I would rate Bentley school as a terrible school. This school is way behind than any other private & public schools. It is filled with bunch of spoiled kids with no manners. Unqualified teachers, and school staff. You pay over 30,000 per year for tuition, in return you get NOTHING ! If your kid is super smart, good, but if not, they refer you to get a private tutor. They're constantly harassing parents via email and phone calls for more money. We took our kid out of this school and we know a lot of parents who did the same by transferring their kids to other schools. Stay away from this school and don't waste your time, and money, there are many good public and private schools in the same neighborhood.
This a first-rate school in every way. The academics are first-rate and the teachers and the staff have bent over backwards to make our children and our family welcome. This is perhaps the finest school for us, and we can cannot say enough great things about the school!
We just returned from living overseas and when selecting a school in the East Bay we did a ton of research. We could not be more happy with Bentley. The staff are highly competent, caring, and (most importantly) seem to enjoy their work. The academics are top notch and the activities (arts and sports) are abundant for such a small school.
We have had children at this school for the past 7 years and have finally decided that the school does not live up to the hype. The Head of School is a mean spirited person who seems to drive her staff away. The teacher turnover is substantial and affects the way the school operated. The school used to be an academic powerhouse but seems to have lost its way as it chases money and wealth. It is now a school that has no real mission or purpose other than to chase the wealthy and "score" the next CEO's kid. The lower school math program is poor and several teachers left this year due to having to teach a substandard curriculum. We moved our child to the local public school and were stunned to find out how behind the Bentley writing and math curriculum are in terms of pedagogy. This school is made up of wealthy kids whose parents want to shield them from the rest of society--at the cost of educating them in a modern way. You have been warned don't waste your money.
This school has become a playground for rich families and kids. The diversity is lacking. Adding a few token non-whites a year who offer no socio-economic diversity does not cut it. Our daughter has become much more entitled over the years and we are struggling with her. Even the much talked about academics has weakened with the departure of key staff. For $30K a year, I am not sure our child is getting the growth she really needs.
Bentley School's greatest strength is the parent community. I have found the parents to be hardworking toward the schools goals, kind and inclusive. My daughter has attended the school since kindergarten. However, the school has an accelerated curriculum and therefore produces gaps your child's learning. Your child's math and spelling book is 1 year ahead and they skip all around according the teacher's scope and sequence. To date, the school has not produced a curriculum map so you can have a sense of what your child needs to know. If your child needs any assistance the school has a list of outside educational providers that parents choose from ($70-$110 per hour/ testing $800). This is different from other independent schools so do your research and ensure that your child can perform well in the accelerated environment.
I have a 4th grader and a kindergartener at Bentley. As a family, we are thrilled with the school. My 4th grader's teacher is amazing. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious and her academic expectations high. But what's more is that she gets my child and understands her strengths and needs in a way that tells me she's really paying attention. My son's K teacher is equally terrific. She really knows her stuff and connects to her students in a way they love. My son adores her and has learned so much. I appreciate the attention and care both my kids receive and I feel as though I have true partners in their education. The teachers and administrators are very responsive over e-mail. The parent community is great -- friendly and pretty easy to get to know, though you do need to put yourself out there and get involved to meet people. The school's drop off/pick up valet line makes it difficult to socialize at those common gathering points, so you need to find other ways to meet people. All in all, if you are looking for a warm, nurturing environment with challenging academics and top teaching, Bentley is a fantastic choice.
My son goes to Happy Valley and we've been very pleased with the quality of education he has received, the teachers commitment to excellence, parents involvement as volunteers and their support of the school.
Bentley is an amazing school with the most talented teachers in the Bay Area. Our kinder-gardener thrives at Bentley. The best part for busy parents are the four to six page report cards at the end of each trimester with details from each teacher on your child's performance. Bentley also offers additional after school classes. I would highly recommend for perspective parents to consider this school.