Treasuring Childhood Learning for Life
Welcome to MP&MS Since 1975, MP&MS has been an innovative learning community where integrated, experiential projects complement a strong core curriculum. Our founders envisioned a school where childhood is treasured, learning is relevant, and students thrive personally and academically. Our graduates leave MP&MS well-prepared as 21st century thinkers with the confidence to take risks and meet challenges in the next chapter of their educational lives. Our dynamic curriculum and team teaching model provide opportunities for students to explore their passions and deepen their learning alongside talented educators who value collaboration and creativity. Our enhanced campus provides learning opportunities that extend well beyond the classroom, including STEAM, drama, athletics, an engaging after school program, and more. We value, seek, and foster a diverse and inclusive community. Our school welcomes applications from children who love to learn, who rise to the challenge of a strong academic program, and who thrive in an environment that promotes leadership, independent thinking, self-advocacy, and empathy. I am thrilled to be part of this exceptional community, and I invite you to browse our website at www.mpms.org or better yet, come visit our campus to learn more about what makes MP&MS so unique. Andrew Slater Head of School
Marin Primary & Middle School is a preschool through eighth grade independent, coeducational learning community. Our spacious campus includes beautiful and sustainably designed indoor and outdoor learning spaces, and is located on eight acres in sunny Larkspur, California MP&MS Profile: Co-educational preschool through eighth grade 375 students 7:1 student-teacher ratio Accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and Western Association of Colleges (WASC)
“We wanted a place where our children are valued individually, supported by a community, and where they can become good citizens. MP&MS has exceeded our expectations and we are grateful for the meaningful experiences and extraordinary academics they have provided our children.” — Pam & Cris, primary & middle school parents
We have a deep understanding of how our students learn, and we support and celebrate their growth while partnering with families to ensure academic success. We treasure childhood by nurturing students’ social, emotional, and cognitive development throughout their formative years. We offer a low overall student-teacher ratio, with two full-time classroom teachers in the preschool and primary grades and a departmentalized program in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Specialist classes provide academic enrichment and creative learning experiences. Our teachers focus on integrated educational projects linking content areas to promote deeper understanding and creative and innovative thinking. Our inclusive community cultivates strong relationships between parents, teachers, and administrators to most effectively support students’ learning.
Learning at MP&MS “We had a great feeling about MP&MS from the beginning. We knew we had discovered exactly what we were looking for – top-quality scholastics with a big focus on treasuring childhood, the arts, service, and the community. MP&MS felt welcoming, warm, and genuine.” — Emily & Abdi, primary & middle school parents
Our faculty integrates Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD) throughout the curriculum, preparing students for future success.
At Marin Primary & Middle School, students are empowered to strive and thrive. Our teachers have the flexibility and resources to celebrate and support diverse learning profiles while creating an engaging environment in which each student’s natural abilities and interests flourish. Our school’s low student-teacher ratio supports a personalized approach to teaching and learning. Specialist classes in music, art, drama, physical education, garden (Outdoor Education Center), media literacy, technology, Spanish, and projects lab are an integral part of each child’s weekly schedule, serving to deepen an understanding of core subjects. MP&MS provides an extensive, community building outdoor education program using our own campus in addition to the Bay Area’s vast natural and cultural resources. Our students travel throughout California to enhance their knowledge of geography, science, the environment, history and culture, and the arts. Overnight trips begin in second grade with a stay at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Headlands Institute, and culminate with the eighth grade adventure to Washington State. We prepare students to become citizens of the world. From coastal cleanups to local food banks, students engage in community service projects to promote awareness and action. Through international programs such as Save the Children and partnerships such as our exchange with Colegio Williams, an independent school in Cuernavaca, Mexico, students make global connections that empower them to make a difference.
Bringing Learning to Life The deep integration of skills and concepts across multiple disciplines is a defining aspect of the MP&MS program. Our teachers understand that learning is most effective when reinforced in multiple modalities.
“By teaching to each child’s strengths in a way that is collaborative, thought-provoking, and fun, MP&MS has successfully instilled an intrinsic drive to learn and achieve which will carry our children into high school and beyond.” — Kim & Marc, middle school parents
Our multidisciplinary approach is augmented by our hallmark specialist programs, including Spanish, art, drama, music, projects lab, and P.E. These teachers offer a unique perspective to students as they create, perform, and develop new ways of thinking. These programs inspire our students to consider, to analyze, to create, to achieve, and to identify undiscovered talents and interests. Beginning in the earliest grades, students participate in presentations and performances, assuming leadership roles while learning public speaking skills. Whether on the playing field, in the arts, or in the classroom, students are given many opportunities to take risks while becoming effective leaders and collaborators. In addition to our classroom and specialist teachers, our dedicated Learning Resource Center staff provides support for students with specific learning needs and assists teachers in differentiating instruction. Our new state-of-the-art science lab bolsters an enhanced and advanced curriculum across grades. Designed to support an innovative and nimble program that can respond to changes in our rapidly evolving world, the lab has indoor and outdoor spaces adjacent to our Outdoor Education Center, art studio, and music room, and provides opportunities for integrated projects, research, and experiments. Together, Marin Primary & Middle School’s unique and talented faculty, enthusiastic learners, and supportive parents create a one-of-a-kind learning community that is ideally suited for children to thrive throughout their educational lives and beyond.
