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39th Ave. Site
Redwood Rd. Site
Re: Full-time preschool needed in Oakland ASAP
Try Chatham School on Redwood Road. They have two campuses. My daughter has been going to the one at 4500 Redwood Road for two years and we love it. The price is right, too. For full time (M-F, 7:30 am - 6:00 pm) it's under $1,000 per month. Happy Chatham Mom
Re: Oakland/Berkeley Preschools with Caring Teachers
I'm sure almost all preschools have caring teachers. But I don't have a problem recommending Chatham preschool, the upper campus on Redwood Road. It is a play-based school, and they have a lot of space for a library, a fine motor skills area, a dress-up and pretend area, and two outdoor sand play areas, plus an outside asphault area. But they include learining activities too, with singing, counting, animals in the room, days of the week, months of the year etc.
The director can come across to many as a bit unorganized, but she works hard on getting good staff and staff that work well together. they have separate rooms for infants, toddlers, young kids, and then the 4 year olds and 5 year olds work together.
They also provide lunch, which, while maybe not the most organic and healthy has its pluses. When everyone easts the same food, the kids are more likely to try something they might not otherwise try with an open mind. And they have plenty of fruits and vegetables for snacks.
Our now-Kindergardener was very happy there. Bryan in Oakland
Re: Part time preschools in Redwood Heights
Try Chatham Preschool (www.chathampreschool.com). All 3 of my kids went through Chatham on a part-time basis and loved it. The director's name is Maureen Vasquez. The two campuses are on 39th Ave, right next to Redwood Heights Elementary school, and about half-way up Redwood Rd. Good luck! Happy Chatham Alumni
Re: Toddler-to-Preschool program for 18-month old
For an Oakland play-based pre-school that is structured and caring, I'd recommenend Chatham school. The Redwood Road campus is spacious (opening more space in the fall too) with library room, music room, role-playing area, a ''circle-time'' area and a lunch area. Ourdoors is either concrete or big sand-box area, but they have toys, balls, bikes, and plenty of space. Lunch is provided, and is varied. Cost is reasonable, and I believe there are 3, 4, and 5 day options.
The staff is great, the director maybe a bit scattered, but they care about the kids. They accommodate infants, toddlers, and pre-school kids, and my son has made some great friends. Note that Chatham also has a lower campus next to Redwood Heights Elementary, but I am not familar with that facility. anon
My son has just started Kindergarten after 3 wonderful years at Chatham Pre School(Redwood Road) 510 531 1302. When he left he told me he was sad but happy as although he really loved his old teachers he was so excited to grow. Each day I realize what a fabulous job they did preparing him for Kindergarten. On his first day I told him how brave he had been and he turned to me and said why would I be scared I knew I was going to have a good day.
We had no tears, true confidence, and he has developed a great balance between play and a love for learning. Chatham is a play based pre school but they do a great job of mixing this with the academics he needed to be ready,( ABC'S, Writing, Shapes, Colors etc), social interaction,a school day structure and class expectations.
After a great week at his Kindergarten he asked to go back and visit his pre school to see his old teachers.He does miss them, he truly cares for them, but he was excited to share his new stage of learning with them. They have created a happy and content Kindergartener. What more could you ask for from any Pre school?. Cathy
Chatham preschool has been an amazing experience for my two sons. Both the toddler and preschool rooms (we did not have any children in the baby room) have wonderful, caring teachers who give all of the students a lot of personal attention. We began at the Redwood Campus when it opened in early 2006 and have been thrilled with our experience the whole way through. I can't say enough about how great the teachers are - especially Janeen, Olivia and Doreen. You can feel how much they care about the students and both of my sons adore them. I love that it is a play based school and even so, my children have learned so much - with enthusiasm. The school encourages and nourishes an appreciation for diversity, and provides a fun, safe environment for the children. The resources are great (books, projects, etc...) and the activities are quite creative! Maureen is amazingly dedicated and truly cares about the children. We could not have asked for a better preschool experience! Happy Chatham parent for 3+ years
Re: Full-time preschools for less than $1000/month?
