Cedar Creek Montessori in Berkeley

Hi All! We are seriously considering Cedar Creek Montessori for our nearly three year old next fall. We don't have a spot guaranteed yet, but I understand the turnaround for decision-making when a spot becomes available is tight. I would love to hear from current or recent parents about their experiences. Thanks in advance!

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Our two children both attended Cedar Creek and we have so many fond memories of it.  The staff is what makes the school so special.  To a person the teachersl are warm, engaged and focused on the kids.  They come to know each child--their likes, dislikes, fears, etc.  Prima, the owner of Cedar Creek, sets the tone for the school.  I still see her from time to time, and every time I am lucky enough to chat with her, I am struck with what a warm and comforting presence she brings to every situation. While I'm not an expert on Montessori pedagogy, my understanding is that Cedar Creek maintains traditional but not strict Montessori standards.  During their "work time," the kids are able to select from various Montessori projects.  Each project is fun, educational and can be used at a variety of ages.  A 2 year old and a 5 year old can each get a lot out of the same project.  When a kid is finished, they must put the project away in its place.  Each day opens and closes with circles when kids get a chance to share stories.  The evening circle includes "tea time," where kids serve each other tea.  The kids do gardening, art, outside games, and dancing apart from the Montessori activities.  If you have visited the school, you can see that the facilities are not fancy.  I was initially concerned about that, but my kids certainly didn't care.  The classrooms may be a bit old but they are clean which is the most important thing when you are dealing with preschoolers!  All in all, my kids learned a lot about getting along with other children and working independently and loved each day at Cedar Creek. While academics were not pushed whatsoever, kids who were interested were guided in letters and numbers and my kids arrived in kindergarten prepared both academically and socially.   I highly recommend!