Mulberry School Parent Handbook
2021-22 Student and Parent Handbook
Mulberry School inspires children to a life of learning and positive contribution to community. By weaving creativity and social learning into every day, we foster intellectual and social success for a lifetime.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Mulberry School is a non-profit 501(c) (3) corporation. The Board of Trustees provides strategic planning and makes school policy in accordance with Mulberry School’s Mission Statement. The Board also hires and conducts performance reviews for the Head of School (HOS). It is the HOS’s responsibility to hire and supervise staff, implement curriculum, oversee the facility, and implement Board policy. The Board meets regularly during the year. Every Mulberry parent is invited to attend the open portion of each meeting.
PARENT ASSEMBLY COUNCIL
All parents are members of Mulberry’s Parent Assembly Council and elect its officers. The role of the PAC officers is to oversee the elementary committees that are staffed by parent volunteers. PAC is also responsible for community building events. PAC meets monthly and all parents are invited to attend these meetings.
Mulberry is now in its 58th year!
Mulberry School was founded in 1963 as a one-room parent-cooperative nursery school. Local members of the American Association of University Women saw the need for a school that included parents as part of the educational process. In 1965, Mulberry School moved to Hamilton Avenue in San Jose.
Mulberry remained a parent participation preschool until 1983 when kindergarten was added. The school grew and continued to add classes. In 1994 fifth grade was added. Mulberry School now offers preschool classes beginning at 2 years old, as well as junior kindergarten through fifth grade.
In fall 2005, we moved to our present location in Los Gatos. With a long-term lease, we have made many improvements to the property, including a new preschool yard, a performance stage, gardening areas for all grades, and kitchens in both the preschool and main building for cooking instruction and projects.
Experience the Joy of Learning at Mulberry School
Progressive Education: At the heart of great education, one finds students who are intellectually and collaboratively engaged learners. Mulberry students learn how to think critically and solve problems. We create a balance between integrated thematic projects, direct instruction and inquiry-based learning, providing each student with opportunities to become self-reflective thinkers through active, creative classrooms. No one educational perspective works for all students. Our faculty has the education, knowledge and flexibility to choose from proven methods and techniques, allowing us to meet the needs of a broad base of learners. Students are academically challenged at their own level, and always encouraged toward higher levels of personal excellence and achievement.
Social & Emotional Education: At the core of our instruction, Mulberry fosters social and emotional growth through the Positive Discipline model, giving time to class meetings, and supporting day-to-day interactions. We empower students to be nurturing and contributing members of the community, valuing not just the developing intellect, but the well-being of the whole child. Our students know who they are, express themselves with eloquence, and advocate for themselves and others.
Creativity: Creativity is everywhere at Mulberry School. The creative process is integrated throughout the curriculum at every grade level. Students master diverse media. Every child?s imaginative self-expression is nurtured through a combination of teacher led and free exploration activities.
Honoring Differences: Diversity is explored and celebrated, in its many forms, throughout our school program and school campus. We provide an environment where differences in culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion and family tradition are safely shared and respected. Students learn to appreciate their fellow classmates, both for their similarities and differences.
Community: As the foundation upon which our school is based, community enhances all aspects of the Mulberry program and student learning, with parents, teachers and the administration supporting children and one another. The rich community of Mulberry creates a sense of belonging and mutual respect across the generations. Furthermore, the collaborative process, which is prevalent throughout our school, develops students? abilities to communicate comfortably with adults, creating people who function constructively in a system of democracy.
At Mulberry School, we value each member of our community, supporting one another in a life-long process of engaged learning.
STUDENT LEARNING GOALS (ESLRs)
By graduation, Mulberry students will be:
Lifelong learners, who joyfully acquire new knowledge and skills. They will have a strong academic foundation and will be prepared for school beyond Mulberry in reading, writing, math, social studies, and the sciences. They will utilize a range of resources and technology to conduct research. Through real-world experiences, students will develop important life skills that will reinforce academic ideas and concepts. Our graduates will effectively reflect upon their own learning and will apply new knowledge to their lives and the world around them.
