Lakeview PreschoolCommunity Subscriber
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Simply the best preschool in Oakland. Period. From the warmth and dedication of the directors and teachers to the amazing worldly curriculum and "cafe day" worldly cuisine. Lakeview has tought both of my sons about so many things being good kids to singing about the continents! Who can say their 3 year old knows about the 7 continents? This is all about Lakeview and the loving and caring teachings that keep kids happy, interested and well mannered to boot!
I'm amazed every day when I pick my kids up from school. As for all the discussion about "feeder schools", Lakeview will work for all schools. They treat all kids equally and make sure every student leaves with kindergarten ready skills. We love this school and cannot say enough positive things. It's a special little school with a whole lot to offer. Additionally, the parent community makes this school with the many opportunities to get involved. Our school lets you "do what you can do" without any pressure whatsoever. And when you can get involved, you'll never feel happier. Signed with love, a happy Lakeview parent.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
We are considering Lakeview Preschool and have heard wonderful things about it. I've heard that they have new owners, so I'm wondering how the transition has been and if current parents are still happy with the school. Thank you in advance!
Our daughter started at Lakeview at the tail end of last year, we knew of the changes coming then, but were not too worried. We were assured that the quality of care, the level of education and creativity, and the excellent teachers would remain the same. And now, almost 2 months later, we see little change other than missing Madeline herself.
Lakeview has an excellent program and it remains intact. We are thankful to know our daughter is in good hands and that she is happy with every day she attends preschool. Nicole
Hi There! My family just moved to Oakland and we are just a block away from Lakeview Preschool in the Lakeshore neighborhood. We need to decide asap whether to send our daughter there (so far, looks like a great place) but we're wanting to be as informed as possible since their contract requires us to commit to paying tuition for the entire year, regardless of whether we keep our child in school there.
I really enjoyed Madeline and the teachers seemed wonderful. I liked the low ratio (6-1) and that the children are sub-divided throughout the day. I loved the curriculum (bread making, creative movement...) and the fact that they cook all the food.
I'm looking for a spot that Is less chaotic than her current play-based preschool, perhaps more structured but also engaging and interesting for the kids. I also want teachers who are consistently kind but clear and firm with boundaries. Allowing kids to cry when they need to is also a plus.
Please do let me know if anyone out there has had a less than positive experience with this school. Thanks, Kasey
We love Lakeview!!! We sent both our kids there. My husband and I still wish we could send our kids back there. The curriculum and teachers are just amazing. They are super loving, fun and organized. I cannot imagine a better preschool. Good luck! Lakeview Lifers
We're finishing up our second year at Lakeview Preschool and could not be happier with our experience. It's a wonderful place -- for all the reasons you mentioned -- and I highly recommend it. I never gave a second thought to committing for a whole year, as we immediately knew it was the place for us. I understand there will be administrative changes next year as Madeline retires, but I am confident that she's chosen the best possible option to maintain the high standards and loving atmosphere of this fantastic school. Happy at LPS
Look at Lakeview Preschool in Oakland. It is in the Lakeshore area. They are a full day preschool (a really excellent one) and they prefer to have kids 2-3 days/week rather than five. Mom of two Lakeview Grads
Look at Lakeview Preschool, they are full day but prefer to have kids for a
couple of days a week (my kids went full time, but that definitely wasn't the
school's preference :0). It is a REALLY great school.
Also look at The Lake School. They are mornings, I believe. I have had
several friends whose kids went there and it looked great to me when I was
looking, but as noted above, we needed full time.
I know that Lakeview only enrolls in the Fall, not sure about The Lake School
but right now is about the time that applications are due for Sept.
