Sequoia Co-op Nursery School (Oakland, CA)
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Sequoia Co-op Nursery School (Oakland, CA)
- Owner: non-profit parent cooperative
- Phone: (510) 531-8853
- Neighborhood: Mountain Blvd.
- Zip: 94611
- License #: 010200592
- Capacity: 40
- Website: http://www.sequoiakids.org/
- Ages: 3 - 5 years
Sequoia Nursery School is a cooperative nursery school comprised of a wonderful
and diverse group of families invested in their children's development. It is a
play-based curriculum set in a magical and woodsy space at the base of the
Oakland hills. Our son began attending in September and the school has exceeded
all of our expectations. We will definitely be returning and would highly
recommend it to other families looking into preschools for the upcoming year.
I strongly recommend Sequoia Nursery School, a wonderful co-op preschool nestled
in the beautiful Oakland hills. Our son started at Sequoia this fall and we
couldn't be happier. He struggled with separation from us last year at his
preschool in San Francisco and this year he can't wait to go to school and runs
in with delight to check out the day's art project and play with his friends.
The space is amazing, indoors is very open and light, outdoors is very expansive
as well. Sequoia is an incredibly nurturing and loving environment, the teachers
Renee and Lucy are so warm and make it a point to know and greet each child and
family as they enter for the day. There is structure of two circles during the
morning, but otherwise, the children have choices to play outside, have free
play inside (library, creative dress up, blocks, sand) and/or participate in
planned art projects. It is a co-op, so each family has a designated day to be a
''working parent'' along with your child who attends on that day as well. The
jobs and responsibilities are very well defined, and parents receive a training
before the year begins on the expectations and guidelines of the school. It has
been a wonderful opportunity to watch and participate with our son, both my
husband and I have really enjoyed our work days. In addition to working in the
school each week, each family has a job that they do throughout the year. All of
this participation both lowers the cost of the school as well as creates a very
lovely and tight knit community. If you have the time, energy and desire to be a
part of a great place for children (and adults) I strongly recommend Sequoia.
Happy Sequoia parent
I am hoping for some recent reviews of Sequoia Nursery School in the Oakland Hills. I
have heard wonderful things about the school and the teachers, but the reviews I have
found are pretty out-dated. Input please?
We LOVE Sequoia Nursery School! My son is in kindergarten at EBI(We love EBI too). He
attended preschool there as well. We planned on sending my daughter to EBI for preschool.
Then I remembered a friend telling me about Sequoia and we just started their this year.
What I love about it - The director, Renee, is amazing and calm. She is wonderful with
children and parents alike. She was a teacher at Sequoia for many years before taking on
the role of director. The teacher, Joanna is equally amazing and her personality is
perfectly suited for working with children. It is clear they both love what they do and
they are a great team. Sequoia is in its sixty-fifth year. Many families have sent more
than one child to Sequoia. There is a history and a lot of community love for the school.
SNS is an amazing place for children to play. Lots of art. The work day is varied and fun.
The space is beautiful, woodsy, nature filled. It is just an amazing place to spend time.
The opportunity for kids to play in such an amazing outdoor space is what we most love about
Sequoia. For our family everything about Sequoia has been a positive experience. Highly
recommend. 3/4/5 day options - all half day. The annual information meeting is in
Very happy Sequoia parent
All of my kids have loved Sequoia. My older kids remember it fondly and are actually
envious of my three-year-old who ''still gets to go there''. The long time teacher moved up
to director this year and is doing a fabulous job. The new teacher they hired is also
wonderful; she is so warm and caring. I have been very impressed with how well they have
worked together to make for a smooth start for our little ones.
Because it is a co-op, the community of families really comes together to support the
children and their learning. As for the location, it couldn't get any better than the
beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces at the Sequoia Lodge.
My son really loves going to school and I love that he has so many choices. I highly
Our family is at Sequoia Nursery School for our third child and we LOVE the school! I
recommend it unreservedly if you are looking for a play-based co-op experience. Renee the
director is devoted to the school and especially to the children, she has been a parenting
role model, caring teacher and a special person to know over the years! Joanna is our new
teacher and we can already see her talent with kids, dedication and energetic attitude
bringing so much to the school! The space is ample and woodsy with a trike area, outdoor
hillside and play structures and big open indoor space with a skylight. The parent workday
experience is so valuable---it's precious to spend time with preschoolers and be one of
their Parent-Teachers once a week.
Sequoia Nursery School's biggest asset is the wonderful teachers. Renee Bundy has been there
for more than 16 years: first as a parent, then as a teacher, and now this year as director.
Joanna Claassen is a new hire this year and I could not be happier with the board's choice.
She may be the kindest person I've ever met. Renee and Joanna come up with such great
activities for the kids and it is obvious that they both love their work and love children.
They are also really welcoming to parents and interested in hearing feedback.
Sequoia is known for its wonderful outdoor space: the school is in a clearing in the middle
of a wooded park full of Sequoia and redwood trees. The indoor space is nice, too: the
preschool is held in Sequoia Lodge, one really big room with lots of natural light. There's
plenty of room for the children to spread out so it feels like a calm, quiet atmosphere
despite being a play-based school.