Community & Traditions
“An inclusive education speaks to the heart of everything we want, and we have been so blessed by the acceptance and inclusion at MP&MS. The culture of differences truly speaks to its mission statement.” — Jessica and Jason, primary school parents
MP&MS has a rich tradition of engaging schoolwide events for our entire community throughout the year: Each school year begins with September’s Welcome Carnival, when our entire community gathers to celebrate the new school year and to welcome new students, staff, and families. Our Outdoor Education Center, located in the David Heath Garden, is the backdrop for the Fall Harvest Festival. Students make baked goods and craft items using the bounty of the harvest, share music, artistic creations, and play games in celebration of our organic garden. The MP&MS Book Fair, held in partnership with a local independent bookstore, highlights the joys of reading and writing and features a rich selection of literature to appeal to readers of all ages.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day welcomes our students’ loved ones into the MP&MS community. From an introductory presentation with musical performances, to classroom visits where students share poetry, art, and special projects, folks revel in a firsthand look at the daily lives of our young people. International Day celebrates the diversity of our school community and the wider world. A series of performances and presentations represent the music, dance, traditions, and foods of different countries and cultures. Each school year concludes with our Stepping Up ceremony, a recognition of our students’ advancement, featuring speeches, acknowledgments, and creative musical performances by each class.
Looking to the Future
“MP&MS’s faculty is enthusiastic and interested in new ways of teaching. The curriculum is constantly evolving to reflect our changing world. Our graduates were certainly prepared for their high school years.” — Michelle & John, middle school & alumni parents
Marin Primary & Middle School’s goal is for students to matriculate to high schools where they will continue to thrive academically and personally. We work closely with families to identify optimal secondary school choices for each child, ensuring that our graduates continue to be challenged and inspired. With an advanced curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, flexible learning facilities, an exceptional faculty, and an expanded middle school, our students are prepared to excel in their personal and educational journey beyond MP&MS. Our graduates are emotionally and academically ready to thrive in the Bay Area’s strongest independent and public high schools, where they are recognized as being prepared with the academic fortitude, self-awareness, and advocacy skills necessary for leadership and advancement. Marin Primary & Middle School’s graduates continue to succeed in a variety of distinguished colleges and universities around the world. Our alumni remain connected through relationships that last a lifetime. Visit our admission section at www.mpms.org to learn more about MP&MS.
Recent graduates have attended the following high schools: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
rchbishop Riordan High School A The Bay School of San Francisco The Branson School Convent of the Sacred Heart High School Drew School Lick-Wilmerding High School Lowell High School Marin Academy Marin Catholic High School The Marin School Marin School of the Arts Redwood High School Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory St. Ignatius College Preparatory San Domenico School San Francisco School of the Arts San Francisco University High School Sir Francis Drake High School Sonoma Academy Stuart Hall High School Tamalpais High School Terra Linda High School The Urban School of San Francisco
Admission to MP&MS
“MP&MS is a community of belonging. On any given day one can observe the students making discoveries, navigating a limit, overcoming a challenge, taking a risk, caring for each other; in short, students becoming their best selves” — Deborah & Douglas, parents of alumni
Marin Primary & Middle School’s personalized admission process provides many opportunities for families to learn more about our school, including campus tours and open houses, admission coffees, and a visit by the prospective student in primary and middle school. Parents can see the school, observe the programs in action, and meet our head of school and division directors. Each year we have openings in our preschool classes, in addition to the primary and middle school entry points of junior kindergarten, kindergarten, and fifth grade. Openings in other primary school grades are based upon attrition. As part of our middle school expansion, we continue to welcome new students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. How to learn more about MP&MS We offer open house events to provide an overview of the school, and several small group tours each week during the admission season. Parents are also invited to admission coffees, held at homes of current parents, where they can meet our head of school and other administrators. Families are required to attend a school tour as part of the application process, either during one of the open house events or during a weekday tour. To reserve your spot for a school tour, open house, and admission coffee, please call the admission office at 415.413.9044. When to apply Students applying to kindergarten should be five years old by September 1 of their kindergarten year. Preschool students must be at least two years old to enter our youngest class. Unique to the primary school is our junior kindergarten program. This transitional year between preschool and kindergarten allows for additional time spent developing early academic and socialemotional skills in a stimulating and nurturing environment.
Our Mission At Marin Primary & Middle School we make education meaningful, while encouraging pride in self, respect for others, and enthusiasm for learning. We treasure childhood. We honor and enjoy children’s natural curiosity, competence, and exuberance. We teach to reach children. Using teams of teachers and educational methods tailored to how children learn best, we connect with our students, build trusting relationships, and make learning relevant, memorable, and fun. We teach children to reach. Asking not “how smart is the child” but “how is the child smart,” we guide our students to see their full potential, and we equip them to pursue it with passion and purpose. We inspire children to make a difference. We value academic excellence, personal integrity, and community action and encourage our students to become informed, engaged, and ethical global citizens.
20 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA 94939 . (415) 924-2608 . www.mpms.org
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