Program and Tuition Information
1937 San Pablo Ave.
Pinole, CA 94564
To ensure equity and access, we offer individualized family tuition rates. Families submit their financial information via TADS online in order to determine a tuition level that is equitable for their family. Families are provided their tuition rate at the time of scheduling a shadow period and subsequently, upon offer of 90 day enrollment.Download Enrollment Information ↓
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Learn About Pinole!
Our campus is just blocks away from Pinole’s quaint downtown. It is very cozy and students often mention that it feels like home. Our days are busy and typically filled with activity, however, we are also able to find space for students to have some quiet time, read a book, or work individually on a special project. We are only a few blocks away from Fernandez Park, where our students greatly enjoy spending time climbing, running, and engaging in all kinds of collaborative, imaginative play, and are able to get some fresh air in the process.
Our faculty are all well-equipped to engage and inspire our students. They are all highly passionate and skilled in the subjects they teach, and it is clear that they are equally as passionate about participating in the education and social-emotional development of our wonderful 2e students. Our parent community is supportive and involved, and can often be seen helping with holiday parties, driving and chaperoning students on field trips all over the Bay Area, and hosting on-campus workshops that offer our students the opportunity to learn a new skill.
Our students greatly benefit from the relationships that they establish with staff and with their peers. They love participating in the development of our class schedule and always have new and exciting ideas about things that we can incorporate into our days to make them even more enjoyable. Students love to begin their day playing Minecraft, reading, or using Procreate in the art room. They prefer to have lunch or grab a snack on our expansive, covered deck, which allows them the opportunity to be outdoors, even when it’s raining. During class time, they can frequently be found playing Literacy Games, experimenting in Science classes, making music in Soundscaping, whipping up all kinds of wonderful treats in Cooking Club, creating their own countries in Micronations, or collaborating on something amazing in the Lego Room!
Pinole Site Director
Sarah spent the majority of her childhood in the Midwest, where she was identified as gifted as a kindergarten student. As a child, she developed both an ability and a passion for vocal music, and began taking lessons at a nearby college. She enjoyed performing, touring, and competing for many years. Her family moved to the Bay Area when she was in high school, just before her senior year. Sarah returned to the Midwest for college, where she continued to study music, foreign language, English, and religion, among many other things, and graduated with a liberal arts degree. She met her husband there, however, they chose to make their home in the East Bay, where they currently live with their two sons.
Sarah loves learning new things, and loves people, which has given her an extremely eclectic collection of interests. She owned a successful photography business for over 15 years, has worked as a marketing coordinator for a real estate office, and as a technician for a neurofeedback office, among other endeavors. Sarah has both volunteered for and been employed by her local school district for several years, and most recently worked at the district office in the student services and special education department. It was her experience there that led her to Big Minds, where she has found that she feels like she has discovered the most amazing community of humans that is an absolute honor to work with and serve.
Lead Teacher and Literacy Coach
Lydia Warren was (literally) born and raised in a variety of bookstores and libraries in the East Bay (namely Pegasus Book, where both their parents worked). After a childhood of voracious reading, and graduating from Berkeley High School, they went on to attend The Evergreen State College, where they graduated with a BA in liberal arts. During college, they ran the theater troupe Riot to Follow, apprenticed at the campus preschool, and led backpacking trips for youth during the summer. Post-graduation, Lydia continued to pursue a career in education by working at preschools, taking additional college classes in education, and advocating for radical pedagogy that centers fellow neurodivergent and LGBTQ youth. They are elated to have landed at Big Minds—it's bashert!
Roan has a Bachelor of Arts, with a Double Major in Studio Arts & Business Management from UC Santa Cruz. They have done extensive work with the San Jose Museum of Art as a Gallery teacher. In addition to their work at SJMA, they are also an active artist in local communities around the Bay Area. Specifically Soft Times Gallery, a newer SF gallery that hosts a multitude of art events in the Tenderloin neighborhood. They recently helped facilitate an Art Swap event with the intention of creating a socialist community model for art acquisition while supporting emerging artists. Through art, education, and their community, they are reminded as to why these lived experiences of connection are the very fiber in the great, complex weaving of life. They hope to continue this empathy based educationwork with their students at Big Minds!
Tam has been a Math Coach at Big Minds for seven years( two years as part time and five years as full time). After she graduated from Oakland High, she continued her education at Merritt College and graduated with two degrees in Mathematics and general education. She went on to University at Davis and Cal State Hayward to study Math, finance, and Business. She loves playing math games with her students and enjoying movement with them during break times.
Andrew was born in New York with a call for adventure. With a love for every STEM field in their heart, they've been on the road since 2016 picking up pieces of schooling until eventually ending up at CSU East Bay with a major in Mathematics. He's worked as a Lead Instructor/ Curriculum Designer at a STEM orientated summer camp and after school program where he developed a hands-on approach to teaching Mathematics. They believe that Mathematics is like a language, it's a form of expression and how someone uses it will be unique to them. Whether a student wants to use Mathematics to challenge themselves in the theoretical, apply it to engineering real life projects, or they just like plotting big funny numbers on a graph, Andrew wants to able to give them the tools to make it happen. When class isn't in session, Andrew can be spotted out on the rocks, climbing a little too high.
Cove has a strong background in biology, graduating with a bachelor of science in Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior from University of California, Davis. He has also worked in the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry lab and is excited to conduct experiments at Big Minds! Cove designs his classes to inspire 2e students to use current scientific knowledge to expand their understanding of the world and to discover new knowledge!
Programming / Coding Coach
Gavin has a background in games, software, and education. Since finishing a degree in Computer Game Design from UC Santa Cruz in 2016, he has briefly worked professionally as a software engineer, as well as taught at a Bay Area private school for three years. Gavin loves to teach programming, and in his spare time can often be found playing Pickleball or any of a number of games on his Nintendo Switch.
Ryan has been working as a recording engineer, live sound technician and musician for the past decade. They believe that everyone is able to have a unique relationship to art and music, and as long as a person is given the right environment to grow and learn, there is no limit to the ways that they can express themselves.
Sam Halterman was an English teacher in Russia for 2 years before heading to law school and becoming, first a litigator, and then a Trusts and Estates Lawyer. He practiced in Philadelphia from 2014 to 2020 before moving to California and returning to teaching. He loves history and comparative politics. He used to love Russian literature but is taking an extended hiatus from 600 page novels.
Krista's lifelong passion for literacy began during childhood and continued to flourish, culminating in a literacy major graduation from the Oakland School for the Arts High School. They later earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz, with a keen interest in addressing educational inequality. Krista has held various educational roles, including ESL teaching, after-school instruction, and in-home tutoring. They are a strong advocate for accessible education, aiming to make learning inclusive and fun! Outside of education, Krista enjoys spending time with their pets, exploring nature, and creating art. They are excited to contribute their passions to Big Minds!