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Mission, vision, and values


To prepare students to thrive as creative thinkers, innovators, and catalysts for positive change in the world.

Photo of Middle School students in science class reviewing data with their teacher


Alta Vista School aims to help children grow dynamically, by providing them with a vigorous, interactive educational experience that engages their imagination and nourishes their curiosity, while teaching them how to think effectively and solve problems. With an emphasis on science, math, engineering, the arts, and social emotional learning, Alta Vista School encourages students to go beyond a strong academic foundation to pursue their passions as well as engage their community and environment.

Photo of Lower School students in the Garden pruning a plant

Experiential, hands-on learning

Taking things apart can be far more illuminating than following an instruction manual. We believe that children learn best when they individually explore, touch, cause, observe, hear, consider, speak, analyze, measure, predict -- experience learning. Our teachers are empowered to teach creatively and are supported through small class sizes.

scientific contraption

Passionate about science and technology

Our approach is rooted in the scientific method. We embrace technology, innovation, and design-thinking as powerful tools for good. Technology is thoughtfully integrated into the classroom with Google Chromebooks, SMART Boards, document cameras, video cameras, digital camera, and more.

Photo of Lower School students jumping in their classroom, hands in the air and excited

Serious play

Our teachers are passionate about their work and showcase a joy of teaching. We believe education should be filled with play and joy - and that children's minds will develop most dramatically and positively when it is.

Middle School students wiring a battery pack up to a test board

Building on our founders’ legacy

We acknowledge and aspire to fulfill the vision of Founding Head of School Ed Walters and the seven Founding Families. We are thankful to them for beginning their wonderful journey together to start our school in June 2010: the Chowdhurys; the Conomos; the Garcia–Mannings; the Lawsons; the Phelpses; the Witherspoon–Dadzies; and the Yangs.

Photo of two Lower School students working together on a project

The whole child

We focus on the whole child and recognize that school does so much more than provide an intellectual foundation. We guide our students in the discovery and pursuit of their unique talents and interests and sense of self. Beginning in lower school and culminating in middle school, our program promotes self advocacy, responsibility, accountability, and choice to help students build resilience and self-reliance in their academic pursuits and beyond. Our middle school curriculum builds confidence and independence, with an emphasis on analytical and problem-solving skills across a variety of contexts. This foundation will serve our students well as they continue their academic pursuits, and throughout life. 

Photo of Middle School students collaborating on a project

Grounded in community

Equally crucial to development is learning to be inclusive, responsible, and respectful of ourselves, and the greater community that surrounds us. We ask our students to be kind, respectful, and proud of all their actions, and to take responsibility in their communities around them. This includes individual responsibility, cooperation with peers, and tools for effective and peaceful conflict resolution. An important part of our curriculum is learning to be a contributing community member at Alta Vista and beyond.