Frequent Questions About MMS

1. What makes MMS so different from other schools?
For nearly 40 years we have made children and education our top priority. This translates into an outstanding program that has evolved and continues to grow.

Students benefit from small class sizes, low student to teacher ratios, and a staff of exceptionally dedicated, professional educators.

We are committed to educating the whole child to prepare her/him for a life of meaning and success. The core of the curriculum is academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development.

We offer some unique programs, including:

  • The 11th and 12th grade travel program, Values in World Thought
  • Observation of rites of passage at significant ages and grades
  • Field trips, outdoor education and hiking
  • Yoga
  • An elementary grades Life Lab garden
  • School-wide recycling
  • Inclusive student governance
  • Inter-grade buddy programs
  • Our Upper Campus and much of our Lower Campus is powered by solar energy

2. Is it too expensive?
No. The school is reasonably priced compared to other private schools, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.

  • Mount Madonna School is an important investment: When young people develop a love of learning and genuine self-respect, they can make the most of college, career, and life experiences.
  • There are many forms of financial assistance available. Over 1/3 of our families receive some form of tuition assistance.

3. Is the school accredited?
Yes.  Mount Madonna School is fully accredited through both of the premier accrediting bodies for independent schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). (See the accreditation page for more)

4. Is it too far away?
No, it’s worth the commute. Transportation is available, and the location sets Mount Madonna School apart with its exquisite 355 acre mountaintop environment overlooking Monterey Bay.

  • Transportation service is available from Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Watsonville, Corralitos, Aptos, Soquel and Santa Cruz
  • Many families carpool
  • The location contributes to a peaceful, natural and safe learning environment

5. Does the school have a religious affiliation?
No. Mount Madonna School is an independent, non-sectarian school. We believe in embracing all faiths and traditions. Just as we work to support intellectual, emotional, and physical development, we also encourage students to develop their own spiritual awareness. This is part of upholding and educating toward a culture of respect for oneself and others.

Mount Madonna School is hosted by Mount Madonna Center, a community founded on the principles of yoga and dedicated to non-harming, self-development and service to society. The values of the Center and the beauty of the natural environment provide a supportive and inspirational context in which our learning community thrives. Excellence in education is achieved most readily when high academic standards and enthusiasm for learning are both present in the school environment. We are dedicated to nurturing our students’ natural curiosity and passion for learning.

6. Where do students go after graduating from MMS?
The majority of our students are accepted to excellent four-year public and private colleges and universities, including the University of California schools, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, and MIT, among others.  Some graduates choose to travel or work prior to pursuing higher education and their MMS education prepares them to navigate life’s adventures with confidence. (See our College Advisory page for more information)

7. What are the expectations for parents at the school?
Parents are considered one of our most important resources in providing an exceptional learning community at Mount Madonna School. We know that when teachers, administrators and parents work together they greatly influence the success of children’s education.

  • Parents are expected to participate in curricular and extracurricular activities such as performances, sporting events, field trips and class projects.
  • Like most private schools, tuition covers about 85% of the actual cost of education and the additional 15% comes from our fundraising efforts. We count on parents taking an active role to “bridge the gap” between tuition charged and the cost of education at Mount Madonna School.
  • Mount Madonna School is strongly committed to the values of respect, community and service. We expect all families to support these values and model them for all of the children.