Bentley School

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Coordinates: 37°51′10.36″N 122°14′1.12″W / 37.8528778°N 122.2336444°W / 37.8528778; -122.2336444

Bentley School
Bentley School logo 2.png
Type Private
Motto Scire Desidero
"I desire to know"
Established 1920
  • Arlene Hogan, Head of School
  • Brian Thomas, Upper School & Associate Head 9-12
  • Laura Konigsberg, Associate Head K-8, Beverley Hackford, Middle School Director
  • Liz Lummis O'Neil, Lower School Director
Faculty 88
Grades K-12
Enrollment 352 - Lower School
325 - Upper School
Average class size 12
Student to teacher ratio 1:12
Color(s) Blue & White          
Mascot Phoenix
Bentley School

Bentley School is a private co-educational college preparatory day school. The Bentley school's lower and middle school campus (K-8) is located in the Oakland Hills and the high school (9-12) campus is located in Lafayette, California. Their official website is here: [1]

History and Governance[edit]

Bentley School was established in Berkeley in 1920. The school was purchased by Ms. Mary Harley Jenks in 1930, who later founded The College Preparatory School (CPS) in the 1960s. In 1969 the School was incorporated as a non-profit corporation. The School moved to the existing campus in Oakland in the fall of 1970, and purchased the campus in Lafayette in 1997. The Hiller Campus includes the Lower School grades K-5 and Middle School grades 6-8. The Hiller Campus is located in Oakland, while the Lafayette Campus in Lafayette, off of Highway 24 between Walnut Creek and Berkeley/Oakland, houses our Upper School grades 9-12.

Bentley School is operated as an independent institution and is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the goals and policies of Bentley and monitoring performance. The Board of Trustees appoints a Head of School to devise and implement day-to-day operational policies and practices to meet these goals, and to provide educational leadership for the School community. Bentley School is fully accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS)/Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This accreditation was renewed in 2011. The Head of Bentley School is Arlene Hogan.[1]


Excellence in Teaching and Learning is the foundation of a Bentley School education. Since 1920 Bentley School has fostered an environment that challenges the mind, striving to bring out the best in each of its students".[2] The curriculum changes, grows, and expands as student interest and needs change. A traditional core curriculum is enhanced by a breadth of courses which prepare students for their next educational step, whether it's to the next division or their choice of higher education institution.

Bentley students are offered a variety of classes. The science department offers regular, honors, and Advanced Placement classes on Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, and also offers trimester electives such as Anatomy and Physiology, Astronomy, Neuroscience, and Microbiology. Freshman and Sophomore students are required to take English I and II, yet during junior and senior years, students take honors seminars. All English classes use a Harkness Table discussion format.


Students experience the Arts at Bentley through two departments: Performing arts, including Music and Theater, and Visual Arts. Music includes Chamber Chorus Ensemble, String and Woodwind ensemble, Chamber Music, AP Music Theory and two Jazz Ensembles in addition to a "Jazz Masters" class and Beginning Band. A dance course and club were added in 2013.

Theater at Bentley Upper School is one of the school's high points, producing many challenging musicals, including Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Cabaret, Threepenny Opera, Assassins, Rhinoceros, and Fuddy Meers, Kiss Me, Kate and assorted ambitious plays, including Equus, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Metamorphoses and Arcadia. There are also three senior directed productions every year. The theater department's 2007–2008 season produced 10 plays, with many being student directed.

Visual arts includes drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, and the school's art and literary magazine, Aquila, has won First Place with Merit in the list of National Scholastic Press Association's Top-Scoring Magazines for 2011. [3]


Bentley Upper School offers junior varsity and varsity basketball, volleyball, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, swimming, soccer,and cross country. The school is one of ten schools in the Bay Counties League - East. In 2011, the Golf Team won BCL-East, and in 2012, the Men's Varsity Basketball team went undefeated in league play for the first time in Bentley history and went to the semi-finals of the North Coast Section. The Bentley Phoenix continued this streak by winning league for men's volleyball in 2014.

Bentley Middle School offers junior varsity and varsity basketball and volleyball. It also includes flag football, soccer, cross country, and has recently added a baseball program to their athletics department.


The Hiller Mansion at the Oakland campus burned down in the Oakland Hills Firestorm in 1991. After it was rebuilt in 1992, the school eventually adopted the Phoenix as its new mascot. Current students show pride in their mascot and many students go to various sporting events to support their school.

Tuition and financial aid[edit]

The tuition for the 2013–2014 school year:[4]

  • Lower School (K-5): $27,050 [5]
  • Middle School (6-8): $29,550 [6]
  • Upper School (9-12): $37,400 [7]

Bentley School offers financial aid to students whose families apply for and demonstrate a need for assistance. Bentley School uses Tuition Aid Data Services to help in the determination of the need of a family.


  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Hogan, Arlene. "Bentley School Welcome Page". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  3. ^ . American Scholastic Press Association Retrieved 30 January 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Tuition and Fees | Bentley School". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  6. ^ "Tuition and Fees | Bentley School". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Tuition and Fees | Bentley School". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 

External links[edit]