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I would like to highly recommend Rising Sun Montessori pre-School located on the border of Albany and El Cerrito, a few blocks away from the Albany High School. This is a school were children have fun, develop social skills and work at their own pace developing academic skills preparing them for kinder. The children are all well taking care of, and most of all they are so nurtured by two devoted and dedicated teachers.
The school is well organized, with scheduled daily activities such as Spanish, Science, Geography, Zoology, Botany, Art and much more. Tons of art every day related to themes. If your child likes to get messy, discovering all the wonders of different paint colors, this school is the place. They have built a brand new painting area in their wonderful back yard, the children have fun painting every day. The school also hosts nice potlucks for parents to share some time together. I also loved their graduations ceremonies; they make it a very special event for the kids leaving the school, leaving with memories to continue their relationship with their pre-school friends.
The teachers are two wonderful sisters with devotion and passion for what they love to do, working with young children. They also, educate parents with child development, and if you have a question of any kind they are always there to listen to you. They have been working with children for 24 years now and have alumni that are now attending college and have returned to visit and help at the school.
I had my two sons there for a few years, my oldest is in fourth grade and the
youngest is now in Kinder. They simply loved it there, for them it was home away
from home. If you are looking for a nurturing, fun school I recommend you go visit
them, they are a small program and they fill up really quick. You can contact
Carolina the school director at;
If you're looking for a preschool in the El Cerrito/Albany area, check out Rising Sun. This is a small, home-based montessori preschool. My daughter was there for a year and a half and absolutely loved it. And I loved that they are very flexible. If we were going to miss a day, they let me make it up. Try doing that with a big preschool. Miss Carolina is the head teacher/administrator and she's great. Go with Rising Sun. You'll be glad you did. Marisa
Re: Mid year openings for a 4 1/2 yr old in Berkeley?
I highly recommend Rising Sun Montessori, which is in El Cerrito right near Albany Memorial Park. It is everything you are looking for including the Spanish. Our daughter, now almost 5, has been there for a year and loves it. Katharine
I would highly recommend RISING SUN MONTESSORI. They have a lot to offer. Such as Spanish, the children are exposed to a basic daily languge. Music class with a great music teacher her name's CAROLINE, dance and body movement with JIM BEATTY, very well know and excellent teacher.they also offer gymnastics. Rising Sun has a great back yard, with a beautiful magnolia tree for children to climb and fruit trees as well. A lot of space for children to move around and explore. The teachers Carolina and Reina speak to the children with such love and respect they truly understand the needs of the kids and parents.
Rising Sun Montessori is delivering an excellent education in an
incredibly loving and respectful atmosphere
The school community is very multicultural and TRULY wonderful.
If you are still looking for school, I definitely encourage you
to visit this program. They're proud to announce those two openings.
WE COULD NOT BE HAPPIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Their phone number is (510) 528-6041.
Re: Culturally diverse Part-time preschool in El Cerrito/Albany?
For a culturally diverse, loving and nurturing environment, I am happy to recommend Rising Sun Montessori on the El Cerrito/Albany border near Memorial Park. My son enjoyed his two years there very much, meeting friends from India, Brazil and Venezuela. His teachers, Carolina and Reina, also incorporated Spanish words and phrases into their daily routine. My son attended school three days per week for a full day, though many children came for shorter times - until 12:30 and some until 3:00pm. Rising Sun is a very happy place and the children really enjoy the very large yard with a log cabin playhouse, swingset, sandbox and veggie garden. Their number is 510-528-6041. Happy Rising Sun parent
My 4 1/2-year old son has been attending Rising Sun for two years. We chose Rising Sun because of the warm, well-organized atmosphere we encountered on our visits there. Also, the school was willing to help me potty train my son, while other schools required that he be potty trained before starting. My son was instantly happy there. This was a change from his previous preschool at which he would cry almost every morning when we dropped him off, which is why we left. Rising Sun has formal instruction, free play, circle time, arts , nice outdoor play area and simply keeps my son learning and entertained. Rising Sun offers additional classes such as music, dance and gymnastics. My son especially likes the music class. They also plant vegetables in the Spring. Reyna and Carolina, the teachers, are so good with the kids and parents. Please email me if you have any questions. yvette
Re: Preschool suggestions near El Cerrito or Albany
My suggestion for a preschool near El Cerrito or Albany is Rising Sun Montessori. My daughter went to Rising Sun part time for two years. Carolina and Reina are wonderful! I'm not sure how they do it, but Rising Sun feels both very organized and very relaxed at the same time. The house inside is great, a very nice feeling space. As for the backyard, I wish the backyard at my house was as large and nice as Rising Sun's! Rising Sun has my unqualified recommendation, good luck! Steve
I was recently walking in our new neighborhood and saw a house with a sign for Rising Sun Montessori. BPN had a few dated reviews and I was hoping that we might be able to get a few more updated experiences. Thank you- searching for the right school parents
Hi. My son will be 21 months in the fall and will need to be in a daycare/school program. We are considering Rising Sun Montessori in El Cerrito. Any reviews/thoughts/experiences of the school & staff would be greatly appreciated. We are a bit nervous because he will be the youngest in a group of 12...ranging to 5 years old. Any input would be helpful. Thanks. anon
i have been looking into diffrent preschools for my babygirl and went to look at the rising sun montessori school border of El Cerrito and Albany....i want to know if anyone has any experience sending their child there and what your opinion and feeling is about this preschool...i had a good first impression but would like some more input... thanks mamma bear
My two daughters (age 2 and 4) attend a wonderful
Montessori preschool program located near Albany Community
