|Berkeley Parents Network|
|Home||Members||Post a Msg||Reviews||Advice||Subscribe||Help/FAQ||What's New|
editor note: Before 2009, Tilden Preparatory School was known as the School for Independent Learners
Re: Highly gifted ADHD student - which high school?
My daughter attends Tilden Prep. Like your child, she's very bright but also has ADHD. Academically Tilden has been a great fit. The pace is flexible, redundant assignments are avoided. She loves literature and has a lot of choice about the books she reads. The best thing about Tilden is the teachers, they are very smart and knowledgeable. She feels like she is treated like an intellectual equal when having discussions with them. She gets detailed editing and feedback on essays to improve her writing, that wouldn't be possible if a teacher had to edit 30 students' assignments. There is minimal social interaction among students. There are some clubs that meet at lunch time (book club, anime, gaming) and organized community service events. My daughter feels like there are basically two groups of kids, those who are really smart and don't fit in at 'normal' schools and kids who had to leave their schools for drug or other types of violations, but that doesn't have to change the flavor of the positive aspects unless you want it too (those are mostly her words). The flexible schedule is great, she has a whole day a week with no classes to pursue other interests, music ensemble and other hobbies. Overall it's a good fit for an introvert who is comfortable with adults, because the primary interactions are with the instructors in one-on-one class sessions. We are overall quite happy with the support she is getting around her learning differences too. Satisfied Tilden Parent
Our oldest child attended Tilden for one year, getting individual instruction from teachers. The directors are both knowledgeable in the education field, and we found the teachers to mostly be good. They are well-prepared in the topics they teach but they are not necessarily trained as teachers. The school seems to work well for students who are motivated and are able to get work done independently. It also allows students who are struggling with a subject to go at a slower pace. Because the classes are one-on-one it can get expensive.
Our younger child attends the new Mentoring Academy. The students take a mix of Mentoring classes and on-line classes. The classes are accredited and meet UC requirements. A wide range of classes is available and students who are ready for more challenging classes take college-level classes. They are at school from 9-5:30, working on their classes, getting individual tutoring, or working with other students on projects. They also participate in various social events. They complete all their work at school and don't have homework. Our child attended a private high school for two years and was a good student, but somewhat bored. At Mentoring he is taking classes that really interest him. The director, John Muster, is a gifted educator. He was well-respected by parents and students as the head of Maybeck High School. He has an amazing rapport with the students. At Mentoring he works closely with the students to make sure that they get the right classes and are actively engaged in their own educations. Mentoring Academy is new and still very small, but I imagine it will grow quickly as the word gets out, and there are plans to add art and other classes. It has been exciting to see our son so engaged in his classes. Even though he does not have homework he sometimes works at home because he is so interested in what he is doing. A Berkeley Parent
My husband and I are so happy to have found Tilden Preparatory School (on Solano Ave. in Albany) that we wanted other parents to be aware of this wonderful alternative to more traditional schools. After several years of bad experiences with public and private schools, my son (8th grade) had developed anxieties around attending school. The staff at Tilden were very willing to work with us to meet my son's specific needs and were very patient, understanding and caring in working with us through difficult times. The teachers we have had are uniformly excellent, but if, for whatever reason, we needed a change, the staff are always accommodating and flexible. I have never seen such responsiveness to student/parent needs in a school (and we've been through several!). It also is very well-run administratively; everything runs smoothly. One-on-one teaching is available, or teaching in small groups, and electives (such as digital photography) are available. And it is accredited. I wish I had been aware of Tilden sooner! Nancy in Berkeley
My son has attended Tilden Prep since Sept 2011, and it's the best fit for him EVER, after years of searching for the right place.
After resource help in grade school, extensive evaluations at Children's Health Center (Palo Alto), the help of a number of therapists, and a very rocky time in public school up to 6th grade, I sought the help of ed consultant Molly Baron, who recommended Forest Heights Lodge (Colorado), a residential treatment center that was excellent, except for the fact of my son being so far from home. Next, he went to two other boarding schools that experts said were suited to his diagnosis, and then to The Sterne School (San Francisco), where after one year the director referred us Tilden Preparatory School, or Tilden Prep. Tilden Prep has two campuses, one in Albany and one in Walnut Creek. We started at the Albany location, and I cannot say enough good things about it.
After my long struggle to find the best (or even an acceptable) fit for my son's complicated and hard-to-define learning issues, I can say that Tilden is the first place he has thrived. The one-on-one nature of classes seems very right for him (his diagnosis was originally ADHD with executive function impairment, depression, anxiety and easy distractability (making a classroom setting with even 5 others, as at Sterne, impossible for him). A recent expert called it ''the ABC diagnosis: a little of everything.''
Now, I get encouraging reports from his Tilden teachers (via the Tilden online quick-report daily comment site). I see his depression/anxiety waning. I see him telling me about his work at school. He is offering positive comments about his teachers (a first for years, after slowly coming to like some of his teachers at Forest Heights Lodge). This is the first time I see him actually learning at school, and liking it enough to tell me ''school is important'' the other day.
More about Tilden:
-- The two directors of Tilden Prep have wonderful credentials, and it shows. They far exceed what I saw at most of the 20+ other schools I visited. They are a delight to work with.
