To See where our family is now in school, check out this follow up post
If you have further input, please comment below!
Here are responses, (and my interpretation of our phone conversation).
UCDS: (Closed to 2009 applicants)
1) “You’re probably looking for the parent perspective, but I was a
student at UCDS many, many years ago, when the school was just
starting as a sort of ‘experimental’ program. Through the years, it
has maintained its core values and seems to be an even better school
than it was at its inception. I now have two colleagues with children
at UCDS, and frankly, you can’t get a word in edgewise; they’re soo
enthusiastic about the school, the teachers, the community.
2)I have a daughter in K, and a son in pre-K, at UCDS. We love it.
3) We have our son at Kindergarten at UCDS and we all LOVE it. Very
innovative and geared towards a strong individual student program that
teaches learning to be fun.
4) My son goes to UCDS, last year in Pre-K, this year in Kindergarten.
He’s very happy there. They have a great student-teacher ratio, a
very creative program, and are very capable at engaging kids with the
topics that they are interested in and using that to build their skills.
Bertschi: (There are only about 8-10 Kindergarten openings for 2009)
1) My daughter is in pre-k at Bertschi. We are really happy with the
school so far. (This Mom gave me her phone number but we have yet to
2)My son is in Kindergarten at Bertschi. Happy to chat. (our phone
conversation revealed a long commute, but not a problem since it’s so
well worth it. Car pooling works well. She emphasized Bertschi
challenging her son who is a strong leader and bright. Kids given
numerous opportunities for “public speaking”, personal expression,
music, performance. Arts emphasis in general, but not at the expense
of strong academics. She is most impressed with the Social Emotional
development of the students, as actively encouraged by teachers. This
is a mature school with a strong curriculum.)
Meridian: (There are only about 12 Kindergarten openings for 2009)
1) My older daughter is in kindergarten at Meridian this year and my
younger daughter will likely go there next year (she is a July
birthday and we are still thinking about it). Just wanted to let you
know how happy we are with the school, the families, curriculum, etc..
Feel free to ask any further questions via e-mail or give me a call
(During our phone conversation the mom couldn’t say enough about the
warm, intimate, community-oriented atmosphere among families. She
feels the school is well rounded with a music program and Neo-Art
classes, but says the emphasis is on academics. Her high-level student
get’s what she needs to challenge her. The every-Monday morning
all-school meeting is a wonderful community building event. They have
just presented the all-school play, which was a “hit” and had 3
kindergartners. Drama is an after school elective activity. The after
school program has the kids outside much of the time regardless of the
weather. Her enthusiasm was contagious. The Headmaster is strong, and
the school is highly organized in a low-key sort of way.)
2) From the time I interviewed I knew Meridian was the school for us. The director and admissions person remembered meeting me at the open house. Unlike the other schools visited, Meridian felt it mattered that Meridian become our school of choice. Meridian let us know we are welcome and appreciated- important to us since other than being an involved parent with a bright kid, we didn’t bring a huge endowment to share. Time is what we have to give, and it’s clearly valued here. They give us time and personal attention so naturally our child receives that and much more. Meridian is a welcoming, solid, creative place for our family to grow in intelligence and establish community.