East Bay School for BoysCommunity Subscriber
My husband and I had been dreading sending our son to the public middle school he was slated to attend since he was in third grade. It was academically execellent but huge, and the stories coming out of the school (no DEI, no control over cell phone usage, a lot of teacher turn over, poor responses to racist incidents and bullying, etc.) made us realize it was not a place we wanted our son to spend his critical middle school years from a developmental stand point. His school principal recommended EBSB (www.ebsfb.org) and we are so beyond thrilled and relieved to say that our son now attends this absolute gem of a school!
We were looking for a school with a much smaller teacher to student ratio, a genuine DEI program that wasn't just a statement in their marketing materials, and a place where our son was able to go through the challenging middle school years where his social/emotional needs would be attended to as opposed to being an afterthought. Their own description of why they teach the way they do said it all for us: The East Bay School for Boys is a new middle school model in which all kinds of boys become engaged, thoughtful, and courageous young adults. Based on the latest research about how boys learn and what they need to succeed, we strive to build intellectually curious and emotionally intelligent youth who are catalyzed to challenge stereotypes and bring powerful, positive, and peaceful change to our world.
Our son was initially mildly concerned about attending a boys only school but overcame that concern quickly. I know he does not regret girls missing out on the onset of his acne LOL, nor does he miss being judged at moments when he wants to express himself emotionally. He is developing friendships that will be life long.
EBSB also addresses the way boys this age learn as opposed to a one size fits all curriculum. Week one started out with the sixth graders building their own desks! They are encouraged to move their bodies throughout the day, which is just what my son needed to avoid the boredom of sitting at a desk for most of the day. A typical week at EBSB has included humanities, earth science, math, capoiera, 21st century shop, music, p.e., and a daily check in with his advisory teacher and group. He loves it! It is so refreshing to here him declare that he had a good day when he gets in the car at pick up!
Bottom line: I can't recommmend East Bay School for Boys highly enough. It is everything we hoped it would be and so very much more. Good luck with your child's journey to find the school that makes their middle school years the best they can be!
The choice to send my son to EBSB is one of the best things I have done as a father.
As middle school approached, my anxiety as a parent increased daily. My son, having ADHD had been struggling in the public school system and the thought of him being overwhelmed in a large middle school felt like the worst option for him.
Honestly, East Bay School for Boys was a scary move for me as well. Would an all boy school give my son a balanced social experience? Would the school turn him into a “guy” rather than a man? Would he get the nuanced academic support he needed in a private school?
His middle school years have been amazing. Because of the school’s focus on emotional openness, respect and kindness, my son is—before my very eyes, growing into the compassionate young man I know he can become. EBSB bolsters his self-esteem and confidence daily, and his academic progress is far beyond what I expected.
East Bay School for Boys sounds like the perfect place for your son. There is a lot of hands-on learning, including (when school is in person) an amazing work program where the boys get to do metalwork, woodwork, etc. - the school even has its own forge! It's a small school, so the teachers know the boys well and are really invested in their personal growth, and there is a lot of thought put into how to teach boys who were uninspired by traditional schools. The social-emotional learning is great, and the school culture is one of acceptance - there are all kinds of boys there. There is not a ton of homework and the teachers are used to dealing with many different learning styles. Dana, the head of school, has handled the pandemic with thoughtfulness and grace. My son hated public school and was completely unmotivated by it, and EBSB completely turned him around. It was the best 3 years of his life, and worth every penny. He is now a freshman in high school, super engaged in school, and getting straight As. I can't recommend the school highly enough.
We were looking for a private, middle school with a reasonable commute. We feel fortunate to have run across ebsb. Our son is currently in 7th grade and is thriving in his environment. The average class size is approximately 15 (vs. close to 30 in some public schools). The teachers and staff are top notch and approachable. Our son has ADHD and is excelling academically. The school only has approximately 90 students in total so personalized attention is possible. Last year our son performed in a play, went on an overnight camping trip, built picnic tables and joined their numerous after-school sports teams. Despite not having a big, grass field on the premises, they can use Cal's sports fields across the street. We are very happy here. The school feels like a family.
