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Welcome from Dr. Sean

Dear Alta Vista School families and friends,

Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future. Robert L. Peters, designer and author

This idea is at the heart of Alta Vista School. We view the years from early childhood through eighth grade as a sequence of chapters in childhood exploration. We propose queries to our students throughout a long adventure, a learning adventure that is one of the great foundations of life. Our sense of the power and value of education defines our daily work. We teach our students that the world is theirs to experience, to understand, to create, and to change. It’s a lesson they take to heart.

At AVS, our philosophy of education and our mission go hand-in-hand. We believe that each child is an engineer of our future,  we help them to develop the foundational skills to create, to think, to advocate, and to have a positive impact in their classrooms, families, communities and in the greater world around them.  Our focus on STEAM and experiential hands-on learning, social-emotional development supported by serious play, tinkering/making, the arts, and consistent schoolwide community experiences drive our student and teacher partnerships. We create a special community of engagement where each of these pieces is integral to our mission. 

There are numerous reasons why Alta Vista School is recognized as a truly exceptional elementary and middle school, why it is cherished by the community, and why it remains distinctive.  Whether you are a family new to the Bay Area or a long-standing member of the local community, we encourage you to explore our website, taking particular care to look for those places where you can see your child searching, learning, growing, creating, collaborating and thriving.​

I look forward to welcoming you to our campuses soon!


Sean Hamer, Ed.D.
Head of School