The school offers after school programs including gymnastics, dance, chorus, instrumental instruction and a wide variety of summer programs. There is a very active parent group as well as an excellent series of parenting classes and seminars.