My son is in the twos class at Marylhurst and will attend the threes class in the fall next year. As an early childhood educator myself with a Masters in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, choosing a preschool for my son was very difficult and a year-long process. For various reasons, he won't be able to attend preschool at the child development center where I teach. My checklist for the perfect preschool was long, specific and picky and I was extremely under impressed with most preschools I investigated. When I finally visited Marylhurst, I was thrilled with the quality/depth of the learning activities, the emphasis on community and young children's social/emotional growth and the school's overall pedagogy. Small class sizes and teacher experience/education are absolutely critical to student "success" in the early childhood years and Marylhurst values both. Most importantly, Marylhurst felt like "my" school - it felt like home and I knew my son would be loved and nurtured there. If you are looking for the best early childhood environment in the OC/LO/WL/Tualatin area, don't hesitate. It will be the most important money you ever spend.
Marylhurst supports children in a nurturing community with a progressive education model. The curriculum is hands-on, theme driven, and tailored to each individual child. Art and creative writing are central to the classroom experience EVERY DAY. My children are challenged academically, supported by their wonderful teachers and peers, and thriving!
I have two very different elementary school age children at the school. The school has been fantastic in how they consistently meet the needs of not only my children but every child in the classroom. Every learning style is honored and kids are free to learn in the best and most comfortable way for them whether kintically, visually, orally, logically or a combination thereof. The classroom activities are flexible to take advantage of hte learning that is going on right then and there. There are days where the kids become so energized around math that the rest of the schedule is cleared for them to keep going with the lesson and run with it to it's logical end point. The progress reviews (in lieu of report cards) are invaluable and hold pages upon pages of great information that is quite useful. The administration is fantastic and has been very helpful when for some reason we're late getting the kids or one of my kids is sick and I need the other one walked out to the car, etc. It is a welcomed change from our prior Waldorf school where we were treated more like a number than part of an extended family. We are very happy at this school.
My son visited the 1st grade classroom for a day while we were still trying to decide if the school would be a good fit for him. When I picked him up and inquired about the day he told me that he wanted to go to Marylhurst and didn't want to return to his other school. I wasn't too surprised at this statement considering the engaging classroom, welcoming faces from both the teachers and the children and the hands-on learning that was all around us. What he told me caused my little world to shift on its axis... he said, "Mom, I have real work to do at Marylhurst. It's important that I'm there tomorrow." This statement changed our course and we have never looked back. I have two children at Marylhurst, one in pre-K and one in the primary program. There is real work, meaningful learning, true connecting and heartfelt commitment in every corner at Marylhurst. The teachers, staff, community and most importantly, the children believe that the learning and work they do is important. I could write a book about all of Marylhurst's positives! The teachers are so knowledgable and compassionate. The staff and community are so supportive. Oh and academically, my kids are doing fantastic.
Marylhurst understands human development. If children are free to explore and learn through following their interests and joys, they grow into older children and adolescents who do increasingly well in all academic subjects. Most adults do not understand children, but Marylhurst does. Philosophy/Curriculum: Children are free to move about the classroom at appropriate times. Pursuing their interests ("emergent curriculum") promotes self-esteem, good citizenship (identifying feelings, being kind to others and compromising, working in groups), and intellectual ability. Put simply, children need to play in mud now to do calculus later. The children at Marylhurst study academic subjects in an engaging way. Individualized Attention: Every class has one teacher and one assistant (several classes have two teachers), so the adult-child ratio is low (usually 9 to 1 or fewer), which is the number-one predictor of student success at school at every level. The school's "Bee Hive" before- and aftercare program has engaging learning activities and relationships of its own. I can't thank Marylhurst enough. I wish all education were like this, up to and including university.
We live in Portland and found The Marylhurst School after attending a Waldorf school in Portland and visiting other private schools, but not feeling that we had found a school that was right for our children and our family. I usually would be suspicious of someone saying they knew right away that a school was the right one, but that is how I felt walking into Marylhurst. The staff and principal are warm, kind and down to earth. We are entering our second year at Marylhurst and I have the sense that my children are truly known for who they are. The curriculum is rich, expansive and so, so creative. The multicultural unit done in the kindergarten class last year included fiction and non fiction writing, learning about character development and plot, oral presentation, making of musical instruments, geography, holidays, cooking and costume making. My husband and I were just stunned at the final presentation. At Marylhurst there is a mix of people in terms of socioeconomic status-this was important to us. The overall feel of high quality education and care in a humble and unpretentious environment makes for a very special and wonderful school.
We transferred my son here after hearing about this school from another mom. We weren't happy with his other preschool. They seemed more like a day care and were even showing movies to the kids on rainy days! The Marylhurst School was a dream come true! The teachers are engaged and passionate about shaping little minds. My son began to thrive and get all sorts of confidence. He would tell me about the exciting and fun things he did that day. We were so happy with Marylhurst that we decided to keep him there for Kindergarten, even though we recently moved further away. To us, this school is special and is worth the drive. Thank goodness they're expanding to K-6, so we don't have to say goodbye any time soon. I can't say enough about this school. They've made a huge impact on our lives.
Since my child began going to MECC I have seen such a wonderful change in her. She asks more questions about the world around her, and seems to come home with so much knowledge. I love the teachers and great feel of MECC as a whole
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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