My son started EBSB in the 6th grade and is now a 7th grader there. He’s a good student but had been getting lost in the shuffle at school in the elementary grades. We knew he needed a smaller school setting. We looked at several middle schools and to be honest we weren’t sure about the idea of putting him in an all boys school. After going to the info nights and on a tour our son was sure that he did want to go to EBSB. It seemed like a well thought out program so we went for it.
The 6th grade is a major transition from elementary school and EBSB really has a great approach to make it happen smoothly. They begin of with what they call “build week”. The boys work in teams to build furniture (lunch tables, desks, etc) for the school. While they do this they are building their class community. The school devotes time to letting the boys know what’s expected of them in the classroom and out. They have fostered an environment where all kinds of boys ( nerdy/sporty/skaters/MTG/etc) are accepted and encouraged. Our son doesn’t feel he has to fit into just one group. In this supportive environment he has thrived academically and socially.
My son has attended EBSB since 6th grade and is currently in 7th grade. EBSB has been an incredibly positive experience for us and — dare I say — transformative for the whole family. My son has traditionally been a reluctant, but decent student. In elementary school he always rushed through his homework and did the minimum even though he’s capable of much more. At EBSB I’ve seen him change into someone who sees himself in charge of his own learning. At the beginning of 7th grade he even signed up to give a speech to the whole school on “engagement.” (This completely surprised me!) The message at EBSB is that the students are seen, valued, and loved even (and maybe especially when) they make mistakes. Allowing kids to fail in a loving environment is so rare these days and so essential for children to learn to be resilient and internally motivated.
Another thing I love about EBSB is that they hold workshops, focus groups, and courageous conversations to foster learning and community. My son and I attended a workshop on the topic of homework struggles at home. As we worked through the thoughtful program presented by the now head of school, Dana, I realized that the workshop was really about the relationship between parent and child. Afterwards as we walked to the parking lot, my son said that the workshop helped him “fundamentally change” his relationship with his dad and that even though I made him come to school at night it was “worthwhile.” This is a 6th grader talking!
In fact the whole 6th grade experience is designed to be developmentally appropriate and challenging for a 11 or 12 year old boy. The school year begins with “build week” where the 6th graders use design thinking to prototype and build something for the school. My son’s year built the picnic tables used during lunch. Then there is a community building overnight camping trip coupled with advisory time during the school day. All 6th graders also take Capoeira in addition to PE which allows for more movement during the school day.
I also appreciate the way in which EBSB fosters and supports boys being in touch with their feelings. Emotional vulnerability is protected, valued, and encouraged among the boys. I really believe if more boys grew up able to share their feelings there would be less misogyny and violence in the world. When attending admission events for EBSB I noticed how authentic and sincere the students were... how open and honest about their struggles and challenges.
I could continue to list the reasons my family loves the EBSB experience, but the best way to learn more would be to attend an admissions event, especially having your son spend the morning at the school experiencing classes and the culture in general.
We love EBSB and feel like it's changed the course of our son's life. A dramatic statement, but so true. Our son started middle school at King, and while King is an amazing school, it wasn't amazing for our son. EBSB is different. Our son comes home energized and excited. He can't wait to return the next day. He feels respected, supported and most of all - seen. I cannot recommend the school highly enough. It feels like a true community. Our son especially loves the Wednesday morning all-school meetings, where the entire school gathers to discuss current events and talk through any challenges the community might be facing. Amazing. It's really helped with his communication at home as well. Homework is manageable and relevant. Teachers are caring and motivating. We love EBSB!!
