Cedar Creek Montessori (Berkeley, CA)
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Cedar Creek Montessori
- Owner: Prima Offril
- Phone: (510) 525-1377
- Email: email@example.com
- Neighborhood: Cedar at Sacramento, N. Berkeley
- Zip: 94702
- License #: 013418992
- Capacity: 40
- Website: http://cedarcreekmontessorischool.com/
- Ages: 2.9 - kindergarten
Re: Preschools with flexible summer programs
My kids went to Cedar Creek Montessori (in north Berkeley) several years ago and their
summer schedule was very flexible. You could pay by the week, so it was easy to take a
week off, or even the whole summer. Cedar Creek is an excellent preschool and our
family was happy to be there for three years.
Cedar Creek alum family
RE: friendly Montessori preschool
Cedar Creek Montessori, on Sacramento and Cedar. Many great reviews on BPN! My children loved
it there and still maintain friendships from their preschool days. Prima, the owner, is one of
the warmest, friendliest people you will ever meet.
Cedar Creek fan
Re: Seeking "happy medium" between structured and play-based
I guess that my response is from yet another person telling you about how
incredible their Montessori school is, but I wanted to address your particular
concerns. My daughter has been at Cedar Creek Montessori School for the past
year. We too toured a lot of schools with a variety of educational philosophies.
We ultimately decided on Cedar Creek having found that it had the right
combination of play and structure. As you have no doubt experienced, when you
visit a Montessori classroom, it does tend to be on the quieter side. But you
should not take that quiet to mean that the children are not having fun. The
Montessori ''work'' projects are fun, despite their name. What I have seen is
that there is not just one way of using each project. The children still have the
ability, and are encouraged to, experiment with different ways of playing and
manipulating the projects. This is evident when you watch a brand new 3 year old
and a 5 year old play with the same ''work.'' They may use it in different ways
and both take something away from it. What I have seen about rigidity in the
Montessori classroom goes more to the rules about using one ''work'' project at a
time and putting away the old one before starting a new one. For me, that
self-control is something valuable for kids to learn.
The Cedar Creek students, however, do not spend all or even a majority of their
day in ''formal'' Montessori mode. They have ample free time on the playground
with plenty of opportunities to pretend, run around, climb, dig in the sandbox,
etc. They also have an art teacher who supervises different art projects each
day, with the children rotating in when they desire. There are also weekly music
sessions and dance classes.
The teachers are Cedar Creek are the school's best asset. Many of them have
worked at the school for a long, long time. To a person, they all understand
preschoolers and what makes them tick. My daughter, who was initially shy in her
new surroundings, is eager to go to school each morning. I see why since Cedar
Creek is a warm, nurturing yet dynamic place.
I know that you were looking for Richmond or El Cerrito. Cedar Creek is in North
Berkeley, not too far away. It has the added advantage of being blocks from the
North Berkeley Bart station.
Happy Cedar Creek parent
Re: Looking for a Preschool with a Garden
Cedar Creek Montessori School on Sacramento and Cedar has a lovely little
garden and a strong nature studies program. All around, it's a wonderful
preschool! Check it out (even though I think you might get tired of the
commute from Elmwood). They offer part-time and full-time. Tea ceremony,
weekly bread-making, nature walks...we really love that school!
Mom to 2 Cedar Creek grads
Re: intimate play-based preschool
Cedar Creek Montessori School meets all of your criteria. You don't
specify your location, but the school is in N. Berkeley on Sacramento
Street. I have two graduates of Cedar Creek who were very happy
former Cedar Creek family
Re: Full day preschool that closes in the summer?
Cedar Creek Montessori's (http://cedarcreekmontessorischool.com/)
summer program is week by week. You can participate (and pay for) as
much or as little of the programing that works for your family. They
also have early start time, which is great for a teaching schedule.
Re: Preschools for a 2 1/2 year old on special diet
I believe Cedar Creek Montessori in N. Berkeley meets all
your criteria. My two children spent a total of three
years there and we think it's a terrific preschool! Kids
bring their own lunches, but the school provides snacks.
However, I know there were some children who brought their
own snacks, so the school is definitely open to that.
Cedar Creek alum with fond memories
Hi there. I am trying to find a good quality preschool program that
also has the option of extended care in West/North Berkeley. I am a
public school teacher, and need to be able to drop my son off between
7:30 - 8:00 am, to be able to get to my school on time. I also prefer
a little smaller program, but that's not absolute necessary. Also, am
open and like montessori philosophy. Thanks!
