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Children's School

Elementary School

Here's what makes our K-5 lab school special:

  • Highly-qualified Head Teachers and dedicated student teachers
  • Small mixed-grade classes that specialize in differentiated learning
  • Thematic, project-based learning that fosters a sense of autonomy, belonging, and competency 
  • Integrated curriculum with math, language arts, science, visual art, music and movement, and physical education, all with a strong social-emotional component
  • Strong parent involvement
  • Spanish, art, music, and PE once a week 
  • iPads utilized as teaching tools in 2nd-5th grade
  • After school care until 5:45 pm daily, including a variety of enrichment options, such as cooking, dance, drama, or martial arts

Student interest, teacher passion, and State of California content standards form the basis of our curriculum mapping. Teaching and learning are infused with creative approaches that meet the needs of all children, and our strong academics are enriched with additional expert teaching for music, art, and physical education. We do not administer STAR assessments; instead, formative and authentic assessments inform our curriculum decisions. We offer parent-teacher conferences twice a year, as well as bi-annual progress reports that convey a thorough description of each child’s mastery of the different subject matters, without letter grades.

Why K-5?

In our Elementary School, we focus on the crucial primary years of Kindergarten through 5th grade. Here, children are still children: Imaginative play and read-aloud haven't disappeared, students get individual attention and time to develop a love of learning and recess is full of fun and games for all ages to enjoy.

The Elementary School program currently has four mixed-grade classrooms (two K/1s, a 2/3, and a 4/5), all of them serving students with a range of ages and skills. As psychologist Lev Vgotsky describes in his “Zone of Proximal Development” theory, children working in collaboration with more capable peers are able to learn at a higher level. In our multi-age classrooms, children have ex­panded opportunities to be both leaders and followers, to learn from and to teach one another, and to develop a strong sense of community.

Our 4th and 5th graders have the opportunity to be the “big kids on campus,” to take on leadership roles and mentor younger students, without feeling the need to act like teenagers before their time. For example, a few years ago, the 4/5 classroom started their own entrepreneurial business venture, called the Happy Eating Place, where the students plan, bake, and sell healthy snacks to raise money for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, a service learning project that continues to this day. Our graduates leave prepared for the academic and social challenges of the best middle schools in the Bay Area.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Elementary School

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Contact Information

P: 510.430.2118
F: 510.430.3223

Last Updated: 10/15/15