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Superintendent's Message

Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent/District Administrator

Mountain School is a proud California Distinguished and California Gold Ribbon School with a long history of academic success and community engagement. We embrace the Common Core Standards as a key road map in helping student think, read, and write critically for a variety of audiences. We represent one of four small schools in the county that are one-school districts. (Happy Valley, Bonny Doon, and Pacific are the other three) and feature a K-6 program. We also offer an Independent Studies program chartered by San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District. 

Founded in 1869, Mountain School has gone through many changes since summoning its roughly twenty K-8 students to its single-room schoolhouse with a dinner bell. When the first redwood schoolhouse burned down in 1908, it was replace by a building constructed mostly from stone, and twelve years later was expanded to its current configuration (that building is still in community use and is now called the Subud Retreat Center). In 1972, after 64 years making history, this traditional schoolhoused was left behind for a shiny new building (three times larger) about a half mile down the road, our current site. In the 1980's portables were purchased which now serve as the Independent Studies school and a dedicated Art & Music facility. In 2016, a new building was erected to house the Intermediate Grade population (grades 4-6). The school currently educates 120 students. 

Many parents and volunteers continue to help Mountain thrive as the highly regarded school it is today. The Mountain School Parent Club raises funds for the school's Arts, Music, Theater, and Dance programs as well as the school library. These programs are integrated into the Common Core curriculum for every student and, in keeping with tradition since the school's inception, class plays and musical performances are faithfully attended by the community, now housed in Mountain's Performing Arts Center.

Each student at Mountain also participates in physical education, technology education, and field learning which are integrated into the core program. Each week's physical education lesson is led by our highly qualified certificated P.E./Multiple Subjects Teacher. Every student has access to Chromebooks (one-on-one for grades 4-6) however our balanced approach to the integration of technology allows students to access these invaluable resources in a developmentally thoughtful manner. All students participate in a variety of field trips (Santa Cruz Youth Symphony, UCSC's Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Children's Discovery Museum to name a few). Each year the 6th grade students attend Outdoor Science School for four days, and every other year the 4th & 5th graders go to Coloma to study California history.

We are very fortunate to have a Life Lab Garden, maintained by our active and supportive Mountain School Parent Club, and the adjacent Soquel Creek with surrounding riparian woodlands as part of our school environment. These outdoor laboratories offer our students endless opportunity for study. A covered lunch shelter (also generously donated by our parent club) makes ‘play first’ lunch time a pleasure for the children, who have access to multiple playground structures, a basketball court, a volleyball court, a running track, and large grass playing fields with a soccer pitch, a baseball diamond and free space to play. 

Here at Mountain, we are devoted to all our students and are truly dedicate to serving the whole child. We encourage students to set stretch goals and challenge themselves to bring their best every day while providing a safe and supportive small school environment. Mountain graduates consistently score among the top in their classes and are highly successful in their academic environments. We refer to Mountain as ‘destination schooling'—in essence, the elementary education every parent wants for his/her child. We encourage you to learn more about our programs and services by contacting us with questions about our award-winning programs.