We have been very happy at EBSB. Our son is in 6th grade and the transition from elementary school was tough for him. We've appreciated the partnership with the school in supporting our child and family. The leadership and teaching staff are all dedicated to the mission of the school, building strong character in the boys and a supportive healthy community. The amount of homework is manageable compared with many of the other middle schools that we looked at in the East Bay. Definitely worth checking out!
I want to encourage anyone looking for a diverse, caring, wonderful middle school for their son to check out the East Bay School for Boys. It is small, which means no one falls through the cracks, and has a focus on social-emotional learning, which is so important for middle-school-aged boys. Jason, the head of school, truly understands child development and is a strong and inspiring leader. There is a lot of hands-on learning in all subjects, and the Work program (building, blacksmithing, etc, with an eye toward both careful craftsmanship and creativity) is especially fantastic. Even more importantly, boys emerge from EBSB as confident young men, with self-knowledge, direction, and positive self-regard. My 7th grader has grown and matured so much during his time at EBSB, and we are truly grateful.
We love the East Bay School for Boys. Located a block from CAL, it's got a vibrantly diverse staff and student body and it does a wonderful job of cultivating social-emotional learning. The academics have been great for our son as well, but more than anything we have been watching our now 8th grader take charge of his academic life, be more caring and responsible, be social engaged and become very skillful about living a life that is creative and meaningful. A lot of what happens there is great modeling from wonderful teachers who care deeply about the kids. Good luck with your search - there is an Information Night this Wed. night in case life allows for it.
Looking for a new way to educate middle school age boys? East Bay School for Boys has the recipe for success!
We are a new family to EBSB this year with a 6th grader. We were looking for something beyond the traditional classroom and textbook learning to inspire our son to a love of school and learning. We found EBSB through a personal recommendation. Our experience with Arjuna the admissions director and the admissions process was very personal and responsive. In addition, Jason, head of school, spent a few hours with us one on one talking though the school environment, culture and how their goals fit our own for our son. For an incoming 6th grader who didn't know anyone else at the school, the relationships he built with Arjuna and Jason during the admissions process made him feel comfortable day 1.
What stands out to us about EBSB is that aside form great academics, the integrated curriculum, design thinking and hands on learning, they also teach boys on how to become independent thinkers, courageous and responsible young men. We just completed student led conferences where our son presented his work (on display sharing what he learned) and evaluation of the work back to his parents and his advisor. He shared his strengths, opportunities and where he needs help from us or EBSB. The maturity level we saw was beyond what we were expecting a few months into school.
The engagement between the school to families and among the families (parents and students) is very personal - they invest a lot of time to get to know the boys and their families. The student and parent community came very together quickly this year due to a fire that happened in the adjoining church, that displaced the boys for a short time. The outpouring of support for the school, neighboring church as well as for each other created a community among the staff, families and boys.
The grading system is very thoughtful/informative. It really helps show where the boys are excelling, or may need more help - they break it down by approach to the work (prep, timeliness, organization) and then the actual content of the work (the outcome/answer).
We are very thankful our son gets the benefit of his experiences at EBSB and know that they are helping him grow in all ways!
I would suggest East Bay School for Boys. They may not have openings right now, but at the very least they can offer support, advice, and recommendations. Best of luck!
Our son is a 6th grader at EBSB and we are just a month into school. His experience has been very positive. It may seem a bit premature to write a review just one month in but the experience we have had this past week is exceptional.
Last Friday there was a three-alarm fire the engulfed the church offices on the same property. The school's emergency response and communications immediately following were flawlessly executed. Though the school is untouched by the fire it has remained closed this week as inspections and cleanup have occurred. Despite needing to focus on the physical arrangements to ensure the safety of the school, the leadership and faculty put together a plan where school could continue virtually and experientially this week.
Crisis allows for a true test of the inner strength of the individual and collective. The way in which the challenges have been turned into learning opportunities in such a quick turn around are beyond impressive. EBSB's response is only achievable by strong leadership, dynamic faculty and staff and a belief in modeling for our sons what it means to be resourceful, innovative problem solvers.