Two GREAT options
Lakeview Preschool in Oakland should be on your list... Their ''graduates'' go off to all kinds of kindergartens (including Head-Royce, St. Paul's, and Bentley), and the executive director offers counseling on school selection to parents who want the benefit of her experience and knowledge. The teachers at Lakeview are top-notch, and the kids love the school's perfect balance of structured activities and play time. As a parent, I appreciate the school's attention to detail -- accurate monthly calendars, daily reports on each kid's meals and activities, and timely responses to all questions. LPS is a wonderful gem of a preschool, and -- should your child attend -- she will be well-prepared for any kindergarten you choose. Happy LPS Parent
I don't think there are specific feeder preschools per se but there are preschools that have higher percentages going to private schools than other preschools. There could be a variety of reasons for that. Both my children attend Head Royce. They both attended Lakeview Preschool. My recollection was that there were definite percentages of folks going to private school from Lakeview Preschool (there are at least 10 families I know of that attended Lakeview in the last 4 to 5 years that now attend Head Royce) but there were percentages going to public school as well so I think you will encounter that with all preschools. I would highly recommend you tour Lakeview Preschool and see if it is a good match for your child. The preschool is amazing and the teachers are wonderful. It definitely prepared both my children for Head Royce. Good luck! Former Lakeview Preschool Parent
Hi! We are exploring Lakeview Preschool, Room to Grow and Claremont Day (woolsey) for our twin boys who turn 3 in September (for fall). I'd love to hear current feedback/reviews on these options. Thanks in advance for your help!! Oakland mama
Look no further for preschools - Lakeview is a great option. Both my children went to Lakeview Preschool - my son is currently in his last year. I have nothing but high praise for Lakeview. It is an excellent school for the child and parents. My husband and I wish we had more kids so we could keep sending them to Lakeview. My daughter attends private school and my son just got accepted to the same private school and Lakeview more than prepared both of them for kindergarten. Lakeview provides an incredible multi-cultural curriculum which exposes the children to the music, food, holidays of other cultures - a really fun and imaginative way of learning. Lakeview definitely provides a strong foundation for children to learn, socialize, and just have fun. The communication, organization, and cleanliness of Lakeview is first rate. The teachers are wonderful and so loving and supportive to the children. What can we say -- we love Lakeview! Good luck on your search for preschools! Loving Lakeview
My daughter attended Lakeview Preschool (she is now in elementary school) and I simply cannot imagine that there could be a better preschool out there. Everything about Lakeview is amazing - outstanding teachers who are fun and nurturing, a great balance of play and stimulating activities, a wonderful and accessible director...I could go on and on. They utilize a global curriculum, in which kids ''travel'' around the world, learning about other cultures, languages, food, art, etc. The kids learn so much - not just about the world around them, but also how to respect themselves and others. We are five years out since graduation from Lakeview, and my daughter still says that it was the best school she's ever attended. Lakeview holds a very warm place in our hearts. Prior Lakeview parent
We now have our second kid at Lakeview Preschool and it has been a great place for our kids! All of the teachers are incredibly warm and the curriculum has a great balance of age appropriate learning and play. The around the world theme gives the kids a little bit of knowledge of many different places, and both of my kids have become more curious about other countries. I think their pre-reading and math is also very appropriate and was a great preparation for kindergarten. And one of our favorite parts of the curriculum is the art - they learn to appreciate artists on a very sophisticated level! And as an added bonus, I love the break from making lunches. We have had a great experience there and would highly recommend it. Happy Lakeview Parent
Here are my insights on Lakeview Preschool, where my daughter currently attends. My daughter loves it and so did my son, who is now in Kindergarten, and most importantly I love it. Here are five things I love about Lakeview (there are more, by the way, I'm trying to spare you). 1. I learn something everyday. The Global Themes that are carried through every week mean that I get a chance to learn as well as my kids. The types of lessons they learn are integrated and so thoughtfully introduced. They really are taught to be better citizens and understand their context in the world. They provide the big picture and lots of little details too. 2. Communication from the staff could not be better. There are many ways to find out how things are going and every effort is made to give you some idea of how your kid's day went. 3. There is something for every level of parent participation and truly no pressure to participate. In fact, there's no annoying fundraisers for the school. There are drives for charity and opportunities to volunteer. But thankfully no silent auction! What they are able to do with the tuition is impressive. You are getting a very good value when you are at Lakeview. 4. The special programs are so great! The art lessons are especially good, there is also gardening, bread making, yoga, Spanish, science, drama, and a lot of free play time. The teachers support free time with spontaneous and creative games. 5. Your child is celebrated in multiple ways. Each kid is made to feel special and given a chance to shine. The way Lakeview carefully transitions new kids and families into the school is something I am grateful for. Each kid finds their own place at Lakeview on their own time. It doesn't take long, partly because the environment is so supportive. We love the love. And, we recommend this school at every chance we get. Jane
Located right in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood is Lakeview Preschool, a school that sets a gold standard for all other preschools. While I have never been employed by any preschool, my interest in education policy and my experience with variable quality at another preschool led me to carefully examine options for my son. After much research, I transferred my son to Lakeview in October 2011. I wanted him in a high quality, low student-teacher ratio, play-based program where he could learn through open-ended interactions with his peers. My son has thrived academically, emotionally and socially since he joined Lakeview. I credit much of his blossoming to the wonderful program the director, Madeline Weinstein, has fine-tuned over the past 41 years and which generously incorporates what I call the six C's: Content, Curriculum, Collaboration, Communication, Care and Compassion.
