Welcome

welcome-profile-imgI am pleased to welcome you to Prospect Sierra, a nationally and internationally recognized school for K-8 students on two beautiful campuses in El Cerrito, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Prospect Sierra embodies several key assumptions in philosophy and daily practice: that learning is the pathway to personal growth; that school should be both challenging and joyous; that school is a community through which students, teachers, and parents develop trust, demonstrate cooperation, show respect, and acquire an understanding of the rights and needs of others; and that diversity, in its many human forms, brings quality and strength to our school. A rapidly changing global environment requires that students develop skills and acquire knowledge, while learning to define and solve problems creatively.

A Prospect Sierra education provides students with daily opportunities to engage in a rigorous academic curriculum that also allows them to gain greater self-knowledge and to develop compassion and care for others. In a diverse and inclusive community, we provide a joyful environment that develops students’ life-long passion for learning.

Our strategic plan, Focus for the Future, envisions a learning community where everyone thrives–students, staff, families, and alumni. I encourage you to learn more about Prospect Sierra by exploring the pages of this website and making a visit to our school.

Sincerely,Katherine Dinh
Read more of Katherine’s thoughts here.

Our Mission & Strategic Plan

Prospect Sierra students are passionate about learning. Our exceptional teachers inspire students to seek deep, meaningful understanding; to develop strong academic skills; and to become creative and independent thinkers. Prospect Sierra cultivates compassion, fairness, respect, and individuality within a community that celebrates diversity, authenticity, and service.

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In 2015, Prospect Sierra adopted a new Strategic Plan, Focus on the Future, created in collaboration with every school constituent. This visionary plan allows us to chart new territory in 21st century learning, teacher and employee care, financial sustainability, emotional intelligence, community development, and green practices.

At A Glance

There’s so much to get to know about our school, we hope you’ll contact us for a visit. In the meantime, here are a few Prospect Sierra facts and figures that you might find interesting.

General Information

  • Independent K–8 school located on two campuses in El Cerrito hills
  • Total enrollment: 472
    (Elementary 210; Middle School: 262)
  • Students of color: 47%
  • Student teacher ratio: 9:1
  • Families from around the Bay Area including El Cerrito, Berkeley, Kensington, Richmond, Oakland, Albany, and more.
  • School begins at 8:30 a.m. for K–4,
    8:20 a.m. for 5–8
  • Transportation available
  • Extended programs (before and after school) available

Affordability

  • $1.8 million in tuition assistance awards for 2016-17
  • 34% of students receiving tuition assistance

Associations and Awards

  • California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS)
  • NAIS Model School of the Future
  • Ashoka International Changemaker School
  • US Department of Education Green Ribbon School

 

 

Diversity

At Prospect Sierra we celebrate diversity in joyful and authentic ways. We want to build on the strength of our diversity by practicing inclusivity at every turn. We know that this requires effort and time. We are committed to this work because we know that:

    • Identity matters to our sense of belonging and ability to learn.
    • Diversity of thought, identity, and culture leads to more effective and creative problem solving.
    • We believe that our job is to help our students gain the courage to make change.

 

We build this practice into daily life and help our community members develop the following skills:

    • Cross cultural communication: greeting by name, asking questions of one another, and listening to stories.
    • Self-awareness: understanding who we are in relation to those around us.
    • Understanding the impact of individual, group, and institutional-level identity differences: how power and privilege impact individuals and institutions.
    • Cultural knowledge building: learning the perspectives of others through conversation, story sharing, literature, history, and more.

 

Further, we believe that these core areas of skill building help us take action to interrupt bias and oppression. We are committed to an ongoing dialogue around difference, privilege, equity, and changemaking that engages all of our constituents. From school-supported cohort groups for students and families, to partnerships with local organizations such as Equal Read and Rainbow Day Camp, to partnering with parents about how to talk with children about race, we believe that these conversations help us to be thoughtful citizens and responsible community members.

Greening

For more than a decade, Prospect Sierra has been a school leader in green curriculum and practices. We know that how we treat the earth is connected to how we treat each other. We’re responsible for the impact we have on our environment and we teach our students the importance of doing so.

A photovoltaic system on each campus. A reduction of 47% of solid waste from landfill. Converting 4000 square feet of asphalt to green space. Creating two outdoor classrooms and a second school garden. They’re just a few examples of the steps we’ve taken to reduce our carbon footprint.

In addition to our goal of reaching carbon neutrality for all of our school operations, we’ve integrated ecoliteracy throughout our K-8 curriculum. We want students to understand how ecosystems function, and learn to contribute to sustainable communities. Our faculty participated in a year-long series of professional development sessions, aimed at learning about ecoliteracy and applying it to curriculum.

 

Our Campuses

We’re closer than you think! Located in El Cerrito, California, Prospect Sierra is home to two vibrant campuses with expansive outdoor spaces.

Our K-4 campus with stunning bay views includes a gym, library, art room, music room, dedicated science classroom, and our popular “colab” maker space. Students eat lunch outside, play on a climbing structure, run on our expansive grassy field, and find quiet spots for reading or imaginative play. Kindergarten students even have a dedicated outdoor lunch deck and play yard.

Our middle schoolers enjoy a campus designed with 21st century skills and students in mind. Movable walls, rolling desks, comfortable hang out spots, and technology tools are found in many classrooms. Students flock to the field, the gym, and our arts building for drama, music, and art spaces. Older kids can be found at the “colab” laser cutting, sewing, drawing or prototyping.

 

Commute

Wondering about the commute? Great news – we provide a transportation service before and after school to help make your mornings and afternoons much easier! Click here to learn more.

Elementary School

2060 Tapscott Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Phone: 510.809.9036

Middle School

960 Avis Drive
El Cerrito, CA 94530
Phone: 510.809.9000