Sponsor Spotlight: Black Pine Circle School

Sponsor Spotlight: Black Pine Circle School

Today we are visiting a beloved sponsor of 510Families.com, Black Pine Circle School, an independent school in Berkeley.

Black Pine Circle School nurtures curiosity

Black Pine Circle School (BPC), an award-winning K-8 private school in Berkeley, encourages critical thinking skills and fosters a lifelong love of learning through a Socratic inquiry-based education. This year, they are celebrating 50 years of academic excellence!

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” –Albert Einstein

BPC is a school where a focus on the arts enhances academics. Asking thoughtful questions is highly valued, children can be their true selves as their social and emotional development is nurtured, and students’ authentic growth as learners leads to subject mastery.

Private School in Berkeley: Black Pine Circle
Engineering Club | Photo: Black Pine Circle

BPC is committed to a set of core values

Curiosity, Community, Inquiry, and Voice are foundational to the program across all grades. Here’s how they come to life at school each day:


Strong science program and science specialist in K-5, Maker Space, and outdoor education program


Paths of Belonging: Student Affinity Groups, Service Learning, Mixed Grade “Houses”, Buddy Groups,” Extracurricular Activities including After-School Clubs, Band, Orchestra, Sports


Emphasis on Socratic Practice K-8, project-based activities, differentiated math exploration


Robust music program across all grades (singing, string instruments, Orff Schulwerk, recorders (4th-6th), ukulele (7th), guitars & steel pans (8th), band program (4th-8th) and string orchestra (3rd-8th), visual arts (K-8), public speaking in the middle school, student council, student-led assemblies, K-5 Jaguar Journal (school newspaper)

Black Pine Circle music program
BPC Concert Band | Photo: Black Pine Circle

Building community happens in so many ways. BPC hosts student affinity groups: Black Student Union, Asian Student Union, Latinx Student Union, and Queer Student Alliance. Students collaborate on performances and plays at every grade level. K-8 houses (think Harry Potter) foster cross-grade relationships, as do the lower school buddy class activities.

Private School in Berkeley - Black Pine Circle
Cross-grade “House” Activity

Black Pine Circle’s faculty is experienced, passionate, and driven

The teachers, 40% BIPOC-identifying, are committed to interweaving diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusion into the curriculum. Enhanced Student Support Services Team, including counselors and learning specialists to help students thrive academically and socially & emotionally. Faculty have access to a deep and broad number of ongoing professional development opportunities. The Black Pine Circle community believes that adults are lifelong learners, too!

Visit Black Pine Circle School and See for Yourself

To experience BPC right now, enjoy this welcome video.

Welcome to BPC from Black Pine Circle School on Vimeo.

Admissions Information Day

Get all your questions answered — even the ones you didn’t know you had on the admissions information day!

  • K–5: Saturday, December 9, 10 am.
  • 6–8: Saturday, December 9, 1 pm.

School Tours

To visit BPC, RSVP for a tour on the school’s website, blackpinecircle.org. Tours are available now through January.

  • K–5: Tuesday & Thursday mornings, now through mid-January.
  • 6–8: Wednesday & Friday mornings, now through mid-January.

To schedule a tour, request an admissions packet, join the info day, and learn more about the school, please call Greta B. Wong, Director of Enrollment, at (510) 529-2719 or email [email protected]

To keep up with new happenings at Black Pine Circle School, follow BPC on Facebook or Instagram.

“Our twins started as shy, quiet kindergarteners at BPC. They are now in their fifth year and are blossoming in countless ways. It has been amazing to watch them grow more confident and really come out of their shell. Their teachers have been so nurturing and lovely but always with a balance of consistency, routine, incorporating unique problem-solving and encouraging growing, questioning minds. Any day now they will outpace us in math!

Our daughter loves the art incorporated throughout the day, our son, the creative P.E. games that focus on cooperation and fair play and both have really embraced all of the music, singing and instruments. One plays the cello, the other the violin. It is astonishing to watch this diverse but small group of children so happy to play together, shifting between playmates and groups. Many of them have been together since kindergarten, yet they also welcome new children to their class readily. We really can’t say enough about what a wonderful environment BPC is.”
~ Parent of two Black Pine Circle School students

Thanks so much to Black Pine Circle School for sponsoring 510Families.com. 

Find more on our Guide to East Bay Private Schools >>

[All photos provided by Black Pine Circle and used with permission]

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