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I have 4 year old twin girls (Jan. 17th birthday) and we love Linda Beach! We moved to California and toured the pre-school last spring. My girls cried when the tour was over because they wanted to stay. Linda Beach let my kids in for the last 6 weeks of the year - so nice! We are in the Tuesday/Thursday 9am-11:45am class (next year it will be 9am-12). The teachers (Barbara Ulbrich and Jean Nelson) in this class are AMAZING. I honestly pick up tips from them every single time I work there. They handle situations like the experts they are (each of them has been teaching at LBCP for 20+ years).
The class starts out with free play - the kids can do whatever they want. They can play with anything they want, or they can choose one of three tables that are set up with different activities each time. Then they have Circle Time - stories and songs - where they are learning to follow directions, sit still for a bit, and practice rhymes, hand motions, etc. Then they take turns doing an art project, followed by outside time on the playground where they can ride trikes, play in the sand box, ''paint'' with water, or just run. Then it's snack time (each child brings their own snack). They change it up here and there and do movement classes and field trips to the firestation.
The other families are amazing and I have met some really wonderful friends. We have a meeting for one hour, once a month. You do not get a barrage of emails. I work twice a month because I have twins, but usually it's once a month. There are no silent auctions or other time consuming mandatory fundraisers - it is worked into the tuition, which I really like. The tuition is still super reasonable!
But most importantly, my girls LOVE it. We went to another pre-school this summer which was all free play, the teachers were more hands-off and their philosophy was for the kids to initiate everything. My kids like to interact with their teachers and they like a bit of structure to their morning. Happy mom
Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool is truly a gem. I heard about the school through another parent and set up a tour. I instantly felt the right ''vibe'' for my son when we walked into the classroom. The atmosphere is full of joy and creativity. The teachers are sweet, loving and gentle with the children. It is play based (which I believe in for preschool) with a schedule of events that repeats every day so the children know the routine. Every day there is an art project, circle time with several stories, songs and ''hand games'', outdoor time, snack and lunch time. In between the children are free to choose what to play with in the large room FULL of fun, clean, and organized toys. Participation is about 1x per month, and there is a monthly parents meeting, both are do-able for my schedule. I love when it is my turn to help out in the classroom! Seeing the children grow month by month is amazing. My son is thriving, learning and growing every day he is there. The community is the best part - supportive, kind and involved in their children's early childhood. We are new to town and have made many friends in the LBCP family and enjoy the parent socials and other school gatherings. If you are interested in a part-time, play based cooperative, I recommend you check out Linda Beach. Proud LBCP mom
My daughter turned 3 in April, and has been attending the Tuesday/Thursday program (9-11:45) at Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool since September. She loves it! It is a play-based program, and during my participation days I have already seen how much the kids are growing in their interactions with each other and their ability to sit and focus during circle/story time. The teachers are excellent, and are very it tune with what is going on with the kids. The parent community is very supportive as well, and it seems like most families come back to Linda Beach if they have had an older child attend. I highly recommend the program if you are looking for a coop preschool. The participation commitment isn't huge (1x/month approx) - I work part-time and have been able to make it work without difficulty. The program for 4-5-year-olds is M/W/F Linda Beach also has an excellent pre-K program (3 hours in the afternoon M-Th) for children with summer/fall birthdays - there is no parent classroom participation commitment for the pre-K program. Happy LBCP Parent
I love Linda Beach! My daughter is three and in the Tu/Th class. The Director and teaching staff have been doing this for years and are experts at creating a supportive learning environment for kids. And the kids have tons of fun in a play based environment while learning a lot. Its an amazing program that balances the fact that kids learn through play with preparing them for kindergarten. The school is a coop and parents spend time in the classroom once a month. Its a very doable commitment even with an older child and working part time (some families even make it work with full time jobs). The parent community is very supportive. The families come from Hayward to Berkeley and everywhere in between. Overall, we couldn't be happier. Linda Beach is an excellent preschool! Happy LBCP parent
Re: Bridge K programs that are only three days a week
My son went to a PreK program at Linda Beach Co-operative Preschool in Piedmont. He also is a fall birthday, and we weren't sure what to do! The program is 12:15-3:15p M-Th and taught by two fantastic teachers, both of whom have many years of experience! You can check out their website lindabeach.org or email directly to email@example.com with questions or to set up a tour.
Re: Pre-K programs in Redwood Heights/Montclair area?
I highly recommend the Pre-K program at Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool in Piedmont (www.lindabeach.org). The teachers, Shelley Kelly and Yvonne Loey, do a wonderful job preparing children for their elementary school experience. The program incorporates language arts, science, number concepts and art in addition to exercising the emotional and social skills needed for Kindergarten. Class size is small with a great student-to-teacher ratio. Again, I highly recommend the program. Linda Beach Parent
Re: Program for 4 yr-old not quite ready for K?
Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool has an afternoon PreK program for kids that turn 5 between August and December(ish). My son goes there now and it's been great for him. Teachers are wonderful, small class size (11 this year) is perfect, balance of play vs structure is ideal. Social and emotional growth are key elements of the program. Call 547-4432 to schedule a tour or visit www.lindabeach.org. Or email me. Rachel
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
Hello. Does any member out there have any reviews/comments on Linda Beach Co-op Preschool in Piedmont? We are considering the school and would like to hear more about it. Thank you! Anon
Re: Piedmont Preschools
There are several good preschools in Piedmont. Most traditional, play based part time programs. I am most familiar with Linda Beach as I have had two children go there. It is a co-op in the center of town http://lindabeach.org/ Right next door and very similar in program and hours is Highlands Preschool - also a great school. The Recreation Center also has three preschools for different ages: First STep for little toddlers, Tiddlwinks for 2-3 years olds and Playschool for 3-5 year olds. My son attends Linda BEach on MWF and Playschool on T and Thursday. Playschool offers two program MWF or T/TH and there are two classes, upstairs with Cara and downstairs with Kristi. WE have CAra and my son LOVES her, loves the prgroam and loves the other kids. I also have friends at Piedmont Playschool at Hampton Field. It is also a co-op and is 5 days per week. Hope this helps! happy w/ Piedmont preschools
Re: preschool for future Hillcrester
You didnt' mention what kind of preschool you were looking for, or whether you needed full-time care or not. If you don't need something full-time, you might look at Linda Beach Preschool, a co-op in Piedmont. My daughter went to Linda Beach this past year (M-W-F 9:00-11:45 for 4-5 year olds) and will be starting at Hillcrest this Fall. We really enjoyed her year there. I think that they still are looking for a few more 4 year old boys, so if this type of schedule works for you, you might want to give them a call (547-4432). Kathy
I am interested in knowing if anyone can provide me with any input on either Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool or Highland Coorperative Preschool (both in Piedmont). Both pros and cons would be appreciated. Laurie
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