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Lone Mountain Children's Center

1806 Belles Street
San Francisco, CA 94129

(415) 876-0057

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We offer a developmental, theme-based preschool program for children age two years and seven months through five years and six months. The program is designed to be nurturing, creative, and fun, in a context that honors structure and develops self-discipline. Each of the three levels actively supports and cultivates a child's social, cognitive, physical, emotional and language development, utilizing an array of primarily experential and hands-on educational techniques. In addition, the school offers a curriculum that is unique to Lone Mountain in both approach and degree of sophistication. By the culmination of the three-year program, Lone Mountain students have been exposed, in an age-appropriate manner, to most of the traditional academic disciplines: Art, Music, Science, History, Sociology, Geography, Psychology, World Religions, etc. Our hope is to inspire a life-long fascination with learning and discovery.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

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

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  • Puzzles
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
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
Other subjects taught Our two older groups have weekly teaching specialists in music, movement, and science.

From the Director:

We have a theme-based program with a balance of child-directed and teacher-directed activities.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our philosophy is to meet and accept each child as he or she comes to us. We work to build on a child's developmental strengths, while giving special attention to those areas which are less strong. We believe that when a child is provided the opportunity to preserve and enhance a positive sense of self, then the essential foundation for all learning and self-actualization has been established. We strive to ensure that each child has a positive first school experience, and leaves us well prepared and eager to meet life's further adventures.

A Typical Day

Free play 8:45-9:00/12:45-1:00

Meeting/Group Time 9:00-9:30/1:00-1:30

Free play & projects 9:30-10:30/1:30-2:30

Story 10:30-10:40/2:30-2:40

Snack 10:40-10:50/2:40-2:50

Outdoors 10:50-11:25/2:50-3:25

Dismissal 11:30/3:30

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year