Content: The whole day is rich with age-appropriate activities and stimulation, but there is structure to teach the children self-regulation skills beginning with ''Morning Meeting'' to get everyone on the same page and to let the children know what to expect. There they also talk about ''big issues'': Why should people be nice to each other? What is peace? Why should we take care of our environment? Art and science projects are multi-step, non-repetitive, and captivate the kids' attention. Bulletin boards are changed weekly and reflect the topics covered that week.
Curriculum: Children learn that they are part of a global community where people have different languages, customs, foods and dress, but that everyone wants to be part of a family or be treated fairly. This global awareness curriculum is woven through the art created, the books read, the music played, the bread baked, the meals shared(Yes! The school provides meals!), and the holidays celebrated. The children also learn basic Spanish. By having the global curriculum integrated throughout the lessons, the children have a scaffold to help them make connections within all their lessons. The school welcomes diversity, and it tries to integrate the experiences and insights of the children's families.
Communication: Perfectly pitched! You can get an update at pick-up or drop-off from one of the teachers who is always available, check the log which gives the gist of the day (Nap? Meals? Playmates? Which activities during free time: dress up or superheroes or legos?), read the display board of the days's activities or read the online blog with pictures posted every other week. You can schedule a meeting or wait and get a detailed assessment of your child's progress at the semi-annual conference.
Collaboration: There are many ways to be involved. One can volunteer in art class or help with one of the school's many charity projects. You can provide the meal for one of the culture-specific cafe days, or share items for a display on a particular culture.
Care: The attention to detail is everywhere. The facility is ALWAYS immaculate. Real attention is given to hygiene. There is consistency in the schedule and the expectations so children feel safe and know what to expect. Attention to safety is everywhere (the kids even wear helmets to ride tricycles!). Questions are answered promptly. No problems with billing. Every aspect is handled in a professional, efficient manner.
Finally, compassion: My experience with teachers at Lakeview leaves me convinced that each person who works there is an early childhood educator because it is a calling for that individual. Each person is genuinely warm, considerate, and loving with the children. Each child is individually greeted in the morning and has someone say goodbye in the afternoon, and there is always a hug if someone needs it. You can tell that the children feel safe and valued. It is the type of preschool program that every child should have. We are extremely fortunate to have found it.
If you would like to talk with me further, feel free to get my contact info from the list moderator or ask Lakeview to put us in touch. Extremely Happy Parent
Re: Need a full-time preschool near Rockridge
Yes, that preschool definitely exists. I think Lakeview Preschool definitely meets all your needs. They are full time from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. They have low teacher to student ratio. They focus on social skills (as well as many others) and they are located close to Lakeshore (which I believe is within 5 to 10 minutes). We love this preschool. Our daughter attended and now our son. Both love it. The director, Madeline Weinstein, is simply amazing and has been doing this for decades. The other teachers are equally wonderful. You will have to visit there to experience how wonderful the school is. The only thing is that your daughter might be too young. They follow the Sep 1 cut-off so your child must be 3 by Sep 1 to attend. Good luck! Lakeview Preschool Parent
Re: Preschools in Oakland/Lake Merritt Area
Lakeview Preschool is right in your area and an excellent preschool. Both of my children attended. There is some Spanish (not a ton, but they got a nice exposure). Only trick is if you need full time preschool as they seem to prefer part time (full day for 2-4 days a week). Definitely worth a look! Happy Lakeview Parent
Re: Small Preschool 2 Full days/week?
