Ventana is an Episcopal school that values innovation and tradition. We educate the whole child: intellectually, socially, physically, and spiritually. We inspire children to have an inquiring mind and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, and the gift of joy and wonder in the ever-changing world. We nurture a community in which creativity, imagination and the spirit of learning thrive.
Curious about Ventana’s Episcopal identity? Here are some FAQ’s:
My family is not Episcopalian. Can I attend Ventana?
Definitely! The vast majority of our students are not Episcopalian.
Do you have to be a member of the church to go to Ventana School?
Absolutely not! Ventana is a wonderfully diverse community. Our teachers, staff, and families come from a wide range of religious and spiritual practices, or none at all. A few families with children at Ventana also consider themselves members of Christ Church at their discretion.
Are children allowed to have their own beliefs?
Absolutely. At Ventana, children are encouraged to explore spiritual questions with the same curiosity that they bring to questions about the life cycle of a plant or the history of a nation. We seek to provide space, language, tools, and support in their wondering, not to prescribe particular perspectives or doctrine.
Do you teach religion in school?
Not explicitly. Our Wondering Time curriculum is intended to be expansive and nurturing of what we think of as our “natural spirituality.” Children come into the world with a capacity for tremendous wonder and mystery and naturally have big questions. They also often have a sense of connection to the earth and other living beings that is sacred in nature. In line with our Reggio philosophy, our focus at Ventana is on exploring the questions rather than seeking to answer them.
Do the students go to church?
No, students don’t attend church services. We have a weekly “Wondering Time”, a half hour on Wednesday mornings, that serves as our all-school weekly assembly and is held in the Chapel.
What is Wondering Time?
Wondering Time is a weekly gathering of the elementary and preschools in which we sing, move our bodies, practice mindfulness, and explore one Ventana Value per month. Wondering Time is led collaboratively by Rev. Claire, teachers, and students. Parents are always welcome to attend!
What is a Chaplain?
A chaplain is someone who offers spiritual support to a particular community or institution such as a school or hospital. The Chaplain to Ventana is also the Rector of Christ Church, the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna. Rev. Claire has two children in Ventana’s preschool. She attended Duke University and Yale Divinity School. Before going to seminary, she co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary film, Miss Representation. Hers is also one of our many inter-religious families as her husband identifies as Muslim.
What are the Ventana Values?
The essence of our school is expanded in our core values that define our community and guide our weekly Wondering Time program. These are:
Culture of Learning
Where can I learn more?
If you have any further questions, schedule a meeting with Rev. Claire! She’d love to get to know you and show you around our beautiful campus. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.