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Northern Light School (Oakland, CA)

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > K-12 Schools > Northern Light School (Oakland, CA)


Informtion about the Preschool
Feb 2013

I am looking for feedback on Northern Light School in Oakland? I did a school tour and was very impressed with the Philosophy and Mission of the school but there is very little current feedback on the internet from Parents. Most comments are out dated. Please advise if you have any information on the current curriculum. Thank you, Interested parent Looking for a good school


Both our children have been at Northern Light School (NLS) and I consider it an extraordinary hidden gem of a school, worth commuting to from Berkeley. Here's some of what we so like and respect about it:

1) For my child who has already graduated from NLS, every High school we applied to said that they love Northern Light kids because they are so well prepared. This was true for both my child with learning disabilities and my very gifted child.

2) There is an immediate sense of community warmth and happiness when you walk in through the front door. Students of all ages tend to look me in the eye and greet me, even as ''just'' a visiting parent. The emphasis on growing world citizens is reflected in the United Nations flags and portraits of world peace/ sports/ community leaders that line the walls.

3) There is an amazing sense of community. Every day the whole school starts out in circle time together to celebrate birthdays, sing, for announcements. Sometimes they put on music and everyone gets up to skip in a huge circle together for 5 minutes.

4) At the monthly ''Impossible Is Nothing'' lunch series for the 7th and 8th graders, prominent business, sports, arts, community, and government leaders sit down with these kids to have lunch together and tell the youngsters the story of their lives and how they got to be so successful. Such visitors have included Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Jason Kidd, the CEO of Bank of America, a California State Supreme Court Justice, an inspiring Ethiopian restruant owner who escaped persecution in her country, etc.

5) The school puts a great deal of effort into helping every graduating 8th grader find the right high school for them. All go on to top notch private or public schools. Then every 8th grade graduate is considered to belong to the Northern Light School family through high school, college, graduate school, and into their working life with annual Alumni reunions.

6) Our family has found the richness of the diversity to be a huge gift. My children have both felt warmly welcomed, included, and celebrated for who they are. One of my children has been miserable in numerous other schools and finally, at NLS, has found a school where she feels at home.

7) The cost is much less than that of most other private schools.

I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please ask the Moderator for my contact info. Delighted Northern Light School Mom


March 2008

Re: Bernice and Joe's Playschool
I can't comment on Bernice and Joe's, but if you are looking for preschools in that area, you might want to check out Northern Light School. http://www.northernlightschool.com They are just north of 580 very close to the zoo. They have a great Montessori preschool program that my son happily attended in 2004/2005. Good luck in your search . . .


August 2005

Can anyone give me any information on Northern Light school in Oakland. I would like to hear from parents who have children in the school now and also parents of children who graduated and are now in high school. What did you think of their program and are the kids doing well in high school after attending NLS. Thanks

[no replies received]


May 2005

Can anyone provide any information about Northern Light Montessori? I'd like to know if parents have been pleased with their academic program, social activities, etc.? I didn't see anything in the archives. Thanks!


When I found Northern Lights staff released a child to some stranger (check out the substantiated complaint at licensing) I pulled my child out immediately. I should have seen this coming as the amount of kids they have would lead to something like this. My other concern was the turnover of staff. In the brief time my child was there (6 months), I saw at least 25% of the staff leave. In fact, towards the end, I had trouble remembering the names of staff working there. A Smarter but Wiser Parent
Oct 2003

Re: Racially Diverse Private Schools

Sorry, I don't know anything about schools near Hercules. But since your post indicate you are looking at private schools in Oakland as well, I'd like to mention a couple that have and highly value racial diversity. Northern Light, a much smaller school [than Park Day School], is similar in its values and the only private school I've seen whose students are almost entirely non-Caucasian. Hope the info is helpful, and good luck in your search. School Mom


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