Meher Elementary school

We are considering for K-5.  Would love to hear the good, bad and ugly about the school. How responsive is the administration to parent concerns? How attentive are they to kids who are below grade level? Do you feel like you are missing out on anything?  How is the parent community?  How was the transition to middle school?

We are currently at a public school where there is a lot of videos, worksheets.  Would love to find a school where there is more one-on-one attention.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  

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RE: Meher Elementary school ()

I have mixed feelings on the Meher School based on our experience with my son who started in K. Many of the children who went there also attended preschool so we felt like an outsider to start since we didn't attend preschool there. In addition we also didn't live in the area much like many of the families who attend so it felt like a commuter school in that respect. If you are both working parents it's wonderful for the schedule and childcare from that respect but you also don't have a sense of community because then you never see anyone. I'm a stay at home mom and was at the school frequently for pick up and drop off and I also felt a transient/lack of community. I also didn't think it helped that my son struggled there. My son has special needs (ADHD/anxiety) - we were forthright with his challenges from the very beginning. Over time the school didn't know how to "handle" him. Everyone on the staff seemed well intentioned but when he was doing impulsive behaviors they came down really hard on him and it was shaming. Many parents are very sensitive at the school and had a hard time understanding that not all kids are wired the same and that we are all learning and it takes some longer than others to emotionally regulate. The administration changed last year with the original principal stepping down after 40 years - I wonder what our experience would have been like with her still at the reigns. The new principals are very nice but they are green and my son's behavior made them anxious and a bit over-reactive. If you have a rule-following child without a lot of special needs - this is your place. If you think your child needs extra support in any way - this may not be your place. Like you, I chose this school because I knew my son didn't fit the regular mold of public school - he still doesn't. Hopefully you can connect with other parents and get more opinions. Sometimes you only learn by trial and error.  Good luck! 

RE: Meher Elementary school ()

I have two kids there now for kindergarten. We plan on keeping them there into elementary.  Here are the positives I see about the school:

It is small. Literally everyone there knows my kids by name. It is incredible. They love it. 

It is politically liberal. This is not always true in Lafayette, and we are a two-Mom family so we want our kids in a supportive environment. 

For Lafayette, it is diverse.  I regularly hear other languages being spoken by parents and kids during drop-off time.  There are also a lot of two-working-parent households, which is also not the norm in Lafayette. 

It is loving. My kids are showered with love, based in a deeper spiritual understanding. This is priceless to us. 

They have extensive childcare. There is beforecare from 7am onwards, and aftercare until 6:30. With the exception of 2-3 weeks a year, anytime the school is not in session there is childcare offered. My kids were there for spring break week this year and came home every day dirty from head to toe and utterly joyous. 

The drawbacks about the school that we have seen so far:

It is small. If your child doesn’t find friends in their class, there’s not another class to move to. 

They do not push reading skills. This is actually not a drawback for me, but I know it is for some people. They take more of a European approach to letting kids learn to read. This may mean your child reads later than other kids they know at other schools. It could also be an issue if you decide to transfer them out after K. 

I hope that helps. Good luck with your decision. 

RE: Meher Elementary school ()

We've had some Meher friends and graduates who go on to Middle School at The Saklan School in Moraga (PK-8).  They seemed to be well rounded and have had a great experience.  Saklan is worth also checking out too as there is a lot of one-on-one attention with incredible academics and project based learning with a strong social-emotional focus and an exceptional music and performing arts program. A wonderful community of teachers and families from all over east bay. Our three kids have thrived there. Feel free to msg me!

RE: Meher Elementary school ()

Both my daughter and son attended the Meher School. The teachers are very caring, the parents are nice and it is a very supportive community. The school has a good balance between academics and arts. I consider this important to nurturing creativity. For those concerned about the level academics my kids are both studying engineering now. The best part about the Meher School is that they teach good character. I have no regrets about sending my kids there and although they graduated long ago, they still go back to volunteer there.

RE: Meher Elementary school ()

We are new to Meher this year (moved from Chicago over the summer) and our neighborhood public school wasn't an option for us so when we started looking for other options, Meher stood out as a nice blend between Montessori and Waldorf principles. I have two kindergartners and one preschooler (age 3) and we are very happy with our experiences so far. For us, one of the biggest perks is the convenience factor. My three older children can be at one school and as soon as my little guy is 2.5, he can go too. For a family with 4 kids, this is a gold mine! And I like how my kinders see their little brother. They can check in on him and he feels good that his older siblings are there too.

Like previous posters - our experience has been a very loving, caring environment that is focused on nurturing the whole child. My kindergartners have also particularly enjoyed the arts and nature focus. They are outside all the time. They come home dirty (going on nature walks or working in the garden). And while there isn't an explicit academic focus on reading in kinder, I appreciate what my children are learning in terms of critical thinking skills and they did start reading mid-year.

The community is very small, but I haven't yet found a strong sense of community. Which is slightly disappointing as a new family who is looking for adult friends as well as friends for our children. I think it's partly because of their extended hours, which are amazing for a 2 parent working family, but the downside is that people come and go at various times so there isn't a lot of "passing in the halls". But I'm hopeful this will come in time.

While I don't have experience with the previous administration, I've appreciated the co-principals "newness" and willing to consider new approaches and seem to be very open to parental involvement. They are both very present in the kids lives, which to me demonstrates care for each and every student. To respond directly to the previous poster - my inclination is that they do lack support services (school counselors, support personnel, etc). Perhaps I'm wrong, but I did inquire about a school social worker/therapist at our parent teacher conference b/c I wanted to consult with someone with that professional expertise just to help support my kids in the transition to a new home. And they didn't have anyone for me to talk with.

I do wonder how my kids will transition from a small community like Meher where everyone knows your name to a larger public middle school (assuming that's what we do) and an even larger public high school. But I'm confident that Meher's attention to the individual's social/emotional well-being will serve my children well in a variety of settings.