Berkeley Hall School
16000 Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles
- Written byLaura Watts
The mission of Berkeley Hall School (BHS) is to empower children to fulfill their unlimited, God-given potential as fearless scholars and conscientious citizens. Founded in 1911 by sisters Mabel and Leila Cooper, BHS is the oldest coed independent school in Los Angeles, with an enrollment of 260 from nursery school through 8th grade. The school offers a variety of extracurricular activities and enrichment classes.
What would you like families to know about your school?
“BHS has a century-old history of fearless learning based on our founders’ educational philosophy of ‘no limits, no labels and lots of love.’ Academic understanding soars when students learn to persist in the face of challenge.”
How do you make our community a better place for children?
“We integrate character education into every aspect of the school experience. Our core values—respect, responsibility, compassion and honesty—are part of the daily conversation and explored in weekly assemblies.
In what ways do you encourage parent involvement?
“We have an active Parent Advisory Committee and a lot of cherished traditions in which parents are actively involved—from the family campout on our football field to a formal graduation tea.”
Tell us about your team.
“Our teachers meet weekly in workgroups to determine grade level expectations, improve individual lessons and measure student progress across the grade levels. We have a shared vision of where we want students to be as academics and as people. Our K–8 art teacher, Tracy Cheney, was just named Outstanding Elementary Visual Art Educator of the Year by the California Art Education Association.”
How does your school encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle?
“We develop a growth mindset in our students in which struggling and initially failing is viewed as a natural part of learning. We then support them to pick themselves up and persist until they succeed. This promotes mental and emotional health, because students gain a real sense of achievement.”
What do kids love most about your school?
“They can be themselves here. There is acceptance of individuality and great diversity—economic, cultural and religious. Most of all, students feel loved. Of course there are all the regular things too: an amazing 66-acre campus, athletic fields, outdoor pool, amphitheater, tennis courts, 1-to-1 laptops and a state-of-the-art woodshop.”
Helmed by a well-known designer, an entire family pitches in on the design of an environmentally friendly home in Topanga Canyon.