. . . is to build a strong academic foundation that nurtures our children’s lifelong love of learning through an engaging and global curriculum.
- We support and nurture each child’s brilliance and unique gifts by encouraging each to reach his or her potential with joy, confidence, new perspectives and a sense of self.
- We model academic excellence through an individualized curriculum focusing on intellectual curiosity and creativity.
- We are committed to providing a school fully integrated with nature through a hands-on approach to sustainability including gardening and recycling programs, care of school grounds and animals, and a natural playground where children can climb trees and build forts.
- We provide an environment where children learn experientially, exploring, discovering and developing life skills, self-discipline, resilience, and leadership competency.
- We foster personal connections and the value of teamwork with an emphasis on a socially diverse community based on integrity and respectful engagement amongst all.
- We cultivate flexibility and adaptability through an exploration of foreign languages, science and technology, and global cultures in this rapidly changing environment.
Spring Hill School provides a respectful, stimulating, and beautiful learning environment. Students are guided by knowledgeable, credentialed and committed teachers who support each child’s development of an excellent and solid foundation for creative and advanced learning. The specific goals for the children who attend Spring Hill School are presented below.
- Developing a love of learning and a positive attitude toward school
Most of the learning lessons, projects, and activities are in small group settings and individualized, i.e., each child engages in learning tasks based on his or her strengths, needs, level of readiness. Consequently, children work at their own pace, practicing the task as often as needed, thus experiencing a series of successful achievements. In this manner, children build a positive attitude toward learning itself, become self-motivated, experiencing joy in their learning and determination to put forth their best effort. The natural evolution of this process is that most Spring Hill students exceed age and grade level standards and develop at every stage to their full potential.
- Helping each child develop self-confidence
At Spring Hill, educational tasks are designed based on individual weekly set goals. Each new step is built upon what the child has already mastered, thus removing the negative experience of frequent failure. A carefully planned series of successes builds upon inner confidence in the child. Each child can learn independently and can participate and contribute to team success. The confidence building practices and learning experiences likewise contribute to the child’s healthy social and emotional development and leadership skills.
- Assisting each child in developing the skill and habit of concentration
Effective learning presupposes the ability to listen carefully, to follow instruction, and to attend to what is said or demonstrated. Through a series of absorbing experiences and a curriculum designed to allow children extended work periods during which the child is allowed to work uninterrupted, the child forms habits of extended attention and focus, thus increasing the ability to concentrate and master academic skills.
- Fostering an abiding curiosity
A deep, persistent and abiding curiosity is a prerequisite for creative and advanced learning. By providing the child with opportunities to discover qualities, dimensions, and relationships amidst a rich variety of stimulating learning situations, children naturally develop curiosity, establishing an essential element in creative learning. Spring Hill students are encouraged to ask questions and express and explore their ideas, further inspiring the child’s natural inclination for curiosity. Through this process our children build upon their natural curiosity, forming ideas, and gaining critical thinking skills and intellectual curiosity, which leads them to create, innovate, and succeed in their 21st century world.
- Developing habits of initiative, persistence, and grit
By surrounding the child with appealing and challenging curriculum-related materials and educational learning activities geared to his or her ability and inner needs, the child becomes accustomed to becoming an active partner in learning and engaging in activities independently. Gradually, this results in an internalized habit of self-motivation and initiative – an essential quality in leadership.
Our Diverse Community
Our philosophy embraces the notions that care of the environment, peaceful coexistence with other people, and the understanding of other cultures, as well as respect for diversity, are all essential to the education of children.
Spring Hill values diversity and is committed to enhancing diversity among our students. We promote and celebrate a diverse community of students, families, faculty and staff. We nurture respect toward the experiences of others, and encourage leadership that promotes equity and justice. We understand that we are connected to each other through our local and global communities. We respect, affirm and protect the dignity and worth of each member of our community.
We include in our definition of diversity: culture, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic status, learning styles, and beliefs.
A Little History
Our school was founded in 1975 by Mr. Tom Sipes who believed in a meaningful education for children with respect and integrity.
In 1981, we added our Elementary campus in the historic Marin School building, built in 1873, and one of the only original buildings in Petaluma still functioning as it was intended. Today, we have two idyllic campuses in Petaluma that accommodate 150 children – each learning to become a contributing citizen of the world.
In 2018, we will open our third campus for Middle School students. When the renovation is complete, our new campus will be a state of the art educational facility minutes away from our Elementary campus and downtown Petaluma.
Shaharazad Hamidi succeeded Mr. Sipes in 2010 and continues to lead the school focusing on preserving the unique holistic educational approach of Spring Hill while guiding the school to become a leading international bilingual, science-based school in the Bay Area.
Educating for the 21st Century
Spring Hill provides a rich bilingual and global education that honors each individual and allows students to discover their own talents, fulfill their potential, and succeed with confidence and joy. Spring Hill integrates the latest research and technology and combines this with rigorous academics enriched with art, drama, music, physical education and outdoor adventures, taught by exceptional teachers in a nurturing environment based on respect. We prepare students to be lifelong joyful learners, and active citizens of a global community.