This school walks their talk in a very powerful way. We are so glad that our son gets the opportunity to learn from true educators and be a part of an exceptional community.
All of the other reviews about EBSB on BPN are so eloquently stated and are absolutely spot on for our experience these past two years at EBSB. We will treasure our son’s final year and all of those at EBSB that make it such a remarkable place. The academic and personal growth experience for the boys at EBSB is nurtured with such a balance of mind, body, and spirit of and for the middle school aged boy (and his parents/guardians and community. They are always researching and exploring ways to make every aspect even better (honestly don’t know how much better it can be). !). EBSB exemplifies its mission of providing a challenging and active learning environment that combines hard work with discovery, creativity, fun and purpose. There are many wonderful stories that make up EBSB. I highly recommend that you bring your son to check it out, listen and observe for yourselves. If you are interested in one of those personal stories, please read on.
Ours is a story about a boy who began life as a very happy, active kid. He began eager to start school like his older brother, but from Kindergarten on he started every single year academically behind, struggling all year and finally doing just well enough to advance to the next grade. He was still quite happy, but he had issues with focus, fine motor skills, etc. We struggled to find the right academic support. Then, starting in 4th grade, something happened at his school, and in his classroom in particular. He was lost in a very chaotic and negative environment in. His self-esteem dropped to an all-time low. He had always been a natural athlete who loved sports, but suddenly stopped playing. Then, what used to be imaginative stories started to become complicated untruths, which then became lies to mask his insecurities. I was losing my happy little boy. This was one of the scariest things for me as I was looking toward middle school and high school, especially a really large public middle school where it would be easy for him to slip through the cracks and hard for us to pull him back out. I must say, I was really frightened of where things could go. Thankfully, a friend introduced us to EBSB. Immediately, I knew in my heart that this was where my son belonged. There was a noticeable difference in our son early on. He found a new stronger self confidence that grows each day. He became his old happy adventurous self again. He actually started to like school for the first time. Work class was magical (and still is). He started rock climbing (and continues) with his 6th grade math teacher and flourished (thank you Josh!). He started playing soccer again, started skateboarding, unicycling, joined Lacrosse, cross county, and ultimate Frisbee. For a brief moment, we were slightly nervous about his academics because we weren’t hearing the usual ongoing concern from teachers. But then he had his first student led conference. We were floored. Who was this boy who could speak honestly about his new found strengths and his current struggles and the goals he’d come up with to improve? He was no longer hiding or feeling the need to keep from the truth. On many occasions, he is delightful-yes, a delightful middle school boy! He truly loves EBSB. He cherishes his relationships with his teachers, the staff and his peers. We couldn’t be more pleased with how much our son has grown academically and personally while at EBSB. I believe that the impact that EBSB has will be far greater than imagined.
EBSB makes a lot of promises, and they deliver on all of them. Our son, who was lost and struggling in public school, found a warm, engaging environment in which he could thrive. He went from having to be dragged out of bed in the morning to go to school, to jumping out of bed with excitement. It's great to see the confidence build in him as he is encouraged to build on his strengths, as he is supported and pushed were he needs to be challenged. In particular, the Shakespeare musical for sixth graders terrified him, but the personal encouragement by the Director Jason Baeten allowed him to overcome his fears, and ultimately shine. Also, in this digital era it is comforting to know that he is using his hands, legs and arms to build things and connect him to the real world. The curriculum is well planned and integrated -- in fact everything about the school is aligned to its core mission and values, and I see the staff working towards it every day. EBSB has been a blessing for our son and family.
