Almaden Country School’s educational philosophy begins and ends with our mission: discovering the gifts in every child.
Our founder, Mrs. Nan Hunter, established ACS in 1982 to provide a student-centered, whole-child educational program where teachers designed lessons based on the needs, interests and talents of the children, rather than expecting every child to learn from the same curriculum.
Mrs. Hunter recognized nearly three decades ago that the most effective teachers target instruction according to the developmental needs of their students — that the ideal instructional model would deepen learning, rather than simply try to accelerate it using rote memorization and extrinsic rewards.
And so, ACS became a reality 32 years ago, and we’ve remained true to our founder’s vision ever since.
Like Mrs. Hunter, our founding Principal, Mrs. Jean Delwiche, is still active in the school. She and Nan visit periodically to provide training to our teachers, help mentor new faculty members, speak at commencement and our Patriotic Assembly, and provide parent education sessions.
Assistant Head, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Mrs. Cecilia Robb, who began as an ACS teacher in 1982, often refers to the school’s founding philosophical principles that are still at the heart of all we do at ACS:
- We value all children.
- We focus on the development of the individual child.
- We believe learning should be joyful.
- We believe all children need to feel worthwhile; we teach with love and respect.
- We build a strong foundation of learning by continuity and consistency of curriculum based on a developmental sequence.
- We use a hands-on, multi-sensory approach to teaching with a blend of whole-class, flexible grouping and individualized instruction.
- We teach children the skills they need to succeed with confidence.
- We develop the whole child, socially, emotionally, and cognitively, by providing broad and enriching learning experiences.
- We believe small class size is instrumental for individual attention and a nurturing learning environment.
- We value, appreciate and support each other, our families and our community.
- We value courtesy, honesty, good citizenship and patriotism.
- We believe that our students will be happy, successful and compassionate individuals who will make significant contributions to society.
We believe, and studies demonstrate, that children learn best in a high-challenge, low-stress environment. Amid the fast-paced, competitive and dynamic life in Silicon Valley, ACS offers parents a joyful, intimate school community characterized by wholesome, family-oriented values.
Our instructional model is proven over three decades of implementation and refinement. Ultimately, our graduates speak to the success of our philosophy: poised, academically capable, kind, concerned, confident young women and men who go on to succeed in excellent high schools and universities.
In the Academics section of our web site, we provide a glimpse of our instructional program. To learn more about ACS’s curriculum and teaching methods, please contact Assistant Head, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Mrs. Cecilia Robb at email@example.com.