We were interviewing schools for the following year when we found Caulbridge School on the Marin Mommies website. Our son started the very week we interviewed with the school and that has been a great decision. Our son had become extremely anxious at his then-current preschool/kindergarten; he dreaded going back to school at the end of each school day and cried every weekend about having to go back on Monday. We were hoping things would improve but it seemed to only get worse. Our once voracious learner was coming home talking about hating math and school in general. So when we discovered Caulbridge School and learned about the school’s philosophy of happy children being open learners, we recognized how our son’s stress had been negatively impacting his openness to learning at his old school. The more we learned about the professionals involved in Caulbridge School, the more we saw the warm, welcoming and safe environment that they create for students who are seen for the individuals they are and who are supported in their natural openness to learning. So we switched to Caulbridge School that week.
Our son has been thriving with the smaller class size and more individualized attention as well as the focus on daily physical activity and outdoor time for learning and playing. And, despite the smaller class size, the socialization aspects of school are continually practiced and developed at Caulbridge School because of the group learning and activities. The small class size also allows the amazing Ms. Rachel to figure out how each of her students learn and to tailor her teaching to each child’s learning style. For example, she quickly realized that our son easily memorizes sentences and book passages and she devised fun ways of ensuring he is actually reading as opposed to reciting what he has memorized.
As business owners ourselves, we were attracted to the idea of a school that has combined the best of the other education models and created what I have affectionately told others “is the school you would create if you were building your own school.” The school may only be three years old but the professionals involved bring many years of experience in addition to a genuine passion for their work and a nurturing attitude toward the students. We are seeing first-hand that a happy child is a more eager learner and we are all happy with our decision to switch to Caulbridge School.
Mom of Kindergartner
I knew after the first day of our son’s trial day at Caulbridge, that it was the right school for him. Before our trial day. our five year old never wanted to go to Kindergarten. He hated school. After just one day at Caulbridge, he asked me if he could go back to school the next day. How could I say no? It just got better and better after that.
Instead of a child that came home from school unregulated and unfocused, I now had a child that came home completely calm, happy and eager to keep learning. Now he is in 1st grade at Caulbridge School, and his aptitude for numbers and math is shining through. He continues to impress me with his burgeoning vocabulary: “disintegrate” and “evaporate” are examples.
We are so grateful for this school’s common sense approach to learning, where kids have movement breaks, access to nature, and each child’s interests and abilities can be fully realized. Thank you Caulbridge!
Mom of 1st Grader
“Yesterday my child asked to be excused from the table – I was shocked!”
Parent of 1st Grader
“My child stood up and sang in front of the entire school, 6 months ago she would have been hiding behind my skirt.”
Parent of 2nd Grader
Professionals and Practitioners:
Why are we inspired about schools like Caulbridge? Because Caulbridge School understands that “behavioral issues at school is a communication of an unmet need at school. Our job is to identify what that unmet need might be, then work on ways to meet that need. It should never become a power struggle.”.
“Learning comes from a state of self-regulation. So if a student is dysregulated, like fidgety or anxious, our job as educators is about prioritizing self-regulation first, so students can then be in the right state for great academic learning.”
“Caulbridge is not a school for kids with learning differences per se, but its small size, excellent, research-based core curriculum, teaching techniques and philosophy make it very responsive to unique learners, including kiddos with anxiety. Debra has spent years and years as an educational consultant coaching schools in best practices, and recently opened a school based in all the tenets she has been teaching about—including learning starting in the body.”
“That’s what is so great about what Caulbridge is doing. Observation skills, courageous learning, and positive self-concept: these are what it takes to show up, understand what is happening, jump in, and start making change for the good of the community. I think Caulbridge School is a bit ahead of the curve and truly that is what it is to be leading, breaking trail.”
Marin Educator and Evaluation Consultant
Edutopia / George Lucas Education Foundation