Try Lakeview Preschool in Oakland. Not sure if they are already full (there were a TON of graduates this year, so there were more spaces that usual...so they might still have space). WONDERFUL school. Prefer kids who are part time (2-4 days/week), full time days. There are 24 kids there a day, but broken in to 4 different groups for ''instruction'' and divided in half for most other activities) Nikki
I would like to get current reviews for the Lakeview Preschool in Lake Merrit Grand neighborhood. I am thinking of sending my son there part time. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks
We are more than happy to give rave reviews about Lakeview Preschool. Our daughter attended Lakeview for 2 years before heading to Kindergarten this past Fall. The staff, headed by Madeline Weinstein, is simply amazing. They provide such an amazing learning environment for the kids and my daughter absolutely loved it. They encourage parental involvement and so we got to know all the other parents really well and established such a sense of community. They provided the right amount of academics with lots of fun and play. We have a son that we can't wait to send there when he is old enough. We have recommended many friends there and they all love it as well. I wish you luck in your preschool search. Lakeview Preschool Alum
Lakeview Preschool is fantastic! My son went there for 2 years, and we are planning to send our daughter next year. The director and teachers are intelligent and organized, they have boundless enthusiasm, and they keep the program fresh and engaging with an international theme. It is definitely structured and there is a focus on academics, however the kids have plenty of time to play. The facility is immaculate, the outdoor play area is great. One huge benefit is that they serve snacks AND lunch to the kids. My son is now in Kindergarten at Crocker, and the transition was seamless -- in large part because he has maintained his very close friendships with his Lakeview buddies. happy lakeview parent
My daughter attended Lakeview Preschool for 2 years and it was the best experience we have had in any school before and since. Lakeview is an amazing place - incredibly kind, smart and nurturing teachers, a fantastic director and a wonderful community of parents. Each day is a perfect blend of structure (world travel themed curriculum, music, language) coupled with unstructured playtime. The kids are so happy there (many are hard-pressed to leave at pickup time) and that is of course the best indication that it is truly a gem of a preschool. I honestly don't think you could make a better choice. Prior Lakeview parent
My son attended Lakeview a few years ago and my daughter currently attends. It's a wonderful and very well organized preschool. They offer a variety of creative experiences for the kids. They bring in a story teller, art teacher, music, Spanish, cooking etc. They make their own food and follow a world curriculum that allows the children the chance to learn about all cultures. Both of my kids have been extremely happy there. My son did the pre-K program after being at a play based preschool and he thrived at Lakeview. Madeline and Kathy who run the school are very knowledgeable and are great at picking wonderful teachers who are genuine and care for the kids. They do a great job of combining some academic learning with play. They have been around for 30 years and it shows in the events the school organizes as well as the activities for the children. Highly recommend it! Stephanie
Our family is in our 3rd year at Lakeview. Our oldest went for a year when he was four and our little one is in his second year (3 and now he is 4). When I say ''our family,'' I really mean it. The kids have had wonder teachers and creative learning experiences, and our whole family has learned from them. Things that I love:
-- it is an all day program (2-5 days/week) depending on your needs and their availability
-- there is both structured and unstructured time each day (our first preschool was so ''play based'' that I think they only had about 20-30 minutes of structure a day)
-- there is group time where the kids learn to sit still, concentrate for a bit, etc but they are NOT being ''drilled'' on letters, numbers and such...instead they are having fun playing with ''pre math and reading'' concepts and games
-- every afternoon they have a different specialist focus...music, story telling, science, edible art and bread making AND they have art
-- there is plenty of free time and running around time so the kids learn to cooperate and negotiate with one another
-- there are service projects nearly every month where the parents pull together and often involve the kids (warm coat drive, book drive, canned foods drive, Valentines Day kits for kids in the hospital, etc.)
