Each child’s independence is recognized, celebrated and supported.
Sharing paints, taking turns with a favorite bicycle or giving a hug. Young children are learning the foundations of friendship in each interaction. Of course the gentle balance between “mine!’ and taking turns can be met with many tears in between. Teachers at Rockridge Little School help children to understand and learn from one another. Many of the friendships formed at Rockridge Little School will last a lifetime.
Chickens and gardens and airplanes…everything is a subject for study.
Lessons at Rockridge Little School are designed to teach children about, science, math, culture, nature, dance, music and language. Our goal is to give children an opportunity to try out new skills through play. We encourage students to plunge into hands-on learning in ways that reveal the wide world and how wonderfully intricate its workings are. We want them to curl up with a familiar book in the corner or have their teacher read their favorite story so many times that they both know it by heart.
Trees and gardens and mud pies and recycling, carrots and radishes and carpentry and airplanes…everything is a subject for study. We will help children find answers to their questions. How do things work? How high is the sky? Am I big or little? How old is old? How did grownups pursue the things that sparked their imaginations when they were little?
Our goal is to make sure kids have the chance to feed their natural curiosity about the world around them.
The Bay Area has so many opportunities to learn about various cultures, and young children are so open to learning. We will offer cultural enrichment activities in Spanish language, American Sign Language, dance, music and movement. Our goal is to make sure kids have the chance to feed their natural curiosity and appreciation for people who are similar and different from themselves. We welcome children from all racial, cultural and family backgrounds.
The school is a place where parents should feel comfortable and inspired.
We welcome family involvement, but it’s entirely voluntary. On most days parents are busy and they want a quick report on how their child’s day is going. On other days, it might be nice to spent time observing their child at school and speaking more in depth with the teacher. We understand that each person has their own way of contributing to their child’s school.
When you do come, you are invited to bring your best, most interested self to the school. Read a book, plant a vegetable garden, share travel pictures, teach a language or just sit down and relax. Live music, dance or other cultural activities are always welcomed. The classroom is a place where parents should feel comfortable and inspired. The special time that parents spend in their child’s classroom is the foundation for lifetime memories, so we will work to make it relaxed and enjoyable for you both.
Our teachers ensure that every child feels gifted, respected, responsible and profoundly cherished.
Little School teachers are dedicated to introducing children to the marvelous possibility the world and its inhabitants have to offer. We hire professionals who love children and have committed themselves to making the world a better place for them. They are compelling people who are passionate about helping children discover the wonders of the world and of their own growing capabilities. Our small teacher:student ratio allows teachers to give each child the individual attention he or she deserves.
Teachers exceed mandated standards for early childhood educators, and they take advantage of learning opportunities for professional development. They will ensure that every child feels gifted, respected, responsible, and profoundly cherished regardless of any aspect of their life that makes them feel “different.”
Acts of kindness, giving back and environmental stewardship, these are all ways that children at Rockridge Little School contribute to their community.
We believe that preschool is a place where children and their families should feel a sense of belonging. Play dates at the park, parents night out, Sunday farmer’s market meet-ups or a warm greeting in the morning – these are just some of the ways that families stay connected at Rockridge Little School.
On a larger scale, we embrace opportunities to empower children to contribute to the greater good. Kids at Rockridge Little School have the chance to bring in food for the local food bank, participate in our book drive or simply contribute to our weekly “friendship salad. ” These are all fun, meaningful ways that children learn the power of giving and receiving in their community and beyond.
I have always loved children and knew at a young age that my life’s work would be about contributing to their lives. By the time I finished High School, I was reading books and writing papers about Maria Montessori. I have worked in a number of preschools since that time and have explored many other approaches to working with young children.
After completing my undergraduate work at University of California, Santa Barbara, I moved to San Francisco and began working at Larkin Street Youth Center, an agency serving homeless and run-away teens. In 1989 I received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Francisco State University. Since then, I’ve worked with Camp Sunburst Children’s AIDS Project, the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, and as Program Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Francisco.
Prior to opening Rockridge Little School, I served as Executive Director of Ala Costa Center.In 2003 I was recognized by the City of Berkeley as an outstanding woman of the year for my work on behalf of children. In 2000, I was also awarded a LeaderSpring Fellowship (formally called Eureka) in recognition of my community leadership. Through the Eureka Fellowship, I came to realize my dream of opening my own school. I have traveled to China and Cuba as an Early Childhood delegate with People to People. I live in Berkeley with my partner Naomi and our daughter, Bella, who attended RLS during our first year.
I believe that children thrive when they are surrounded by adults who care for them and who are able to take the time to know them as individuals. I have seen many preschool programs. My vision is to create an environment where children and their parents feel inspired.