My Special School is a unique and enriching Preschool program. Being a teacher myself and holding a degree in Early Childhood Education, I am very specific and critical about the care and education my children receive. Alice has been an exceptional teacher, caregiver, and friend to both my children. She has created an environment for children that allows them to build confidence in becoming independent thinkers and doers. Alice is detail oriented and understands the importance of consistency in a young childs life. Through this, the children know that they are safe to trust, try, make mistakes, and try again, even in areas that challenge them. Alice is careful to bring valuable experiences to her students on a daily basis. Alice conveys the importance of human relationships for all ages and supports this by taking her group to weekly meetings in an elder community where the children eat lunch and tell stories with their elders. Through these experiences, the children are gifted with the skills to behave appropriately , to respect people of all ages and cultures, and to contribute to society in a meaningful way. We feel so blessed to have attended My Special School and we have benefited greatly from the quality of care Alice gave our two children.
Our son Trystan attended My Special School for three years. Alice creates a warm, safe and comfortable environment where children develop a passion for learning. This success is mostly due to her unique ability to create strong boundaries and pedagogical structure while always interacting with deep love, caring and understanding for each individual child. Alice’s communication style is always gentle and clear. Each day, Alice establishes and reinforces strong values in all of her students – kindness, compassion for all living things, authentic communication and a vital curiosity about the world. Trystan developed a wonderful sense of confidence and relaxation during his time with Alice. We could not dream of a better place for Trystan to spend his pre-Kindergarten days! We feel lucky to have been a part of her (ever growing) community.
Sabra Weber and Jeff Mills
It is with deep appreciation the we give thanks for your participation in our son Morgan’s Preschool experience. While we have had our challenges adjusting to new routines, environments and expectations; Morgan’s transition from Preschool to Kindergarten has been an overwhelming success. By his own account he loves Kindergarten. We believe much of his appreciation is an extension of his first experience of school with you. It amazes me that the first time we visited your school Morgan was just over two years old. Though visits will be less frequent, it is warming to know that you continue to be a part of our lives. Much love and gratitude.
Rebecca Zendejas & Matthew Thornley
Asher is moving on to Kindergarten after four full years at My Special School, and we want to take this opportunity to thank you for that experience. Asher’s time at school, spanning the key developmental years of his life, has been all we could have asked for. You have given him the opportunities and encouragement he has needed to move gracefully through toddlerhood and his preschool years, developing into the beautifully adjusted, creative, inquisitive, active, musical, physical, fantastic little Asher-man that he is today. The community of families you’ve built has offered him, and all of us, a special sense of belonging and friendships that have endured. For all this we thank you. Long may you wave!
Susan Rakov & Vince Semonsen
Alice is one of those rare souls on this planet that has the passion, love, patience, and ability to be a tireless and beloved teacher for young kids. She provides structure and discipline in a positive, loving and peaceful way. She makes time for one-on-one learning with each child when she sees s/he is ready for it, whether its potty training, street safety, preparing to become a big sister or brother, reading, writing or math. Alice works hard to give her students a diverse and exciting set of experiences that gets them engaged with the broader community. She instills in the kids a love of life and an adventurous, out-going nature. It is clear she deeply bonds with every one of her students and the kids adore her – graduates now in their teens and college years regularly visit to reconnect with her, which is a remarkable sign of the influence she has had on their lives.
Kim Selkoe & Ben Halpern
Many years ago, before I had my own child, I worked at Girls Inc. On Tuesdays after the Gym-minies class, I used to overhear Alice and her kids interacting outside my office window. I thought, when my child goes to preschool, that’s who I want him to be with. When it was time for my son to start preschool, I found Alice and that’s where he went. My son was always happy to be at Alice’s; not once did he tell me he didn’t want to go to school. Alice is warm and nurturing in addition to being fair and patient. The blend of onsite activities and offsite field trips was awesome. My son is now a junior at Santa Barbara High School. What he learned about relationships and interacting with others at Alice’s, he still practices today. I have since recommended many families to Alice and all have been pleased.
I first heard about Alice Tropper in a story that sounded more like fiction than reality. This special lady only took six children and they would follow her around the neighborhood all in a row, always listening to her, engaged and excited. They had mystery outings, visited farms, had yoga in school, learned how to read. The list went on and on. I soon discovered that the stories were true.
Alice Tropper is a gifted teacher and a gentle soul who wins the hearts of the children she teaches. Her Montessori approach worked wonders for our son Ezra. He transitioned from a clingy little baby to a potty trained, socially considerate little boy within just a few months of starting My Special School. My only regret is that Ezra didn’t have more time at My Special School before we moved to the Netherlands. But this leads me to another important point—Alice stays in touch and the children she has had as students also visit her through the years.
If you have made the decision to enter your child in My Special School, then I congratulate you on a wonderful investment in your child’s education, emotional and social health and ability to express herself/himself clearly.
Kristin Anderson & Arie Jan van der Bom
Our daughter McKenzie (Tookie) attended My Special School for a little over 4 wonderful years. The experience that she had with Alice and the nurturing environment of My Special School was marvelous and helped shape her into the fantastic child that she is today. The opportunity to learn Spanish, experience yoga, dance, music and Aikido as well as all of the various theatre plays, and adventures with Kunda and Bam Bam at the ranch were great for her and gave her a wonderful foundation for creativity which she continues today. Alice provided a structured yet gentle atmosphere that allowed Tookie to learn through experience and make choices while having an understanding of the consequences of her actions.
We highly recommend Alice Tropper and My Special School to anyone!
Susan & Chris Baker
When we came to MSS in August 2012, our son was having a difficult time with separation and was very nervous in new situations. Alice walked both my son and myself through the process of adjusting to being in school for the first time with a calm assurance. Her clear and consistent boundaries combined with her kind, loving presence helped our son to feel secure in his new environment and he looks forward to joining his friends at MSS each day. Alice’s personal and communicative style and dedication to the families that she serves, mean that she is more than our son’s preschool teacher, she is an ally that we are very grateful to have.
Alice Tropper is not just someone you pay to take care of your child. Your kids will be delighted to spend every day with Alice, someone who truly loves them and cares about their development at this crucial stage. She teaches them how to share, have fun, put things away, the joys of reading and music, respect animals, have adventures, enjoy a good snack and take a lovely nap. Their day is full of all the things you wish you could do for them but you aren’t able to. I never could have felt good about going to work if I didn’t know in my heart that Alice was taking great care of my precious little boy (who is 16 now and definitely not little!) Just the fact that I am still in touch with her all these many years later proves what an amazing person she was to us, a part of our extended family. Austin still remembers many happy times of being at Alice’s school. She’ll always be special to us!