I would STRONGLY recommend Cedar Creek Montessori on the corner
of Sacramento and Cedar. They are extremely accommodating for
working parents and I know they are open at 7:30 (if not
earlier...)and close at six. This is our third year at the
school (both of our children have attended) and I can't say
enough about the director, teachers and the family community. I
have a thousand anecdotes of experiences there where I was blown
away by their compassion, smarts and their love of children. Our
children have thrived there, it is simply an amazing place.
We are considering Cedar Creek Montessori school for our daughter next fall. I'm
wondering if any currently enrolled or recent parents can share their experiences. What
do you like or dislike about the school? How would you describe the environment? Are
the activities creative and thoughtful? Do the teachers engage each child and
understand and nourish strengths? Any other feedback most welcome.
My son attended CCMS for two years, and my 3 year old daughter
just started her first year. We have found it to be a wonderful
fit for our whole family. What we especially like: lots of time
outdoors, loving and experienced teachers, well-
organized,accessible, and caring administrator, interesting and
diverse families and kids. What we don't like: hmmm. Sorry, I
really can't think of anything. The school has been running for
over 20 years, and the staff turnover is very, very low. It
seems like they have figured out most possible glitches, and it
all just seems to go very smoothly. The environment is child-
friendly, welcoming to parents, well-organized,and feels both
safe and warm. The kids have opportunities to choose their own
activities during certain periods of the day, as well as
participating in group activities (eg. circle times, afternoon
tea time, etc). I would say the teachers definitely do come to
know each child well and meet them where they are-- this is
apparent in their willingness to customize the schedule for new
children as they get used to the school, the little handwritten
notes they occasionally send home in the lunch box to parents
reporting their kids' progress on particular issues, and the
obvious delight they take in each child's personality. Also,
the parent community is really wonderful and supportive. We
feel extremely grateful for having found such a place for our
kids to spend their preschool years.
I've posted messages about Cedar Creek before and pretty
recently, so I'll first refer you to the many glowing reviews
that are already archived on this site. We love Cedar Creek and
are very sorry that our daughter will have to leave to enter
kindergarten this fall. Things we like: loving, nuturing,
smart teachers; interesting activities like nature studies, art
projects, dance and music; a true celebration of the school's
diversity with attention paid to many different holidays and
traditions; tea time at the end of the day; bread-making on
Fridays; birthday celebrations; thoughtful evaluations;
responsiveness to any concerns; lots of outdoor time. Things we
dislike: that our daughter has to leave for kindergarten. Our
daughter was shy and reserved when she started Cedar Creek and I
was concerned about finding a school that could draw her out.
She has really blossomed at Cedar Creek because the environment
is both nuturing and challenging. The parents are also
wonderful and we have truly enjoyed being a part of the Cedar
Creek community. My feedback? Don't miss an opportunity to
have your child at this great school.
Cedar Creek Fan
As a recent Cedar Creek family, we have great memories of Cedar
Creek. It is a thoughtful nurturing place, The staff are very
dedicated to the children and are respectful of and warm with the
parents, too. The administration was quite well run. If we had
a third child, we would send them there, too.
The teachers were able to meet kids' varying abilities and help
each kid learn. The staff fostered a sense of respect and caring
among the children. Put downs and exclusion were not tolerated.
The learning environment is rich with classic montessori
materials. Imaginitive play is also fostered. Outdoor time is
great with a huge play area allowing for running (yes, running!),
wheeled toys, sand box and garden. The art and science programs
are well-loved by the kids.
Instead of Mother's Day and Father's Day there is Family Month,
which is so much better for kids from single perent households or
form households with parents of the same sex.
Many friendships made at Cedar Creek have lasted into elementary
school even 'though kids are at different schools. Most of the
teachers are long-term employees (and are very good). The staff
gets good healthcare benefits (which is also very good fr the kids!).
It is also near North Berkeley BART which is very convenient for
commutes to downtown Oakland or SF.
former Cedar Creek Parent
Re: Centro Vida vs. Cedar Creek Montessori Pre-Schools
I don't have any experience with Centro Vida -- but I can speak
to Cedar Creek. I think Cedar Creek is an amazing place. My
first child ''graduated'' last year and now our second is there. I
could go on and on -- but if I were to distill it -- what makes
Cedar Creek so incredible is the teachers. They are warm,
conscientious and have a great sense of humor. While their
montessori program is serious -- I think they see themselves as
''montessori light'' in the sense that there is ample room for play
throughout the day.