Center (in fact, the teachers walk the kids to swimming
lessons there in the summer). The school is located in a
large, sunny house with a spacious backyard that includes
art area, swing/slide, playhouse, and garden. The two
teachers are very skilled with young children, it's such a
peaceful/playful place to be, and my daughters has learned
so much since attending the school for the past year. The
school is flexible to serve the needs of both working
parents and those looking for a part-time enrichment
program. The school currently has a few openings for
girls. Call Teacher Carolina for more information. You
can also contact me directly at if
you would like a referral from a very satisfied Rising Sun
Contact: Carolina, 510.528.6041
My daughter's preschool, Rising Sun Montessori, has a few openings available. Rising Sun is a family child care program licensed for 14 that has the best of family child care and child care centers - it's small and homelike but structured and educational (the director and her sister were Montessori teachers for years). Though we got accepted at Step One and Berkeley Montessori, I choose Rising Sun for my two girls (age 4 and 2) because it had all the child development of the other two schools but with better staff ratio in a really superb location. It's two blocks from Albany Community Center (in fact, the kids walk to swimming lessons in the summer and utilize the park for short field trips). There's going to be an open house on Saturday, Oct 18 from 1-3:30. My girls adore their school and don't want to leave at the end of the day! Contact: Carolina, 510.528.6041
Does anyone have any information they can provide on Rising Sun Montessori School in El Cerrito? Pros, cons, anything... Thanks! Linda
When I asked about their food allergy policies since my son's allergic to nuts, Carolina (the director) immediately said that since they were a small school (10-12 kids), she'd just ask all the parents to not send anything in their kids' lunches that contained nuts, and checked on all the ingredients with me of the snacks they regularly provided. Many other schools just try to make sure that the kids with allergies are vigilant about only eating the food they bring, but my son's sensitive enough that if someone with a bit of peanut butter on their hands touches him, he'll break out in a rash from the contact. As you might imagine, I was really excited that she was willing to go to such an extreme, having shared with her that I was nervous about making a decision about the other places I was looking at because of their food allergy policies. So only a few months later, my son came home with an empty peanut butter sandwich bag in his lunchbox! When my husband and I confronted her, livid, she denied our conversation, saying that she wouldn't even let us send a letter out to the other families alerting them to my son's nut allergies because it would be 'inappropriate' to even suggest that they limit their lunch choices. After a few days of keeping him at home and many conversations, they promised to be much more vigilant, the other parents were alerted to the allergy presence, and it seemed to be ok. It was a difficult time for me to look into moving him, since I was working and pregnant, and went on bedrest soon after this incident. So on Valentine's Day, with a newborn at home, our son came home with Snickers in his goody bag that he proudly told us the teachers GAVE him. (They'd also promised that no candy was allowed, but that's a whole nother complaint) Luckily, we'd drilled into him that he needed to ask mommy or daddy before eating anything candy-like (since he'd never even eaten refined sugar before starting at Rising Sun, and the only candy he'd encountered came from there), so he brought it home instead of eating it there.
When I asked about sweets since we didn't give him any, I was told that they didn't allow candy or sugary treats, but lollipops and cupcakes with inches of frosting got handed out at every occasion. It was quite disturbing to a family that had successfully avoided refined sugar for over 2 years, then only encountered moderate servings of ice cream/cake at birthday parties.
Since my son has asthma symptoms (for only a year, so it's not technically asthma yet) that react well to asthma medications, we'd asked that at any sign of coughing or wheezing, they call me immediately. Twice, they let him cough ALL DAY (and even admitted that he'd been coughing all day once the other/older kids told us when he'd started coughing) so that we arrived at his normal pickup time to find him in labored breathing. (I was actively searching for a new school, but needed the coverage, for which I do feel guilty) And I do feel like they let it progress because they knew that he'd be out for the next few days recuperating and it'd be easier for them to have fewer kids there.
Our son was functionally bilingual when he started, since our daycare provider spoke to him in only spanish, and they promised us that they ran a bilingual program. They do speak a few words of spanish now and then, and teach them songs but not their meanings. As you may have guessed, he's now lost most or all of his spanish.
It amazed us when we found out that there were multiple rate schedules circulating, with my sister's neighbor paying more for part-time than we did for full-time, and the 'discount' they gave their first-ever family with two kids there was only $40 less per kid than we paid, starting three years later. It appeared to be on the basis of how much money they thought the family had - luckily, my husband works in the public schools so they didn't think we had much!
And of course, there's the schedule, where they sent notes home in lunchboxes letting families know mid-year that their new schedule was to close at 5:30 instead of 6:00, in spite of the contracts that everyone signed. And now they're only open until 12:30 on Fridays . . .
I hope I didn't sound so angry or judgemental that you disregard my post, but honestly, I am both when it comes to Rising Sun and the way they dealt with our family. I could go on, as you might imagine, but if you have any questions about the things I've covered, feel free to email me.
And I do realize that there are many children who are happy there and whose families have not encountered the situations we did. Reina (the other teacher and Carolina's sister) is wonderful with the kids, all of whom love her, and their location/layout is fantastic. We just couldn't remain there with the experiences we had. amy
I'm looking at Rising Sun for my 2.5-year-old son, and am curious about a couple of things. I'm wondering why there are so few kids there. The other bilingual preschools that I've looked into all had rather long waiting lists. Here, there are immediate openings. Is there something that I'm missing? I liked what I saw when I visited. Thanks. susan
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