-- there are lots of ways parents CAN participate throughout the year (art helper, read in the morning, run one of the service projects, etc) but you don't have to if you can't swing it with work and such
-- they provide all the food every day
-- most importantly, my kids love it, are excited about learning, can locate more countries on the world map than I can and are safe and happy Happy Lakeview parent
My daughter started at Lakeview in the fall 2009. We are huge fans of the school and the staff for many reasons. We love the 'around the world' curriculum -the students 'travel the world' throughout the school year, learning about different places and cultures - these trips permeate all aspects of learning from art, food, music, and more. We appreciate Lakeview's small size and involved parent community. The communications from Lakeview to parents are excellent, very thorough and timely. I'm happy to answer more specific questions, feel free to drop me a note. rachel
I am a current parent at Lakeview Preschool and I can't say enough good things about it. The teachers are very caring, and in tune with all of the children. My three year old had trouble adjusting at the beginning of this year, and the teachers worked very closely with me to try different things to ease him into the transition of home to preschool. My 6-year old went to Lakeview and is now thriving in kindergarten. I believe that Lakeview's teaching style aided in his smooth transition. The school is run very well, extremely organized and works to build a strong community among parents as well as the children. They are flexible with schedules, both how many days the children can attend and with drop-off and pick-up times. They spend time engaging children to notice the world around them, and to appreciate diversity through art, through the food they serve, through community service projects, and so much more. And there is plenty of outdoor playtime for the kids, too. I feel lucky to have found such a well-rounded school that supports my child's growth and development.
My daughter in in her second year at Lakeview Preschool and it's been a phenomenal experience for her and us as parents. I couldn't recommend it more highly. The school through its director Madeline Weinstein does a great job of introducing the students to cultures around the world through food, music, art, games, stories and traditions. The faculty is dedicated and enthusiastic -- with a weekly storyteller, daily art class (that is amazing in its creativity), science discussions, baking, and more. I've found that at the core of the school is a theme of helping others, eg annual quilt making for sick children, Valentines for Children's Hospital, Coat Drive, etc. The teachers provide welcome feedback about the children's daily activities and they are in tune with the kids' emotional and social development. And certainly a nice benefit is that the school also serves healthy lunches that provide a break for busy parents. Colleen
I have 4 children. 3 of which graduated from Lakeview & my 4th finishes this fall. I have nothing but high praise for Lakeview. It's an excellent school for the child and parent. I wish I could enroll in lakeview. My kids attend private school; the kindergarten teacher said that all my children were MORE than academically prepared for kindergarten. But the even better aspect of Lakeview is it's multi-cultural curriculum. If exposing your child to the music, food, holidays of other cultures is important, then this is the place for you. Yes, the school is expensive. But I truly believe in this case, you get what you pay for. I have kids that succeeded academically, socially, and manners wise and I say Lakeview helped us in this success by assisting us in developing a strong foundation for our children. The communication, organization, & cleanliness in the school is A+. Oakland mom
In September we'll enter our second son at Lakeview Preschool, just after our first son graduates. After touring many preschools, Lakeview pretty much ''had us at hello'': the way the environment expresses their professed values, the warmth and conscientious detail of Director Madeline Weinstein's communications with us, and the context they choose for teaching this age group - a curriculum that takes the kids ''traveling'' and celebrating customs around the world in a year. Even though we entered with excitement, Lakeview has exceeded our expectations. Each teacher (Madeline, Kathy, Bernadette, Xenia) and any helper-teacher they hire has been a gem. The art teacher, Karen Johnson, has been an extraordinary influence on our son, who became a prolific drawer/painter a few months into the school year and has kept it up ever since. There is a weekly visiting storyteller/puppeteer, a music and movement teacher, and plenty of opportunities but not obligations for a parent to be part of the children's day. Communication with parents/home is clear, detailed, and ample. The school's balance of structure and freedom seems to make for such bright and happy little campers, in spite of the full days many spend there (hours are 7:30am-5:30pm). Clearly I can gush about the place, but I assure you my sentiments are supported by facts and specific details. Other parents I've befriended in the community agree, and I could gush about the lovely parent community too. Feel free to contact me. jennifer
