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Q&A about K-12 Private Schools

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > K-12 Schools > Q&A about K-12 Private Schools

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Gathering Info about Private Schools

From: Linda (2/99)

Re gathering info about schools: For private schools, write or call the admissions office. Beginning in the fall, there are two types of programs - "tours" and "open houses." The open houses are large meetings for all parents who might be interested in the school. There's a presentation, some opportunity for questions. It's held at the school. "Tours" are daytime tours of the school, while kids are in class. You go with small groups of other parents. You can ask lots of questions and pick up any literature you don't already have, plus the application packet. You see the premises, the teachers, and the kids in action. After a while, I skipped all the open houses and saved a lot of time. I learned all I needed at tours. I also checked out a few schools I knew I wouldn't commute to, just because they were reputedly "good" or had a certain philosophy and I wanted to have a basis for comparison. Most schools also have lists of parents you can call. One piece of advice: when looking for kindergarten, think of the type of school best for YOUR child, and think of the years beyond K. How far does the school go gradewise, will this be a good third-grade place for your child, etc.

On October 5th, Tuesday 7-9pm there will be a K-8 admissions Fair for East Bay, more than 30 private schools will be there. It is at the Scottish Rite Temple, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland. Maybe that will be of help. Both my daughters go to private schools, one in in 6th grade and goes to a Catholic School and the other is in 3rd grade (she likes small classroom and she is a year ahead, she is only 7 years old). I am satisfied with both schools, they offer what my children need at this specific period in their lives. I explored about 15 different schools and started by calling them and getting info in the mail. By reading materials, I was able to choose 15 schools of which some did not do because of high fees, some because of distance from my home, some because I did not like their curriculum. In the end, I visited about five schools and I apply in 3 schools and go on with the testing of my children. As for the SAT scores, if you look at the individual web pages of schools, some of them will post their results, some will not. Usually, the schools that are accredited will provide information on their Stanford testing and they will give some statistics as well. If you want I can give you info in particular schools, if you email me.

Finding a school mid-year for daughter who was suspended

Feb 2004

My duaghter has been suspended from her middle school and the school district will not place her in another school in the district. She has been placed in an alternative school called Diablo Day School. We have heard that this school is for students with sever problems and my daughter does not fit that category. Since it is late in the year, we are having a hard time find an Independent school that will accept her. Any advice on schools that will be willing to take her, or other options?
Running Out of Options

To the parent of the middle school girl who was suspended and can't attend another school in her district -- You don't mention where you live, but you might try North Bay Orinda School (it's across the street from the old JFK University campus).
Dear Running Out of Options...

There are always more options! Some, however, may require thinking outside of the box and beyond the obvious. Any suggestions that I would have would depend on having more details about your daughter's situation.

What happened to create this situation? Was she just suspended (as your posting states) or actually expelled from the district? What district do you live in? How far are you willing to commute? How much can you afford? Are you open to boarding school or homeschool options? What are your daughter's needs and interests?

Quickly, there are two middle schools in the East Bay that are often a bit more flexible in taking in new students. I can not say that they have space right now, but they would be worth checking out...Community School of the East Bay and East Bay School for Music and the Arts. Both are small independent middle schools.

Should you require further information about alternative programs, please be in touch.


Children's Learning Center in Alameda is a private school that handles kids with a variety of issues. They have two sites: elementary and a combined middle/high school. Talk to Gus Psara, the director, at 769-7100, about whether it's a good match for your daughter and whether they have any openings now. Good luck. Nancy
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