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The Mountain School

50 El Camino Drive, Alpha Building
Corte Madera, CA 94925

(415) 924-4661


At The Mountain School we know, and the research supports, that a genuine love of learning is developed through play. We also know, and the research also supports, that play in early childhood pays off in terms of your child's increased academic achievement in later years. We bring out the best in every child and offer invaluable support for your parenting journey.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Waldorf

From the Director:

Rather than facts and figures, we provide a foundation for learning, in the form of: a longer attention span as children actively engage in the process of creating images through play and storytelling; a fuller understanding of abstract concepts as they interact with the natural world, rather than learn by rote; a love of learning because the knowledge gained from imagining and doing is stimulating and exciting; self-esteem and emotional maturity, preparing them to form healthy relationships throughout life; and a capacity for creative thinking, the root of all true learning and problem-solving. Founded by parents in 1990, we draw inspiration from the principles of Waldorf education, Preventative Discipline, and Kim John Payne's Simplicity Parenting©.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

In early childhood, children need to be working on developing social and personal skills which will make them available for academic learning when the time is right. In a child's space, at a child's pace, there is time for imaginative play and practical tasks which instill insight and capability which will serve them well their whole lives. Change the beginning, and you change the whole story!

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our teachers focus on each child's gifts and integrating the group as a whole. Practical tasks, social skills (including fine manners!) and self-care are our primary focus in this area.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Mountain School is a joyful, harmonious world for early childhood play and learning, a school like no other. It is a place where children know the warmth and security of home; the magic of stories, songs, and universal myths; and the wonder of the world around us. A nonprofit organization, the school was founded in 1990 by a group of parents who wanted to offer Marin families a new approach to early childhood education. Our school applies the principles of Waldorf education in a framework that is uniquely our own.

A Typical Day

Circle time, indoor playtime, snack, outdoor playtime, story, lunch. Aftercare program includes story, rest time, snack, outdoor play and indoor play.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

There is ongoing communication between parents and teachers via phone, email, quick conversations and scheduled parent conferences. Each class has several parent meetings per year; in addition, we offer Parent Education and Parent-Toddler programs.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Our staff is skilled and experienced in handling separation issues. We work with parents to make a plan that meets each child's needs. New families are offered complimentary early care so that children having separation difficulties can arrive ahead of the group and settle in.