The proof is in the pudding! Our son has finished the first few weeks of High School and is thriving. He has mentioned (unprompted!) on several occasions that ebsb has given him a sense of confidence and a tool kit of strategies’ that have made the transition easier for him than most other kids in his class. When we made a decision to send our son to ebsb three years ago it was a bit of a leap of faith because the school was less than 50 kids and had not had a graduating class. We were fans of the school, the staff, the curriculum (both academic and social emotional) from the get go and throughout of three years at ebsb. But to be fully transparent, we were nervous about how it would all turn out. When our son was accepted into all the schools he applied we started to feel better. But it was not until the last few weeks we fully appreciated all that ebsb did to help our son and our entire family. Some things I would suggest if your time allows during the evaluation process: 1) engage in all the ebsb admissions events with courage. 2) Arrange to visit the school to see a “Town Hall” meeting. 3) Go to a sporting event or stop by and watch the rock climbing club at Iron Works. Ebsb is unlike any other school I’ve seen and the contrast will be clear. Your family will know if it is the right place for your son if you listen to your heart. If it is right for you I feel very confident it will be a life changing experience for your son. ebsb (from top to bottom) is constantly challenge themselves to get better, are ever more "polished" in the running of a school, have proven to be far ahead of other schools and many parents (at least me!) on what middle school boys really need to thrive - during middle school and beyond. Go Hammerhead!
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Couldn't be happier, in fact, we commute 40-minutes to attend We are beginning the 8th grade at East Bay School for Boys, which is celebrating its fifth year. But don't let the years in operation worry you. This school was founded by individuals who wanted to create an independent all-boys middle school that was academically challenging, but designed for boys. The Head of School, Jason Baeten, is engaging, wise, funny, passionate, warm, and wonderful. In Work Class, there is a forge, a plasma cutter, 3-D printer, and all sorts of wood working equipment. The boys learn how to read design specs and create paper prototypes, apply their math skills, and build things with their own hands. But it's also incredibly nurturing. No child gets lost in a school this size. The advisory program and our son's adviser, has guided him through a time where everything is incredibly awkward. Teachers and staff are incredibly supportive of the boys emotionally but are still able to guide them into deeper, more critical thinking. We could not be happier -- our son is engaged, thoughtful, and courageous. Victoria (mom of an 8th grader)
As a single mother raising a young man in today's society I thought very hard about where to send my son to middle school. He entered EBSB in Sept 2013. I was looking for a community who would partner with me to maneuver the challenges of these years. Passing from adolescence to adulthood is one of the most difficult and confusing transitions for a young male to make. We cannot assume that people automatically grow and develop into responsible, community-oriented adults. I believe that \xc3\xa2\xe2\x82\xac\xc5\x93adults are not born but made.\xc3\xa2\xe2\x82\xac\xc2\x9d What connects us is our common beliefs and shared humanity. Today many of us face this passage without any social structure or tradition to help us through.
EBSB's intent is simple: to provide a sanctuary for our young men to develop the tools they will need to become healthy, culturally authentic, thriving young men. They accomplish this through an innovative curriculum building collaborative skills (math, science, language arts, history, life skills, backpacking, stewardship and the list goes on).
My son has found a place at EBSB. A few weeks ago at his student led conference he demonstrated the skills he had learned in his new environment. He was able to give feedback to his adviser on some of his concerns. This experience was powerful for him and as we left the building he told me how good it made him feel. Over the next few weeks he witnessed how his words motivated actions within the school. Our ability to change makes us sustainable, resilient, and honest. The ability to change while seeking creative solutions is one of EBSB's strengths all the while demonstrating a potent lesson to our young men. We are so happy to be here and look forward to our coming years creating in our new community. EBSB Parent
The hunt for middle school can be highly stressful. When that time came for us last year, my husband and I did not know what we were going to do. We had been in a suprportive and community oriented public school and we wanted something similar for muddle school. We attended numerous open houses and information nights for public, private, and parochial schools. We continued to cross schools off of our list until we were down to 2 schools. One of the schools was East Bay School for Boys. When our twins were accepted here, we felt that this would be the right fit for them and our family.
