Recent Experience with Rockridge Preschools?

Hi BPN Community,

My husband and I live in Rockridge with our 18 month old daughter and considering local preschools as we begin this process.  We are considering Arbor Preschool (on College), Little Elephant Montesorri (on Miles in Oakland), and Rockridge Little School (on College).  Each school seems to have pluses and minuses so would love to hear any recent experiences, espeically in our post-Covid world.  More specifically, I'm wondering about the following with each school:

Arbor Preschool on College: We love that it's play-based and spanish immersion but given that it's a relatively new location, is there a sense of community and cohesion?  Have the "kinks" been worked out?

Elephant Montessori: There don't appear to be any recent reviews, so would love to hear what parents love (or find challenging) about this school.

Rockridge Little School: While the school is beautiful and their outdoor area is lovely, based on recent yelp reviews, it seems as if there have been some challenges with leadership at the school.  Does anyone have any recent experience here, good or bad?

Thank you!  Any insights would be much appreciated, or if you have other suggestions for local Rockridge preschools, we'd love to hear.

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Inch By Inch school on 49th and Broadway is right outside of the border of Rockridge in Temescal, but it's a great preschool! Our daughter has been going there the past 2 years and has loved it. There's a strong sense of community and the space is lovely. All the teachers are incredibly thoughtful and creative. They're a tiny, older school and have struggled with marketing themselves, so there are definitely lots of openings. I'd strongly recommend checking it out.

Hi! I can't speak to any of the schools you suggested, but I did want to chime in to recommend the preschool my daughter is at – My Own Montessori. She's in her second year now (she's now 4 and started at 2 yrs, 9 months) and we absolutely love the school. The staff and leadership has been consistent, wonderful, and communicative. The Montessori philosophy has given my daughter such pride in what she can do and an interest in the world, as well as a lot of freedom throughout her day. They have an outdoor space that kids can go into throughout the day (not just at a designated play time), an art room from which she regularly & proudly brings home projects, exposure to Spanish and music, along with their curriculum. 

I could go on and on about this special little school – please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions about it! - Kara

I DO NOT recommend Rockridge Little School.  We were only there a short time, but teacher turnover was high, and my daughter regressed significantly with her potty training while there, and they didn't seem to know how to help. And when they closed down the school site unexpectedly, there was not a lot of communication and hardly any advance notice. We did not think they would be upfront with us. The high cost does not seem worth it.

Our daughter attended Berkeley Little School, which is one of the "Little" schools, for about 6 months in 2021-22. This location, which you may know from the Yelp reviews or the school websites, is the newest school. The physical environment was very lovely, although small: very clean, all new high-quality toys, a cute yard. The teachers were kind, welcoming, and fantastic!

We did, however, notice leadership issues -- mainly subpar communication around COVID policies but also in general. There was a school blog, an app where they post photos of the kids throughout the day, and that sort of stuff, but we found overall communication lacking, and felt the vibe to be more a school business vs. community, if that makes any sense. (Again, this was last year, so perhaps things have changed.)

We transferred my daughter to another preschool that was more aligned with our budget at the time, which was initially a sad transition, but in the end worked out better for us.

Hi there! I'm happy to provide some feedback as a parent of a current student at RLS on College Ave. In short, we love RLS. Our son has attended since he was about 2.5 years old, and he is now in his third and final year as a 4.5 year old. Our family loves the loving, supportive environment at RLS - the parent community is warm and friendly, the teachers are incredibly talented (with very low teacher turnover), and Cindy, the campus director, is really accessible, available, and responsive. Our son has thrived there, and RLS feels like a second home.

I'm not sure why there would be bad reviews on Yelp, other than that I know that one RLS location closed suddenly last year, and I believe there was some frustration in the early days of the COVID lockdown. However, none of that has impacted us, and I would highly recommend RLS. 

Best of luck in your search!

Our kiddo is partway thru his second test at arbor (Berkeley/Alvarado location) and while I can’t speak to the college Ave location, I can highly recommend the curriculum, admin, teacher caliber, and general awesomeness of the arbor school/ approach/ general ambiance. 

i especially love the casual, play based feel of Arbor’s approach. Feel free to message me directly for more info