Published August 17, 2004
Volume 12, Number 8

The Carden West School Approaches Education at an Individual Level
Carden West
Carden West School's executive director, Cheryl Weaver, is excited about
the opportunity for growth that their new location presents.

By George Walsh
Special to NETWORK

There are almost as many approaches to learning as there are people. Parents interested in a proven alternative at the elementary grade level may want to investigate the Carden West School at 4576 Willow Road, a private elementary school that uses an educational method that has been used in a variety of public and private schools since the early 1930s.

The Carden West School functions under the instructional guidance of the Carden Educational Foundation. The Foundation publishes the Carden educational materials, offers intensive yearly workshops for teachers and directors, and reviews and updates the educational materials in keeping with current advancements in education. Classroom objectives are to recognize student individuality, nurture individual thinking, guide the development of language skills, and facilitate the acquisition of comprehensive communicative skills to expedite academic achievement. The curriculum at the Carden West School is designed to meet the educational needs of children from age three years through sixth grade.

“We have an individualized program that includes no more than 15 children per class in our preschool and no more than 16 children per class in our kindergarten through sixth grade program, says Cheryl Weaver, executive director of the Carden West School. “Because of those small class sizes, we’re able to tailor the program to meet the individual needs of the child. We are very comfortable having multiple grade levels in a class. So, if we have a first grader who is capable of doing second or third grade level work, we let them do that. Educationally, we make sure that every day the children are taught science, social studies, math, and language arts. We also offer French and we have two computer labs—one for our preschool and one for our kindergarten through sixth grade program. We have a library for the preschool as well as a library for our upper elementary students. We also offer music, arts, and physical education programs.”

The philosophy of a school is often just as important as its educational approach and the Carden West School has one that many parents will take to heart. “The motto for the school is ‘success for every child every day,’ and I think the small class sizes and the quality of our teachers allows us to really individualize the program so that we meet that goal,” Weaver says.

The Carden West School has been in Pleasanton since 1977 and is just now moving into its 46,000 square foot Hacienda location for a September 1st opening. Currently, the Carden West School has 205 students. In its first year, the school will have up to 290 students. At capacity, which the school will achieve in approximately four years, the school expects to have 440 students. “We found the perfect location here in Hacienda,” Weaver says. “It gives us a safe, secure site, and the facility is large enough that we’ll be able to grow with it.”


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