Feedback on Sylvia Mendez

My child has been at EBI for preschool and was admitted to Sylvia Mendez for kindergarten and we are trying to decide whether to make the switch. We'd love to support our local public schools and of course the burden of private school tuition is a factor is our decision, but we were counting on being able to visit a Sylvia Mendez kindergarten classroom before deciding. Now with the schools closed, that's not an option. Are there any current parents who can share their experiences? How is the aftercare? I'd be especially interested to hear from any former EBI parents who made the switch but any current feedback on Sylvia Mendez, especially in the lower grades, would be greatly appreciated!

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RE: Feedback on Sylvia Mendez ()

Sylvia Mendez community is the strongest we have found in Berkeley - and the TK and K teachers are good. Property is OK, convenient enough, and the facilities are, well, public school quality, so, good enough. School leadership including the principal and admin is especially strong, and the PTA is well-organized and funded. The after school programs are subpar, but they try with what they have available, and that is generally the case district-wide we hear - both Learns and Bears. Unique challenges to Sylvia Mendez are of course its greatest strengths, a diverse community with varying needs. As with any public school, tremendous resources are spent on the most needy - occasionally at the expense of least needy - but it is managed fairly at times. You won't avoid Berkeley politics here, they often seem especially acute at Sylvia Mendez, so embrace it - a great public school experience. Our child has grown dramatically for her socio-emotional intelligence, maintained her Spanish (bilingual house), and hasn't fallen too far behind on academic measures. I'd recommend with reservations noted above.

RE: Feedback on Sylvia Mendez ()

Our daughter went to EBI for three years of pre-school and then moved to LeConte (Sylvia Mendez) for kindergarten. We liked the community at EBI but have loved SM...Our daughter is in 4th grade and she's had some fantastic and some so-so teachers (all the kindergarten teachers seem amazing), but she's thrived there. The families are really committed to the school, the PTA is impressive and the principal is very dynamic. The after school program for kindergartners is mostly letting them run around, but in later grades there's time to do home work and some academic enrichment and the opportunity to do some really fun activities that cost extra, like circus arts, chess, etc.