Now that we are 4 months into the school year, I can say with 100% confidence that this is by far the best place for my sons. I could go on and on about the fabulous projects, academics, and facillities, but what stands out the most to me is the care that the faculty has for my boys and the entire student population. I know that when I send my children to school everyday, they are loved and taken care of with true compassion. The faculty has high expectations for every boy and the boys rise to these expectations. EBSB has also taught my boys what real community looks like, and how they can be responsible community members. EBSB is am amazing place for young boys to grow durning one of the most complex times (adolescence!) of their lives. We found our dream school in East Bay School for Boys. Happy Mother of twin 6th grade boys
Re: Good middle school for boys
In your post you asked for parents who's sons were successful at the East Bay School for Boys and I am one of those parents so I felt inclined to share. When my son was ready to enter 6th grade I thought that he would be fine at another local school however the experience was far less than ideal for him and I felt like he needed an environment that was more hands on and project based, with an updated approach to technology and education, where he was thoughtfully engaged and encouraged to shine and to excel. I'm sure he would have been ok at another school but I wanted him to be more than ok. I wanted him to thrive and to feel confident and courageous while nurtured and guided to be an upstanding citizen. EBSB's mission is to empower the engaged, thoughtful, and courageous men of tomorrow and I wholeheartedly feel that they do just that. I've witnessed my son excel in Math and Language Arts and become incredibly engaged in his interactive online textbook for his World Cultures class. For the first time, he's excited about research and preparing his class presentations. In addition, he's made all kinds of new friends and is super excited to go to school each day. Not only that, EBSB moved into a new beautiful and centrally located facility. If you have any questions at all about their program I encourage you to contact the administration and get a list of parent references. Most of the parents that I know who have son's there will testify that it's the absolute best place around for them and are really very happy. Also, you may want to attend their next open house on December 6th. I hope this helps. Proud EBSB Parent
Re: How do average kids get into private middle school?
I think there are many independent schools with room for so-called ''average kids.'' I highly recommend you check out East Bay School for Boys. They're great with boys who may have fallen through the cracks in traditional schools. My son started there in 6th grade and is going to graduate this coming spring. EBSB is not just about academics, they really approach education as a ''whole.'' My son is confident, engaging, and loves school.
The East Bay School for Boys middle school in Berkeley has been a gem for my son. As a mother, I am grateful that my son attends a school that provides him with an excellent, academically challenging, and hands on learning environment that nurtures his mind, body and spirit. They integrate their top notch math, science and language arts curriculum with innovation and technology. In addition, they support each boy to grow into his own unique person while giving him the guidance and nurturance that he needs to maintain a high level of confidence in order to thrive. I feel that my son is fully supported academically, physically, and emotionally by this loving community of educators and administrators. I can't imagine a better place for him during these middle school years. Grateful East Bay School for Boys Mom
Hello prospective middle school parents of boys, We relocated this summer from Brooklyn, NY where our son attended a wonderful Quaker school. Therefore, fortunately, we have only had positive school experiences thus far. However EBSB has exceeded our expectations of what a private school could offer when its vision is in line with its daily practice. Our son, who liked school before, now says that he feels for the first time in many years that his teachers truly like him.He feels understood and seen. To my adult perspective this experience is directly related to the fact that EBSB is incredibly mindful in how they view our boys and how they relate to them. The boys are treated with respect and empathy, yet challenged to be their best selves at the same time and it should be self evident that when boys feel seen and heard, they will take responsibility for their own learning and growth.I think our society tends to forget this, as the energy and disposition of middle school boys can often leave us feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and worried that our boys will never ''get it together''. It is so inspiring to belong to a place that holds middle school boys in a place of honor and reminds us that they are capable of great things if guided with eye-level empathy and respect.EBSB is a truly special, unique gift to the community with middle school aged boys. It is grounded in nuanced, progressive educational theory and philosophy, without forsaking the importance of academic standards, and its work is implemented daily by passionate, gifted and tirelessly thoughtful educators who understand how boys learn and what they need to become thoughtful and engaged men. Nati
Re: Hands-on, no-homework private/charter elementary?
