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Lower School

(Grades K-4)

At Marin Horizon, the Lower School years are the essential building blocks of a child's education, laying the groundwork for lifelong love of learning.  


Our Lower School students build self-confidence and moral courage, develop communication skills, and practice how to work cooperatively in a joyful, safe, and academically engaging classroom setting. 


A Journey of Self-Discovery and Intellectual Growth

Our young scholars are embarking on a journey of self-discovery and intellectual growth. They learn to see the world with inquisitive eyes, asking questions and seeking answers that fuel their understanding. They begin to develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. And they begin to appreciate the beauty of different cultures, the logic of mathematics, and the creativity of literature. 


Embracing challenges with resilience and collaborating with empathy, our students grow into confident thinkers, caring classmates, and responsible community members. They are not only absorbing information but gaining a deeper understanding of self, community, and the world. They are shaping their personalities and developing the skills and values that will guide them throughout their lives.


A Deep Sense of Belonging

Marin Horizon recognizes that children benefit from an environment where social and emotional growth is intentionally nurtured and developed. Our Lower School endeavors to create an environment for our students that allows them to feel comfortable, safe, and confident, creating a sense of deep belonging. We celebrate our differences, share our perspectives, and cultivate a vibrant community.


Victoria Huerta-Miller

Director, Lower School

A robust academic program

In grades K-5, we provide students with an academic program that is challenging and ambitious. They will develop skills and confidence in the exploration of literacy, math, social studies, science, and the arts.

Our young friends don't just learn by listening; they experience their education. They might plant a garden to understand biology, paint a mural to explore visual arts, or act out historical events to grasp social studies.


Through a thoughtfully crafted curriculum, students are exposed to different approaches to learning, gaining an awareness of their own learning styles. Our intentionally small class sizes create opportunities for deeper teacher-student relationships, and students gain a sense of trust and security that motivates them to think creatively and take academic risks.


Social & Emotional Learning

When families visit Marin Horizon, they often comment, “It feels so friendly and warm.” 


At Marin Horizon School, social and emotional learning is part of the fabric of our school. In addition to an academic focus, our faculty and staff work with students – intentionally and proactively – to cultivate self awareness, self management, healthy relationships, and accountability to one another. 


Our teaching teams subscribe to both the Responsive Classrooms program and restorative justice practices to create an environment for these human to human interactions to thrive. In addition, both Lower School and Upper School teaching teams meet regularly to discuss the mood and pulse of each classroom, as well as individual students, with the intent of providing support where needed, often in collaboration with families.   


“We prioritize the size and composition of our classes and intentionally design our campus layout to create conditions for kids to grow into amazing young people!” says Anna Varnay-Truong, Director, Curriculum & Instruction.

Learning and thriving outside of the classroom.

Our Outdoor/Experiental Education program is a hallmark of the Marin Horizon experience. We're located in the heart of Mill Valley, at the foot of Mount Tamalpais, surrounded by open spaces, trails, and towering redwoods. Students will explore the wonder of the natural world during class outings, day trips, and overnight adventures. They practice skills to interact safely with wild spaces, and learn about environmental stewardship.

More program highlights
Lower School Faculty
The Lower School Faculty is the heartbeat of the program at Marin Horizon. Our teachers are not merely educators; they are nurturers, guides, and trusted friends who instill confidence, curiosity, and joy in learning. They help shape not just the young minds in their care, but their hearts and characters as well. With a blend of warmth, creativity, and dedication, they lay the foundation for both academic success and personal growth, leaving a lasting imprint that continues to resonate with the children as they move forward in their education.
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