-- Most importantly, Tilden has hired teachers who are very impressive in terms of (1) what my son is learning (2) all their skills in engaging him, and (3) their ability to understand very quickly what his academic strengths and weaknesses are, and work from there.
-- Tilden's model of self-paced learning (i.e., not moving on until mastery of the work is achieved) is a blessing in creating confidence in my son, for the first time.
-- The flexibility of schedule is very helpful because of a long commute.
-- My son's learning disabilities do not show (as with Down syndrome) so he was very unhappy to be at ''special'' schools where many of the other kids had visually recognizable disabilities. He kept telling me these schools were not right for him, reducing his motivation to do his best. Esp now, I agree. At Tilden, he is at a ''regular'' school.
-- Tilden of course enrolls students of all kinds (high achievers, those with temp disabilities like illness, those with time constraints), for whom the teachers I have encountered would also be superb.
-- Tilden is like having the very best 1:1 tutor for each subject, meeting the student wherever he is right now, and taking that student as far as individually possible.
Parent of a Tilden Prep Student
Re: High school that accommodates ADHD student
Hi - I would add Tilden Preparatory School to your list. My son has AD/HD and attended there last semester when he was overwhelmed at his highly academic/competitive public school. It is a wonderful supportive environment for all types of students and tries to help kids learn organizational skills without penalizing them for executive functioning weaknesses. The teaching is usually one-on-one or sometimes small groups. Kids get to focus on the course content without getting overwhelmed by the busy work that some high schools require. Grateful mom
My daughter is 14 and started at Berkeley High in the IB program this year. In the past, she loved school, but it's gotten increasingly more difficult socially over the years. She excels in school academically (this is a kid who read The Hobbit in first grade) but is bothered by the general attitude of most of the students and teachers who don't care about actually learning. She is also suffering under a huge load of busywork. We're looking into alternate options, especially Maybeck, for next year. Is there anyone who has transferred their child from BIHS to Maybeck?
Re: Summer Physics for high schooler?
I highly recommend Tilden Prep on Solano Ave in Albany. http://www.tildenprep.com/ 510-525-5506 The school offers excellent college prep classes taught by engaging teachers who know their subjects well. The course can begin at any time and the student works at his own pace. Our son completed his AP Chemistry class there during the summer - a very challenging course - and had a great experience. He is now finishing his senior year and has been accepted to the four colleges he has applied to. Mom
Our 15 year old son is shy and often not willing to speak with people he doesn't know. But even he knows that he needs help with his French and Chemistry classes and has asked for help. He is smart and funny, but needs coaxing. The younger (and cooler) the tutor the better. He will need drawing out. Do you have someone you can recommend?
My son attended the School for Independent Learners (now named Tilden Prep) during the summer of 2008. He is a student at Berkeley High School and had been ill (with Mono) his junior year. He had fallen behind and need to make up 2 classes, Chemistry and Math Analysis (pre-Calc). It was very important for him to complete these classes prior to his senior year and college application. The School for Independent Learners, located on Solano Ave in Albany was a wonderful experience for my son. He took both classes with a teacher one on one. He learned the material and was able to complete the classes at his own pace. My experience as a parent was very positive as well. Daily progress reports were posted and my phone calls were always returned the same day. I would recommend this school for students that want to make up work, complete classes over the summer for any reason, or want to work at their own pace. kmbw
Re: Considering alternatives to public high school
My son, too, struggled with similar problems-- wasn't engaged with his high school classes, spent way too much time on the computer playing video games, and was not very social. He also struggled with anxiety. I took him out of his too large and too hectic high school and he is doing much better at the School for Independent Learners in Albany. The directors, Shary and Karen, are fantastic, and so are the teachers. I wish I'd known about this school when my son first began high school. It is wonderful to see him excited about learning. Grateful mom
I would like to hear from anyone who has experience with the full time program at the School for Independent Learners in the East Bay (Albany). I have a 15 year old (10th grade) son who has struggled in school since 7th grade. He is very bright, but does not seem to do well in traditional public school environments. He is currently attending a small public charter school but I am looking for an alternative before it is too late for him to qualify for entrance to a 4-year college. looking for an alternative
SIL is a great alternative to traditional education in that it is truly self-paced, works with the whole child, and works to meet each child's individual needs. If your teen is bored, unmotivated, anxious, struggling, interested in things other kids aren't, I believe SIL can work with your child. Teens with special learning needs, emotional needs, or differences do well at SIL as well as kids who find school boring, slow, who are not interested in the social scene at their school (perhaps put off by the party-drug scene, or who are pursuing a time-consuming interest or sport. My daughter who is bright but was undermotivated found the high-powered High School she attended was not a great match for her needs. No more wasted time, no more repetitive homework assignment, and teachers who take the time to know your teen as a person. We have found the teacher's at SIL are not only warm and inspiring but they show a deep respect for who our daughter is.
Some kids at SIL just repeat a class they received a failing grade in, or take an advanced placement class not offered at their school, or receive tutoring or SAT preparation. Others take several classes or do a full load. If your child is not getting what they need or deserve at their present school, I would highly recommend calling The School For Independent Learners. Happy Parent
|Home | Post a Message | Subscribe | Help | Search | Contact Us|