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Can anyone share recent experience with Highlands and/or Linda Beach preschools in Piedmont? I've recently toured both schools and liked what I saw, but I'd love to get input from parents as well. Would love to hear positives and negatives - thanks! Montclair Mom
My oldest started mid-year at LBCP when I up and quit my job after realizing my pay, less daycare expense, was negligible. He had a wonderful experience there and maintains a positive relationship with both Barbara Ulbrich and Jean Nelson to this day. They run an excellent program that provides the kids with a social and developmental environment where they can thrive.
My youngest was too young for LBCP so he went to HPS and we have found another outstanding environment where we have both been encouraged to grow and explore our potential. Joanna Wood has developed a beautiful cooperative environment with a diverse, and committed group of seven(!) previous parents who are most of the teachers. Last year, Joanna won a very prestigious award for her dedication to education (Rawlings) for which a HPS parent nominated her.
Now my youngest is at the LBCP PreK, which has been another idyllic experience. He certainly would not have been ready for Kindergarten, but he was ready for the additional challenges of that program. In less than 100 days (they're keeping track), Shelley Kelly and Yvonne Loey have instilled a love of learning and a sense of order in their class. Kindergarten isn't what it used to be and there is so much value in allowing them to develop at their own pace. For a certain group of kids, the PreK option is invaluable.
Both schools are true assets to the community. What's more, they cooperate and work well together. The Directors arrange opportunities for the kids to interact with each other and they collaborate on a ''Summer Fun'' program in June and July. When they were each remodeling their playground, the other school generously scheduled time for the remodeling school to use theirs.
You asked for positives and negatives. The biggest drawback is the limited number of hours, but that is more of a problem for the parents than the kids. An appropriate amount of time for most of these tender young people to spend at preschool is hard to fit into our busy lives.
I would be more than happy to be able to send my children to either of these schools all over again. The experience I've had by seeing what each school does, in their own way, has only strengthened my parenting skills that much more. With my preschool days ending, I can only say enjoy these next few years because they sure can be fun! -Elaine
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