Sylvia Mendez (formerly LeConte Elementary) was one of Berkeley's first schools. Started in 1892, it began as a six-room school and by 1900 there were 258 students. The current school was built in 1951. In May of 2018, the Berkeley Unified School Board voted unanimously to change our name to Sylvia Mendez School.
At Sylvia Mendez, our vision is for students to become enthusiastic and proficient learners, mastering fundamentals, taking risks, and tackling intellectual challenges. Our positive school culture and community-building activities help develop students’ self-esteem, compassion, empathy, and problem-solving skills.
From our successful Two-Way Immersion Program, and the pioneering Sylvia Mendez Farm & Garden Program, to the inspiring Music, Art and Science woven into the school curriculum, Sylvia Mendez is made of of incredibly dedicated teachers and staff who are supported by a vibrant and diverse family community.
Sylvia Mendez is Berkeley Unified School District's only Two-Way Immersion school. For the last 12 years, students have received instruction in both English and Spanish. This year (2018-2019) marks the first year of the program in which all classes are in the TWI Program. Please visit our TWI Program page for more information and for enrollment information for the 2019-20 school year!