The other great thing about Cedar Creek is their ability to
communicate. The school recently changed ownership -- amongst
teachers within the school. The transfer was communicated
incredibly well throughout the process.
And finally, the community is wonderful. We have made many
wonderful friends -- as have our kids!
At first I was nervous about the size of the school -- but this
has never been an issue. The teachers are really focused on
nurturing friendships and helping children find other kids who
they think will get along with each other.
Good luck with your decision. If you choose Cedar Creek you are
in for a wonderful experience!
Cedar Creek Fan!
Re: Looking for a small preschool in N. Berkeley
I think Cedar Creek Montessori would be perfect for your
daughter. When our daughter started, she was very shy,
intensely interested in a lot of things but needed to be in a
place where she would be drawn out, or given enough quiet space
to express herself. She has really thrived and blossomed at
Cedar Creek, where kids like her do very well. In fact, it
seems all kids do well there! Cedar Creek is bigger than what
you're looking for, but I found it to be much calmer and more
organized than other smaller schools we saw. Our daughter comes
home every day with an art project (or three), and stories about
what she learned in ''nature studies,'' which the older children
participate in. The students also have music and dance classes
weekly. The teachers are attentive, gentle, warm, and engaging,
and they give hugs when the kids need them. Any time we've had
a concern about our daughter, her teachers are responsive and
helpful. Both the students and the teachers are fairly
diverse. There is a lot of clear and organized communication
between the school and the parents. It's just a great, safe,
nuturing and stimulating environment. I had determined that our
daughter would not go to a preschool with more than 10-15
children and I'm so glad we went to see Cedar Creek. The only
complaint we have about Cedar Creek is that it will be too hard
to leave! We feel spoiled now.
We love Cedar Creek
Re: Preschool feedback
Cedar Creek Montessori has 2 very dedicated directors who
started as teachers (there and elsewhere) and have owned the
palce for a while now. There are several long-time staff
members, and the employee benefits are very good...which is a
good thing for the students and families. The administrator,
Kerry, is one of the owners. She is absolutely fabulous and is
so organized and communicative and thoughtfull. CCM is a very
smooth-sailing ship. The teachng is ggreat for all levels and
is not over the top montessori-wise. The afternoons include
nature studies (for older kids) and art and tea time. The
inside space is big enough and the outside space is fabulous.
It is near to North Berkeley BART which means it works well for
those who commute to SF. We loved it (and so did our kids).
Our firends who have kids there now like it a bunch, too. See a
post form earlier this month about CCM - a postive unsolicited
Our 3-year-old daughter attends Cedar Creek. I feel grateful
and lucky every single day that she goes there. I cannot say
enough good things about it. I had a list of about 10 schools
(including Step One, but not the others you listed) that I
intended to visit when we were looking at preschools. The day
I visited Cedar Creek, we had visited only one other school.
Within 5 minutes of observing the classroom, I knew it was the
school I wanted for our daughter and we didn't even visit or
apply to any other schools. Foolhardy and stupid, I know!
Luckily, it worked out for us. My daughter, who can be pretty
cautious and withdrawn, is excited to go to school every day
and adores her teachers and friends. She clearly feels very
supported, safe and engaged there. Personally, I wasn't very
concerned about academic achievement, whether she'd be able to
read by kindergarten, or whether she attended a play-based or
Montessori school. I just wanted her to feel happy, safe and
excited about learning, which she does at Cedar Creek. I also
wanted to feel confident that she would be nutured and that her
temperament would be respected, which I do. I had resolved to
go with my gut instinct when I visited preschools, and I
immediately felt the warmth, caring, and enthusiasm of the
people who work there. It's also fun to be a Cedar Creek
parent! Obviously, we love it.
Cedar Creek Fan
Our daughter, now a kindergartener (loving Rosa Parks in
Berkeley!) attended Cedar Creek Montessori 3 days per week for
2.5 years. She, and we as parents, loved every miniute of it.
