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We're considering Rainbow School for our 2 yr old toddler, who's been at home with mom until now. We'd really appreciate any comments from parents of recent or current students at the schools. Thank you very much!
There has been a core staff of two, but the director does her best to hire long-term - she offers competitive salary and benefits, but there is a shortage of good pre-school teachers. But even though our kids saw several faces come and go, we thought they were all great and everyone had their very valid reasons for leaving (goals of elementary school teaching, spouses moving, etc).
Choosing a pre-school is tough - how can you possibly know when it's your first?? But I've seen a lot of different types of kids in the several years we attended Rainbow, and every single one of them was happy there. Mom of Two
I would love to hear some recent reviews/feedback of the Rainbow preschool. I'm hoping to send my son there next fall. How have parents liked the teachers and how have your children enjoyed the school? Thanks! Stephanie
Dora, the director, spends almost the full day on the floor with the kids. This compares favorably to the many highly educated directors who sit in the back office and drop in occasionally. Dora has a PhD in early childhood education and takes several trips and courses every year to refresh her credentials. She is a little quirky but if you can get over that you will really appreciate her deep experience and great concern and care for the children in her school. We learn a ton by watching her.
We like the play-based approach. We were turned off by the preschools that were quiet, controlled, and more ''academic''. This is a personal fit thing and you can tell by watching the kids and teachers if you like the slightly noiser, but clearly fun, environment at Rainbow.
We like the other teachers, Julie and Maryam a great deal. This past year has been really tough for the teachers as they have had a lot of turnover in the 4th teacher position for various reasons: husband took job in NY, and two others who were not a great ''fit''. The turnover is certainly not ideal but has not affected our son at all. He's had continuity with the other three teachers, all the kids, and the regular volunteer, Rose Mary.
I visited over 13 preschools before landing on Rainbow. I think it is really a special place: clean, well lit, organized, thoughtful choice of toys and manipulatives, and excellent staff. I think you will be extremely happy with your choice. colin
Re: Intimate, warm preschool with fewer than 20 kids
Hi Laura, I don't know where you live, but I can recommend a preschool that fits your description and is located in the Rockridge area. It's called the Rainbow School on Taft Avenue. The school has an excellent reputation. I believe there is a maximum of 24 children, mixed ages. The director/owner has a PhD in early childhood education. Good luck finding what you're after Shoshana
We absolutely love the Rainbow School preschool on Taft in Oakland and are hoping to send our daughter there in the Fall. However, we are shocked to see juice, highly processed and high sugar foods being offered for snack. The director commented that she gives fruit in the summer. We have never given our daughter juice as it is highly correlated with childhood obesity nor do we feed her Kraft macaroni and cheese. We have no problem sending a separate snack but don't want to create a problem with our child somehow feeling separate. How have other parents at the school handled this? Any suggestions? Thanks very much.
However, I think that the quality of snacks overall is okay - I think there is a good balance throughout the week. I'm okay with the less-than-healthy stuff because 1) my child doesn't always eat it 2) my child burns off a lot of energy 3) most of the parents do provide other beverages 4) due to various reasons, several children are supplied with alternative snacks 5) we don't serve processed stuff at home.
You should ask the director, but my personal observations of pre-schoolers is that they don't tend to ostracize or feel left out when they have different needs. I do think the school is terrific!
While it's a nice idea to have "only the best" for one's child outside the home, it's not always possible or feasible. Good nutrition is ultimately my job. School is not my child's home. anonymous
Has anyone sent their kid/s to The Rainbow School in Oakland? Any information about the director and/or the teachers would be greatly appreciated.
The director, Dora Halpern, is a very wise educator, very different than my own style, but my kids loved her and I felt they benefitted from someone whose way of doing things was different than mine. And indeed my kids were the beneficiaries of her experience. Feel free to reach me for further information if you'd like. Deborah
The new teachers are wonderful, creative, warm, and nurturing. The director is fabulous with the kids and has been a great resource for me as a parent. The school is bright, cheerful, stimulating and well run (and very clean!) The balance between free play and structured activities is right in line with my expectations for this age group.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about the school. jill
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