2019 Growing Light thoughts?

Hi there --
We just toured Growing Light and are thinking about enrolling our 3.5 year-old son (in Laura's class). We like how it seems to be a good mix of structured and unstructured time -- and love that they make regular trips to Blake Gardens. Sounds like there have been some transitions recently though -- changes in leadership and some turnover? Would love to hear from current parents about the school's plusses and minuses. We will treat your to a beer at Circus Pub in exchange for insight 😊. Thanks so much!

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RE: 2019 Growing Light thoughts? ()

If you are referring to Growing Light in Oakland, I can say that our daughter had a fantastic experience there. She graduated 6 years ago, so the information may not be current.

The staff and teachers were warm, lots of nice families. When she entered Kindergarten at one of the strong academic private schools, she was ready in every way.

We highly recommend it.

RE: 2019 Growing Light thoughts? ()

We did not have a good experience at Growing Light.  Our family felt like we were being discriminated against and our son was targeted and labeled as a “behavior issue.”  The school went as far as to suggests that we get our son assessed right before we left in January, which we did professionally, and absolutely no red flags came up.  We were being called almost every day to pick up early during the fall because our child was such an “issue.”  He was only defiant, no physically aggression was displayed.  We had a teacher at back to school night tell my husband and I that “we sure did pack nutritious lunches for him, I worked at First 5 and I’ve never seen a family like yours pack anything but junk.”  My husband is black and the teacher was basically implying that because of his race and perceived socioeconomic status that we were (as a family) incapable of providing good quality meal for our son.  When we informed the school in Dec/Jan we would not be returning and mentioned all these incidents (just one listed here), they agreed that our son was targeted and gave us back our “non-refundable” deposit and a month’s tuition.  He switched to a new preschool and we have not had any problems to date.  None at all.  If I was a parent enrolling in a school I would want to know this information.

RE: 2019 Growing Light thoughts? ()

I'm surprised to read the anonymous reply below. We have been at Growing Light in Kensington for one year (our daughter is just finishing up in the Bonsai room, the 2-3 year old class) and it has been a great experience. She had attended a Montessori style daycare and we appreciate the self-directed learning with a good amount of oversight from the teachers. I have been impressed with all the teachers, their attention to the kids and commitment to all aspects of development (social, physical and academic). The teacher communication is strong and they are committed to working jointly with the parents to solve any problems they see. I really appreciated the regular conferences, newsletters, updates and social events.

There has been some turnover recently, but no more than I might expect at any preschool. The school is always good about proactively messaging upcoming changes and allowing the kids to understand what is going on. Obviously, your choice will be driven by your child’s personality and your family’s needs, but Growing Light has been a great fit for us. Happy to chat more (at the Circus Pub) if you like!