Big Minds is an attachment-based, community focused school designed to give 2e students the time and support necessary to grow into thoughtful, articulate citizens.

Watch the film clip featuring Big Minds in “The G-Word,” a Marc Smolowitz documentary about giftedness. EXCEPTIONAL MINDS gives viewers an early look at one of the forthcoming stories from the feature documentary.

Our focus is on socio-emotional development that supports both cognitive and creative growth. Students and teachers are continually engaged in a passionate, reciprocal learning process. Our academic work is inquiry-based, dynamic, and follows student interests.

Dr. Melanie Hayes, Founder and Director of Big Minds, received the Jefferson Award for her work with 2e children. Big Minds is designed to help 2e children reach their full intellectual and creative potential, while giving them the necessary skills to be socially competent in the world.

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From Big Minds Parents

Anne, Son 6 years old

“Melanie's expertise has been very instrumental in helping us identify and mitigate our son's issues. ... Her insights into his twice exceptionality have helped us to appreciate him more and to bring out the best in us as parents.”

- Anne, Son 6 years old
2015-08-26T06:01:53+00:00
“Melanie's expertise has been very instrumental in helping us identify and mitigate our son's issues. ... Her insights into his twice exceptionality have helped us to appreciate him more and to bring out the best in us as parents.” - Anne, Son 6 years old

Talia and Michael

"We had been home-schooling but were looking for a better solution that could really be a good fit for [our son]. Big Minds is a place that welcomes, accepts and loves [him] for who he is."

-Talia and Michael, Son 8 years old
2015-08-26T06:02:44+00:00
"We had been home-schooling but were looking for a better solution that could really be a good fit for [our son]. Big Minds is a place that welcomes, accepts and loves [him] for who he is." -Talia and Michael, Son 8 years old

Kara Vuicich

"Big Minds has provided [our daughter] a learning environment that understands her, celebrates her strengths, and helps her build skills in the areas she needs help. I now have a child who LOVES going to school!"

- Kara Vuicich, Daughter 11 years old
2015-08-28T21:20:29+00:00
"Big Minds has provided [our daughter] a learning environment that understands her, celebrates her strengths, and helps her build skills in the areas she needs help. I now have a child who LOVES going to school!" - Kara Vuicich, Daughter 11 years old

Contact Information

Big Minds Unschool
Dr. Melanie Hayes
Pinole, California
510-815-0341
bigmindsunschool@gmail.com