Sequoia Nursery School is a co-op, which means that parents participate in running the
school. A parent from each family works one day a week at the school as a
parent-teacher/teacher's aide, and each family also has a family job that must be performed
outside of school hours. In addition, there are mandatory trainings, meetings, and one
maintenance day per year. There are also numerous volunteer opportunities that come up
throughout the year. So you have to want to be involved, and you have to become comfortable
with supervising and interacting with other people's children as well as your own.
Sequoia's school day is short: 9 am to 11:45 am. Children in their first year attend three
mornings per week, those in their second year attend four mornings per week (with the
possibility of a fifth). There is no after-care program or summer camp program, two things
that other similar schools offer and that I'd like to see offered at Sequoia. (However, we
do have the best parking situation of similar schools, which makes drop-off and pick-up
Current Sequoia Parent
Two of my children have gone to Sequoia. We love it for its beautiful space -- indoor and
out. The director, Renee, has been there for many years and she is not only a terrific
teacher for little ones, she's a great advisor for parents. Teacher Joanna is new this
year, and has brought fresh, engaging ideas and projects for the kids. My son has enjoyed
helping plant the garden, hammering nails into wood, and running around the playground with
a pretend jet-pack. The scooters and tricycles are a hit too. It's been fun to see him
learn through play and exploration. Sequoia is a wonderful community.
Happy Sequoia Parent
I just wanted to update the info on this lovely school. My daughter (age 3) has been
attending this school since September. It is a play-centric Co-op school. The parents doing
the co-op are amazing! They are obviously concerned for the well-being of all the children.
They are patient and sweet and help each child to communicate with their peers, share, and
take turns. Conflicts with the children are dealt with in an explorative and heart-felt way.
Each parent works once a week, with their child attending 3-4 days a week. The school hours
run from 9am to 11:45. The snacks are nutritious and varied. Children may play indoors or
outdoors at any point, as long as it's not raining. They offer all sorts of crafts and
learning activities daily, from homemade clay, painting, blocks, dress-up, puppets, tons of
crafts, sand play, and so much more. There is structured time and free time. They have two
circle times, where the kids learn to work as a cohesive group, singing songs and reading
books. Any child going here will be enriched. And any parent going will enjoy the company of
the other amazing and caring parents. The staff at Sequoia are the glue that keeps
everything going. This school has been going for over 40 years, if I remember correctly.
Obviously they're doing something right! Oh and I forgot to mention, the setting of being
right in the middle of the woods is magical. Can't ask for much more than that.
Re: Preschool with great outside space?
Sequoia Nursery School Co-op has the best outdoor space. Although not far
from Montclair village it feels as though you are in the middle of the
forest because you are surrounded by trees, flowers and all around beauty.
There is a trike area, general running around space, jungle gym, large
sandbox, wooden playhouse and often additional outdoor toys are brought
such as trucks, blocks, and easels. The inside is just a beautiful. It is a
co-op so a parent has to work there once a week but I find my ''work'' days
to be my days off because I am there just for the kids and can't do any of
my typical errands, etc.
I'm looking for recent feedback on the Sequoia Cooperative
We are a new Sequoia family. Our child started in the Fall of
2003. I knew immediately that this was the right choice for our
child! I was looking for a play based, part-time program where
the children have a lot of choice. I love that the kids can play
outdoors or indoors at will, that the snacks are nutritious and
varied, that the art projects are different each day, etc., but
most of all I am impressed with the teachers (very calm, firm,
caring) and the other families. When I leave my child in their
care, I do not worry. A coop requires a commitment of time on
your part, but it is so very worth it to me. I will try to send
my second child there when the time comes.
A happy mother
Re: Preschools with good playgrounds
We're currently at a school that is almost exactly what you describe; the Sequoia Nursery
School in Montclair. It has a huge outdoor area with playstructures and lots of room to run,
surrounded by trees and woods. Because it's a co-op, the adult/child ratio is so high that
there is never an opportunity for even our most energetic little ones to run off (and we have
them!) It's a play based program where kids can choose to be indoors, participating in art projects,
free play or other activities in a large indoor space, or outdoors. Unless it's raining, they generally
have the outside doors open. It is a co-op, and I'm not sure if that fits for you. Their website is
http://ccppns.org/sequoia/ if you'd like to learn more. We've absolutely loved it and recommend it highly
if you can work the co-op hours and participate.
May and November 2001
Can anyone offer thoughts on Sequoia Nursery School, a co-op in Oakland? I don't see a listing for them on the website, let alone any feedback. I'd also be interested in recent thoughts on MCPC in Montclair.
I have first hand experience as I am a graduate of Sequoia. I have nothing but fond memories, however as that was 26 years ago, the memories are a bit fuzzy!
I cannot speak highly enough about our experience at my
daughter's school, Sequoia Nursery School, in Montclair.
While it's not in the Elmwood, it's a pretty easy jaunt
up the 13. It's a co-op, so you work one day a week,
and it operates from 9:00 from 11:45. It operates in
the Sequoia Lodge on Mountain Boulevard, an amazing
wooded setting with terrific play structures, and a
beautiful indoor space that overlooks a forest. I
have been so impressed with how the staff works with,
and teaches parents to work with, the children. You
get to know other parents, you know your children's
friends, and you learn a lot as a parent while your
child is having a loving, wonderful, developmentally
appropriate, learning/play experience. Can you tell
I like it? Their number is (510) 531-8853.
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