Benefits of Bentley

Students at Bentley participate in their education and encourage one another to grow in new directions. Ultimately they design their own learning, engaging their intellect, developing their character, and committing to lifelong learning.

Here are just a few benefits that make the Bentley experience distinctive for every student.

Be Seen, Be Known

With intentionally small classes that allow for individualized attention, your student will be seen, known, and heard.

At the Kindergarten-Grade 5 level, differentiated instruction models are used to find the appropriate level of challenge for each student, which ultimately inspires an intrinsic love of learning. Small class sizes help foster close, personal relationships between students and their teachers in grades 6-12, with advisors providing guidance and support as students navigate their own learning trajectory.

Mini Term

For one week each spring, students pause their traditional classes and dive into a week of experiential learning. Opportunities range from travel courses (abroad and domestic), visits to unique Bay Area landmarks, and on-site classes such as cooking, photography, music recording, and film making. A beloved week for students and faculty alike, Mini Term challenges students to try something new and step outside of their comfort zone.

Advisory & PACT Families

Advisories in grades 6-12 provide a supportive network beyond the classroom where social-emotional learning is the primary focus. Students and teachers work together to develop study habits that will serve them throughout their academic careers, life skills such as conflict resolution and discuss current events and societal topics in a developmentally appropriate way. 

In Kindergarten through grade 5, students participate in our signature PACT program (Positive, Action, Character, Teams). PACT families consist of students from grades K-5 with one teacher at the helm. These families stay together for several years to allow younger students to really get to know students from older classes. This multi-year approach enables Kindergarteners to immediately belong to a network of support, easing their transition into a structured school environment. It also allows older students to hone their leadership skills while acting as positive role models.

Language Study Begins in Kindergarten

Our youngest learners take three languages during their Kindergarten year - Mandarin, French, and Spanish - because we know that early exposure to foreign languages prepares the mind for continued language acquisition. Our language program is highly interactive and conducted primarily in the target language. This immersive approach remains a throughline into Middle and Upper School, giving students the opportunity to become fluent in their language of choice before graduating.

Seminar Courses & Expanded Offerings

In Upper School, Bentley offers a diverse range of History, English, and Science seminars that prepare students for the rich offerings they will have when they continue their studies in some of the most selective colleges and universities in the world.

In Middle School, students get to choose from extended curricular offerings where they can explore their interests in varied subjects including architecture, publications, speech and debate, coding, theater, STEM, design, and more!

Transportation at No Additional Cost

Each year Bentley creates a transportation plan to meet the needs of our students. Daily morning and afternoon service is provided at no additional cost to families.

K-8 Campus Shuttle (Oakland)
Morning and afternoon shuttle to and from our Upper School campus in Lafayette and near Woodminister Market, as well as North Berkeley, Rockridge, Montclair, and Piedmont neighborhoods. A shuttle is also available along the I-680 corridor, with students transferring to another bus upon arrival to our Upper School campus.

Upper School Campus Shuttle (Lafayette)
Morning and afternoon service includes areas along the I-680 corridor, and areas in Oakland and North Berkeley. 

Weekly Town Meetings

Every week students on both campuses participate in Town Meeting. As a whole group students are able to interact with each other to foster school spirit and inclusion. These community-focused programs create a caring, inclusive, and participatory environment for our students; which in turn fosters creativity, leadership, and academic confidence. At the Upper School, town meetings are run by student government officers, honing their leadership and presentation skills.

Flex Periods for Middle and Upper Shool

Bentley prides itself on knowing students as individuals and purposely having a schedule that allows teachers and students to develop those relationships. Twice a week, Middle and Upper School students have a “Flex” period that is dedicated to allowing students to have individual meetings with teachers to work on meeting their specific needs, whether that is analyzing a data set, creating a thesis statement, reviewing an essay, or just finishing a math problem. Learning to navigate unstructured time means students are prepared for college and beyond.

Clubs & Activities

Clubs and activities help form the backbone of Bentley’s rich vibrant community. In grades 6-12, clubs, electives, student government, and team sports provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and talents as well as develop leadership, cooperation, responsibility, and self-discipline. Kindergarten - 8th-grade students have a wealth of extra-curricular options to explore during our After Care Program, which is provided at no additional cost for families.

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  • A sample of some of the clubs offered in the Middle and Upper School include:

    Admissions Ambassadors
    Aquila (The Arts & Literary Journal)
    Arts Advocacy and Awareness
    Asian Heritage Club
    Bring Change To Mind
    Bentley Dance Ensemble
    Black Student Union
    Book Club
    Chat About Today's Science
    Cooking Club
    Community service
    Creative Writing and Poetry Club
    Cultural Fusion Club
    Current Events Club
    Girls Who Code
    Gluten Free Club
    Green Bee Committee
    Hip-Hop Club
    Jazz & Rock Club
    Latinos Unidos
    Mambo Jambo
    Manzanita Club
    Model UN Club
    Outdoors Club, including Climbing Club
    ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle)
    Science Club
    Shalom Squad
    Speech & Debate
    Student Government
    Subcontinent Club
    WE Day
    Women of Color
    Young Investors Club

Interscholastic Sports & P.E.

P.E. is a core element in our K-8 program, where gross motor skill development is the focus as students are introduced to a variety of sports and activities including soccer, basketball, kickball, and more. 

Bentley Athletics fields over 25 different teams over three seasons and competes as a member of the North Coast Section (NCS) Bay Area Conference (BAC), Bay Counties League (BCL) East. 

Bentley School athletic teams offered
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country (Middle & Upper)
Men’s and Women’s Soccer (Middle & Upper)
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
Men's & Women's Volleyball (Middle & Upper)
Men’s and Women’s Basketball (Middle & Upper)
Men’s Baseball
Coed Golf
Women’s Lacrosse
Men's & Women's Swimming
Men's & Women's Track & Field

Individualized college counseling

With a four-member college counseling team, you are guaranteed to have the support you need to find the college that is the right fit for you. Finding the right college takes a team that truly knows you as an individual, and Bentley makes sure you have the attention you need to fulfill your college dream.

In August, each rising Senior participates in a weeklong College Essay Writing Workshop before the school year starts. What better way to get ready for the college application process, and it is provided at no extra cost to each of our students.

K - 8 Campus

1 Hiller Drive
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 843-2512

9 - 12 Campus

1000 Upper Happy Valley Rd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-2101