Sponsor Spotlight: Black Pine Circle School

Sponsor Spotlight: Black Pine Circle School

Today we are visiting (virtually) 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, where a focus on the arts enhances the academics; asking thoughtful questions is highly valued; children can be their true selves as their social and emotional development is nurtured; and where students’ authentic growth as learners leads to subject mastery.

Covid-19 has not slowed down this community

In addition to running a robust distance learning program for all grades, Black Pine Circle School has effectively adapted its educational program and campuses to accommodate students learning onsite in safe, socially-distanced pods, predominantly outdoors under tent structures.

BPC has hired additional staff this year and has enhanced its technology to deliver its distance and onsite hybrid programs: iPad or Chromebook for every child, Swivl for livestreaming on-campus lessons for those students working from home, See-Saw, Padlet, Flipgrid, Google Classroom, Zoom & Google Meets.

Black Pine Circle School builds community for students and families through re-imagined virtual events such as Town Halls, performances, Family Maker Fridays, Fall Fun for Families, Generations Day, Winter Festival, and Parent Education Events.

black pine circle outdoor classroom
Outdoor classrooms allow greater on-campus learning | Photo: Black Pine Circle School

Black Pine Circle School was, for the 7th year in a row, voted “The Best” in four categories in Parents’ Press awards:

  • Best Independent Elementary School
  • Best Progressive Elementary School
  • Best Independent Middle School
  • Best Progressive Middle School

The principles of the school, articulated in their motto “CURIOSITY, COMMUNITY, INQUIRY, & VOICE”, are actualized through both strong academics and incorporation of visual and performing arts.

Every classroom uses the Socratic method to encourage tons of question-asking and to rally the students around the idea that there is always more to know. Differentiated learning, Responsive Classroom practices, and two full-time teachers in each K-5 classroom create an environment that nurtures critical thinking, the willingness to take risks, and the understanding that failing and learning from mistakes are essential to the learning process.

black pine circle young cellists
Students learn the cello beginning in first grade (pre-Covid pic) | Photo: Black Pine Circle School

Black Pine Circle kids thrive in community

Teachers at Black Pine Circle School are committed to coaching children’s social-emotional development and fostering a community where students feel safe in their stages of development and individual differences.

Building community happens in so many ways. 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.

“We are so impressed by the amazing distance learning program that BPC has provided. We’d like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the incredibly thoughtful, responsive, and creative learning experiences that the teachers and staff have built from the ground up. We can only imagine the enormous effort and collaboration this has taken, and we do not take that for granted. We know the teachers have been pouring energy into learning new technology, revamping their curricula, and being there for students, all while caring for their own families, supporting their own children, and managing their own households. It’s simply awe-inspiring and so, so appreciated.” ~ 7th grade parent

black pine circle kids in front of mural
Collaborative mural painting | Photo: Black Pine Circle School

Virtually Visit Black Pine Circle School

To experience BPC right now, enjoy this welcome video.

Welcome to BPC from Black Pine Circle School on Vimeo.

To schedule a tour, request an admissions packet, join the info day, and to learn more about the school, please call Greta B. Wong, Director of Admissions, at (510) 529-2719 or email gwong@blackpinecircle.org

Virtual Admissions Information Day

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

  • K–5: Saturday, December 12, 10 am.
  • 6–8: Saturday, December 12, 1 pm.

Virtual School Tours

To visit BPC, RSVP for a virtual tour on the school’s website, blackpinecircle.org. Tours run now through mid-January.

  • K–5: Tuesday & Thursday mornings, December through January 9.
  • 6–8: Wednesday & Friday mornings, December through January 15.

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

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

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