Redwood Day School is located in the Dimond District off Interstate 580 between Fruitvale Avenue and Park Blvd. For those familiar with the area, we are located in what used to be the Oakland/Piedmont Jewish Community Center.
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The School was founded in 1963. In 1994, we purchased our permanent home on Sheffield Avenue. Please see our History page for details.
In general, school begins during the last week of August. We have a two-week break in December, a weeklong break in February, and a weeklong break in mid-spring. We usually end the school year in the second week of June.
Our class sizes range from 18-22 students per classroom. There are two classrooms per grade. We have two teachers -- one lead teacher and one intern -- in each class from kindergarten - 3rd grade. Our Middle School program has up to 44 students in each grade level with a maximum of 22 students in a classroom.
We are not affiliated with any other independent schools and have no religious affiliations. We are members of and accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). RDS is also a member of the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and the East Bay Independent School Association (EBISA).
Redwood Day School students go on to attend many Bay Area independent, religious, and public schools. Our eighth-grade students are typically offered admission by their first choice schools. Please see our High School Acceptance Page for more information and a matriculation list.
Nearly 41% of our families identify as having students of color, representing African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, Latino/Hispanic American, and multiracial cultures. Our faculty members also reflect the rich cultural diversity of the Bay Area. Forty percent of our faculty and staff identify as people of color.
We do not offer any preschool program. In 2002, we ended our Junior Kindergarten program when we began to double the size of our Lower School.
Students must be four years, nine months as of September 1 and turn five no later than December 1 of their kindergarten year.
Each child applying to RDS is assessed to determine developmental readiness. By using our in-house assessment, which includes Gesell developmental tools, academic projects, and observation of social activity, we ascertain the appropriate class placement for each child.
We teach Spanish from kindergarten through eighth grade. Kindergarten through third-grade students take Spanish twice a week. Fourth- and fifth-graders take Spanish three periods a week. Middle School students take Spanish four periods a week.
RDS offers a variety of sports through our physical education classes - dance, martial arts, kick-boxing, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, badminton, and a collection of collaborative team building games. K-4th grade students attend P.E. two times a week and 5th-8th grades attend P.E. three times each week.
Team sports and interscholastic competition are offered at the Middle School level. Our seasonal sports include flag football, soccer, cross country, basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and track & field. We participate in a league with other similar-sized independent schools and nearby public schools. Please visit the Athletics page for more information.
Extended Care from 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. is included in tuition and is offered in the Helen Dittmer Library for grades K-5 and in the gym for Middle School students (from 7:45-8:10). There is a fee-based Extended Care ("X-Care") program from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. for Lower School students. We offer a variety of options, including art clubs, high school test prep, chess, paper making, art, music, and choir, as well as lots of play time. Middle School students participate in X-Plus, specifically designed for their age group. A Study Hall opportunity is available as part of both X-Care and X-Plus.
A variety of after-school enrichment classes are also offered for an additional fee. These classes have included: Capoeira, steel drums, filmmaking, Aikido, Hula, guitar, world music, and much more!
Our Extended Care program operates a full schedule on teacher in-service days and conference days.
Homework begins in first grade and is given to complement the work being done in class. Assignments on Monday–Thursday are the norm. Kindergartners may be asked to show their parents and guardians what they have been working on in class. First- and second-graders receive 10-20 minutes of homework per night which relates to the current curriculum. Third through fifth graders may receive between 30–60 minutes of homework. Sixth- through eighth-graders receive between 60–120 minutes of homework (20-30 minutes for each core class in a given day). Because Middle School students do not have each class every day, their homework may carry over to the weekend. Homework done over the weekend allows students to work on long-term projects or review work for the following week. Students are expected to bring their homework planners with them to all of their classes.
John Loeser joined us in 2011 as the Head of School, after seven years of Dr. Mike Riera's leadership. Our faculty, staff, and specialists have been with us from one to twenty years with an average tenure of about seven years. They enjoy a wonderful and supportive work environment and tend to stay with us a long time!
Our financial aid program is intended to make the school accessible to a wide variety of families. Grants are strictly need-based and range from a thousand dollars to 95% of tuition. Although we can not fund every family, we firmly believe that no family should decide not to apply to RDS because they feel they cannot afford the tuition.
We do not automatically offer enrollment to all siblings. We give priority consideration to our sibling applicants and those applicants who are children of our faculty and staff. We convey our decisions to these applicants in January.
We have two part-time learning specialists who support teachers. The Middle School program allows some students the opportunity to meet in “SAS” (Seminar in Academic Strategies), a class of two to four students in lieu of Spanish, three times a week, to enable a smoother academic experience. Our learning specialists are teacher-directed and are not meant to replace any one-on-one tutoring or assistance.
Music and art are integral parts of our curriculum. Kindergarten-4th grade meet every week with both music and art teachers. They perform at least twice a year in either all-school or divisional music productions, and display their work in divisional art shows. Students in grades 5-8 meet for a double period of art, two periods of music, and a period of drama each week. Middle School students perform in two all-school or divisional productions and also present a divisional art show. Chorus, orchestra, rock bands, jazz band, and string ensemble are offered in the early morning or in after-school programs throughout the year. The Middle School performs a play in the fall and a musical in the spring. The music and drama instructors design and work with faculty to produce these programs.
We do not have a cafeteria. Students can bring their own bag lunches or order lunch through Kid Chow, a business that provides nutritional meals to schools.
With Kid Chow, families sign up online in advance and have many different healthy and eco-conscious choices each day. Lunches range from $5.50 - $6.50. RDS also offers pizza on Fridays as a Middle School fundraiser. We have microwaves for Middle School students. We do not have vending machines on campus. Students in the after-school program have the opportunity to prepare (and eat!) healthy snacks each day.