The teachers were wonderful and loving, the setting provided
the structure that our child needed, and the activities were
creative and varied. Our daughter loved the weekly dance class
that is provided by a teacher who comes into the school. She
also loved her weekly music class, and as an older child, the
Nature Studies program. During admissions, they balance the
classes with boys and girls. There are various types of
families, including lesbian and gay parents, blended families,
and the different types of families are discussed during Family
Month, which is focused on between Mother's and Father's Day
(in place of those traditional holidays.) Some people speak of
Montessori being overly structured, yet our child seemed to
have plenty of choice in activities and art projects. We were
sad to leave, and couldn't quite imagine kindergarten being so
nice. Luckily, we are now very happy in the new ''big'' school,
and have happy memories of preschool.
~Glad to be done with those preschool & kinder searches and decisions!
I've heard great things about all the preschools you mention,
so you probably can't go wrong, but since my child attends
Cedar Creek, I'll rave about that one. My son is in his second
year there and we love it. It is a warm, nurturing
environment, well-run and organized, and our son is happy
there. When the kids are playing outside (they get lots of
outside time!), I see that each teacher has a group of children
clustered around him or her, which indicates that the kids love
the teachers and the teachers love the kids! My child
participates in Nature Studies and comes home talking about
what's a mammal and what's not. The kids make bread on Fridays
and have Tea Time every day at 5. They have music and dance.
People talk about how Montessori can be so rigorous, but at
Cedar Creek the philosophy seems to be ''let kids be kids.'' We
whole-heartedly agree. In short, we love Cedar Creek and would
recommend it to anyone!
Happy Cedar Creek parent
This is an unsolicited positive review of the Cedar Creek
Montessori School in Berkeley. One aspect of preschool
selection which I hadn't initially given much thought to is how
important a skillful preschool director can be. Their longtime
director (and co-owner) Kerry is ideal in my opinion-- she is
fair, enthusiastic, a great communicator, accessible, caring,
and extremely well-organized. Over the course of our time at
the school (this is our second year), it has become clear to me
how much thought and experience has gone into every aspect of
how the school functions (eg.celebrating all birthdays in a
month on a particular day), which ensures apparently seamless
operation. This makes it really easy to be a parent at Cedar
Creek, which isn't something I had thought much about, since I
was initially so focused on the best interests of my son. I am
happy to say that not only he is thriving with wonderful and
caring teachers, but our whole family is greatly enjoying our
Cedar Creek experience! I just feel so grateful that we found
happy CCMS parent
We're considering Cedar Creek Montessori in Berkeley for our
son who will be two years and nine months in September when he
would start. He would be there relatively full-time. This is
the only school we've applied to that's in walking distance of
our home (a big plus). There are no recent posts on the school
on the BPN, so thought I'd solicit some comments from parents
with recent experience at Cedar Creek.
In particular, any comments on the quality of the morning or
afternoon teaching staff in either room? We're also still
weighing the pros and cons of Cedar Creek-style Monessori v. an
entirely play-based approach at a s chool like Step One. Our son
is a bit of a Type A personality and we're wondering if play-
based might be a bit less likely to reinforce some of his more
perseverative tendencies. Any thoughts?
Pre-School Parent to Be
My son is in his second year at Cedar Creek and he and we are all
happy with the school. I call it Montessori Lite, as it is not nearly
as very traditional Montessori schools can be. The staff is great.
has been some turnover among the junior staff, but not a lot. The two
main teachers have been there for a very long time and they are
wonderful. My older son went to a play-based preschool and that would
have been my first choice for my younger son as well. But we also
chose Cedar Creek because of location and my concerns about the
Montessori program turned out to be unfounded. Good luck.
Happy with Cedar Creek
Our whole family (kids and parents included) LOVE Cedar Creek.
Can't imagine a better school - the teachers, the directors,
the love, the t eaching - I consider us lucky to be a part of
the Cedar Creek community.
