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I am looking for advice/recommendations etc for boston area preschools. I live in Charlestown and work part time so we need one with extended day until at least 3 (dh is a teacher) So far we are considering:

Newtowne
Cambridge Ellis
Temple Isreal (our temple)
The Advent School
The Learning Project
The Waldorf School in Lexington (we love this school but don't really think we can schlep to lexington everyday)
Cambridge Friends

I work downtown and DH works at Boston Latin (near the Hospitals) Any feedback on these or other preschools would be great. DD's birthday is 12/27/02 so we won't be older enough next year for some of these school. We are just researching all of our options

Amy
 

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hi there!

two teacher moms in this family, so we have tons of info/opinions about schools in the area.

for the schools that go beyond preschool, please know that some of this info is more applicable to higher grades than the pre-k,kinder age.....

Newtowne -- we live really close to this one. I pass it on the way to school every day. I get the sense that the demographic is a bit up there in terms of SES, and I didn't necessarily feel too comfortable among the families we ran into at their annual fair. I've also heard that they are really strict about birthdays in terms of putting your child into an "appropriate" class. That being said, they have great flexibility in schedule and actually seem a bit more on the reasonable end in terms of price.

Cambridge Ellis -- we know many folks who send their kids there. I've heard only good things, and they have an amazing outdoor play area.

Temple Isreal (our temple)
The Advent School
The Learning Project -- I've heard good things about the grade schools for both Learning Project and Advent. I think they lean a bit towards progressive.

The Waldorf School in Lexington (we love this school but don't really think we can schlep to lexington everyday) -- we do the parent/tot one day a week class there and love it too. I'm a lifetime waldorf person myself, but I wouldn't want DS to go there for the grades. I might consider early childhood, but the schlep is too much even for us as well.

Cambridge Friends -- heard good things about early grades and that the later grades are light on academics. Also, I know that they've had a lot of admin turnover that hasn't necessarily been good.

I should probably just add that, being that my partner teaches in Cambridge, she gets a lot of the dirt on what's going on at schools in the area. Hence, some of this might be more of the dirt-type info than just "good impression" info. So, just because I haven't posted glowing things doesn't mean that I haven't heard good stuff about every place. I'm sure that goes without saying but just wanted to be sure it's clear.

Can't wait to hear what others say....what a challenge the school thing is!

take care,
megin
 

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My son goes to the Commonwealth Children's Center on Beacon Hill. It is a childcare center for infants up to age 5. It has a part-time option for pre-schoolers too. It is about to be NAYAEC accredited. We have been really happy with it. There are a handful of crunchy parents but doesn't have a distinct philosophy like Waldorf. It's a very hands on curriculum, there is a weekly music teacher, they go to the Boston Anthaneum for storytime, they also do tumbling at Hill House once a week. What I like most about it is that the majority of families are down to earth. It caters to but is not limited to families of state employees so it is not the millionaire set like a lot of private pre-schools are downtown. The web-site is www.commchildcenter.com.

Good luck.
 

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I'm seeing this thread kind of late but I worked at Temple Israel for 7 years and can ansers questions for you if you like. It is an excellent school.

My husband went to the Learning Project but it doesn't have a preachool program.

Good luck with your search. We are looking too.
 

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What about Cambridge Montessori? That's my favourite in the Cambridge area.

- krista
 
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