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Bentley School: Wikis


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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
Oakland (lower school) Lafayette (upper school)
Type Private
Motto Scire Desidero
"(I desire to know)"
Established 1920
Principal (Lower School) Beth Crowley(Middle School) Duncan Lyon(Upper School) Brian Thomas
Head of school Arlene Hogan
Faculty 88
Grades K-12
Number of students 352 (lower school)
325 (upper school)
Mascot Phoenix

Bentley School is a coeducational private day school with campuses in Oakland and Lafayette, California. It is separated into two campuses, the upper being in Lafayette.



Lucy Soule and Edith Ainsworth founded the school in 1920 as an all girls elementary and middle school; boys were admitted from the early 1930s. Originally called the Margaret Bentley School in honor of Soule's grandmother, the school changed ownership and principals a number of times in the 1940s, eventually landing in the apt hands of Esther Branch. In 1970, the school moved into the mansion formerly owned by helicopter mogul Stanley Hiller, Jr. This estate rested on the border of Oakland and Berkeley. However, this compound burned down in the Oakland Hills firestorm of 1991. After spending a year at a disbanded high school in Berkeley, the school rebuilt its original blueprints and reopened in 1992. For this reason Bentley's mascot is the Phoenix, a mythological creature that self-cremates at old age, and then is reborn from the ashes of the fire. In 1998, Bentley expanded, opening a high school in Lafayette, California.




Students experience the Arts at Bentley through two strong departments: Performing arts, including Music and Theater, and Visual Arts. Music includes Chamber Chorus Ensemble, Chamber Music, AP Music Theory and two Jazz Ensembles. Theatre 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 Dido and Aneas, and assorted ambitious plays, including Equus, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Arcadia. The theater department's 2007–2008 season produced 10 plays, with many being student directed. Visual arts includes drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, film, and AP Art History.

Bentley School of Asia

The Board of Trustees signed an agreement to help establish a sister school on Jeju Island, Korea. The school will be administrated independently of the aforementioned school, but will carry the logo and teach the same curriculum. The school will teach in a format similar to that of the California-based program. It is commonly thought that the Bentley School of Asia will open September 2010.


Bentley Upper School offers junior varsity and varsity basketball, volleyball, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, swimming, soccer, cross country, and lacrosse. The school is one of ten schools in the Bay Counties League - East.

Bentley Middle School offers junior varsity and varsity basketball, volleyball, tennis, softball, soccer.

Tuition and financial aid

For the 2009–2010 school year, tuition for all programs is more than $20,000. Bentley School offers financial aid to families who qualify through The School and Student Services for Financial Aid.[1]


External links


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