I wanted to respond to your posting because a comment you made
in it struck a chord. I am not necessarily posting this as a
positive or negative on Cedar Creek, but just some insight to 2
comments you made: that it was within walking distance to your
house and that your child would be 2.9 when entering that
school. We too thought the idea of being able to have our kids
go to Cedar Creek would be ideal (i.e. stroll/walk them there
then hop in the casual carpool off to our respective jobs in
SF). Our twins would also have been 2.9 upon entering that
preschool - this was a few years ago. When we went to bring them
to the observation the school requested (at that time they were
somewhere about 2.2 or 2.3) it was clear that they were quite
young in trying to take/follow the lead/direction of the teach er
in the manner she was wanting. I'm not sure what was to be
expected at that age in this kind of setting. It became evident
that after watching the experience we sensed two things: that
the preschool prefers the children to be over 3.x when starting
despite their marketing material indicating they are open to
kids 2.9 AND that in fact the montessori approach turned out not
to be as comfortable for us/our kids as we thought - even though
it all seemed 'perfect' on paper. In the end we were not offered
any slots (they were very polite and professional but the
message that came across was they opted to select those kids
who were 3.x - maybe they had a larger pool the year we
applied?. Anyway, I don't think we were that surprised after
that obeservation day once we received the news). In the end we
were offered slots in 2 other preschoosls that actually provided
us with a more comfortable feel. Because we are big c yclists it
turned out that the others (still in walking distance but the
wrong direction) -- were in biking distance so we reworked our
approach and couldn't be happier with the one our kids are in.
And there are days when we use the car too. I guess I wanted to
be sure you kept some thoughts on realizing that in the end
you'll know by your visit experiences what feels right. Also I
would recommend not being shy about making two visits to a
preschool if you need a final data point to confirm your
feelings if you need to get to one side of the fence or the
other. I wish you the best but felt the need to throw out some
caution as well so that you are prepared to be happy with the
alternate choices in case you are not offered a slot. Feel free
to e-mail me if you have the need.
Best of Luck
Our 4-yo son is in his first year at Cedar Creek and we love
it! We have re-enrolled him for next year also. It is a
Montessori school, but it seems to me they get plenty of time to
play, which is great. We like all of the teachers (not so at
our son's previous preschool!) and it is the teachers that make
a great school.
In short, you would not regret sending your child to Cedar
Creek. We can't wait until our daughter is old enough to attend!
Re: Seeking smaller preschool for shy 3 1/2 year old
If you're open to a Montessori school, I'd recommend Cedar Creek
Montessori at Cedar and Sacramento. My daughter attended the
school when she was a shy 3.5-year-old, and that's probably the
best thing ever happened to our family. We chose Cedar Creek
because I saw a previous recommendation about a shy boy who
thrived under the attentive care of the school. The teachers
were quite relaxed about working with shy kids, giving them lots
of warm attention and space, making them feel safe, and waiting
for them to become ready for participation in activities. When
we suggested a ''positive re-enforcement'' approach which some
child psychologists had recommended for encouraging shy kids to
engage with teachers (yes, parents rather than teachers are
often the pushy ones), they gently turned it down, but in their
explanation to us why they didn't think it's a good idea, they
also showed experience and confidence that made us trust their
judgement and decision.
It took almost 6 months for our shy daughter to warm up to the
teachers and students, although she liked the school and
everyone there since day one. During that time, we got small
handwritten notes (progress reports!) from the teachers, telling
us little bits of improvement our daughter had made in becoming
more engaged and less shy. And then one day we got a call from
a teacher, who told us that she, for the first time, had to tell
our daughter to stop talking because it was time to listen! It
was one of the best days in our lives.
Our daughter just started kindergarten at a K-8 school with more-
than-expected confidence and maturity and a lot less shiness,
thanks to a successful, blossoming 2nd year at Cedar Creek. Now
she says good-bye and waves to all her teachers everyday when we
pick her up, and she's already made some good friends at
school. She is still shy in nature, but compared with the time
when she was 3.5 years old, she is now a totally different
person, and I credit most of it to Cedar Creek Montessori.
Re: urgently seeking preschool opening (Sept 2002)
Cedar Creek Montessori on Sacramento and Cedar in Berkeley has
a couple of openings. The school and everyone who works there
are absolutely wonderful and this is a rare opportunity as the
school is normally filled months in advance. They do not
require that the children be potty trained. Kerry Woodward is
the director and her number is 525-1377.
Cedar Creek is great. It is a Montessori school located at
Cedar and Sacramento.
The teachers are great and several have been there a long time. The
administrator, Kerry, is caring and organized. She and one of the
teachers, Mary Ann, own the place. The staff seem to
work well as a team and get good medical benefits.
