John Muir, the smallest elementary school in Berkeley, offers the ideal learning environment. The historic 1916 Tudor building sits nestled among redwood trees, a large grassy field, native plants, flourishing vegetable gardens, and a burbling creek. The classrooms, with their spacious size and natural light from countless windows, stimulate creative thinking and learning. The John Muir community is proud of and connected to their school’s namesake and to the natural beauty of their environment.
A focus on learning and high expectations of academic success for all students is a top priority at John Muir. Our qualified staff uses district-adopted curriculum that is aligned to the California State Standards in all subject areas, from reading to science to math. Throughout the year the staff participates in targeted professional development on various topics such as literacy and response to intervention.
In addition to providing a strong emphasis on academics at John Muir, we provide many enrichment opportunities that educate the whole child. All students from Kindergarten through 5th grade participate in a dance, movement class every week. A cooking class where students learn to make simple dishes, many of them using ingredients from our own garden, is taught at all grade levels. The gardening class meets every week and learns all about plants and growing food. Music instruction is given to third, fourth and fifth grade students every week. Fourth and fifth grade students also participate in science enrichment classes. The creek that runs through the school provides John Muir students with a perfect opportunity to add tothe school’s science and arts programs. For the past two year Kids for the Bay has provided additional science class using the creek as a nature classroom.
With the district adoption of a new literacy program, our classroom libraries will be growing to over 300 books! Using the concept of a “just right” book, every student will be spending even more time reading, both in school and at home. Classes will still visit the fully-stocked school library weekly to hear stories, check out books of interest, and do research.
Computers are used as tools in every classroom as well as in the computer lab, creating a modern and stimulating learning atmosphere at the school. This technology allows students to reinforce their skills, which is crucial for students in the 21st century to compete in college and the work force.
The two extended-day programs – BEARS and Kids in Motion – build on the efforts of school, providing more academic support and extracurricular activities before and after school each day.
John Muir emphasizes community building among students, staff and parents/guardians.
The John Muir staff lead regular assemblies to foster positive behavior, school pride and sense of community. OurLife Skills program promotes the development of personal qualities, such as responsibility, caring, and perseverance, encouraging the children to become healthy members of society and life-long learners.
John Muir teachers, parents, and friends are actively involved as PTA and committee members, classroom volunteers, grant and newsletter writers, gardeners, and field trip supporters. The PTAorganizes many school events such as the Back-to-School Barbecue, Scholastic Book Fair, annual Walk-A-Thon, May Fair, and Beach Day.
Although John Muir Elementary School is the smallest school in Berkeley, it has the strongest community of staff, students and parents dedicated to providing a quality education for all students. Come see for yourself!
Today, John Muir serves over 290 students, from Kindergarten through fifth grade. The Tudor-style building sits on more than three acres of beautiful grounds, reflective of the great man after whom the school was named. The school's mission is to achieve academic excellence, promote personal growth, and celebrate the beauty of nature, community diversity and learning.