top of page

SYV Family School's Educational Program:

Here at SYV Family School, we believe we are an extension of your family. As such, we aspire to be your child’s home away from home, where students are free to make mistakes, follow their passions, challenge their intellect, express themselves freely, and feel a deep sense of belonging. 


We believe that when students bring their whole self and have the confidence to express themselves freely, students can engage in authentic, meaningful learning across disciplines. Through ever-evolving classrooms, our students develop academic tenacity, engage in exciting experiences, and deepen learning through hands-on explorations.


At its core, SYV Family School is a place where students build forts and write their own stories, compose music and songs, use math to solve real-life problems, connect with each other, and use our differences to advance our understanding of the world.

Upper Campus
Blue Door, Red Door & Purple Door


The Upper Campus philosophy is one that embraces an “immersive experience.” Through this philosophy, learning extends beyond the boundaries of the classroom and seeps into the nooks and crannies that compose the rest of a child’s life. Learning is not distinct from the world around them but instead reflects it. Through all content areas, the Upper Campus embraces the world around. Learning is child-centered and we love to incorporate student interests as much as possible. We embrace challenges and aim to communicate that we are all lifelong learners, including the teachers of SYVFS.


Students are encouraged to make discoveries for themselves, to develop their ideas, and to embrace these discoveries as their own. Through the use of our school’s learning continuums, students learn age-appropriate concepts and skills.  The curriculum strives to allow students the opportunity to create their own products to show their understanding.


Social-emotional learning continues to serve as a cornerstone of an Upper Campus education. We think intentionally about social-emotional skills, with our guiding principle of honoring the individual, within the group setting.



The Upper Campus serves students in a multiage setting. Multiage classes are different than combination classes. Rather than having two separate curriculums for the two grade levels within a classroom (combination class model) multiage classrooms address individual needs within a shared curriculum.  

A learning continuum places skills in a natural developmental order, allowing a teacher, parent, and student to clearly see where a student is in the process, where they have been and the next steps in their development.  While some students continue across the continuum in a sequential manner, others may travel forward and backward as they are exposed to and master skills. Academic achievement is not limited to what Door a child is in, nor will a child who is still developing certain skills be left behind.

To learn more about our multi-age program, please visit our Understanding SYVFS page. 



The curriculum on the Upper Campus alternates every two years to ensure that students receive a unique experience during their two-year journey in each Door. For example, in Red Door, one year students study the seven continents, the animals that dwell there, and many other geographical and cultural components in a year-long project called “Around the World.” In the alternating year, students dive deep into local studies including geology, local botany, the scientific method, and engineering and design. Depending on when the child enters Red Door, they will either start with local studies or world studies.

Because subjects like reading occur in small groups, students are able to work at their level rather than their grades.  Regular, ongoing, and a wide range of assessments help identify your child’s working level and ensure that they are getting their needs met. 

Because of a rotating curriculum, we highly encourage families to take advantage of the whole program, from the start of Preschool through Fifth Grade to get the most out of what our curriculum has to offer.



It is our mission to meet each child where they are and help them achieve measurable progress in both academics and behavior. We recognize that some discipline issues require a case-by-case evaluation. In these instances, we work with parents, teachers, and all stakeholders to develop a plan that meets the needs of those involved. 


The Upper Campus seeks to regularly update parents with progress. Sometimes, immediate communication is necessary. We do not let problems linger until parent-teacher conferences. If something is going on, we communicate with you right away to ensure each child’s progress is well understood.


“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

― John Dewey

Hallmarks of SYV Family School

Students Are:

  1. Seen, heard, and understood so that students feel they belong

  2. Connected to nature through our idyllic, 5 acre campus located at the base of Los Padres National Forest

  3. Challenged in a variety of ways so that each child can reach their full potential

  4. Supported through our Social-Emotional Learning Program

Learning Looks:

  1. Differentiated so that there are a variety of entry points for each student

  2. Open-ended to provide student-ownership over learning

  3. Full of rich experiences through our extensive offering of specialty classes, such as Music, Art, Performing Arts, Spanish, and PE

  4. Adventurous through our curriculum-aligned study-based field trips

  5. Collaborative where children across grade-levels work together through our buddies program, and on the yard at snack and lunch

Parents are


At SYV Family School, we strive to be an extension of your family. As such, parents play an integral role in our school and the educational journey undertaken here on the Lower Campus. These early years are a crucial time for parents as they come to understand their child in the formal education setting.


To help with this formative transition, we provide learning resources to help make sense of your growing child. Additionally, we cultivate an inclusive, welcoming, open environment and encourage parents to support each other through monthly coffee cart mornings and Family Circle, our parent organization that helps support each other, and the school.


Additionally, parents are encouraged to take an active role in the classroom. We offer a variety of ways for parents to engage in their child’s education here at school. From leading classroom experiences, serving as room parent, and chaperoning field trips,  to providing important feedback about how your child’s learning comes home, we pursue an open, active partnership with all our families.

bottom of page