Center in Mill Valley, CA 94941
445 Greenwood Beach Road
Mill Valley, CA 94941
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Ring Mountain Day School ’s student-centered program creates a dynamic learning environment to stimulate creative thinking, motivate academic excellence, and instill a lifelong desire to learn.
Small class size enables our faculty to apply an individualized, integrated approach that inspires students to realize their talents, strengths, capabilities and dreams. The curriculum emphasizes problem solving in real-life situations, promoting comprehensive understanding of academics and the arts.
Students develop overall self-awareness and a sense of personal responsibility to their communities: family, school, and the diverse world in which they live.
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Our curricula are based on a developmental continuum: from play-based, to project-based, to discussion-based, always seeking to experientially teach children how to learn. Hands-on, interdisciplinary projects allow students to explore subjects in depth and on a personal level. Ring Mountains community-based program encourages students to draw inspiration from each other, as well as from their topics of study. Participatory, student-centered learning teaches students not just a given courses content, but also the skills required to be their own and each others teachers. Regular study of the lives and works of great thinkers and artists provides students with inspiration and exemplary models.
Through a variety of spontaneous discussions and presentations as well as planned performances, students experience joy in learning and satiSFaction in sharing their knowledge and skills with classmates and the larger community. Each student brings to the subject his or her unique viewpoint to share with and engage the group. These approaches develop well-rounded students who are original thinkers, willing to take intellectual risks and able to give and accept constructive criticism.
Ring Mountains teachers model self-acceptance and empathy, self discipline and humility. We teach children to expect errors and to learn from them. Our program varies with the differing needs and abilities of each child. We provide Preschoolers with a developmentally appropriate play based program that focuses on exploration, discovery, and social interaction. This early childhood experience sets the stage for the introduction of multi-age project based academic studies and homework in the elementary school. The Middle School discussion model is based on the Harkness Teaching pedagogy of Phillips Exeter Academy located in Exeter, N.H. Our program responds to the individual child at all levels, yet as the students mature, they are expected to go beyond their own interests in order to master those skills and bodies of knowledge widely recognized as a foundation for further studies in the liberal arts.
Ring Mountain succeeds in its mission because trustees, administrators, teachers, parents and students work together to form a community of learning. The trustees establish the direction of the school over the long term and preserve its character for future generations; administrators ensure that the school’s mission is implemented day-by-day, and are responsible for the educational quality, tone and personnel of the school; parents bring to the school aspirations for and intimate knowledge of their children as well as support for their academic endeavors; students bring their special gifts and youthful enthusiasm for learning. Teachers are the essential core of the program, exemplifying integrity, intelligence, humor and compassion.