Progressive schools for a creative child not interested in 3-D printing

We currently live on the east coast but are looking at schools in the bay area for our daughter who will be entering 4th grade in 2018. She is not particularly interested in 3-D printing or tinkering. She likes theater, drawing, writing, horse-riding, handwork, piano, reading... but in spite of repeated exposure, has shown no interest in 3-D printing or tinkering with wood and metal. When I asked her the other day about it, she told me blank-point that she is not. On the other hand, she spent all morning today drawing and writing a story she is working on, and she is always putting on plays with her friends... so she certainly is creative in her own way.

There are schools that are of interest to us - like Park Day or Black Pine Circle, but I'm a little wary of their strong 'maker culture'. Will she be a fish out of water at such schools? Which progressive schools in the area might be a good fit for a non-maker creative child? (To be honest, I'm not really clear myself on what the 'maker culture' entails.. but we will be visiting the schools in January when we will learn more)

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Have you considered the Walden Center School? They have an amazing art room, music, dance, theatre. 

HA! This post made me laugh out loud.. as a parent from the east coat with kids in private school. Basically "maker culture" is a very hip bay area term appealing to young parents who work in tech. The private schools are marketing to those parents because currently in the bay area, those are the people who can afford private school.

A "Maker" is a creative self starter, who may or may not be an artist, who likes the challenge of building something.  They like to "tinker".  "Maker Culture" is the non-corporate way to refer to what I think has become very, very, corporate tech culture. The term comes, I think, from the "Maker Faire" which was an event created by Make Magazine, which, 10 years ago was a bit of a bible for the hacker-make-it-yourself culture of the tech world.

While the East Bay and Berkeley have managed to stay a bit weird and out of San Francisco-Penninsula takeover of corporate tech, the area is still changing a lot. Historically, Berkeley and Oakland have been very much on the edges of creativity, pushing artistic boundaries. I would say the older private school parents I have known here in Berkeley have been the "burning-man-build-your-own-bike-and-ride-it-on-the-playa" sort of "makers" who 20 years ago were going to raves in the Mission. The younger generation of private school parents seem to work at or with tech companies. With 2 bedroom fixer-uppers in marginal neighborhoods going for 1M in Berkeley, that's who can afford to live here now.

I would encourage school site visits. You'll get a much better sense of what's happening on the ground every day in the classroom by visiting than you will in the marketing that is put out by the school. Visit The Berkeley School, Park Day, Black Pine Circle, Prospect Sierra, and Redwood Day. 

Prospect Sierra.  My daughter graduated 1 year ago and she had a great experience.  She shares many of your daughter's interests. She was mildly annoyed with PS new COLAB, which is their maker thing, but it had a very small effect on her school life.  On the other hand, she adored her teachers, loved her projects in humanities and science classes, and had a great experience all around.

best of luck.

Have you looked into Waldof education? The East Bay Waldorf school's handwork curriculum seems outstanding. Our daughter who loves art had a great time with the Berkeley Rose Waldorf for her early years. If we could afford private school, we'd still be there. 

She will fit right into the maker culture. the schools are just trying to emphasize that they have a creative side and are not all about hard core academics. it's probably language we use more here because of the whole silicon valley area. those are both great schools and she will fit right in,

Check out Oakland School for the Arts. https://www.oakarts.org. One of my twin's classmate left their elementary school to go there and was very happy. Her mom's a therapist and her dad's a Cal professor.

My twins attended School of the Madeleine in Berkeley. It's K-8, progressive, excellent teachers, band program begins in 4th grade, theater program run by Cal Shakes actor, volleyball, basketball, cross country, track and field, lots of parent involvement. It is a parochial school but many non catholics attend. My husband and all of his siblings went there in the 60-70's and are still in touch with their Madeleine classmates. My husband's class celebrated their 60th birthdays. My daughter's closest friends are all MAD grads. Plus you really get to know the families. My girls have been out 3 years and some of us MAD moms still meet for cocktails and dinner ocassionally. Another mom organized a reunion of their classmates two weeks ago that was well attended. Generally very good families and kids attend there. Lots of professionals send their children there, doctors, lawyers, Cal professors. Great community. 

Good luck!

My kids attend The Saklan School in Moraga, CA - it's a small, progressive, Pre-K through 8th independent school. Your daughter sounds like she might be a great fit for Saklan. Please check out the website saklan.org for more information. The mission is to think creatively, act compassionately, and live courageously - and they have a well-rounded curriculum of art, music, P.E., theater, and also have a great emphasis on social/emotional learning, which I love. The academics are high too. We've been very happy! Good luck on your search from so far away!

Also check out Aurora School. It's a small little gem of a school in Oakland (Upper Rockridge) (K-5) -- progressive, *very* supportive of creative kids. They have a terrific theater camp in the summer as well (very collaborative and all about the creative process). Good luck with your search!

Thank you all for your responses. (Funny and) reassuring.