Pear Tree Community School- Recent Experiences?

Hi Folks,

I'm looking for any insight on Pear Tree Community Schools. I'm thinking about it for TK and the reviews on BPN are a few years old. Specifically, I'm interested in learning more about the curriculum and rigor. It seems like a great place in terms of its social justice orientation and in giving kids a sense of self and community, but is it an academically strong/rigorous place? Any insight you could offer would be appreciated. Thank you!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Our kiddo is currently at Pear Tree (we commute there from Berkeley) and we absolutely LOVE it. It has been such an amazing, affirming and nurturing environment for him and for us as a family. I find it extremely academically rigorous (my kiddo is now in 4th grade and is doing middle school math and voraciously reading middle grade novels). The bigger kids do buddy pairing with the littles in TK and help them with reading and role-modeling in general, in addition to the 2-3 teachers per classroom. Love the community, the social justice orientation, and the rigor of this school -- can't say enough good things about it! 

We have been at Pear Tree Community School for 5 years, I have 2 children, one is a 1st grader and the other is a 4th grader.

What we love:

  1. Montessori curriculum: the kids are allowed to explore what interests them and drive their own learning using hands-on materials. They understand concepts on a fundamental level before moving on to a more traditional format in the upper grades. Both of our kids have a love for reading and are excelling in math. They frequently teach me things about zoology and ancient civilizations.
  2. Social justice: history and social studies from a pre-colonial and ancient civilizations perspective along with exposure to modern social justice movements and activism. This is also tied into their social-emotional learning which is phenomenal. The teachers and staff really “see” each child and support them in developing healthy relationships with their peers (and the rest of the world).
  3. Small class sizes: each class has a lead teacher and an assistant teacher or aide for about 18-20 students per class.
  4. Enrichments: amazing instruction in dance, capoeira, world music, hiphop, and environmental and climate science (and resilience). Many of the parents want to join in because they are so dope!
  5. The community!

Keeping it real – it is a newer school and there have been/will be some growing pains. We have had to move campuses, the administrative organization/communication is not what some may be used to at other elite private schools, and while there is financial aid PT doesn’t have an endowment (yet!).

Overall, PTCS has been the best choice for our family. Our kids are learning and thriving, and love going to school (they get upset if I pick them up “too early” from aftercare). We feel so lucky to have found pear tree!