Which private school for high energy boys?

We have two high energy and studious boys (5 and 7). We are looking into the 3 schools mentioned in the title to transfer to. We’d love to hear about the following at these schools:

1. Student population diversity

2. How they support high boy energy

3. Community connection (parents and students), examples of activities for community building

4. What areas/aspects of the school need improvement?

Thank you! Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Parent Replies

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My son has attended The Berkeley School for four years and is in second grade. Our experience has been very positive. I especially appreciate that they have two teachers per classroom, so that if a conflict or unhappy moment arises, it is not brushed under the rug, but is dealt with in a very healthy way, while the other teacher is able to keep the rest of the class on track. My son is high energy, has a temper and is also very curious. He loves reading and learning, as long as the teacher makes it fun, which I think they do. The teachers have been so kind and patient and extremely proactive in reaching out to us when our son's behavior has been challenging at school. They initiate meetings and we problem solve together - often with very good results. They are so supportive and positive with him. I appreciate that The Berkeley School isn't a sit-at-your-desk school. Kids are busy, and aren't parked at their desks listening all day.


Our son is in his 2nd year at The Berkeley School (he’s now in 1st grade) and he’s doing great. I apologize for my long response, but I want to cover all your questions.

Our family is a mixed race – African, Indian and Caucasian and diversity is important to us. We’ve found TBS to be an inclusive community of all different types of diversity including race/ethnicity, LGBT and neuro-diversity. Last year the school was particularly focused on the importance of racial diversity both within and outside of school and held parent focused programs with different speakers and facilitators on issues of race and ethnicity.

My son is definitely on the high energy side and TBS teachers do a great job of taking his energy in stride. I feel that TBS is good at meeting children where they are – whether that be high energy or more introverted. Also, the school’s academic standards are high and they do a good job of catering to those kids that are ready for more academically and others that may need educational scaffolding in areas.

TBS has lots of parent and student education events throughout the year like parent and staff coffee talks where school staff talks about the school’s philosophy on different academic areas like math and science. Also, like other independent schools, there are speakers that come to the school to talk about interesting educational and parenting topics. Last year Allison Gopnik came to TBS one evening to discuss her latest book on parenting.

We have found a warm community at TBS. We just had our winter festival with a cook-off, bake-off and lots of crafts. The school isn’t large so families know each other and know each other’s children. There’s also a focus on community service which connects members of the community to each other and connects TBS to the greater the community outside the school.

Just like all schools there are areas at TBS which need improvement. For example, I sometimes see same parents doing lots of volunteering, but I think that most schools also have lots of busy families and have similar volunteer issues. The important thing about TBS is the leadership makes themselves available to parents and are very willing to engage with parents on suggestions or critiques.

Our family has been really happy with TBS. Good luck with the decision making process, I know it can be stressful.


We have a 5 year old boy and 12 year old girl at The Berkeley School (TBS) and have had a fantastic experience with both of them.  It's truly an amazing school that effectively teaches to a huge range personalities.  They are incredibly attentive to each child, and I frankly have no idea how they give such individualized care and attention.  Of course, at the heart of every school is the staff, and they have a gifted staff, administrators and teachers alike.  They are all committed and talented educators.  Between our two kids, we now have 12 years with TBS, and I can't recommend the school highly enough.


We have two boys (8 and 11) who are also high energy.  They are thriving at Black Pine Circle.  I'll try to respond to each question:

1) The student population is probably as diverse as it gets for a private school.  There are many children (up to 50% in some grades) on financial aid.  The school community (which includes teachers, students and administrators) is ethnically and gender mixed. 

2) Ahh, boy energy!  The teachers expect many of the children to have lots of energy.  In some classes, the teachers let the kids run a lap on the yard if they can't concentrate.  My younger son was given fidget toys in class (like play doh) and allowed to work on math problems on the rug instead of in a chair. The first grade classroom has wiggle chairs that the kids can choose to use. The PE teacher (Coach Michael) is just amazing--boys and girls just love him.  PE is three times a week 1st-5th grade and 4 times a week for K.  Recess happens twice everyday.

3) I think everyone at BC feels as though they are part of a community.  We mourn the loss of community members together, we organize family camping trips together, we even plan moms/dads nights out.  We also invite parents and children to do community service together, go to afterschool parent education nights, and to have family maker nights.  The idea is that you can be as involved as you want in the school and in the community.  Some of our very closest friends have been made at the school.  

4) The areas that need improvement really involve space constraints.  I think the school would benefit from a dedicated music building--younger children play strings and older children are required to learn to play the recorder, ukulele and the guitar.  The band and orchestra programs could use space of their own with great acoustics.      

Hope this helps in your decision making!