I would highly like to recommend Chatham School. I know it has gotten bad reviews here in the past, but my children have all gone (and sitll going) there and they love it. I believe it's less than $1,000 including hot lunches and long schedule (7:30- 6:00), I have 2 currently attending, so with sibling discount is a bit less than $2,000. My oldest has done great academically and socially in Kindergarten after attending Chatham. She has also remained friends with her friends from pre-school. There is usually a waiting list, but I do not know what the status is for next year. Good luck- anon
My daughter has gone to Chatham school for almost 3 years now. She is four and started off at the Redwood Road campus. We loved the teachers at Redwood and appreciated the fun activities, warm lunches, and lots of outdoor time. Last school year we moved to the 39th Avenue campus. We felt like it was a good move for our daughter. There is a wonderful outdoor play space and lots of free time for the children to explore the small wonders of nature. The school has amazing amounts of quality, tactile play activities for each developmental age. We have found the teachers at Chatham attentive and we really like the convenience of the school. They provide snacks, lunches, and are open from 7:30 to 6:00pm. My daughter is very close to her friends and we will miss them all next year when we move on to kinder. If you're looking for a rigorous academic pre-k program Chatham isn't for you. This play based preschool that isn't particularly dogmatic about its educational philosophy. Go for a visit and see if it's right for your child. I like that my daughter comes home covered in paint and sand in her shoes after a happy day of learning, exploring, and being with her friends. Chatham parent
I would highly recommend Chatham Preschool Redwood Road site. My daughter attended preschool there and loved it. The program is ''play based'' but very educational. She has learned so much in her two years there. The teachers are very loving. My daughter has really thrived there and is well prepared for kindergarten - we have been very pleased by our decision to send her to Chatham. We also get a lot for our money - full days (7:30 - 6:00), lunch and snacks included, not too many days during the year when the school is closed. My daughter is safe, well cared for, happy, loved, and learning...what more could I ask for in a preschool? MH
I would like to highly recommend Chatham School for infant and toddler care. I had a hard time finding care for my newborn baby. I was looking for a day care setting and was so glad to have found Chatham. My daughter started there when she was 4 months old. The caregivers in the baby room are truly amazing. We were so pleased with their loving and attentive care, their attention to sanitation, their close communication with parents. At age 1, my daughter moved into the toddler room, where she continues to thrive. She does all kinds of art projects, learns manners and how to interact with other children, is learning new words daily, knew her colors by age 18 mos, etc. We have been so pleased and intend to keep her at Chatham thru preschool. We get our money's worth - full day, lunch included, few holidays. Our daughter is safe, happy, and thriving. We couldn't be more pleased. Contact: Maureen Vasquez, 510-531-1302
I highly recommend Chatham School. My son attended Chatham until he started Kindergarten. He also enjoyed Chatham daycare from 6 months old until he was ready for preschool. Choosing Chatham was the best decision we could have made. He was in a fun, safe learning environment with caring teachers. The school director Maureen Vasquez was so supportive throughout years. My son just adored her and I could tell she feels likewise about the children. So, if your stressing out about where to send your child, look no further than Chatham School (510/531-1534), which is located next to Redwood Heights Elementrary School. A. K.
Does anyone have recent experience with Chatham Preschool on 39th in Redwood Heights? I read previous reviews and there were A LOT, but all centered around the scuttlebutt over the over-enrollment and consequent letting go of a number of students. Is that whole fiasco behind Chatham? How are the families currently enrolled feeling about the administration (ie Maureen) and teachers? Any other concerns? I'm going to visit the school but wanted to hear it straight from the parents. THANKS MUCH! Anon
I would love to hear people's thoughts about Chatham School, eg, why did you or did you not send your child there? My child is 16 months old and I know that they just opened their new campus this past February. Thanks for any opinions! KW
Parents, be VERY careful if you're considering enrolling your
child at Chatham Preschool. Maureen terminated us after ONE
month of being there because she had a change in policy and did
not want to accomodate part time students. She claims she did
not forsee this change and that she struggled with wanting to
accomodate everyone. Hhowever, she's known she wants to make
the school full time even BEFORE accepting us. Her excuse for
terminating us is because she felt the part time kids were not
making friends as easily with the rest of the kids who are
there full time. The real reason, I believe, is because she
wants to free up a spot for a full time student.
She's entitled to do that, of course.
However, parents are entitled to honesty and forthright
dealings with her when it comes to our children.
Two families we know just had their kids spontaneously dropped from Chatham Preschool with no advance notice and no explanation from the school's administrator, Maureen, beyond, ''We're over- enrolled and your child can't come back tomorrow.'' (?!?) Not even ONE day's notice! Now we've heard that a total of 12 children have been kicked out and that the school has been flagged for licensing violations by the State of California. Are there any other parents who can tell us what's going on? Our child is very happy there and we've been impressed with the teachers, but now we're really concerned. We'd like to ask some pointed questions at the school, but we're afraid our child could be next to get a ''pink slip.'' Does anyone out there have better information? Are there serious problems there? Is my child at risk? Do other parents know what's going on? What are these ''licensing violations''? Which kids are getting kicked out and why? Why aren't other parents being told what's going on? If we had to go somewhere else, we'd really be up a creek, but we're trying to decide if we should start looking. Does anyone know of openings at any preschools in the Redwood Heights, Montclair, Piedmont, or Glenview areas? Any advice or information about this from other parents at Chatham (or even teachers there who want to post anonymously) would be welcome. Signed, Concerned Chatham Parents
My daughter was enrolled in the half day program. Needless to say I was blown away as I dropped her off that there was a three-line message in her art folder. Maureen told me that ALL kids who were not full-time(M-F all day) were let go, regardless of tenure or if another sibling was enrolled. It was absolutely handled the wrong way. The teachers knew nothing about this: who was let go, why, and if their own jobs were now in peril due to the numbers shrinking. I dont know exactly how many families were let go...but I thought it was more than just the 14 mentioned in another email. My daughter was very happy at Chatham. She had her ''best friends'' and also had made close bonds with the teachers there. I think as far as a nurturing environment, the teachers never faltered. I am devastated for my daughter and at this point it would be the only reason for me to evaluate returning in June or prior.
