Published March 20, 2007
Volume 15, Number 3

Carden West and Students – Growing and Thriving

Carden West offers classes for both pre-school aged children,
as seen  above, and elementary school students.

By Barbara Lewis

At Carden West School, the watch words are “Success for every child, every day.”  A tour of the spacious campus on Willow Road verifies that reality as students from toddlers through pre-teens learn, create and interact with boundless enthusiasm.

Teachers at the Carden West, voted Best Private Elementary School by Bay Area Parent Magazine in 2004, urge students to put forth their best efforts at all times and to take risks as well. They are taught to take responsibility for their learning and to be actively involved in the process.  Along with studying traditional subjects, students are encouraged to develop independence in study skills and work habits, utilize critical and interpretive thinking, employ research skills and expand their leadership skills.

Carden West was founded in 1977 and moved to its permanent home in Hacienda three years ago. The school offers toddler through fifth-grade education and is working toward expanding to the eighth grade.  After-school enrichment programs, extended care and summer camps are available for all ages
At the 45,000-square-foot facility, students occupy oversized classrooms, a state-of-the-art computer lab, a science lab, elaborate music room, a library and cafeteria. Outside, they play in a large, well-equipped and secure grassy area.  “Our school enjoys a family-like atmosphere and we are pleased to have many Hacienda families at our school,” says Wade Bartolo, president of the school’s Board of Directors. “Our philosophy supports educating the ‘whole child’ where teachers, parents and students work as a team to accomplish that goal. We emphasize social and emotional development as well as academic excellence.

“One of the distinguishing characteristics of Carden West is the small, optimized teacher-student ratio at all age levels. Children receive rich attention both in class and out. Because the school is nonprofit, all funds remaining after operating expenses are reinvested into the school and educational projects.

“As an example, we’re especially proud of our new toddler program for two-year-olds, which we launched last November,” continues Bartolo.  “Licensing was an important accomplishment for Carden West because of the great demand for care for that age group.  As a parent, I know how important it is for parents to know that their young children are busy and happy in an environment where they are cared for in an age-appropriate way.  Our toddler staff is comprised of experienced professionals who love that age group.  Actually, that’s true of the teachers at every level at Carden West.”

“Our goal is to increase the school’s presence in the Hacienda and Pleasanton communities.” Bartolo concludes.  Recent community activities include recycling drives, participating in The Million Penny Drive to benefit the Childhood Cancer Association, and the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Trike-A-Thon.

Parents of prospective students may tour the school Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 10 a.m.-12 noon. Advance notice is requested by calling (925) 463-6060.  Detailed information about Carden West’s curriculum and facilities is available at www.cardenwest.org.


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