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"My daughter is with Keystone Montessori since she was 18 months old. It is one of the rare Montessori schools that accept kids as young as 18 months. They are very considerate with kids that are transitioning from home to the school. The school is very clean, organized, with a very worm stuff and teachers. They have a really good program. We really love that place and are extremely happy that there is a such a school nearby from where we live." Vesna (Parent in the Blue Heron Class)
"If you are looking for a preschool in the El Cerrito area I highly recommend Keystone Montessori School! I am an early childhood educator and speech-language pathologist, director of Word Works in Oakland. I have worked with children at many different schools throughout the East Bay and was thrilled to find Keystone for my son who is 27 months old. He made a quick transition to full days at school, including nap time! The teachers at Keystone are experienced, loving, and attentive to every child's needs. Activities are exciting and keep the children's attention for long periods as they become engrossed in learning and engaging with peers. My son is so excited to go to school every day and loves his friends and teachers. The Montessori environment allows for independence, exploration, respect for the environment and for others. Keystone has classrooms full of enriching work activities to build fine motor skills, develop a love of art and music, and many math and pre-reading learning tasks. The outside space is great as well with large climbing structure, bikes, swings, sandboxes, etc. The children have plenty of outside time as well. They feel safe and loved and are so happy! We are thrilled to be a family at Keystone. I encourage you to go visit! Feel free to email me if you have questions. Tamara (Parent in the Blue Heron Class)
We enrolled our older daughter at Keystone Montessori at the age of four, after having attended another great, but smaller, local preschool that we felt she had outgrown. We weren't seeking out a ''Montessori'' experience, per se, but our neighbor's kids both attended Keystone and loved it, and it seemed to be a good fit for our family location and schedule-wise. Our daughter, now in kindergarten, *absolutely thrived* at Keystone, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. She must have been hungry for learning, because in the first week, she was bringing home projects she had worked on, enthusiastically explaining details, and completely excited to go back the next day. There are so many opportunities for learning, exploration, play and friendship offered. It is a structured environment, but not too structured, and all of the kids I have observed there seem to really enjoy it. I would describe the atmosphere as ''rich'' and ''layered''. There's a lot going on, but the teachers seem very tuned into each kid's interests and capabilities. The kids can't do whatever they want at any given moment, but there is a ton of opportunity for the child to have choice and explore their interests. The Montessori method believes the child is so much more capable than what adults generally give them credit for, and Keystone has created an environment where they help the kids comfortably stretch themselves. When I'm visiting, the kids all seem calm and engaged (indoors) and happy and playful (outdoors). Our younger daughter attended Keystone from age 2 and has two more years. She loves it as well. After the adjustment period, the only problem we came across was that she got upset when it was time to leave (a good problem, indeed!). We would highly recommend Keystone Montessori.