Both of my sons have attended Lakeview Preschool in the last 3 years, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about this school. It is without question my favorite educational institution of all time! The curriculum that Madeline and her staff have cultivated over the last 39 years - one that takes our kids around the world to learn about various cultures and customs - provides remarkably rich programs and experiences for everyone involved in the school. The operations of the school are flawless - communications are clear and of the right frequency, expectations of students and parents are clear, participation by the parent community is at the right level. Plus, the teachers and staff are incredibly capable and caring individuals. I feel so lucky that 2 of our kids will have had the opportunity to be a part of Lakeview Preschool. I'd be happy to chat with anyone considering applying. Melissa
We LOVE Lakeview Preschool. I was worried about how he'd do after transferring from the only daycare/preschool he knew from 6 wks to 4 yrs old. His impression from his first day? ''I want to go there EVERY day!'' 5 months later and he'd still excited to go to school. Others have already commented on the excellent curriculum and community service emphasis, so I won't add to that. We have wonderful parent volunteers; I feel guilty about not having been one of them due to work, but other parents have never made me feel bad about it and I feel included in the community. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the teachers, kids, and parents at Lakeview, no exaggeration. The teachers really know the kids and help each child grow academically and emotionally/socially (we personally think the latter is so imp't in preschool and a reason we selected Lakeview). Director/teacher Madeline is familiar with the private school kindergartens in the area and a good resource when it comes to applying. One last comment about their curriculum. As the kids ''travel'' around the world, they sample the cuisine of a particular country/culture. Every week, they help measure/make bread from that part of the world. Our son has a lot of food allergies including wheat/dairy/soy (Lakeview is a nut-free preschool) and cannot eat a substantial portion of what they make...we discovered his allergies after he enrolled but we have never regretted sending him to Lakeview. He proudly brings home breads that he helped make for us to try. Teacher Kathy has taken it upon herself to research breads that do not contain his particular allergens, just for him...how's that for dedication?! Teacher Karen tries to have him create ''edible art'' that he can eat (not always possible, depending upon materials/subject). I could go on and on about how happy he is there (and how happy we as his parents are). srh
Both of my sons have attended Lakeview Preschool and it is a fabulous preschool environment. The curriculum is exciting, with a new country(ies) to explore each week, plus art, music, food and discussions/activities centered around that region. The school is extremely well organized, with parents informed about each month's activities and meals well in advance, and a synopsis of each day posted in the afternoon. Children are given a nice balance of free play, interspersed with circle time, class time and structured activities. The staff at Lakeview is fantastic too, giving children lots of attention and encouraging them in making friends and treating each other kindly. My oldest son was very well prepared for kindergarten given his Lakeview experience and I'm sure my current son will be too. I highly recommend this wonderful school. Laura
After reading the all positive reviews of Lakeview, I felt compelled to write with a different perspective. A few years ago, our child attended Lakeview. I would caution any parent with an active, engaging, slightly-outside-the-box child to consider other options. Most of the staff is absolutely terrific. The curriculum is very engaging for the first year; it is a complete repeat the second year and my child quickly became bored. We also felt that the ''around the world'' curriculum lacked a certain amount of authenticity given there were no African American children enrolled in either year. There are terrific aspects to it: High teacher-to-student ratio; the younger staff is enthusiastic and involved; the art is unsurpassed; and the facility is lovely and clean. If I had it to do over, I would have sent my child to a Bridge-K program, such as Heart's Leap at the Julia Morgan School, for year two. There seemed to be an inexplicable shift during the second year when the kids were divided into two groups for kindergarten pareparation. We were told that the groups were based on age, on ability, on gender... We heard many different stories. We're not sore losers; our child is thriving despite a tremendous amount of negative feedback from Lakeview, and is happy and well-adjusted. Now in the second grade, we're thrilled that our daughter is still ebullient and excited about learning, music, and art. Proceed with caution. Anon
Lakeview is a great preschool with a long tradition. It's a particularly great preparation for kindergarten. Our daughter has been attending Lakeview since September and she loves going there. She always wants to stay as long as she can. We as parents are also extremely happy, because we see our daughter make visible progress and also because Lakeview does a great job at communicating with parents about what is happening at the preschool. They provide all food which is also a great help.
All teachers are very caring and loving. The preschool's focus is on learning about different countries, cultures and religions through story telling, science, cooking, and singing. The preschool puts on exhibits for every topic they do and has a very impressive set of artifacts to display.
Our daughter particularly loves doing art with the wonderful art teacher Karen. She also enjoys learning Spanish for half hour every day with Bernadette.
