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Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool (Piedmont, CA)

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Preschools & Daycare > Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool (Piedmont, CA)



Oct 2014

Re: Co-op in Oakland?

My children have both attended Linda Beach Cooperative preschool in Piedmont, at 400 Highland Ave. My son is currently in their 3-year-olds class (Tu/Th from 9-12), and we have openings in our class! Your son could start in January when he turns 3.

My daughter has just started Kindergarten, and she not only had a great experience at Linda Beach, but has been thriving in Kindergarten so far. My son started at Linda Beach in September and barely says good-bye to me in his haste to go to school.

Come check us out and see what you think! Our website: www.lindabeach.org Contact: membership@lindabeach.org

Hope you find a school that's a great fit for your son! Happy LBCP Parent


Sept 2014

My 4 year old son attends Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool this year in the M/W/F 9-12 program. Linda Beach also has a Tu/Th 9-12 class for 3-4 year olds and a pre-K program that runs M-Th 12:15-3:15. I highly recommend this school to anyone with a preschooler looking for a play based style environment.

I feel like these hours/days are just the right amount of preschool for him. As a cooperative school, not only has my son grown and learned new skills, but I have too. Skills I will need to help him navigate and succeed in Kindergarten and beyond.

The school style is play based, which means the kids generally get to choose what activity and area they want to play at. The day includes a circle time with a story and songs, and an art project to complete. In addition, there are usually tables set up with play prompts such as play dough with various cutting molding devices, a table with moveable magnetic letters and pens/paper and stencils, or small wood boards with child sized hammers and nails to practice fine motor skills. I always enjoy the days I participate in my son's classroom. I get to play right along side him and watch him interact with all his friends. Allison


April 2014

My 3 year old attends the T/Th program at Linda Beach Preschool and I highly recommend the school to anyone looking for a small, play-based cooperative (that’s not too much work). The school is clean, safe, offers lots of different activities for the kids to play and learn, and has a fun outdoor playground. The teachers are very experienced, patient, and caring. I learn new things from them every time I’m in the classroom (once a month). I love the social skills my son is developing by interacting with other children, teachers, and parent volunteers. They also do creative and age appropriate projects that are both engaging and challenging. I was looking for more than T/Th but loved Linda Beach so much that I signed my son up for another program on other days of the week. It’s worked out great for us. Happy LBCP Mom


Jan 2014

Both my children attended Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool and we have been beyond pleased with this preschool. My older son attented both the preschool program and the Pre-k one. He is now in 3rd grade and still remembers those days of preschool as the best. My daughter is currently enrolled in the preschool program and she loves it. The teachers are amazing, patient and have years of experience. What I loved the most was the co-op experience because I got to work in the classroom and got to know both the children and their families. The community at Linda Beach is so strong and active. I highly recommend Linda Beach to anyone looking for a play-based preschool for their own children. They are having an Open House February 1st 2014 at 10 am. Stop by with your family for some bagels and coffee and tour this great preschool. anonymous


Feb 2013

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


Dec 2012

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


Dec 2012

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


Dec 2012

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


Sept 2012

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 membershiplbcp@yahoo.com with questions or to set up a tour.


The Linda Beach Cooperative Preschool has an amazing pre-K program that my family thoroughly enjoyed (and my son now still misses!). The teachers, Mrs. Shelley Kelly and Yvonne Loey, are experienced, nurturing and dedicated, and these traits make their pre-K classroom a place where our child truly thrived. From the first day on, our son loved his teachers and soon became close with his classmates (the small class size is a plus), and the afternoon hours (12:30-3:30, M-F) allowed our child to acclimate slowly to daily schooling (which in our case was preferable). The program's activities range from creative projects, to engaging field trips, to parent-taught lessons - all while addressing, without using excessive worksheets, the basic academic content covered in kindergarten. It is a co-op, so parent involvement is a requirement, but I found this responsibility easy to manage and more importantly rewarding to fulfill because of how it strengthened parent-teacher-student relationships. This pre-K program is a gem, and I feel so thankful that my son had the chance to experience school as a joy and as a place where learning can be both fun and meaningful. JENNIFER
I HIGHLY recommend the Pre-K program at Linda Beach Co-op! I have had three children attend this program and all have loved the class. Shelley Kelly and Yvonne Loey are fantastic teachers who are smart, warm and creative in the classroom. My children have benefited greatly from having attended Pre-K at Linda Beach. They were challenged, supported and loved. As my youngest (5) says, ''I really wanted to go back there but now I am going to kindergarten. Mrs. Kelley and Mrs. Loey were great teachers! I wish they had a kindergarten there.'' You cannot go wrong sending your child to this program! L. S.
Oct 2010

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


Jan 2010

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


March 2009

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 sons have attended both the Highlands (HPS) and the Linda Beach (LBCP) programs and I have served on the Boards of both schools.

