Our son has been at PKS for a little
over a year, and we love the school. Our son has learned a tremendous amount, including the ability to speak in Mandarin. On top of that, he has established amazing friendships that will last a lifetime.
The faculty and staff of PKS strive for excellence in every capacity, and the attention to detail is amazing. The lesson plans, songs, athletic programs, and art lessons are always done with planning and a goal in mind. The students learn the subject matter while participating fully the various activities.
We know that this school will profoundly shape our son's life in a positive way and can't recommend it enough to prospective families.
Our son recently started in PKS' first kindergarten class and he has very much enjoyed the experience as have we. Some highlights: Truly caring and talented teachers and administration; learning Mandarin in a progressive environment; involved and diverse families (Chilean, Russian, Israeli, British just to name a few). Well worth exploring.
My son is starting his second year of
preschool at PKS, and it has been a great experience for all of us. We were initially drawn to the school because we were interested in mandarin immersion. The language aspect of the program has been wonderful, but I think the big surprise for us was how deep the Reggio Emilia aspect of the program is. The teachers get to know the kids so well and pay careful attention to all of the aspects of their growth and development. The kids are encouraged to pursue topics and activities that interest them. They are encouraged to be themselves and are allowed to develop at their own pace. This program really does foster a healthy independence, creativity and curiosity.
A word on the parent experience-- we love the community! The parents are engaged (in a healthy way) in their kids' lives and are involved in the school. We really enjoy spending time with the other parents in our classroom and the parents we've met volunteering.
PKS is everything we wanted in a
school. My 4 year old daughter has been going to Presidio Knolls School (PKS) for about a year an a half, and I can't tell you how much she loves it. She transitioned easily into the school despite the fact that she knew no Mandarin at all! Now, she understands most of what the teachers are saying to her and is even conversational in Mandarin. She loves her teachers and they truly are exceptional in every way. They are caring, creative and aware of each individual student's needs - both emotionally and in terms of their language acquisition. When I ask how my daughter is doing in class, I get a very detailed response as to how she is getting along with other children and how her Mandarin is progressing.
As a parent, I feel very connected with the daily activities and the ongoing events at the school through weekly classroom newsletters from the teachers and bi-monthly newsletters from the head of school. I never imagined that we could feel so intimately connected in a large school setting.
I also can't say enough about the amazing community of families that send their children to PKS. I've formed close friendships with parents in my daughter's class and it seems I'm always meeting new parents that are interesting and passionate about their children's education. The school is made up a culturally diverse mix of families that share an interest in, not only mandarin immersion, but also providing a progressive and inspiring educational foundation for their children.
Our daughter has been at PKS for a
little over a year, and we couldn't be happier with the school.
She started with not a word of Mandarin (we're not Chinese, and none of us speak a non-Latin language with any fluency), and now I walk in on conversations where she's clearly understanding multiple sentences in Mandarin and responding in kind. This shouldn't amaze me--I've heard the same from many classmates--any yet it does. Kids are such language sponges at this age!
But far more more important than the language acquisition is the fact that my daughter loves school. The teachers are so skilled at engaging young children and so in touch with each child in the classroom they make each day a joy--exactly what you would hope for in a preschool. When I pick her up at the end of the day it's always, "Please just five more minutes, Mommy?" Seriously, every single day. (If I didn't know she loves being at home, too, I'd be maybe a little offended...)
The teachers are truly paying attention to these kids--we've come out of parent-teacher conferences blown away by one thought: Wow, they really know our daughter. And communication to the parents is solid--if they have a concern, they'll let you know, even if it's something seemingly small, like the fact that your kid has grown tired of bananas in her lunch box.
We can't wait to bring #2 here (next year!). And the prospect of keeping them both at PKS through elementary and middle school is absolutely dreamy. Boy, did we win the good-timing lottery!
We love this school.
Our daughter's been attending since the Summer of 2011 and we intend to keep her enrolled through eighth grade. Neither my wife and I speak Chinese or are Chinese by heritage, but we recognize that the most opportune time to become multi-lingual is early. The toddler years are when the language centers of the brain explode, and not only are children more quick to pick up specific languages than adults, doing so at an early age improves their capacity to learn additional languages later in life.
That said, what brought us to the school was their values. Designed after the successful Reggio Emilio approach, the school focuses not only on Mandarin but on communication in general, putting as much attention into emotional development as intellectual development. Our daughter is spirited, independent and self confident—but through her time at PKS she's learned to understand her feelings and how she chooses to express them. She's learned to look at learning as an opportunity to make decisions—and see the results of the decisions she chooses to make. Her interests guide her early education and the teachers follow up with relevant information, teaching them independence to pursue knowledge and a love for doing it.
We are overjoyed to be part of this amazing school and community. We have two kids at the school and plan on being here through 8th grade. The kids love their school. At drop-off, it is a challenge to keep them from racing from the car into school and to their classrooms to see their teachers and friends. On holidays and weekends, it’s not unusual for my daughter to demand to be taken to school! The teachers know how to make learning a joyful and fun experience. When I ask my son how he’s spent his day he usually say something like, “I played in the morning then we had lunch and PE then I played until pick up.” Strengths I would highlight - the teachers are very nurturing and get to know your child extremely well; there is a very purposeful focus on building each child's creativity, confidence and understanding of each other and the world; communication from the school to the parent body is thoughtful and considerate of parent perspectives (they get the challenges that dual income families face); the community gives me a sunny and warm feeling even on a foggy day (I actually look forward to morning drop-off and often cannot resist lingering to talk with other parents and teachers before racing off to work); the leadership and staff are incredibly humble and respectful and dedicated to adopting the latest educational best practices.
Amazing school. Mandarin immersion at its best. I'll be sending my kids there through 8th grade!
We recently moved from San Francisco to the east coast and one of the things we were most sad about leaving was PKS. There we found an innovative, original place for our daughter to experience her first years of school AND get a language immersion-based education (which I totally believe in, and not just to learn Mandarin). We began there mid-year after another preschool didn't work out, and everything from admissions to her first day to our parent-teacher conference was handled with a lot of care and intent. Other parents and administrators asked after our daughter (and me!) -- their work for the school was tireless. But my biggest takeaway was the commitment of the teachers. I couldn't believe how quickly and how thoroughly they knew her and could work with her and integrate her into the class. Now we're at a Mandarin program in our new city and I see how well she has adjusted and gotten comfortable with new Mandarin teachers (and no, we're not of Chinese descent). I credit it, at least in part, to the work done at PKS by teachers who made her feel so at home in their culture and way of educating. Her new teachers here continue to marvel at what she knows in Mandarin! Were it not for a job change, she would still be at PKS -- she was enrolled for summer school and the following fall. We wish PKS the best of luck in its growth.
My daughter has learned so much this
past year. She is flourishing in the school.
We are not Mandarin speakers at home so I was a bit nervous at first....until our daughter one day came home singing Mandarin songs and started teaching her younger brother and sister how to say "thank you" and "you are welcome" in Mandarin...
We are now preparing to send our other two children.
We find the staff professional and loving.
We find the program well thought out and consistent.
We absolutely love witnessing our children learn a new language and are convinced we are doing the right thing for them.
Presidio Knolls School is wonderful!
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