There are not enough good words I can say about this preschool. The children at Lakeview are empowered with knowledge, emotional and social skills. Last but not least they are taught how they can be of help through community oriented projects like coat and food drives. Petra
Re: Oakland/Berkeley Preschools with Caring Teachers
Our 4 y.o. son transferred into Lakeview Preschool this Fall. We were looking for a strong pre-K year for our son. So far, the transition has been seamless and has exceeded all expectation. We are thrilled with our son's response to his new curriculum. He has fantastic sessions in science, art and music several times per week, in addition to a strong core teacher who emphasizes math, reading and Spanish. The smaller school environment has really allowed our son to bloom. Across the board, the teachers are very nurturing and caring in addition to their exceptional level of professionalism. The ''round the world curriculum'' and focus on ethics and social justice issues is also very important to us. The school is a hidden gem, with some extra pizzazz. I strongly encourage you to visit and explore this option for yourself. For those of us who need it, they have full-time hours for working parents and serve wonderful homemade food on the premises (yes, you do not have to send lunches!). Renee
Re: Preschools friendly for kids with nut allergies
I would call Lakeview Preschool in the Grand Lake area. I think the number is 444-1725. We have been there for 3 years and I notice that each day there are notes on the sign in sheets about what things a particular child cannot eat. We (knock wood) have not dealt with any allergies for our kids; so I can't personally attest, but I am sure that if you call and talk with Madeline or Kathy that they would be happy to talk you through procedures and tell you right away if they would be able to accommodate your child or not. PLUS, it is an AWESOME school. It is unbelievable how much the kids grow and learn. Good luck!
I'll second the recommendation that you look at Lakeview Preschool. Our son has a variety of food allergies (wheat, dairy, nuts, soy, strawberries, etc.). Lakeview is a nut free campus. All of the food is provided by the school for the kids who don't have special dietary needs so you don't have to worry about another child having nuts in their lunch. Also, the teacher to student ratio is excellent (8 to 1 I think) so there are always lots of adult eyes on the kids. Our son brings his food and the teachers know what to do with the food and what foods he can/cannot eat. Plus, it's just a great school and our son is learning a lot - both academically and socially. Jason
Re: preschools in Downtown Oakland/Lake Merritt area
We love Lakeview Preschool which is in the Grand Lake area (off Mandana between grand and lakeshore). Our younger son is in his 2nd year there. They have been around for more than 30 years and combine the best of many of the teaching methods. The kids have some academic content each day as well as art every day, music a couple of days a week, Spanish every day, cooking and a lot of outdoor time. Good luck in your search! A happy Lakeview parent
Re: Preschool in North Oakland or surroundings?
We love Lakeview Preschool (www.lakeview-preschool.com/Lakeview/Welcome.html). Our daughter has been attending Lakeview for the last couple of years and we love it. It is a small program located close to Lakeshore. The staff is simply amazing. Their program is truly inspirational and developmentally appropriate to each child. I think your daughter would love it there. Lakeview Alumni
I am looking for advice for a good pre-school in the Grand Lake Area of Oakland. Our wish list is a 3 full day a week program option that is a nice balance of a play and academic environment. We want our child to learn socialization and play skills but also have access to solid academics. He will be three next Fall of 2010 and we have been warned to start our search pronto! He is a bright and physical boy, currently enrolled in part-time day care, and he gets along well with the other children (as well as they do at age 2!). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Feeling a little over my head with options. parent on the pre-school search
Lakeview Preschool sounds like a perfect fit for your requirements. The owner seems to actually prefer to find folks looking for full time school a few days a week (we have been more challenges as we need 5 days a week which doesn't exactly fit with her preferences).
Anyway, my oldest just finished a year there (after 1 year at another local preschool) and it was an amazing experience. He learned an incredible amount. Their ''plan'' for the year is to ''travel'' around the world (and consiquently he knows more about geography than I do)...during their ''travels'' they learn a bit about the current state, history, culture, food, etc. of all of the continents and some of the countries on each. My son's recall is amazing...and he sprinkles little facts in to conversations that blow me away.
In addition to this, his ''small motor skills'' have come quite far from when he started...he is printing all the letters, drawing well and using scissors as needed for K.
Lest you fear that this is an ''academic'' preschool, it really is not. They have a lot of structured time (singing, ''edible art,'' ''group time'' etc.), but they also have a ton of unstructured, play time outside on the playground.
My little son is starting there in a couple of weeks and we are really looking forward to see how he grows and changes since he will have two years with Lakeview instead of the 1 our oldest had.
