Our program at the Horizon Community School offers a culturally competent, Montessori-inspired curriculum, specially designed to nurture the cherished stage of early childhood in a vibrant and nurturing environment.
Guided by the experienced and compassionate hands of our teachers, the school day promotes cognitive, social, and emotional development through a joyful exploration filled with curiosity, wonder, and creativity. Exploration of the senses and activities to advance practical life skills is emphasized, along with the acquisition of language and mathematical skills. Sensorial materials are rotated frequently and become increasingly complex throughout the year, encouraging children to explore the world at their own pace through an array of engaging activities, purposefully designed to spark interest, and develop gross and fine motor skills, as well as independence. Imaginative play is more than just play here; it's a part of the curriculum that makes learning fun and purposeful.
Central to our program is a sense of community and belonging that creates a safe space for children to learn and grow. By fostering social awareness through mastering foundational skills such as listening, collaboration, turn-taking, emotion recognition, and conflict resolution, our young learners are guided in becoming responsible members of the community. As Pre-Schoolers graduate to Kindergarten and the Lower School program, they carry with them a strong foundation for upcoming academic learning, enriched by a sense of order, curiosity, and a commitment to community and social awareness. Confident and prepared, they are ready to take the next step in their developmental journey, equipped not just to participate in the world but to actively explore and inquire about it, embodying the Montessori-inspired principles that have been lovingly instilled in them.
Horizon Community School applies a Montessori pedagogy to its early childhood curriculum, which is focused on language development, movement, social emotional growth, and cultural competency. Montessori principles are evident in the classroom materials, classroom set up, and the teacher's orientation as a guide following the individual child. When other programs are brought in, such as Reader's Workshop, they are applied using the Montessori framework of "demonstrate, practice, and master."
A 6-week summer program is thematic and more recreational than the rest of the school year.
Parents are required to attend monthly evening education events. Topics have included the school's curriculum, theories and style; tools for consistency between school and home; and moderated discussion where parents develop and share their voices. This approach reflects our belief that parents will respond and be involved if they are met with respect as partners. We believe this approach will lead to stronger parent advocacy and leadership skills.
HCS recognizes that each child brings a unique cultural background to the classroom including heritage, ethnicity, and home environment.
Teachers look for ways to acknowledge and emphasize changing cultural contributions. Though predominantly African American, multiple cultures are represented and appreciated. For example, currently, they regularly sing different versions of the ABC song and the Happy Birthday song; both the traditional versions sung in most classrooms and versions with rhythms more readily recognized in many of their students' homes.
In anticipation of celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, teachers invite parents to share a historical peacemaker or figure who is significant to their family and a name their child will recognize. During the classroom celebration, teachers will name these figures alongside MLK and others more routinely honored.
Healthy breakfast, lunch, and snacks are served daily.
Additional professionals help identify and treat health and learning issues, offering families access to critical early intervention. These include a speech and language therapist; an occupational therapist; and a social worker that provides one-on-one play therapy with children in the classroom twice each week.
The daily schedule includes circle time, music and stories, independent classroom work time, outside playtime, and naptime.
The weekly schedule includes a trip to the local library, art and music, sensory motor development, and Spanish language and physical education lessons with Marin Horizon staff.
To accommodate working parents, Horizon Community School (HCS) is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each weekday, 11 months of the year. HCS remains open during President’s Week and Spring Break, in contrast to most preschools.
"Horizon Community School has been a lifesaver for my family. I love that my child attends a school that embodies diversity in the curriculum, staff, and student body. Being around teachers and students who look like her provides her with self-confidence, and she is flourishing!" - Current Parent
Faculty & Staff
The faculty are more than just educators; they are committed mentors and advocates, specially attuned to the needs and potential of the children and families they serve. These dedicated professionals recognize the unique challenges and strengths of each child, providing individualized attention and encouragement. But their mission goes beyond academics; they serve as life coaches, nurturers, and trusted allies, helping these young children explore their world with curiosity and self-assurance. Their approach is transformative, creating a safe and empowering environment where children are encouraged to learn, create, and grow. Their dedication and expertise provide the essential building blocks that will support these children as they begin their journey of lifelong learning. It's in their classrooms that the real magic happens, as they shape not just minds, but hearts and characters, preparing these children for a future filled with promise and achievement.