Updated reviews on The New School of Berkeley

Wondering if there's any  recent/current preschool parents at the New School of Berkeley who want to share about their experience? (The reviews I've seen are pre-pandemic, and it just feels like so much is different about preschools now.) I'd be especially curious about how shy-ish children fare there. Our 4-year-old is high-energy and loves to race around on foot or vehicle (a big reason why this school is appealing--such amazing outdoor space!) I don't think he necessarily needs a lot of formal structure or rules, but he does tend to take a little time to adjust to a new situation, and I'm wondering if the lack of structure will make that more difficult. He seems to do well in an environment where he can make one or two close friends and form a bond with a teacher. I'm just worried he might get a little lost with all the 3s and 4s mixing together and teachers being effectively shared between the classrooms.

I'm also curious whether there's been a lot of COVID-infections and/or closures?


Parent Replies

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My 3 year old is in his first year at New School and both of us are very happy.  He has one close friend and one teacher who he's specially bonded with, but he talks about everyone (adults and kids alike) all the time.  I really like the more free-form style of sharing yard time and teachers.  He has so many kids and adults who he feels familiar and confident with, even though they're not in his immediate class.  

My son is not shy, but I've watched a number of very shy children in his class blossom over the last 6 months.  At first, they cried at drop off and needed to attach themselves to a teacher and hang with them tightly (which the teachers did happily) but now they are just whirling around with all the other kids, chatting it up with me when I drop my son off. It's been so lovely to see.  I hope their parents write in to confirm!  

There have not been any Covid interruptions, except for one week in January during the Omicron surge. 

I'm happy to answer any other questions you might have.  I'm a fan.   

I cannot say enough good things about New School. The teachers are incredibly kind and loving and connect individually with each kid. Both my kids (now 4 and 7) have been there for years now and they have formed amazing friendships and bonds there. The team teaching is a huge benefit because it gives the kids more options during the day and the ability to do field trips, etc. There have not been any COVID cases in the preschool this year so far (knock on wood).