Woolsey Children's School
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Re: Preschools with Alfie Kohn Approach
Take a look at Woolsey's Children School. They have a very strong emphasis on helping children develop emotional intelligence and conflict resolutions skills. Play-based, home- based, multi-age, great teachers, and flexible scheduling of 3, 4, or 5 days per week until either 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. Their enrollment applications are due Feb 28, so contact them quickly if you are interested 845-8084.
Does anyone have any recent/current experience with the Woolsey Children's School in Berkeley? There's one review on the website from 2002, and there was a description of the school (that seemed to be written by a teacher?) in response to a recent question. It sounds like a lovely place, but I'm curious about what parents think. In particular: - I understand that the former director & founder, Laila, has moved on and it is now co-directed by Sheri & another teacher. Does anyone have experience with Sheri or her co-director that they could discuss? - I also understand that Laila and Sheri are both very active in the local (Unitarian?) ministry. Could anyone reflect on how that is expressed in the school operations & teaching (if at all)? (I'm asking from the perspective of an agnostic family with Jewish heritage) Thanks so much! Preschool Parent-to-be
Hi! I think that Woolsey is great! The philosophy to help children resolve conflict and find ways to share, take turns and develop empathy is fantastic! The current teachers use the same philosophy that Laila used. As far as Laila's religious expression is only found in her care of the children. I think that her faith is expressed through her actions and not through words or materials found at Woolsey Children's School. Diversity is celebrated at Woolsey. Woolsey is a great school. I am becoming a teacher and Woolsey helps prepare children for Kindergarten. One way is through their social development and conflict resolution. This can help a teacher teach more than work through social- emotional conflict. I am a nanny who regularly picked up the kids that I took care of there. The staff care about the well being and the development of the children. I look forward to some future day when I can send my own kids there. Rachel
Re: Looking for a good preschool in Berkeley
I highly recommend Woolsey Children's School if you are looking for a small, multi- age preschool. It is a play based program with a strong emphasis on conflict resolution and emotional intelligence. They are located in South Berkeley. There are 14 children at a time, ages 2-5, with two teachers. The children really get to know one another and the teachers because they are together for 3 years. It is very multi-cultural and has lots of different kids of families. They are enrolling for the summer and fall right now. Contact Sheri Prud'homme at 845-8084 or email woolseyschool[at]gmail.com Woolsey Fan
I'd like to recommend a wonderful preschool in Berkeley - Woolsey Children's School. My son started at Woolsey last fall and has enjoyed a wonderful experience thus far. My son was three and a half when he started at Woolsey. He was quite apprehensive at the prospect of school. The school director, Laila Ibrahim and the staff were wonderful with him - very loving and supportive. Today, my son really enjoys school and all the new friends he has made.
The emphasis at Woolsey is on helping kids develop emotional and social skills. Everyday Woolsey kids are taught to voice their likes and dislikes and seek mutually acceptable solutions to problems. It is evident that there is respect for each other among Woolsey kids.
Woolsey also provides wonderful programs for the kids. Once a week there are music and dance classes. Once a month the kids enjoy a field trip to Kinder Gym at the Berkeley YMCA. We just had an Entomologist visit the school. He brought a lot of insects for the kids to examine. He and the kids then went on a bug hunting expedition around the school to see how many bugs live among us. The kids had a blast. During the summer, Woolsey kids take swim lessons every day at the neighborhood pool. Most recently, Woolsey kids and parents and staff enjoyed a fun-filled camping trip up in Tilden Park. Much fun was had by all.
Woolsey has a wonderful sense of "community". Parents are welcomed at the school anytime. I regularly hang out at school - sometimes joining in at dance class or playing with kids on the play structure. Other parents also hang around and chat when picking up or dropping off kids at school. We support each other during school vacations; taking turns watching each other's kids so as to provides some parental "down" time. It's been a wonderful experience for my son and our entire family.
Woosley currently is seeking 3 year-olds to complete its incoming class. If you know of anyone who might interested in a school providing a nurturing and loving environment, Woolsey may be the school for you and your family. Call Laila Ibrahim at (510) 845-4504. Nicole