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Peppertree School (Los Gatos Almaden Rd.)

16035 Los Gatos-Almaden Road
Los Gatos, CA 95032

(408) 356-3211


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We have a structured morning 'circle time' where children are taught age-appropriate, academic foundation needed for future educational success. We do however feel that each child is unique and should not be pushed to learn a subject if he/she is not ready. We also believe that learning socialization through play is a big part of the preschool experience.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Language Games, Word & alphabet puzzles, etc.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Counting manipulatives, games, etc.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • An outdoor garden, insect collectors, a school bunny, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Sing-a-long (Music and Movement) every Monday and Thursday morning
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • We have an exclusive art room where we have extensive creative materials
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • 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
  • We have a very large shady playground covered with sand and another large grass-covered area.
Other subjects taught We also teach Zoophonics, Sign Language, and Spanish at age-appropriate levels. We also offer Gymsters, a large-motor development program.

From the Director:

We combine both developmental and academic philosophies for our preschool and kindergarten teaching curriculum with the main focus on the development of the whole child. This includes creativity, fine/gross motor skills, language/speech, and social/emotional skills.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We have very low ratios with a co-teacher or teacher's aide in almost every class to work with kids who might need extra help or who might need some extra challenge.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our Philosophy:
The philosophy of Peppertree Schools of Los Gatos is that our children's concepts of self, individuality, independence, and confidence are first developed at home with family, then school, and then in their community.

Our loving staff team is excellent in implementing ways of developing and strengthening these areas in our students. Teaching the children about the values of patience, compassion, understanding and forgiveness help our children build stronger relationships as well as reduce frustration and aggression between classmates. With their teachers' help our students learn how to effectively communicate with each other and learn the importance and impact words can have. It is extremely rewarding to watch two children engaged in conversation when they have been taught respectful ways to communicate with each other for optimum results.

Our combined academic and developmental teaching approach has proven to be the most effective way for our highly educated staff to inspire their students to advanced levels of learning. This enables our students to receive a greater academic base without dismissing the importance of creativity and individual expression through art, drama, music, exploration, and free play. This solid foundation leads to future successes in school and throughout life.

We encourage our families to get involved with their child's development, education and school experiences. Peppertree provides many resources and opportunities for increasing family involvement, which enhances the sense of security and support in the students: the sense that family, school and community are working together as a team for their benefit.

Providing a comfortable setting where cultural diversity is respected and honored is so important in the family, school and community concept. Peppertree welcomes a culturally diverse teaching team as well as student base. We enjoy learning about each other's cultures, languages, and holidays.

We celebrate different cultures all throughout the year and at our Winter Pageant with a multi-cultural potluck in December.

We believe that a balanced approach to education is the most fun for children, and happy children are more receptive to learning.

Our mission is to tie family, school & community together in a warm, nurturing and multi-cultural environment where our students and their families feel comfortable and connected. Our balanced teaching and individual attention, which fosters high self-esteem and a deep love of learning, will enable our students to perform at their fullest potential in the life journey that awaits them.

A Typical Day

9:00-9:30 Sing Along/Large Motor Devel.
OR Home Room/Circle Time
9:30-10:15 Letter of the Week & Weekly Theme / Art Project / Kitchen Project, etc.
10:15 - 10:30 Potty, Diapering, and Snack
10:30-11:25 Free Play (inside or outside)
11:25-11:30 Washing Hands & Face
11:30-12:00 Lunch Time
12:00 Half-Day Kids get picked up
12:00-12:30 Wash, Potty, and get ready for Nap
12:30-2:30 Nap Time (or 1/2 hour rest + quiet activities)
2:30-3:00 Snack Time
3:00-4:00 Free Play Outside and Outdoor Structured Activity
4:00-4:30 Snack Time
4:30-5:30 Semi Structured Group and Indoor Activity Stations
5:30 - 6:00 Clean-Up and Goodbye's

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We actively communicate with our parents with monthly child updates in relation to developmental and academic objectives for each class. We also have parent-teacher conferences in February or more, if needed. Parents are also notified of their child's daily activities and how their day was.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage new parents to bring their child in for multiple school visits prior to their start day, while the parent stays to help them comfortably get to know the teachers, other students, and environment. After their start day, we have additional staff to allow the child to 'bond' with his/her primary teacher as soon as possible.