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My husband and I have had our hearts set on moving back to the Berkeley area for a few years now, so last year and this year we returned to Berkeley a few times to do a bunch of school tours in the East Bay since our son is starting Kindergarten in the Fall. We really liked some of the charter schools in Oakland and Alameda, fell head over heels in love with Walden and Berkwood Hedge in Berkeley (and applied there), and were pleased to feel happy with the Berkeley and Alameda public school options. Suddenly, though, my husband has been offered an amazing job at Google. We are in a whirlwind about this as it's happened so fast. Of course we considered commuting from the East Bay to Google, but everything we have read on the BPN or heard from friends has discouraged us from making this commute. I am in the dissertation stage of my PhD and am flexible to move anywhere, so we are seriously thinking about moving closer to Google. But now we are totally confused about schools! We did months of research and visits for our return to the East Bay, and don't even know how to begin to think about the huge number of options we would have on the Peninsula. Do you have any advice about how to start?
Let's say we zeroed in on Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Saratoga. It seems enormously expensive to live there, so I think we'd have to consider public schools. Are there good progressive charter schools on the Peninsula? If we moved further north up the Peninsula would we have better opportunities for progressive education? What about the public schools - is there a commitment to smaller class sizes? We would be grateful for any advice you can give us about this! Excited about the possibilities
My family needs to relocate to the San Jose area. We currently live in and LOVE Alameda. Does anyone know of good schools (Kindergarten) and childcare (2yr) in the San Jose area? Once we figure that out, we will find a place to live. Thank you!! JCH
We are contemplating a move to Palo Alto, but our oldest son, who will be starting kindergarden in the Fall of 2013 might need a more non-standard learning environment than the average kid. Here in Berkeley, the kind of place at which we think he would thrive is the Berkeley school, or Black Pine Circle, for example. Does anyone know whether there are schools on the Peninsula that have a similar style or philosophy? To describe our kid briefly, he is very creative, very bright, curious - but not the most focused, and has a fine motor delay which might present an issue when first starting school. Any advice would be very much appreciated. nervous about move
We researched and searched for several years to find a school that fit our child's needs and learning style. We did find them in the East Bay but not in Palo Alto where we lived or on the Peninsula.
Really you have to understand that because of the wealth in so many cities, including Palo Alto, on the Peninsula, those rich cities have great school districts and there really isn't a need for alternatives.
Affluent parents just pay for tutors so their kids 'fit' in at school. Or they send their kids to private schools in San Francisco, boarding schools back East, or they move away like we did.
That said the only school that I know of that might fit the bill for you is The Neuva School which is for gifted kids and is very innovative. I don't have any personal experience with it, but heard great things about it.
You should also look into the Parents Club of Palo Alto and Menlo Park and tap into their resources for more up to date info.
Good Luck. Former Peninsula Mom
If you are considering moving into an area in or near San Leandro, you might consider the San Lorenzo school district as Arroyo High School has an excellent Health and Medicine Academy for 9-12th graders. My daughter has been in it since the inception, and loves it. They have several other academies, but this one is a pilot program and has won many awards plus caught the attention of educators in Sacto and other states. She is a junior and will have an opportunity to job shadow in a medical environment, plus they have a board of licensed health and medicine practitioners who contribute and oversee curriculum. The parent group is strong and supportive, and the kids have hands-on opps rarely seen in h.s. settings. Good luck! candy
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