The Arlington Preschool (Kensington, CA)
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The Arlington Preschool (Kensington, CA)
- Owner: Joan Castell
- Phone: (510) 524-8689
- Neighborhood: on The Arlington in Kensington
- Zip: 94707
- License #: 070210038
- Capacity: 44
- Website: http://thearlingtonpreschool.com/
- Ages: 2-5 year olds
Our daughter who is now 4 has been attending Arlington
Preschool (APS) since she's 3 and we could not have asked
for a better school. Our son will be attending the school
next year. When we first started with APS, we loved that
they offer open enrollment and that WE were able to chose
when she would start (instead of the dreaded waiting list),
as well as a flexible schedule that works around ours. When
we started at APS, Cheryl and Claudia had been working as
teachers there for many many years. However due to personal
reasons they both went in different directions over the
Summer, and the school hired two new teachers Sheri and
Kathleen. We could not be more happier with the transition.
Although we miss Cheryl and Claudia, Sheri and Kathleen have
stepped in beautifully and our daughter is thriving at the
school, always talking about all the fun she's had at
school. Every day is filled with great craft and art
activities, all done in a playful, positive environment -
they have cooking with Melinda and music with Ginger once a
week, and lots of great toys to play with. And what touches
me most is that the kids really respect and enjoy each
others company. APS does an amazing job of making sure every
child is happy. Sheri and Kathleen are both wonderful with
The school has openings right now since they had a big Pre-K
class last year that went onto Kindergarten. You can call
Sheri at 524-8689.
Any parents out there have current comments and experience
with Peter Pan Preschool in El Cerrito, the Creative Play
Center in Albany and Arlington Preschool in Kensington??
still preschool searching
Our daughter has been at Arlington Preschool for the past
3 years and I cannot say enough about it. From the
materials, letter of the week, themes and activities,
holiday celebration and creativeness in teaching and even
the cleanliness. They have a woman that comes to sing
with them weekly, cooking with another staff person and
lots of opportunities to explore by visiting Blake Gardens
down the street.
There are 3 teachers who have very different teaching
approaches, yet work so well to balance one another and
provide supportive and caring energy to all the children.
It was our first experience in having our daughter leave
us for several hours a day and then we gradually increased
her time as family needs changed. The scheduling is
flexible with part time days during the week as well as
hours and we appreciated not having to pay one rate with
less hours utilized.
The teachers are all so wonderful and Pre-K teacher has a
great energy and really draws on the strengths and
learning styles of the different children. There is good
communcation with the parents and teachers and they are
avaialble as needed, pre-k kiddos have meetings with the
pre-k teacher each year, but any time there needs to be a
meeting they are available.
Our daughter is graduating this summer and I am truly
already missing Arlington! They have made this time for
our family the best it could be.
happy at Arlington
Both our children (now 6, 8) went to Arlington Preschool and
had a wonderful experience there. We were there five years
and there was NO turnover in staff-- moreover, we left two
years ago and it's still Joan, Cheryl, and Claudia. They are
all wonderful with kids -- they really are. My kids had a
flawless experience there. Lots of play, good supervision,
some mild academics in the Pre-K classroom - just a bit to
make them feel ''grown up'' and be familiar with letters,
using pencils. No heavy duty academics -- that is not what
kids need at this age. The mixed age classrooms are a great
boon -- very good for children's social development in all
kinds of ways. They are very knowledgeable. I will say that
the director is better with the kids than with the adults.
She is a dear woman, so don't be put off by her gruff
exterior -- she is never gruff with kids. Talk to Cheryl
and visit with your child -- you will not regret. An added
plus, the schedule is very flexible (days, hours) and she
was very accommodating of our changing needs (pt, ft, 3
days, 5 days). And more affordable than the ''fancy''
preschools we always hear about -- like half the cost of
former arlington parent
I, too, want to add my recommendation for Arlington
Preschool. After disappointed with the co-op preschool for
our daughter, we decided to send our younger son to more
structured school. One of my friends recommended Arlington
Preschool and we are still extremely happy with our choice.
Our son is now 9 and it sounds too long time ago. He has
been doing very well at school. Thanks to their non-forcing,
yet stimulating pre-K program, he was really ready for
kindergarten. We still regret not to send our daughter
because we see the difference clearly. I have to add that we
were not particularly interested in developmental
preschools. Our preference at that time was more to
play-based. Arlington Preschool has very good balance of
both. Most importantly, the kids there, as far as I know,
are all very well-behaved.
I am considering sending my son, who is going to be three by
September, to Arlington Preschool. I would like to have some
feed back from parents who either has their child there now or
have graduated from them recently. I checked an archive but
parents who responded sent their children quite a while ago. I
would like to know about more current information.
Arlington Preschool is a great preschool! I have a son who has
been there two years and a daughter who will start in Sept.