My overall view of the operations of Maureen at the school is disorganization and very poor communication. I saw examples of this during the x-mas program which was chaos, and just simple messages to the parents about buying class pictures or calendar changes. She would do right in hiring someone, even a parent on a part-time basis, to handle these type of communications to the parents to avoid communication/pr disasters that affect the school, its image and most importantly the kids.
Lastly Maureen called me the next day, after our ''excommunication'', offering me the new campus location. Why would I return to Chatham only to have my daughter exposed to new teachers and a new location? If I am going to return to Chatham it is to what she knew as her school and her teachers- the campus on 39th.
And as a courtesy and to not face attrition in the future Maureen should have stepped in and faced the fines for a month so as to give the parents time to find a new place. She also should return the pro-rated amount of yearly registration to all those families she kicked out. Chatham parent
There are some fairly positive reviews of this school that are a year or more old. Does anyone have anything recent to say about it? Specifically, what do you think about the facility, and about the fact that the kids spend so much time outdoors? When I went there, it seemed great, although it was pretty cold indoors and actually seemed just a bit crowded. The kids all seemed like they were having fun, though. janet
-- teachers: We love all of the teachers. Our son had a tough transition when he began preschool, and the teachers were wonderful in helping him with the adjustment. They are very caring, attentive, and safety-conscious. The teachers come from diverse backgrounds and are quite experienced, and our son has grown to love each and every one of them.
-- director: Maureen is very dedicated to the preschool and the students. She spends an enormous amount of time and energy in making Chatham a happy, safe environment for the kids and takes the time to get to know each and every child. She is very accessible to the parents and is accomodating when it comes to issues like schedule changes.
-- facility: I looked at a lot of preschools and found Chatham to be one of the cleaner, more presentable schools. It is not enormous, but I have never found it to be overcrowded since only half of the kids are inside at once and then that group is divided into the three different rooms. I have never had a problem with the temperature. I think it used to get really hot and stuffy during the summer but Maureen installed ventilation to help with that, and I've never felt during the winter that it is too cold inside.
-- curriculum: I have been very impressed with the diverse and creative curriculum. I'm amazed at the different art and cooking projects, monthly themes, topics for circle time and share day, etc. I also LOVE that the kids spend so much time outside. I think Chatham strikes a good balance between time inside when the kids are playing/learning (even though Chatham is a play-based school, I cannot believe the academics that our son has learned!) and time outside when they are running around having fun and getting FILTHY. It's great that the backyard has a covered patio so the kids can get outside even when it's raining. Trixie
I have two daughters who have attended Chatham Pre-school
over the last seven years. Both have thrived and blossomed during
their time there. I feel fully assured that they have been in the best
care while I am at work. I highly recommend considering Chatham
for your pre-school child for the following reasons;
- Caring and consistent staff
- Focus on learning through play
- Staff is multi-lingual and multi-ethnic
- If there is a problem, it is handled promptly
- Excellent enrichment programs (music, foreign language, etc.) are offered
- Flexibility in schedules and working with the parents -Beth
As a licensed psychologist with a 20 year private practice in Oakland and as a specialist in working with children, the environment for our granddaughter was very important to me as well as her parents. We recognized she needed a program that encouraged the use of her imagination.
Chatham provides a relaxed atmosphere that emphasizes social experiences and creativity. Although academics are not ignored, they are not the primary focus. There is a wonderful, easy relationship between the children and teachers with a great deal of patience on the part of the adults and an emphasis on “refocusing” children who are having difficulty.
Our granddaughter loves going to school, has made good friends with other children, has never complained of ill treatment by the teachers and has never resisted going to school. I continue to go to the school on a regular basis and I am quite fond of the staff there.
I have been the most impressed by the director’s choice of teachers. My granddaughter has a wonderful relationship with kind, interested, and loving adults. Teachers who are critical or scolding with the children do not stay after several warnings. I cannot say enough about Karen, Shirley, Guadalupe and Jenna who are true jewels. Chatham has a wonderful diversity of staff as well as children. My granddaughter is graduating soon but I know she will have fond memories of Chatham, as do I.
