After sending her son to another private school for a year, Lu Scannell enrolled him at Berkeley for the combination pre-kindergarten and first-grade class the school offers, and the individual attention.
Now he's a third-grader, and "he loves it. He doesn't want to go home at the end of the day."
Scannell, a musician, appreciates the school's arts emphasis and her son seems drawn to it. But what about the arts-challenged?
"There are some who feel uncomfortable with it at first, but by the end of their years here, it's amazing how many continue in those fields," Costello said.
Costello and Childress, friends since their freshman year in high school, wanted to teach to their strengths--social studies and science for Childress and math for Costello--when they opened the school. So they immediately began looking for specialists to teach art and music, which they considered their weaker areas.
"I know my own school experience was heavily influenced in the third grade by a teacher who was a former vaudeville actress," Childress said.
That's the year of school Childress remembers.
" She made school a place you wanted to be," she said.