Marin Horizon School has long been successful in including multicultural perspectives in our core values, community and curriculum.  We are proud of this success and our co-curricula programs incorporate these values as well through all areas of study and in all grade levels at Marin Horizon. 

Outdoor Education Program

Marin Horizon School's highly popular Environmental & Outdoor Education Program takes learning beyond the classroom and into the great outdoors, building self-confidence, independence, trust and friendship - skills that translate to success in all aspects of life. By providing a safe, supportive environment and expert outdoor skills instruction, students develop an appreciation and sense of stewardship for our beautiful Bay Area and the natural world.

For over a decade under the direction of Chris Baker, a former Spanish and math teacher at Marin Horizon School, the Environmental & Outdoor Education Program continues to expand each and every year. Our program is designed to foster an appreciation of the outdoors through fun and challenging activities that maximize the use of local and regional resources and facilities, allowing us to take advantage of the hiking, biking, bouldering and paddling opportunities in and around Mill Valley. The activities in this program help to further develop the communication, teamwork and leadership skills of each student.

Students develop a variety of skills, including tent set up and care, menu design and food buys, camp cooking, map reading, basic first aid, packing a pack, environmental awareness, expedition behavior and low-impact camping. Student assessment is based on the success of a grade level multi-day overnight where their mastery of skills is on display. 

The 8th grade class organizes and helps lead a four-day hiking and sea kayaking trip at Pinnacles National Park, the 7th grade, a four-day trip sea kayaking and hiking in and around Tomales Bay, and the 6th grade, a 3-day hiking trip on Mt. Tamalpais. We also have a number of single-day excursions with each grade level including: climbing and bouldering, paddling and hiking. Student involvement in many aspects of organizing each trip, and student led lessons during each outing, adds to the feeling of ownership of the experience for each student. This is a truly unique aspect to our program that supports our philosophy of active learning!

Kindergarten students celebrate the end of the year with a one-night camping trip, while first through fifth graders and middle schoolers spend four nights at Camp Redwood Glen. Accompanied by professional naturalists, teachers and parent chaperones, children escape the pressures of urban life as they explore different ecosystems, live together in a camping community, and have lots of fun in the process. 

Service Learning

Service learning, or community service, is an integral and important part of education at Marin Horizon School from Primaries through 8th grade. It is our goal that graduates view service to their community as a part of the rest of their lives, whatever their eventual vocation. To that end, we seek to provide age-appropriate and varied service experiences so that students will ultimately be inspired to seek projects and causes that particularly speak to them.

Each class works on at least one project during the course of a school year which, if possible, is integrated in to the academic studies of that year. Throughout the school and grades projects cover both environmental and social causes. As children get older, we seek opportunities for projects which involve personal contact with people in the community.

In addition, our Student Council leads work on a school-wide project with events towards a goal that are scheduled throughout the year. Most recently we have sponsored children throughout the world through the organization Save the Children, and raised funds to build a community library and sponsor girls’ scholarships in Sri Lanka through an organization call Room to Read.

We encourage students who are inspired to do so to work on individual and small group projects of their own creation. Earth Week is often a venue for individual projects outside the school-sponsored projects. Communication about service projects appear in Wednesday Bulletins and Class Notes.

Having developed a strong sense of self-respect along with respect for others and the environment, students are better able to put lessons in character into action through meaningful service learning projects that affect many aspects of society, such as:
  • Working on adopting acreage through the Rainforest Action Network
  • Recycling batteries for the whole school community
  • Creek restoration, both adjacent to the school and in other locations
  • Annual Food Drive for donations to the Marin Community Food Bank
  • Preparing bag lunches for donation to St. Vincent de Paul and Mill Street Center, both of which serve homeless and people in need of meals in Marin County
Individual students often extend their commitment through projects they engage in outside of school. Graduates act upon their values and convictions in a broad variety of ways. They become leaders in both small and big ways. We have graduates who are teachers, environmental educators, environmental lawyers, artists, musicians, performers, and business people. Most of the graduates with whom we are in touch are striving to make a difference in their world.