Looking for a preschool in Berkeley prioritizing diversity


My family and I are moving back to Berkeley and I'm a little overwhelmed with preschool options. I'm looking at schools that prioritize diversity with students and support it with a culturally competent curriculum. (that has good structure, not just free play) Also, I really want  a preschool that has diversity amongst its teachers. Any recommendations? 

Thank you!

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Step One School in Berkeley has a diverse community.  They stress inclusion and compassion, no matter what type of household you come from.  I've found the staff, teacher and parents to be open minded and supportive, and their own staff reflect a diversity of gender, ethnicity and age.  Fortunately, I think you'll be able to find many preschools in Berkeley that value and promote diversity.  Time to begin touring school!  :D

New House Day School on Hopkins is great in this respect, and in pretty much every respect. Mabel Perez, the director, can answer any questions you have about how they manifest and teach diversity. You can tour the school with your child and see how it feels to you both. We love it and miss it (2cd and K now).

Both of my children went to preschools of Berkeley USD. There are 3 of them (King, Franklin, Hopkins). They are both affordable, diverse, sensitive and attentive. Because they are part of the USD, they know and carry responsibility to prepare children for the Berkeley USD schools. Actually they are called CDC-childhood development center- for some legal reason...

DEFINITELY check into The Berkeley School Early Childhood Center on Francisco. Not only do they have a commitment to diversity, their program is founded in civic engagement. https://www.theberkeleyschool.org/about/

New School and St John’s both in Berkeley- we have experience with both. Prob others too. 

They might be full or running a wait list, but if you are North Berkeley you should look at The Good Earth School in Kensington. http://thegoodearthschool.com/  It is extremely diverse, not just in terms of the teachers, director, and students- but as a priority of the curriculum. For example- right now they are doing unit on Women's History, and my daughter comes home and tells me about Mae Jemison (the astronaut), Selena (the Tejano singer), Coretta Scott King, and Malala Yousafzai (among others). It's located on the grounds of the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Church but is not affiliated with the church. It's outdoor (as much as possible), nature-based- so my kids are out on hikes everyday and learning about their world. Plus, they include a healthy vegetarian lunch everyday, eating stuff like dal, tacos, and pasta and veggies. Most of the families are from Kensington, North Berkeley and El Cerrito.

It has been awhile, but Rockridge Montessori was a good fit for my bi-racial grandchildren.  They are now at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland which is very diverse and has such a good school culture.

My son went to Step One (he is now in Kindergarten) and for us it was such a wonderful experience. The staff is diverse and every single teacher prioritizes diversity, cultural competency, and the gender spectrum. There is solid emergent curriculum planning around many topics of diversity and inclusion. And my son, who is an extremely shy mixed Asian race boy, completely bonded with his teacher of color - she is to this day his favorite teacher. Each child is taught “love is love” as well as the meaning of equality, equity, and justice. If you’re moving back, I’d definitely look into Step One! 

We absolutely love Step One School in Berkeley!! Our family is mixed race and we feel so happy about the diversity our kids get from both the students and staff. We love that our kids have had men, women and all different races and religions surrounding them. They even have a few Spanish speaking teachers and our kids have learned some basic  Spanish. Step One is structured, but a play based preschool. They have a curriculum, but the kids  often steer where that might go. We are finishing our 5 and final year there in Aug. I can’t imagine not having Step one in our lives. It trully is a magical place! We have recommended it to many friends and family.  Good luck and feel free to ask my any other questions you might have!

Sounds like you are talking about Monteverde school in Berkeley. Its where my youngest goes in the Elmwood district. It’s a super diverse school and practices a non-bias curriculum. It’s also a lovely space with lots of art and creativity. Check it out :)