Welcome to Admissions!

We're so excited that you are getting to know Redwood Day!

We look forward to meeting your family, introducing you to Redwood Day's curriculum, program, and community, and supporting you and your child through the admissions process. 

Our website is a great starting point in this journey. As you read through the website, we encourage you to complete our online inquiry form.

We understand that the very best way to experience our dynamic, challenging, and welcoming school is to visit us in person. Because of the health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all tours and admissions events will be held virtually until further notice. Our inquiry form will include online scheduling for Question and Answer sessions. Of course, you can always call or email us for help along the way. 

During our time together, we look forward to getting to know your family as you work to find the perfect challenge, experience, and place for your child to grow into great. 


Donnie Smith, Director of Admissions
Darlene Bell-Carson, Director of Tuition Assitance & Associate Director of Admissions
Emily Kolker, Admissions Assistant

List of 1 items.

  • Choosing K-8

    By John Loeser, Head of School

    At Redwood Day, we specialize in the K-8 experience. The elementary and middle school years are the most critical in developing the foundation that children need to be successful in high school, college, and life.  Throughout these nine years, children transform academically, socially, and emotionally. It is a privilege to be a part of this.

    Here, your child will be known as a learner and as an individual.  We are a community in which every adult on campus gets to know every child.  These incredible developmental years are a time to be seen for who you are and also for who you may become. As children are working hard to figure out who they are, and how they fit into this complex world, they sometimes need reminders of their individuality and also the perfectly-timed nudge to try something new.  The student-teacher relationships built at Redwood Day are meaningful, deep, and long-lasting.

    Though the benefits of being profoundly “known” in school are clear, there are many more concrete reasons why families choose a K-8 school.
    • Students can remain children without the pressure to “grow up” quite as quickly as in a K-12.
    • From kindergarten onward, the curricular approach of a K-8 appreciates the unique cognitive and developmental abilities of each age group while also benefiting from the collaboration of faculty, creating a cohesive, challenging, and engaging curriculum.
    • Middle school students in a K-8 are not sandwiched in the middle—instead, upper elementary and middle school students are the leaders of a K-8 program.  At a time when, developmentally, it can be easier to follow than to lead, explicit leadership opportunities help middle school students develop communication, performance, and leadership skills.
    • Together on the same campus, our middle and lower school students develop authentic, meaningful relationships.  Through our buddy, service learning, and community building programs, students step outside of their immediate grade levels.
    • In a K-8, facilities and schedules are not determined by high school needs, meaning that lower and middle school student needs take the forefront in scheduling time and space.
    • At the same time, our K-8 program is large enough to provide an exceptional specialist program, excellent facilities, and to attract and retain extraordinary faculty.
    • Lastly, your child will work with you to find the perfect-match high school program for the person he or she is, not as a four-year-old, but as a self-aware eighth-grade student, ready to take on this important next step! Redwood Day fully supports and guides families through the high school process.
    Our faculty and staff choose the K-8 experience because they want the benefits of collaborating with teachers that find great professional joy in creating a nurturing and developmentally attuned program.  Kindergarten through eighth grade teachers develop curriculum side-by-side, integrate lessons across the grades, and work together as a team throughout a child’s experience at our school.  In the larger K-12 setting or the singular 6-8 setting, teachers experience greater difficulty in observing the continuous thread of a child’s academic, social or emotional growth because the tight, cohesive team nature of a K-8 setting is more difficult to achieve.

    At Redwood Day, we spend years with your family. We support children academically and individually so that they grow into their best selves who go off to their top-choice high schools. Once in high school and college, alumni come back to visit and share with us the impact that this K-8 had on their lives. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Admissions Team

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Donnie Smith

    Donnie Smith 

    Director of Admissions
    510.534.0804 x222
  • Photo of Darlene Bell-Carson

    Darlene Bell-Carson 

    Director of Tuition Assitance & Associate Director of Admissions
    510.534.0804 x224
  • Photo of Emily Kolker

    Emily Kolker 

    Admissions Assistant
    510.534.0804 x320

2020-21 Deadlines

October 15, 2020 (For Priority Applicants Only)
Admissions applications due from priority applicants (siblings of Redwood Day students and alumni or children of faculty/staff).

November 2, 2020 (For Priority Applicants Only)
Tuition assistance application deadline for current Redwood Day families and faculty/staff.

December 2, 2020 (For Priority Applicants Only)
SSAT Character Skills Snapshot must be completed by 8:00 p.m. (middle school applicants only). All supplemental documents should be uploaded through School Admin: fall report card; previous two years report cards; letter of recommendation; student statement (for middle school applicants only). 
December 13, 2020
Optional early admissions application deadline (with $65 application fee).
January 17, 2021
Admissions applications for the 2021-22 school year are due ($100 application fee)! Tuition assistance applications due from new admissions applicants.

February 3, 2021
SSAT Character Skills Snapshot must be completed by 8:00 p.m. PST (middle school applicants only). All supplemental documents should be uploaded through School Admin: fall report card; previous two years report cards; letter of recommendation; student statement (for middle school applicants only). 
February 8, 2021
Enrollment materials for 2021-22 Redwood Day enrollment will be sent to returning Redwood Day families electronically on January 28. Contracts and enrollment deposits must be submitted electronically by February 8, 2021, by 9:00 a.m.

March 18, 2021
Prospective Redwood Day families can expect to receive emailed Admissions decisions this afternoon. Family decisions will be due back the following Thursday, March 25. These dates are shared by all member schools of the East Bay Independent Schools Association (EBISA).

March 25, 2021
Enrollment decisions and contracts from new Redwood Day families are due by 10:00 a.m.