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


I didn't see the original post but was spurred to reply by one responder and I will second her opinion. All three of my children attended Linda Beach Co-op Preschool and they and we loved it. It is an ''old-fashioned'' preschool in the best sense. The emphasis is on play and social development, not ''academics''. My youngest child had a very hard time separating from me and the directors totally got it and made it work for all of us. They would hold him (crying and hollering) while I left and then phone me 5 minutes later to say that he was fine and playing with the other kids. They have an attitude of loving, respectful guidance and deal very patiently and even-handedly with misbehavior without ever being pushovers. Miss those preschool days!
Jan 2007

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


Hi. I have had 3 children go through Linda Beach, and we loved it. Your children will be well taken care of, be stimulated, and most importantly, be happy! The teachers were fantastic, and I think they are both still there. The families we met were great and we still keep in touch w/ quite a few of them. Since Linda Beach has a very traditional pre-school schedule (few hours per day, either 2-3 days a week) it may not work well for you if you are looking for after care, or a longer day. Also, if you have other kids in other schools, its good to be aware that the Linda Beach tends to follow the St. Theresa's school schedule for school breaks. This may not work for you if you have children in other schools as the breaks may not match up. You can certainly ask about this if you have a concern in this area. Best of luck. Linda Beach Alum
Oct 2006

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


Linda Beach Preschool in Piedmont is wonderful. Many family members and friends I know have sent their children there and loved it. Our son will be attending Preschool next fall and Linda Beach is top on our list. I have known the Director g about the teachers, environment, and the kids. The other great aspect about the co-op environment is that the cost is SO much cheaper than most of the preschools around here. The only concern we have is that there is no extended care, so if full day care is a requirement it will take a bit of work figuring out how to get your kid picked up at 11:45am. Definitely give them a call and schedule a visit. They also have a website http://www.lindabeach.org/ Meghan
Re: Pre-K Progams for December Birthday (Oct 2005)
I highly recommend Linda Beach Preschool in Piedmont for their Pre-K program. It is seperate from the preschool. We went to their preschool and are now in the new Pre-K program. The teacher is excellent. Their number is 510-547-4432. The class is MTWTh Noon to 2:45. Richard
Re: Pre-K Programs for two 4-year-old boys (June 2005)
Linda Beach Cooperative PreSchool in Piedmont is starting a new Pre-K Program this Fall it will be Mon-Thursday afternoon. You might want to check it out - I know the teacher/director for the program and she is great. My son attended the preschool for 3 years and it is a wonderful program. 547-4432 kristi
August 2002

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


November 2001

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


My son is in the T/TH class at Linda Beach and he loves it (as do his father and I) It's a great program, very nurturing, but with just the right amount of structure, at least in my opinion. Children do need to be potty trained and as my son is the youngest in the class we still have some struggles with that issue. They have been wonderfully supportive and have really worked with us and met us more than half way. Barbara, the director has been there for years as has the Asst. Director Jean and they really know children. They are both very calm and I have yet to see anything ruffle their feathers. Holidays and birthdays are a big deal at Linda Beach and the kids really respond well to that. Everyday there is circle time and music, free play inside, art, outdoor play, and snack time. Once a month they have movement class and visitors like the Zoomobile make frequent visits. In the MWF class children also take Spanish and go on lots of filed trips. I should add that Linda Beach is a cooperative program, meaning that you will be required to work in the classroom approx. once a month, attend a monthly parents meeting, participate in work days, annual fund raisers etc., but it is certainly not burdensome and I think most if not all the parents really enjoy the time they work in the classroom. Though we don't have a child at Highlands I have a number of friends that do and it is a very similar program and is housed in the same building. They seem equally enthusiastic about that program. Kristi
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