Shu Ren International School is an independent, co-educational day school in Berkeley, CA for students in Pre-K through 8th grade. We opened in 2008 with Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade and have added a grade each year since then. We offer a dual-immersion education in Chinese and English centered around an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework.
Shu Ren was founded on the belief that children should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values to be engaged global citizens in an increasingly interconnected world. We strive to educate students to be effective and creative problem solvers, with knowledge of other world regions and global issues; skills in communicating in multiple languages and working in cross-cultural environments; and values of respect and concern for the diverse cultures and peoples of the world. Shu Ren provides an academically rigorous but fun environment where children are nurtured to become independent, open-minded, and enthusiastic lifelong learners.
Read more about what you get from a Shu Ren education. And see testimonials from our parents and recent local media coverage of Shu Ren.
What Does Our Name Mean?
Shu Ren ( 树人 ) comes from a Chinese idiom 十年树木 , 百年树人 (“It takes ten years to cultivate a tree; 100 years to cultivate a person”) suggesting the tremendous challenge to educate a whole person. 树 (Shu) originally means a tree, and it also means cultivate, build, and raise. 人 (Ren) means a person. We chose Shu Ren (树人) as a name to represent the mission of our school, that is, to take on the challenging and time-consuming tasks of educating the whole person and building a solid foundation for the rest of their lives.
We believe there are three pillars to an individual’s skill set: academic skills, life skills, and physical skills. A child needs to learn all these skills to be a successful member of a society. We will partner with parents and the community to educate children in these fundamental skills.
- Command of fundamental knowledge in language, math, social studies, geography, and history in both English and Chinese
- Command of reading, oral and written communication skills in both English and Chinese, and oral competency in Spanish
- Understanding the “big picture” – the overall framework of each subject area in terms of how they are developed and related
- Creative, innovative, and independent thinking
- Problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and research skills, so the child can become a passionate lifelong learner.
- Problem-solving skills and critical-thinking skills to positively deal with adversities in life
- Organization skills to prioritize tasks and manage time
- Basic financial skills and money management skills
- Skills to deal with peer pressure
- Understanding of our relationships with each other and the ability to build healthy friendships
- Skills to regulate emotions and manage interpersonal relationships
- Maintaining and improving overall physical fitness and developing a life-long habit of exercise
- Understanding basics in health and nutrition and developing healthy eating habits
- Understanding mind and body relationships and how to positively handle stress
Previously a furniture store, our flagship school site on University Avenue in Berkeley underwent a significant renovation between July and September 2008. We were very fortunate to have Mr. Twig Gallemore, a Shu Ren parent and an architect with Elevation Design + Architecture in Berkeley, design our school site. His design incorporated many unique features that perfectly fit a Mandarin/English immersion school like Shu Ren. Parents and children enjoy the beautiful interior designs and colors of our classrooms as well as the playground. This campus is currently our Pre-K campus.
In Fall 2013, due to the rapid expansion of our school, Shu Ren opened a second campus for elementary classes at 1 Lawson Road in Kensington. This campus provides a peaceful and quiet learning environment with stunning bay views and an outdoor space where children can engage with nature. The Kensington campus currently hosts Shu Ren’s elementary and middle school programs.