Independent school kid moving to BUSD middle school?

I’m curious if anyone has thoughts and experiences with a child leaving an independent school, by choice, for a Berkeley public middle school. King or Longfellow? What kind of experience have you had? Why did you leave and did you find what you’re looking for?


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Hi! We are a bit of the opposite of you, since my boys (7th & 9th grade) went to Malcolm X for elementary (enjoyed it) and then started Berkeley Independent Studies for middle school -my 9th grader is still in Independent studies- but just thought I would give u my Longfellow impression since they both do/did just band and jazz band at Longfellow in addition to BIS. We have enjoyed the Longfellow community in our smaller interactions (concerts, "caring elders day" ...) It is smaller than the other schools, feels like a neighborhood school. I know one family who left King for Longfellow after 6th grade as King is quite big and can be overwhelming, especially if one is coming from an Independent situation. Longfellow has Spanish immersion and extra music classes. King has a great garden, so it also might depend on your child's interests. Can you do the tours of both? I am not sure if the info nights have happened yet but you could call the schools and try to tour both and feel it out. Good luck!

My older two kids went to King. It is big and has more of a 'rich kids' feel. My youngest went to Longfellow. Longfellow had an AMAZING caring community, smaller, great counsellors and great teachers.

Not your situation, but since you did not get many replies I will chime in with our experience as parents of a current 8th grader at Longfellow. It is an amazing school. They have a robust counseling staff and a big emphasis on inclusive, community-building programming.  The teachers are excellent and caring, the community of families is warm and welcoming.  We would have been zoned for King but opted into Longfellow because of King's size and other things we had heard related to the size.   We have always been very happy with our choice and our child honestly had a wonderful, happy middle school experience.