Cultivating intellect, character, and creativity in a small school setting

About Arbor School

Founded in 1989, Arbor School of Arts & Sciences is an independent K-8 school located on 21 acres of wooded farm land in Tualatin, Oregon. Arbor is also home to the Arbor Center for Teaching (ACT), which offers an innovative teaching apprenticeship in a laboratory school setting. Our apprentices earn an MAT while teaching full time in Arbor's classrooms. ACT also publishes the Arbor Algebra Series, a comprehensive algebra curriculum used in grades 6-8 at Arbor School.

Philosophy & Curriculum

Arbor School is a purposefully small learning community founded on the premise that education is decisive and enduring to the degree that it supports the development of intellect, character, and creativity. Our integrated K-8 thematic curriculum forms the core of an academic program that focuses on big ideas to illumine central and universal themes of human understanding throughout history.

The Community

Arbor School serves children ages five to thirteen. Each class is limited in size to assure individual attention through low student-teacher ratios. Mixed-age grouping is an important feature of Arbor education; we believe that combining ages creates classrooms that focus on individual talents and collaborative learning rather than on grade-level norms. Children remain with the same teachers for at least two years of their schooling and also form important bonds with older and younger students to create a sense of community that spans all grades.

The Experience

Our program is designed to support each student as an individual and to provide a sense of belonging and community for all. Active engagement in learning, concrete experiences, and interdisciplinary work are evident at all levels. Our expectations and our educational strategies reflect an understanding of children's needs and abilities as they grow and mature. This developmental perspective, together with a profound concern for the physical and emotional well-being of each child, permeates the Arbor School program.