Joan, the Director has been ! at this for decades and really
knows her stuff. I trust her completely in all areas regarding
information about the kids and find her advice and insights
comforting in times of trouble. The school is incredibly well
run. She really knows how to encourage the kids to take that
next step and support them in doing it. All three teachers
there (Cheryl and Claudia as well) are fantastic and have been
there for ages. The enrichment programs (singing, dance,
cooking) are wonderful too. It's a very special place - and
more amazing, its affordable too. Good luck in your decision!
My daughter absolutely loved APS where she stayed for 2 years.
I like the small size of the school but chose it because it had
a GREAT outdoor play area- kids need to run and bike and
swing. I love the two class level where children of all ages
get time tog! ether and older children get kindergarten
readiness. The class is always pleasant to visit, children are
happy and polite. Cheryl is a fabulous teacher- truly talented
and loving. Joan may come off as stuffy, but look at the
activities, the environment, and the children- she's clearly
running a great program. APS never advertises and has been
open for many years purely on word of mouth- I highly recommend
them! My daughter still asks to go back and visit every month
even though she's been out in kindergarten for the past year.
can't wait to send my next kid!
We are considering the Arlington Preschool for our daughter, 3
yrs old and would like any comments both pros & cons of the
Both of my boys went to Arlington Preschool, though it's been a
few years now. (They are now 13 and 9). We loved it there.
Joan, the director was fabulous. Very loving and caring. Her
diciplin methods were always fair and gentle, yet firm. The
teachers that work(ed) for her...I think some are still there
If I ever had any concerns about either kid, Joan would always
take the time to talk.
I always felt completely comfortable about my kids well being
while there, and we were there for all of both of their pre-
It's small enough but not too small, some structure without
being too strict in structure. Good mix of ages at appropriate
Good luck. I think it's a great place.
My son has been at Arlington Preschool since Sept. and I have to
say that I think it is a wonderful preschool. Joan is really
amazing -- her advice is always on target. She's been doing
this for decades and has seen it all. The school is mixed age,
which I wasn't sure about but now love, and the kids are caring
and sweet and mix well. It's more diverse than many of
the ''fancy'' expensive preschools we all hear about and a good
mix of organized time and unstructured play. My son has
developed such confidence, such good social skills (sharing,
taking turns, being ''gentle'')and comes home singing songs,
dancing, and talking about the ''cooking'' they did. All basic
stuff but done very well. I look forward to more years ahead at
the school. A note: Joan doesn't advertise by design -- relies
on word of mouth instead. That means you don't hear as much
about it as some of the others, but it's a gem.
Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
Arlington Preschool at 52 Arlington Blvd in Kensington (across
from the Kensington library) will do part time and part days.
The school has been around for many years. Kids can start there
at 2yrs. Both my boys went there...my oldest is now 11 1/2. Joan
Castell is the director and she is wonderful with kids. The
little kids are separated from the older and pre-K kids for part
of the day, and together for part of the day. They do ''academic
activities'', have free time, circle time, project time, etc.
It's somewhat structured, but not highly structured. There is a
good adult/child ratio. It's clean, great toys, good outside
areas (they sometimes share the outside play area with
KensingtonNursery Co-op and Kensington Montessori(which I think
is not called Kens. Mont. anymore... but there are 3 pre-schools
in the back of the Kensington Community Church).
ARlington Pre-School is NOT a co-op and not affiliated with the
church. Our familiy was very happy there for all those years.
The number there is 524-8689. Good luck.
Both my boys went (and go) to Arlington pre-school. My oldest is 10 and
started there when he was 2. He went there till he started kindergarten. My
youngest, now almost 6 started at 2 and though he's in kindergarten he goes
there for after school care.
Needless to say we love Arlington Pre-School. Joan Castell, the director has
been running that school for a long time. She used to run it with her
daughter who now runs another school. Joan is caring and loving with all the
children. Her experience, wisdom and knowledge of child development have
helped me so many times over the years to figure out how to help my boys.
I've always been happy with her teachers.
My boys have loved it there and have made lots of friends.
I am the mother of a five year old and a three year old, both of whom
currently attend Arlington Preschool. My older son was enrolled at a
preschool coop. in Orinda last year, and my husband and I searched for a
better situation for our boys when we moved to Berkeley last April. We
definitely found it at Arlington. The director/teacher Joan Castell is
well-educated in early childhood education and is very enthusiastic about
her role there. She expects the children to behave well towards one another
and she sets a wonderful example for them. The setting is organized without
being too uptight, the class size is small and there are special program
days for movement & music classes, arts & crafts and outdoor activities. My
older son has learned a great deal about the alphabet, numbers, days of the
week, the seasons and the weather. My younger son is always singing songs he
learns at preschool and his counting skills and attention span have
improved. Both of them look forward to going "almost" every day, and that is
the best thing I can say about Arlington overall. I would highly recommend
this preschool for your child.
this page was last updated: Apr 5, 2011
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