Founded in 1913, Christ Episcopal Church is the oldest church in Los Altos. During the 1950s, the church moved to a new location and decided to found a school. The current seven-acre, three-wing campus was built before work was ever begun on the existing church building. Unfortunately, while the relocated church continued to attract parishioners, the school was, for a number of reasons, unable to get off the ground. For many years the school buildings were leased to various local organizations. But now, more than fifty years later, Christ Church has finally realized its long-held dream. Thanks to a generous gift of $100,000 in 2003 by an anonymous Silicon Valley entrepreneur and CEO, Ventana School was born. Christ Church used the financial gift to hire Ventana's first director, and to refurbish and furnish our classrooms. We opened our first preschool class in 2005. In 2010, Ventana's elementary programs began with our first Kindergarten class, and have added at least one new classroom every year. The School is relatively young as it is entering its 12 year. Come Grow With Us!
Inspired by the church's dramatic stained-glass windows, created by famed glass artist Gabrielle Loire, and California's Spanish and Mexican cultural heritage, the school founders chose with the name Ventana, Spanish for window. This is apropos as these stunning works of art that portray the seasons of the year symbolize our hope that the school will make it possible for children to see and connect with the wider world in deep and meaningful ways.
Advances in our understanding of early childhood education best practices were built into our Preschool program, which takes its inspiration from the Nido schools in the Italian town of Reggio Emilia. Ventana's administrators, teachers, and parents helped create our current arts-infused, inquiry-based constructivist primary school.
Today, Ventana is a thriving school that serves both preschool and elementary students.
Focus: The WHOLE Child
At Ventana, we nurture the cognitive, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical development of our students. We meet early childhood and elementary school State Standards through a combination of in-depth project work and collaborative workshop learning opportunities. Our projects are multi-disciplinary and visual. We value the visual and performing arts as languages for thinking, expressing ideas, and telling stories. We monitor learning through a portfolio system that assesses the growth and development of the whole child, not simply their cognitive skills. We are committed to working in partnership with families to foster children who develop a solid center of capability and resilience rather than an academic shell of accomplishment. We nurture a deep love of learning in an authentic contextual environment.
Our curricular approach provides opportunities for children who process information in a variety of ways to thrive and be successful. Our learning environments are thoughtfully arranged with open-ended Big Questions that stimulate curiosity and engage children in authentic problem- solving. Children are invited to use many kinds of natural materials to discover and express what they know, understand, wonder, feel, and imagine. Our social problem solving approach supports children as they learn how to be effective communicators among their peers and with adults. We believe children are comfortable with big ideas. Therefore we participate in project exploration and in literature and values-based chapel time where students are exposed to universal/spiritual ideas ideas bigger than themselves. In every aspect of our program, our teachers partner with children as both cultivate confidence in the process of life-long learning.