Civic Engagement

At The Berkeley School, students from Pre-K to 8th grade are actively learning what it means to be a member of their school, their local community and the world. Filtered through the lens of civic engagement, students’ academic experience is intertwined with their social and emotional development. Alongside a strong curriculum are key conflict-resolution opportunities, empathy-developing role playing, and student-led community campaigns, all of which reinforce that what matters in education matters in life.

Our emphasis on equity and inclusion creates a culture of belonging, and we strive through anti-bias practices and policies to create a space where students feel “seen and supported” to become their best selves. Our emphasis on academic rigor creates a culture of lifelong learning. Students who graduate from The Berkeley School are uniquely prepared to navigate the complexities of a changing world.

On Our Early Childhood Campus

Peace Education is at the heart of Maria Montessori’s philosophy, which holds that fostering peace for the individual leads to a peaceful society. The Early Childhood Campus (ECC) builds and expands the Montessori philosophy by teaching children about identity and diversity through the study of geography, culture, music, art, and literature. Children celebrate and build a sense of belonging by recognizing the ways in which they are similar and different, and learning that being different is a good thing. The ECC holds a Kindness Festival each spring, to build inclusive communities by recognizing and making visible the many kind things people do all the time.

Our ECC five year olds, through the Explorers program, partner with The Berkeley Food Pantry, visit them to understand how they meet the needs of those who facing food insecurity in the Berkeley and Albany communities, raise awareness, and provide groceries to them through food drives.

In Our Elementary Division

Students build understanding of identity, diversity, justice, and action with their Changemaker curriculum. Through the lens of literacy and storytelling, students learn about human rights, gender, race, ethnicity, immigration, refugees, ability/ableism, Indigenous rights, workers’ rights, and socioeconomics. Learning about people who enacted change because of the inequities and inequalities they faced, students begin to see that anyone can become a changemaker. Working to understand systemic oppression through the interdisciplinary study of cultural studies, history, reading, writing, science, and art, and using the frame of why people move, 4th and 5th grade students address the issues faced by those who have been/and are currently being forced to move, including slaves, refugees, and immigrants. Students build understanding about similarities and differences, and about inequality and inequities in the culture and the system.

In Our Middle School

The Humanities curriculum is centered around social justice through the study of tribalism and the development of modern society, building understanding that no civilization has been created with equal distribution of resources, and access has been given inequitably. All of this leads to changemaking: justice and action. Once we understand that not everyone has the same rights or access, what do we do about it? How do we work to change the systems of oppression? In science, students are partnered with Save the Bay and a wetland restoration project. They re-establish habitat and potentially prevent community displacement.

WE Day Club

WE Club is an elective middle school club for students interested in developing their own passions in the area of service learning. Participants build student leadership skills and agency in the area of service learning. The learning outcomes are: civic engagement, empathy, awareness, and care for diverse communities and cultures, and ability to meet real community needs.

 

For Admissions information, please contact Director of Admission Paula Farmer at pfarmer{at}theberkeleyschool.org or (510) 665-8800, ext. 103. 

K - 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

K - 8 Campus

1310 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 665-8800

Early Childhood Campus

2030 Francisco Street
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 849-8340

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