Critical thinkers, whose curiosity drives them to ask complex questions, will analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply information. Problems will be solved using logical reasoning, experience, and innovative, creative thinking.
Effective communicators, who are confident speakers, active listeners, and expressive writers. They will communicate their ideas, feelings, interests, and knowledge through a range of creative media including art and music.
Socially responsible and conscientious citizens:
Socially responsible and conscientious citizens, who are collaborative, respectful, compassionate, inclusive, and kind. They will resolve conflicts peacefully and demonstrate personal integrity.
Resilient, motivated students:
Who take initiative and show perseverance. Our students will work hard toward achieving personal goals and take reasonable risks and will view mistakes as opportunities to learn. Through their efforts, they will gain an awareness of their own strengths, struggles and learning styles. Students will have acquired time management and organizational skills and have developed focus necessary to be successful in middle school.
Globally, environmentally, and culturally aware human beings:
Globally, environmentally, and culturally aware human beings, who contribute to improving their school, their community, and the world. They will appreciate and embrace human diversity. They will begin to understand the impact of humans on global ecology and the crucial importance of sustainability.
Healthy balanced individuals:
Healthy balanced individuals, who understand the importance of making healthy choices regarding food and physical activity to maintain a strong mind and body.
At Mulberry School, children experience an environment where their natural mode of learning is nurtured. Children are encouraged to try new skills, make guesses, and use their senses, and as such are constantly being taught that their natural curiosity opens fascinating doors to the world. Discovery is an ongoing process that continues every day, and because they practice this way of learning throughout their years at Mulberry, our students emerge as confident, curious learners. The world is there for them to explore.
A true indicator of personal integrity is the manner in which one handles him/herself when mistakes or errors in judgment are made. Children at Mulberry School integrate the idea that meaningful, deep learning cannot occur without such errors, and understand that through the challenge of mistakes, one must hold onto honest, humble attitudes and behaviors. Our students are young people of high character who display personal integrity in word and deed.
Collaboration is present in every facet of our children?s experience, whether in the classroom or on the playground, and in the interaction with children and adults alike. Children?s skills in working together are constantly taught, modeled and practiced in getting tasks completed and problems solved. Students learn mastery of conflict resolution and the democratic process in regular examination of how to positively and productively work together.
We value each member of the extended Mulberry community, supporting one another in a life-long process of engaged learning. We define community as the students, families, alumni, teachers and administration, all of which combined is the foundation upon which our school is based. Families are involved in many ways. Since we began, parent participation has been an integral part of our program. Every family?s contribution is invaluable, creating and cultivating an enriched, supportive educational environment. Working together, community enhances all aspects of our program. What exists is a strong sense of belonging and mutual respect.
At Mulberry, our students are not passive receptacles of information, but drivers of their own learning. Assignments require they reach for personal excellence and meaning. With aspects of emotional intelligence built into the curriculum, students not only study math, science, language arts and social studies, but are also encouraged to understand their own personal growth as learners. Our children learn by doing, through experience and active problem solving. They participate in the education and development of others in many ways, as well; through our ?buddy? system, with older students helping younger peers read or learn science; via social problem solving during class meetings; in learning and growing during group project work. In addition to our students, parents are actively engaged through participation on committees, in the classroom, or lending their special talents to help enrich the children?s experiences.
Our faculty understands the importance of developing in our students the skills associated with intelligent behavior, of which meta-cognition (knowledge about your own thoughts and the factors that influence your thinking) is a key quality. Children come to understand how they learn best, as well as how they know what they know. Furthermore, with Positive Discipline integrated into the very fiber of our school?s culture, our children are daily provided opportunities to resolve conflict in meaningful ways, as well as to question and reflect upon their responses to people and situations. From this critical set of experiences, students learn how their actions impact others, as well as how to positively act in the face of their own emotional response to another.