Mills College Children’s School for K-5 (not preschool)

Hello families,

We are very interested in Mills College Children’s School starting in K but have some specific questions. 

  • How rigorous are the academics? Are advanced kids supported/challenged?
  • Is there attrition? Are kids leaving before 5th grade? If so, why?
  • For kids who go through 5th grade, where do they typically go to middle school?
  • We are attracted to the lab school concept, but are there any negatives that we’re not considering?
  • Does the school feel financially stable?
  • Any other general impressions?

Thank you!

Parent Replies

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My daughter has been at Mills since preschool and is now in the 3rd grade. We have been VERY happy there and I would highly recommend this program. I am an educator myself and have a keen eye toward curriculum and I feel confident in Mills. They have strong academics and social emotional teachings. The community is diverse, welcoming, and close knit. My husband and I have been nothing short of satisfied. Each classroom teacher we have ever had has been excellent. The admin team is wonderful.

As to your questions: 

There was a time when the 5th grade class shrunk and the students left the program but in our years there this has changed and now, the kids are largely staying through 5th. I think many parents believed that it was too difficult to get accepted to middle school so this was a way to solidify a placement. Now, the student population has grown and remains stable, it seems.

Our experience has been that the kids matriculate to different middle schools around the area--some continue in independent and others move to public. 

The lab school has been great. They are current on ed practices and there are many hands on deck. 

As far as we know the school is financially stable. We have only seen it grow since being there. 

Like I said above, I highly recommend this school. Best of luck in your decision! 


As another MCCS parent, I concur with the March 13th respondent. My son has been there since kindergarten and is now in 2nd grade. We feel so lucky to be at Mills. The school provides a good balance between academics, social/emotional, and arts/exploration-based learning. We were particularly drawn to the serene and green setting, the diversity - not just of the kids, but of the leadership/teachers, the welcoming of all types of families (including single parents, LGBTQ, multi-racial, various economic backgrounds, etc.), and the peaceful quality of the the small classes.

I was at first concerned about the laboratory school and student teachers in the classroom, but that aspect has been nothing short of fantastic for my child. To have skilled, committed teachers, who get support from a younger teacher-in-training, who is totally dedicated to the art and skill of teaching in the classroom, is such a gift. I wish every child could experience the education that MCCS provides - it is a treasure.

The school seems solid financially, and it seems the 4/5 class is growing...