We have 2 children at Marylhurst, one in preschool and one in elementary, and we couldn't be happier! The faculty at marylhurst has a true understanding of what children need to learn and grow, and every child is respected as an individual. My kids are encouraged to explore their interests, ask questions, make mistakes and all the while given tools for problem solving in the real world. We also love that families are encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life and, as a result, we have a loving, committed community that feels like home.
I went to preschool at The Marylhurst School and I had a great experience with my teachers who were kind and let me be creative and have fun. Looking back I realize that it was a community that helped me grow into a better person and helped me develop a strong personality.
Beware; this school is not as it appears. While it professes to encourage social and emotional growth and active, hands-on stimulating learning experiences, that has been far from our experience. Teachers are spotty in the preschool. While we heard from other parents that some are good, we had poor ones. My child went backwards instead of forward socially and emotionally and hated going to school. Twice when we picked him up he was crying and the teacher didn't know anything about why, and wasn't attending to it. My child picked up bad social habits we are working hard to undo. My child was also bored, as there weren't enough stimulating experiences to keep him engaged. There is a lot of unhappiness in the parents we have spoken to, with many feeling like there are a lot of politics and lack of transparency. Many have chosen to leave the school.
With respect to the kindergarten, children will be behind academically compared to local public schools. The writing produced by the kindergartners was no where close to what is seen in the public school. With respect to the elementary school, I have heard several reports that there is a lack of authentic joy of learning in most children. Also, there is a lack of diversity of types of kids - there are few sporty kids, for example. One parent told me that although they might learn a lot of details about a particular topic (like bridges), the teachers fail to pull all the disciplines like math into the study of the topic - leaving students with a lot of disconnected details and lack of fundamentals. Project-based learning can be phenomenal, but like anything, it has to be implemented well to work. One parent told me her child hated going to school due to negative feelings in the classroom, and that her child was found to behind compared to standard grade levels. Finally, there are numerous complaints of an unprofessional and very opaque admissions process into the elementary school. While the school has all the right intentions, it fails to implement them effectively.
Marylhurst is such a wonderful school for our family. This is our second year there and have 2 children enrolled. We have seen our son blossom while there. The teacher/student ratio is perfect and the immergent cirriculum and progressive education model meet the individual students where they are are. They take the student's interests and ideas and create the lesson plans as they go. There is so much hand's on and doing, lots of time exploring outside and a real sense of community from all the parents and faculty. We are so happy to have found this incredible school and plan on keeping our children (3) there through 8th grade. I would recommend scheduling a visit and seeing for yourself!
My daughter attends The Marylhurst School in the 3/4 blend class. This is her 2nd year at the school and we couldn't be happier! The school is simply amazing. The teachers and educational curriculum has been top notch, the principal is wonderful, the class sizes have been ideal, and the community is very welcoming. My daughter has blossomed, academically and socially, since being at the school. I would highly recommend this school!!!
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!