Elizabeth Blacklock, Ph.D
My son will be graduating from Chatham preschool this June after attending one year there. He will be attending Bentley in the fall. I was looking for a pre-K program and did not get into one, but we are very happy with Chatham. It is a large program with a lot of diverse children and teachers. The teachers are very good with the children very caring and adapt to their needs. My son wanted to do more ''homework'' activities so the teachers bought him his own workbooks and worked with him. Soon, a lot of the other children wanted to do ''homework'' too. The art teacher, Tudi, is great. She spends the afternoons there doing art projects every day. There is also music and Spanish. There is circle time daily where they learn the alphabet letters. This is not a very academic school, but it is fun for the kids and they make a lot of friends.
The director, Maureen, is on site all day long and has been upgrading the interior with new cabinets and a ceiling fan so it is not too hot in the summer now. The meals are balanced and I appreciated not having to send a lunch. I think the kids enjoy all the outside time that is offered and if the weather is bad, they can go inside or stay under the covered porch and do art projects. My son enjoys this school a lot and I highly recommend it as a well rounded play-based preschool. Linda
I find the Chatham campus to be well maintained, and tended with care. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and my son enjoys the stimulating, safe environment. In addition to my being a pleased parent, I have enjoyed being the Chatham Music Teacher. It is a positive campus atmosphere, which led me to share my teaching skills with the Chatham community.
As a parent, and a professional educator, I am well pleased to recommend Chatham Pre-school to any family seeking a creative, safe, nurturing, learning environment for their child. -Alison
We live in Redwood Heights and I'm thinking about sending my toddler to the nearby Chatham School for preschool. I've read the archives but most of the comments are a few years old. I'd like to hear from other parents about their experiences with Chatham. I have visited the school a couple times and like certain things about it, but I am concerned about some aspects of the school. The facility seems a little rundown and not as clean & organized as I would have hoped. Also, the kids are outside a lot of the day (even when it isn't nice outside) and I'm concerned about what that is like in rainy or cold weather. I'd appreciate any feedback - both positive and negative! Mom of a preschooler
because there was no air conditioning, it got really hot and stuffy inside during the summer, but the kids did not seem to be bothered. they were still able to nap.
i was glad not to have to make lunches.
one problem we had was that my daughter who is severely allergic to peanuts did have to go to the emergency room because of peanut exposure at chatham. there are not many school that are peanut-free, however.
in general, despite the drawbacks that i saw, the kids really enjoyed themselves there. mom of 2
Re: 3 days a week play-based preschool
Chatham School in Oakland off 13 has a 3-day schedule, and the kids spend alot of time outside, which may be good for your son if he has alot of energy to unleash! We have been sending our 3.5 yr. old daughter there for a year now (she goes 3 half-days per week) and are very happy with the teachers and the program.
Re: Preschool Programs for Two-Year-Olds
Chatham takes that young children. We've been really happy with the program. Here's the contact info: Chatham Nursery School 4359 39th Ave Oakland, CA 510.531.1534
Our daughter graduated from Chatham School last summer - she's now in kindergarten. We feel that her experience at Chatham was excellent and prepared her well for kindergarten. Chatham is a developmental rather than academic preschool, which is exactly what we wanted. David
Re: preschool for 2-year-old
Try Chatham School on 39th Ave next to Redwood Heights Elementary (HWY 13, take Redwood Rd./Carson St. exit). Our son started in Sept. when he was 2.7. It is a developmentally based program with a lot of flexibility. Kids can go 2,3 or 5 mornings a week, or attend the afternoon program. There is also drop-in care. The teachers are fantastic and our son loves it. Incidentally, the owner takes younger kids, 18 months to 2.9 or thereabouts to her house so if your child is not ready to be at Chatham, he/she could you to the owner's house and transition in as the year progresses. The phone# is 531-1534, the Director's name is Ann and the owner's name is Maureen. Petra
We've maintained relationships with several of the teachers, since they live in our neighborhood, and some of their children attend the same school as our son. They are very unhappy with the way that the preschool has evolved...It has become much more like daycare, less child centered, and more "academic".
I've watched as an observer what is going on with the school... They've done large renovations, which disappointed me since it took a purpose built space and made it less special. I've also seen an empty refrigerator sit on their front porch with the door on for three weeks, which scared me in terms of safety. I talked briefly with the owner when I was looking at preschools for my younger daughter and was unimpressed... She seemed scattered and a bit unfocused. I know two parents of children in my sons class who have children there who have stuck it through these difficult transitions, and are not unhappy with it, though less happy with it than they had been. Myriam
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