The children (about 40? in two classrooms) love their
teachers. The children have lots of fun and, if they want to,
learn to read and work with numbers quite well. Other
stuff they do includes music, gymsters, art, nature
studies (for older kids), and tea time. The play ground is
large and diverse. We love it and plan to send our
younger child there, too (siblings generally have priority).
They accept children as young as 2 years and 9 months.
You can go on a tour and submit an application no earlier
than the October which falls 11 months before you intend
to start your child (I think this is quite sane - to not
allow earlier applications). If you plan to start your
child later in the school year than September, you may
still be able to tour during that prior October. I know
it can be confusing. Call Kerry (510-525-1377). She'd
be glad to speak with you or anyone else who has questions,
and let you know when she takes appointments for those tour
dates. If anyone has more specific questions for parents
regarding Cedar Creek, I will be glad to answer them. I
prefer that you post them here so others may benefit form
the discussion - and so that other Cedar Creek parents
can toss in their two cents, too!
Regarding child with food allergies ...
My child attends Cedar Creek Montessori in Berkeley.
One of her classmates has some allergies; I don't think a
peanut allergy is one of them.
The child with allergies has her own container for snacks
and everyone has their own lunches from home. She knows
to only eat out of her own lunch and her own snack container.
Her snack container is put out on the snack table with its
cover on. Other kids know that they don't open or eat out
of her container. The kids also know that they are not to
eat food from anyone else's lunch. As far as i know, this
system works for the child with allergies, for the other
children, and for the school. Good luck!
We have been very happy with Cedar Creek. Our oldest just "graduated"
after spending three years there and our youngest just began there
this fall. The teaching staff is what makes CC so special. Our
daughter had the same core teachers for her entire time there, which
created the opportunity for very close, individual relationships
between her and the teachers. The teachers are all very sensitive,
caring and supportive of the children, very attuned to individual
needs and learn styles. The school uses the "best" of the Montessori
approach, excluding some of the rigidity that can accompany a very
traditional Montessori program.. The program is geared to working
families; kids that attend the full day program have the opportunity
to participate in nature and art in the afternoon, as opposed to some
school that we initially visited which offered great programming in
the morning, but little more than free play in the afternoon. The
co-directors create an environment that supports the entire school
community, teachers, parents and, of course, the kids. We think Cedar
Creek is a great school!!
I can recommend Cedar Creek Montessori in North Berkeley. My older daughter
attended there and my younger daughter is starting next month. I can't
recommend it highly enough. The owners (one is a head teacher, the other the
director) are terrific and really understand how to run a school. The
teachers are lovely and warm. It feels like family. Another incredible thing
about the school is that they have had the same teaching staff for several
years now, truly an accomplishment given the troubles other pre-schools and
day cares have encountered with teacher turnover.
For Cedar Creek, the child need not be potty trained. I know of more than one
family whose pre-school placement feel through because their kid wasn't potty
trained by the start date of school. It seems that most people are starting
their pre-school search about a year before they expect their kids to start.
Cedar Creek kids need to be 2 years, 9 months, which I believe is somewhat
standard. Some schools do start at age 2. Since Cedar Creek is very popular,
most children start in September after they've turned 2.9.
Cedar Creek is a Montessori based education, which I love, having gone
through it myself as a pre-schooler. I know some people think this system is
rigid. I believe that the choice and control kids get over their activities
in this environment shows enormous respect for them as individuals and
creates a lot more flexibility. The daily schedule is consistent, which
offers a reassuring and predictable structure to the day.
My daughter will be ending her three year stint at Cedar Creek this
and I could not say enough wonderful things about it. It makes me sad
thinking of her leaving the nuturing, creative, fun atmosphere there. The
teachers are what make the school. My daughter was in Prima and
class but Maryanne is wonderful as well. They all know there stuff, and
are terrrific and enthusiastic teachers. Cary, the director is also great,
organized, very responsive and comforting, and really concerned about
teachers, in terms of salaries and schedules. I also think their schedule
there is exemplary. The afternoon is staffed by a whole set of fresh
teachers. Paula and Sarah are great, and the kids don't have to deal with
teachers who are tired at the end of the day. In the afternoon the
children can pretty much choose to play or be involved in art or other
afternoon activities. Teatime is also really soothing just before they go
home. We just couldn't have been happier with a shcool. Sophie my
daughter has already said how much she miss it when she starts
Hi: I wanted to leave a recommendation for Cedar Creek Montesorri
It is great. My little girl is 4.5 years old and has been there since 2
She really enjoys going to school and that is what I think is most
important. If the kids get the idea that school is fun from t he get-go
they will hopefully
like it better in the long run. Also, they are very flexible and helpful
with the differenent developmental needs of different children. My child
just would not use a potty and still wore diapers at naptime and bedtime
until she was at least 4 years old. She is pretty well potty trained
now, but they don't push the kids to be potty trained at 18 months. On
other hand they encourage each child's strengths. My little girl is well
on her way to
reading and doing basic math skills. Most of all we love the
teachers.!!!!I also have a wonderful home care person to reccomned for
babies from 6 months to 3 years old.