Hi. I don't know about an elementary School that fits your interests. The East Bay School for Boys in Berkeley sounds like it would be an ideal School for your family, however, its a middle School (Grades 6-8). Perhaps you can contact them. I'm sure they would have insight into elementary schools with a similar philosophy/programming. They also host a speaker series called Boys 2 Men that hosts panelists from like minded Schools/programs. You could always get on their mailing list. Happy EBSB parent
Anecdotes illustrating EBSB's successful and innovative approach to teaching my son:
- Assessed Ancient Sumerian City-State unit by having a Sumerian Sand City-State building competition at Muir Beach (the stream represented the Tigris and Euphrates).
- Took 2 periods out of the normal schedule one day to learn the Maori war dance/chant called The Hakka.
- After school offerings this trimester include 'Edible, Medicinal and Hazardous Plants', 'Exploring Architecture through Cartography and Art', and Latin Dance
Every day when asked how his day was, my son replies, ''Great!'' And once he said, ''Even if I don't want to go to school in the morning, when I get to school I can't help but smile.'' What else is there to say? Jen
Last year I visited every possible middle school in Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda. East Bay School for Boys was the last school I visited and it was by far the best choice for my son. Throughout elementary school my son dreaded going to school. He is very intelligent, but he was hyperactive, and not well understood by many. I'm not sure what happened, but within a couple of months my son has transformed. He is no longer hyperactive and he absolutely loves school. He used to be very particular about his friends and didn't like many of his teachers. At this school he has nothing but positive things to say about the other boys and the teachers. He has made deep friendships, but likes everyone. I feel incredibly grateful to Jason and the staff at EBSB. I live 30 minutes from the school, and I was nervous about the long commute, but it is entirely worth it. Previously, I had always felt as if the schools were doing a disservice to my son. They seemed to be teaching to the learning style of girls, but not that of boys. This school understands boys and gives them the environment they need to thrive. As a person of color, my son has felt very safe, accepted, loved and understood. I deeply appreciate the school's dedication to creating a culturally diverse environment and community, where out of the box-thinking and self-advocacy is encouraged. Miko
We are considering sending our son to East Bay School for Boys . My daughter attended Julia Morgan School for Girls where she thrived. We loved it. My concern is with the newness of this school and potential for getting into private high schools. I would love to hear from parents with sons attending EBSB. How do you and your son like it? How are the academics? Thanks! Julia Morgan fan
My son started his second year at the East Bay School for Boys (ebsb) last month and is having another remarkable year. I highly recommend you visit to determine if it would be a good fit for your son. My daughter attended JMSG, so I'm happy to report on ebsb within that comparison/context. Like JMSG, ebsb has a clear mission that drives all operations: "empowering the engaged, thoughtful, courageous men of tomorrow." It can be seen in a well developed, challenging curriculum that is taught by enthusiastic and trained teachers using many tools and techniques to reach the boys.They know boys and love teaching and guiding them. Also like JMSG, there is a real emphasis on developing personal responsibility and accountability - boys lead their own conferences, have high academic and behavioral expectations clearly communicated to them, and know that developing real relationships with each other and their teachers is an integral part of growing up and being an educated man. It's a cliche to say my son jumps out of bed eager to go to school everyday, but it's true.