Website is www.lakeview-preschool.com. Nikki
I am considering Lakeview preschool in the Lakeshore area and would love some recent feedback from current parents. The posts are somewhat out dated. Thank you! Stephanie
I have a daughter currently in her second year at Lakeview Preschool, and we couldn't be happier. Our son was there for two years as well, and also had an excellent experience. It is a small school, with a fairly structured program, so it may not be the perfect school for a child who has high energy or needs to set their own schedule. But for our children, it's been great. The staff are caring and attentive, and there's lots of art (with a GREAT art teacher) and music (the new male teacher has infused the program with more music than in the past), as well as a fairly strong focus on academic basics. A final bonus is that they prepare lunch for the kids every day! Evan
My then 5 year old son went to Lakeview in the Fall of 2003 for the pre-K program. It is an unbelievable school! The director of the school has been doing it for quite a while and she is incredibly organized and creative. They have specialists (ie storyteller, music) that come in most days, the art teacher Karen is fantastic as is the curriculum. My son thrived there. For him, it was a perfect fit, but he had already been in 3 years of a play based preschool and he was ready for the very structured program. He is doing great in K and was totally prepared academically and socially. I am not sure that it is a right fit for every child given the strong academics and structure, but for us it was incredible. Madeline is also very familiar with the local private schools, so if you are going that route, she is a great resource. I have nothing but great things to say about the school! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. jenn
We are looking at Lakeview Preschool for our soon to be three-year-old daughter and would appreciate any feedback folks might have. Thanks in advance for your responses. Beth
My 5-year-old son is in his second year of Lakeview Preschool, and we couldn't be happier. It is an amazing school. The staff is everything you'd want them to be: warm, energetic, creative, and trained experts in their fields (child development, education, art, dance, etc.).
My son LOVES to go to school and my husband and I are thrilled to see how much he is learning about the world. We are also impressed with how adeptly they are introducing him to basic math and reading skills.
When we were trying to decide on a new school for him, my only concern about Lakeview was whether my high energy son would get enough running around time and space. This has not been a problem at all. Although the yard isn't huge, it's well planned and my son has tons of fun. Stephanie
Strong recommendation for Lakeview Pre-School in Lakeshore area. My son attended Lakeview preschool for one year and I cannot rave enough of the school. The teachers are all loving, caring, organized and wise. The school site is very clean, brightly lit, and organized. The program is fabulous. It is a well structured curriculum that teaches diversity, tolerance, peace, sharing, geography, cultural history, arts, music, dance, manners, science, cooking, writing and so much more. Frankly many adults could benefit from such a program. My son has learned so much in the past year. When he was assessed for kindergarten I was asked, ''where did he go to preschool?'' I responded Lakeview and I received a positive nod in return. That in itself says a great deal about Lakeview Preschool. My only regrets are that I did not find Lakeview earlier and that I wasn't allowed to quit my job and enroll into the program myself. Madeline and Kathy are strong and caring teachers and administrators. sophia
My daughter Francesca (3) has been attending it for a little over a month, and it seems quite good. The staff seem quite capable and have pleasant personalities. The program is somewhat structured but not excessively so. The facility is clean and well organized, although somewhat small. The children, for the little I could observe, seem well behaved and non-aggressive. The school came highly recommended by other parents (although people rarely admit their mistakes). Tuition is $790/month for 5 days. Many of the children attend only 3 or 4 days a week.
Also, I realize that this review may sound lukewarm compared to the typical preschool, review, but I tend to be cautious. For all I know, Lakeview *really* is wonderful, but I doubt I'll ever be able to have that much information about this or other schools. Luigi
Our son attends Lakeview Preschool in Oakland, which is off Mandana behind the Grand Lake theater. He has been there for the past 2 years, and graduates to kindergarten this fall. We love it. It is small, with 30 children total, but no more than 24 per day. There is about a 1:5 ratio for teacher:child, which varies slightly depending on the activity. They run a full day program, including meals. The program emphasizes learning about other cultures, and they travel around the world during the school year. They eat foods from other lands (my son now likes sushi), discuss celebrations and ethnic dress, stories, etc. They also learn spanish, and have music, dance and story-telling teachers. We'll be sorry to leave in the fall. Barbara