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The Neighborhood School (Kensington, CA)
To view licensing information at the State's
Licensing Office for a preschool or childcare site, including
inspection dates, citations, and complaints,
click "view" next to the License #. See
this page for info about daycare
and preschool reviews on the BPN website.
Berkeley Parents Network >
Preschools & Daycare >
The Neighborhood School
- Owner: Jill Houghton
- Phone: (510) 526-5871
- Neighborhood: Highland Blvd off The Arlington
- Zip: 94708
- License #: 073405627
- Capacity: 30
I am looking for any recent reviews of the Kindergarden afterschool program at
Neighborhood school in Kensington. It is very reasonably priced and convenient but I'd
like to know more about the quality of care and teaching. I've heard some mixed
reviews. Please let me know of your child thrives there, is learning, is kept safe.
Hi, both my kids started going to Neighborhood when they started kindergarten. My oldest stopped
going in 5th grade and my youngest will stop now that he is going into 5th grade too and they are
responsible enough to walk home from school. Neighborhood was great -- my kids report that they
were kept entertained with games of kickball, ping pong, all kinds of board games, and plenty of
socializing with their friends. They both have a soft spot for Jacob who has been a counselor there
for a long time. There has never been a safety issue. It is more for keeping the kids busy than a
''teaching environment'' but as long as that is what you're looking for, you'll be pleased.
I'm thinking of sending my son to Neighborhood School on the
Kensington Elementary School campus for preschool. The
advice in the archives is a year old or more. Does anyone
have current advice on their experience with the school?
I've made two visits and the program that includes
music/tennis/academic preparation seems strong and the
children engaged. Any specific advice? Thank you.
interested in neighborhood
My son, who is now a third grader,
attended Neighborhood School from age 2.5 to 5 because it
was easy to get into, relatively inexpensive, and conveniently
close to home. In hindsight, I wish I had looked around at
other preschools more, and by the time I became really
unhappy with the environment there, my son had already
made friends in school, and I couldn't bear to tear him away
from them, though I did try to transfer him, unsuccessfully
because it was too late in the game. The director is very traditional,
and, though polite and friendly with parents, she likes to do things
her own way. This is not to say that the school is not a cheerful, fun,
and engaging place. The teachers are generally good with the children,
but we were really kept in the dark as to what was happening during
the day. When the school moved from its location above the Tot Lot
because heavy rains flooded the building and made it inhabitable, they
erected portables, which now sit behind Kensington Hilltop School.
They are quite nice for portables, and at the time I was relieved because
the previous play structures at the old site were old, the swings rusty, etc.
But the problem was that the preschool often merges the Kindergarten
before-school care and the after-school care with the preschool class,
and we were never given any warning ahead of time that this was happening.
I just brought my son to school one day, and there were a lot of older kids
sitting in the class with him. I asked the director why there were more kids,
and she said that they take care of the Kensington kids as well. Surprise!
To be fair, I know many parents who loved the preschool and thought it
was a quaint little place to send their child. But we would have preferred
a director who genuinely listened to our concerns and kept us better
informed of what was happening in the school.
Looking for a fun, safe and nurturing preschool for your little one?
We love Neighborhood School in Kensington! Our family's experience with
Neighborhood School began in the fall of 2006 when I fell in love with the wonderful
staff and the nurturing environment for my eldest son. Neighborhood School provides
a caring and stimulating environment for children where they grow, learn, and feel
good about themselves and their surroundings. Although my eldest has now
''graduated'' to kindergarten, our youngest son now attends Neighborhood School. He
is also thriving under the caring and supportive supervision of Jill, Ginger, Lan, Anita
and the rest of the staff. Both of my boys love the Neighborhood School teachers (who
have all been there for years) and we feel so fortunate to have them in our lives!
I wonder if any parents could comment on the Neighborhood
Preschool in Kensington. I didn't see any recent emails about
this school in the archives.
New Kensington Parent
We have two children, 6yr old boy and 3yr old girl. We've been
Neighborhood parents since our son was 2 yrs. old. We love it
there. Our children are very different in temperment and spirit
and the teachers have been wonderful, encouraging and loving.
Jill has been doing this a long time and I worked with her when
I was in the recreation profession for many years prior to
having children. I've always hoped my children could go to
Neighborhood because of Jill's tender ways. Jill, Ginger and
Stacey are very consistant and wonderful. Some other teachers
have come and gone but the core teachers remain. A huge plus in
the sense of community since they also provide after school care
for the elementary school too. The transition to Kindergarten
was easy because he got to see his preschool teacher every day
(she is also at the elementary school after preschool is over)So
my son is still involved with Neighborhood as many other
graduates are and get to have the same specialized teachersand
warm fuzzies. The preschool has tennis, yoga, music and drama-
all fabulous instructors that come in an teach these
specialities. I can't say enough good things about
Neighborhood. My son aslo has a nut allergy and it's the only
preschool I felt comfortable leaving him with. The staff
understood and took our sitiuation (it's life threatening)
seriously. Five years ago this wasn't the case with all
preschools. If you need newsletters and written monthly
summeries you won't get it here. You will get lots of one on
one communication if you seek it, any time, any day. The staff
is always available to talk, your child is always a priority.
We love it.
Not sure if you were asking about the Neighborhood School
(which is the after-care program for Kensington Hilltop
elementary) or an actual Preschool, which if so, I know nothing
about. If you're after info on the Neighborhood School, I have
my kindergartener enrolled and have been very happy with the
activities (tennis, art, etc..) the school sets up for the kids
and the free play they have. All the students seem engaged
with the teacher/caretakers, and I think their set-up which
keeps the K and 1st grade students separate from the older
grades is very reassuring.
All of my children have gone to the Neighborhood school. I like
it very much, it is safe, warm and very sweet. I love that it is
a tradtional pre-school- no extended hours. If you are looking
to be involved, however this place is not for you. This is a
drop off and go. I like that, but other people I know like the
community of a co-op better.
this page was last updated: Jul 28, 2014
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