So to answer your question about academics, I would say they are strong and appropriate for this age group and each boy seems to be stretching and growing and challenging himself. As for the high school question, I am confident that all of the ebsb graduates will be ready for high school and will find their best fit school. Having gone through the private high school process with my daughter, I realized that like her, many students at independent schools were well prepared academically, yet what set apart many of the JMSG girls was the evidence that they had been through a transformative experience in middle school, not just a well coordinated, well taught curriculum or "product." These girls had found their voices! I firmly believe this is and will continue to be one of the major outcomes of my son's ebsb experience and what sets it apart from other private MS options - it has been enormously transformative already and that was only 6th grade with 17 boys! They are now deepening their intellectual curiosity and learning new tools everyday (literally - the workshop is incredible). And what better time for such a transformation as middle school - the adolescent brain is growing and changing more than it has since they were babies, the pressures of identity development are huge and their bodies are changing too. Jennifer
Dear All. It's getting to be that time of year when parents make school choices for next year. At this time last year, we were considering sending our then-5th grader to East Bay School for Boys, which was just getting organized for its first year, and still didn't have a school site or even teachers. What it did have was Head of School Jason Baeten's vision of a school where all different types of boys would thrive. My husband and I knew instantly this was the place for our son. Our son was more reticent since it was small and he didn't know anyone.
Having finished half of a year, I can say that my husband and I are thrilled with EBSB. Most importantly, our son absolutely loves it.
We were hoping for a school where our son would, among other things, develop a love for learning, learn, develop intrinsic motivation, and grow emotionally. All these things are happening. For the first time, my son loves school--more than just PE, recess and lunch. He's much more engaged in his schoolwork and with his family than in years' past. The depth of his growth in these few months is amazing, and while some may be developmental, we attribute most, if not all, to what's happening at EBSB.
The teachers are great, and wonderful role models--key in these middle school years. He's making strong friendships.
Some have asked whether it's ''risky'' to go to a brand new school. My feeling is no--the staff is experienced, and is using that experience to develop a curriculum and culture that seems mature but fresh. Others have asked whether the school works for ''sporty'' and ''non-sporty'' boys. My experience is yes--all boys are stretching themselves. Others have asked whether since it is private it is ''snooty.'' My experience is no--the families are down to earth, and the school is dedicated to keeping it that way.
Sending our son to EBSB is probably the smartest parenting decision we've made.
Good luck to you all in making your decisions. EBSB Parent
As a parent of the first class at The East Bay School For Boys (ebsb), I wanted to speak to what has evolved beyond a vision and is now a reality. Anyone who knows Jason Baeten from Julia Morgan School for Girls knows that he inspires students in ways they never forget. Jason has chosen a team of teachers that are equally as inspired, compassionate and enthusiastic about providing a challenging, enriching and fun middle school experience. Each day begins with either capoeira (a mix of martial arts and dance) or yoga. Boys are encouraged to move and be active; they exercise their bodies and their minds. The creativity and fun sometimes disguises the rigor, but our son is for the first time, enjoying math, not complaining about homework, and he seems so much more inspired to challenge himself in ways he hasnC-t before.
At ebsb, the teachers pay careful attention to individual learning styles. There are daily opportunities for hands on learning and great utilization of technology, but there are times where the boys sit (at desks they built themselves) and learn. Given the space to run, climb trees, throw balls around and play, they have a greater capacity to sit, focus, and enjoy learning.
Lastly, a very unexpected bonus for us is that the school has attracted a compassionate, energized, fun parent community who are equally as passionate as we are about the school and its growth. We are so grateful to have found this gem.
I went to an information night last night for a new middle school- 'East Bay School for Boys' and LOVED it. How refreshing to hear educators express a clear mission - to empower middle school boys to cultivate their intellectual, physical and emotional selves to become the engaged, thoughtful and courageous men of tomorrow, and to have a concrete plan and commitment to providing it for a diverse set of boys. The acknowledgment that boys need active, engaged learning environments, to be taken seriously as thoughtful beings, and to integrate subjects in meaningful ways gave me chills all night. My son loved it too! They showed a short video, which is on the website, that will bring tears to your eyes. I have a 5th grade son at a great independent school, who performs above grade level on all tasks, but who is hungry for more science and math and making connections to his universe. School stifles this in the pressure to conform to the norm, which behaviorally is obedient girls. He would do fine anywhere, but I had the epiphany last night that he would really THRIVE in an environment like this. Check it out: www.eastbayschoolforboys.com Inspired mom '
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