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!
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.