East Bay School for Boys started with girls.
Parents and educators at Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland were seeing girls growing, stretching, learning and going home with a smile on their face about school. We knew boys deserved the same.
We also knew that preparing confident girls meant that we needed to prepare confident boys. Building confident boys would have to come from envisioning a space for boys to be vulnerable, make mistakes, and grow their self-reliance.
Conversations around coffee tables in people’s living rooms about educating boys grew into monthly steering committee meetings, which then grew into a facilitated envisioning session in the spring of 2009. This envisioning session documented the community’s thoughts on what the dream school for boys might look like. Much of what lives on the website (our vision and our core principles, for example) came right from this envisioning session. From the clarity at this envisioning session, momentum took over and the school had been born. That summer, many of the steering committee members became Board members, we wrote our Business Plan, we filed for incorporation and 501(c)3 status, and we constructed a website to start gathering a community. By August 2009 East Bay School for Boys had been born.
We held several informational events in the fall and winter of 2009/2010 and by March of 2010 had eleven accepted families so courageous that they enrolled their boys into a school that had yet to have a site or teachers, yet to have a parent handbook or a track record, yet to have a articulated curriculum or classrooms. But we did have clarity of vision and hard work on our side. We also had a community that had faith.
Fall 2010 arrived, and we were able to hang our little EBSB sign at 1798 Scenic in Berkeley, a sign that welcomed four faculty and eighteen boys to a first day of school, and to the first day of East Bay School for Boys educating our engaged, thoughtful and courageous men of tomorrow. It took community engagement, thoughtfulness and courage to open these doors.
Today, in the summer of 2014, we have 15 full-time passionate faculty; 92 wonderful 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys; and an innovative program rich with opportunities for all kinds of boys to become all kinds of great men.