Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day?

Hi, 

I am deciding between EBI, Park Day and Redwood Day for my soon-to-be Kindergartener.  For background, my son's dominant language is Spanish (we speak mostly Spanish at home).  Thus, EBI's language immersion would be great to reinforce what he has learned at home, but not essential.  

My son is introverted and sensitive.  I suspect he might have ADHD, but I am told he is too young to test/diagnose.  I don't think he would thrive in an environment that is overly rigid (i.e. a traditional type of teaching environment). 

I would love to hear about your experiences at any of these schools.  Thank you! 

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RE: Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day? ()

We had a child attend Redwood Day lower school and I would strongly recommend you look at EBI or Park Day School instead. Redwood Day is about as traditional as they come. It's definitely more rigid and inflexible than either of those other schools (I'm familiar with all three). There are a lot of worksheets assigned for homework and the teachers and administrators were not very flexible, supportive or accommodating for our student with learning differences. You are so smart to think of these things now and save your family a lot of stress and grief down the road. Best of luck to you and your son.

RE: Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day? ()

I have 2 kids at EBI ( 1st and 6th).  My 2 kids are very different, 1 who is smart and quiet and the other who is creative, strong willed and an aspiring comedian at age 6:)  The Spanish immersion, IB(international Baccalaureate) program has worked well for both of them.  We came to EBI for the Spanish but have stayed for the IB program, additional Chinese language instruction and the diverse, supportive globally minded community. The benefits of IB from my perspective are the wholistic teaching approach for each unit yielding a final project at the end.  For example How We Express Ourselves is the current unit of inquiry for 1st grade which is taught across all of their subjects: Spanish, English, Math, Art, Music, PE, etc. The teachers use many tools( visiting author, learning about different music genres, art illustrations, etc)  to engage the children resulting in a final project .  This unit the kids are authors creating books expressing themselves and will present their books to parents using everything they have learned over the past 6 weeks.  For diverse learners the teachers utilize various tools like fidget toys, small group learning centers, etc. to engage them wherever their learning style may be at so that everyone can learn in their best way possible.  They also have learning specialist, socio emotional support and provide detailed personal learning plans for each child which you review with the teachers 3x's per year or more as needed. In summary, we feel very supported and love the interactive, rich education that EBI is providing to our kids. 

RE: Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day? ()

Hello, my family’s experience at EBI has been great. We moved from South America in 2017 and chose EBI because we wanted our kids to keep their Spanish (that was the only language they spoke when we moved here). My oldest started at Kindergarten and my youngest in Preschool, and we are into our 5th year at EBI. The IB program sounds suitable for your child, kids develop and learn tons in a non traditional way. Teachers are very caring and the community is tight and supportive. The staff went far and beyond through covid challenges. Happy to chat more, send me a PM if interested :)

RE: Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day? ()

Among the 3 schools you listed, Park Day seems to be most progressive and less traditional. Redwood Day is a great school but it seems traditional. EBI lower school also seemed traditional when we toured, and while the school and the community are wonderful, the lower school campus lacks green space. Park Day has an incredibly gorgeous campus, and I think for kids with ADHD, it'd be a great place to get outdoor space as much as possible. We looked into all three schools you listed, and Park Day was at the top when we were making our decision.  We also have friends at all three schools and our impression of each school has been confirmed by our friends' experience. We ended up choosing a smaller progressive school in Oakland that's not on your list, because this school truly excels in kindness, warmth and a supportive environment that is ideal for new comers, shy, neuro-diverse children. However, we would have been happy with Park Day and are planning to apply to Park Day for middle school. 

RE: Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day? ()

Hi! I am current parent of an EBI student and we've in the school for the last 10 years. I have a 7th grade and a 5th grader currently and we commute all the way from Pittsburg to still continue to attend the school. We are committed to the school and the overall community because its not only warm and inviting it is very nurturing while teaching students to think and question as they grow in a space that that they feel comfortable in. You mentioned that you suspect your son has ADHD, the interesting thing is that my son was just recently diagnosed with ADHD and came somewhat late because EBI does a really great job with class size and support that we caught it later because he was thriving in class. Our concern happened in a class he was not as interested in (he likes math and science and writing creatively has always been a challenge) that we finally sought out a therapist. EBI creates a scaffold around a student so well that it would have gone missed if we weren't the type of parents to really expect straight A's. Lastly, once I notified the school I have partnered with Dr. Gary Malare (their director of well being) and he regular checks up on my son. EBI also assigns a  advisor in Middle school that serves somewhat as a mentor to the kids during their duration of middle school. My son has great relationships with other grades in his cohort and also with his current advisor that gives us any info/concerns that she observes in quarterly meetings.  Lastly The great thing about EBI is the community. We all know each other since the school has the spanish requirement make attrition low and also in coming kids are rare if they dont speak spanish.  But when they do have new kids the community welcomes them. There are 3 new kids in my sons grade last year and they all acclimated well. There was a kid that came back this year that use to go to school up to 3rd grade but the parents worked overseas.  He picked up right where he left off.  Last week we cooked a meal for a fellow parent that unfortunately had her husband pass away so we signed up for a meal train. Their covid protocol has been amazing which allowed the kids to come back to school much earlier than other school in the district.  I can go on and on about why EBI because you dont just get a school, you get a community of caring kids, lifelong friends and an administrative/education team that really listens to you. Let me know if you have any other questions by sending me a message.

RE: Park Day, EBI or Redwood Day? ()

We send our child to Redwood Day and absolutely love it. We've found it to offer a thoughtful balance of academics, enrichment opportunities, and social emotional education. Teachers really get to know each kid and support them. We haven't found it to be overly traditional, certainly not when compared to other local schools (like BUSD, the IB language schools like EBI, Head-Royce, etc.). At Redwood Day, younger elementary kids take Spanish a few times each week for one semester, and mandarin the other semester. They choose to specialize in one language after a few years of trying both.

In terms of whether Redwood Day would be a good fit for a child with ADHD, the particulars matter - how severe is the ADHD, is the child able to sit and participate reasonably well, etc. I think that goes for any school environment, though some schools have a reputation for supporting neurodivergent kids more than others. Park Day has a reputation being more welcoming towards kids who need a little more support, which has upsides and downsides. Same with Head-Royce, which has more resources to support kids who fall outside of the norm. No private school is required to provide services to kids who need it, unlike public schools. So, any significant need at a private school is likely to require outside support. 

We've heard about kids with ADHD who have thrived at Redwood Day, and some who have not and ended up switching schools. I think it comes down to ADHD severity, what the parents expected from the school in terms of support for the ADHD, and how much families accessed support outside of school.