Re: Culturally Diverse Preschools
I recommend Cedar Creek Montessori School on
Sacramento Street at Cedar. The staff, parents, and
children are warm, caring, and diverse. My son
attended from 2.5 years through kindergarten, and my
daughter is now there. Diversity at Cedar Creek is not
lip service, nor trucked out three days per year; on
the other hand, their affirmation of diversity is
pretty low-key; they do arts and crafts, sing songs
and learn stories from other cultures and languages,
and basically present different cultures, but it is
not particularly trumped up or called attention to;
rather, it's presented as something normal that
different people have different experiences. You may
be looking for something a little more involved, but
you should probably take a look at Cedar Creek.
I can second that recommendation of Cedar Creek Montessori School,
with one reservation.
The morning teachers are fabulous. My son was 2.8 when he started,
and it was an extremely difficult transition for him. The head
teacher pretty much held his hand all day for the first six weeks.
He is now happy and doing quite well. All of the teachers are well-
educated, experienced, and open-minded. For me, the quality of the
staff was more important than the philosophy, but CCMS seems to be
somewhat more liberal and definately more relaxed than the other
Montessori schools I visited. And the kids always look so happy!
I'm somewhat less enthusiastic about the afternoon teachers. (It's not an
issue for us, because I pick up my son after nap-time.) Two of them
are fine, but the other two seem to be totally stressed all the time,
and not able to interact individually with the children. If you want
to hear more about this, please email me directly. All of the Cedar Creek
parents I've talked to are very happy with the program.
daughter has been going to Cedar Creek Montessori for
6 months, kids can start there at 2 and a half. We love
it and think she has thrived there, and all of the teachers and
staff are great. The school is located at Cedar and Sacramento and
the phone number is 510 525-1377.
I've already replied personally to the person who was asking for comments
about Cedar Creek Montessori School, but thought I'd also share my
perspective to the whole group.
I like Cedar Creek very much, and my children are very happy there. The
school has two classrooms, each with about 20 kids. The kids stay in their
classrooms for circle time, but play and work together during other times.
I have found the teachers to be very gentle and patient with the children,
and have sometimes taken my cues from them for guiding my own children's
activities and behavior. I feel they are genuinely concerned about each
child's needs, interests, and concerns. I especially like the art teacher,
who is always coming up with new and inventive things for the kids to
create, including "bread day" on Fridays when the kids make bread and then
eat it at tea-time around 5:00 p.m. (I don't know if all Montessori
schools have "bread day"). There is one teacher my husband and I agree
that we don't care for, but one out of eight isn't bad.
For the first several weeks after a child first enrolls, the teachers make
a special effort to communicate with the parents about how the child is
adapting to the new environment, ups and downs the child has had during the
day, and we frequently get notes in our kids' lunch boxes about what
activities our children are showing a special interest in. My older
daughter has been there for about 1 1/2 years; my younger just started this
month. The younger just had her first "gymsters" day at Cedar Creek and we
got a note back in the lunch box that she had a great time (of course, she
throws herself into all activities with great gusto). Earlier this week
they had a dental student in to talk to both classes about tooth care, and
each child got a tube of kid toothpaste and a toothbrush -- the kids loved
it. A few months ago the kids went on a field trip to visit a fire station
-- and you can imagine how they felt about that!
I can recommend my daughter's preschool. It is a great place. Both my
daughters have gone there and we've been happy with it the whole time. It
is open 5 days/week, 7:30-6:00. I'm not sure they would take someone for
just the summer, but I think they most likely would. They also have
part-time options. It's called Cedar Creek Montessori, located at the
corner of Cedar and Sacramento, and the phone number is 525-1377. They
take kids starting at 2 1/2.
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