It was a Utopian experience sending our son to SLCC. Chiara is an exceptional teacher and human being and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to our son’s education. Seeing him so happy while learning is a memory I will treasure forever. It it such a kind, inspiring, progressive, thoughtful haven in the midst of this giant city and the community is so great as well. Can’t recommend it enough. -Lykke T.
We couldn’t be more pleased with SLCC and Chiara, the head of school. She is compassionate, warm, and smart, and has the most wonderful energy with children. Our son adores her and has since day one. Chiara’s approach is the perfect combination of exploration and structure which we feel really helped our son to grow into a confidant, focused and free child who loves to learn. It’s a very special place and we have loved being a part of the community. -Erin K.
Teachers here at SLCC listen to the kids and design projects around their interests and passions — my son is excited to go to school every day! Moreover, the incredibly attentive and organized rituals of the school day really foster learning, growth, and new friendships. -Walthausen Family
It is hard to decide where to start in describing what a lovely place SLCC is. So, I had to ask my 5 year old son, who graduated last year. His answer: “the teachers there save birds and nature.” It is true! Many days my son came home with stories about nursing birds back to health, creating environments for beneficial insects, nurturing plants in the garden. The nurturing doesn’t stop outside though: Chiara and Eunice are so wonderful about drawing out the best in all of the kids, whether it is helping them follow creative art and STEM experimentations or negotiate blossoming friendships. Parents also gain lots and lots of insight into class dynamics and new discoveries via thoughtfully assembled “picture stories” and “teacher reflections” of each week’s goings on. They are such lovely windows into school life, I’ve actually been meaning to print them out and organize them in a binder as a keepsake. Oh and that brings to mind my last note of praise: I wish my own house were as organized and clean as SLCC! Somehow, even though it is filled with toddlers day in day out, I have never seen it looking less than immaculate! -Abby W.
Chiara taught my daughter Lilah in her last year of preschool/preK at The Discovery School, 2016-2017, and it was a transformative year for Lilah, and for our family. Chiara just immediately *got* Lilah - and all the kids - right off the bat, celebrating their unique styles and optimizing group dynamics to foster collaboration and creative problem solving. Steeped in the Reggio-Emilia approach, Chiara truly believes in child-directed learning and made space for all the kids’ interests to guide and evolve an emergent curriculum. Chiara is also an accomplished musician, and music and artistic expression played a huge role in the classroom. I believe Lilah’s year with Chiara significantly shaped who she is today, and the possibilities she imagines for herself in the future. -Favetti Family
SLCC has provided a wonderful community for our family! My child has grown in countless ways in his first year of school here. Along with creating a social outlet and place to get to know so many lovely new friends, SLCC has fostered his love of learning!! -Jones Family
SLCC changed our son’s life in so many amazing ways. The mixed-age environment has instilled in him a mixture of social confidence and empathy that blows us away every day. His focus on learning and desire to learn is something to behold as well. We attribute so much of this to SLCC. Can’t recommend it enough! -Mitchell Family
Our family was lucky enough to have Chiara teaching our son, Davis, for two consecutive preschool years (2014-15 and 2015-16). We immediately realized that she was something special. Her love of kids and passion for teaching were obvious. She shared her other passions with the children as well: music, art, books, yoga, gardening, health, nature, the environment, etc. She exuded warmth and celebrated each child for his/her strengths and talents. She supported our son’s weaknesses with patience and encouragement. He felt capable and valued under her leadership, and his confidence as a student and member of the classroom grew during those two years. When Davis became interested in mushrooms, she embraced that curiosity, and they delved deep into the world of fungi with nature walks and examining species that they found. Just recently, our son was recalling facts about the eye; when we asked him where he had learned that, he said from Teacher Chiara’s class (2 years ago!). As a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, I was particularly impressed by Chiara’s communication skills, both with the children (whom she interacted beautifully with) and the parents (who appreciated her insights and information). A great teacher is invaluable, and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate that Chiara played a significant role in our son’s early education. -Kintz Family
There comes a time in every parents life when they have to make the decision to start their child on their educational journey. My daughter was 2 years old when she started at SLCC and from Day 1, I knew this would be the place to teach her all the valuable lessons a little human should learn. Chiara and her amazing team are fully dedicated to enriching a young child’s mind and spirit. My daughter left SLCC abruptly when COVID hit in March 2020, and although she didn’t have a chance to go back, she spent 2 1/2 magical years growing, learning and loving school at SLCC. If you want a place and staff that you can trust to teach and respect your growing child, SLCC is the place for you and your little one. -Andrea
We met Chiara when our 4 year old twin boys joined The Discovery School in Sausalito, CA last year. Chiara quickly got to know the different personalities of our twins and with her outgoing and cheerful personality won their hearts within a very short time. Chiara has a wealth of experience in working with young children. Her positive and open-minded attitude is a magnet for kids. As a head teacher, she was able to develop a well-rounded, comprehensive curriculum with a global focus which is very important to us. Her inquiry-based projects encouraged critical thinking and fostered the creative minds of our children. Our kids would often come home and say, ‘I wonder why….’. Chiara has the ability to tailor educational strategies towards the individual child and has a deep understanding on how to help children achieve their emotional, social, academic, and physical milestones. Our children were thriving under her guidance and learned more than just academic concepts, but what it means to be a global citizen, to care for yourself and others, to take risks, and understand good values. Chiara genuinely cares for children and her smile and big heart are sorely missed. -Neumeier Family
Chiara is an incredibly passionate, intelligent, and thoughtful educator, who has created a truly special school! We were nervous about sending our two year old to preschool for the first time, but her first day, she walked in, hugged us goodbye, and ran right off to start playing! Everything about the space is thoughtfully designed to engage children, and all of the staff are so kind and passionate, and treat the children with autonomy and respect. Highly recommend this gem of a school. -A.D.
Chiara was my daughter’s teacher for two years in Mill Valley, CA when she was 4 and 5 years old. She was able to give my daughter the support she needed emotionally and academically. She keyed in to how my daughter worked and really fostered a relationship so that my daughter really trusted Chiara. That trust was the basis for my daughter to grow. My daughter went to the same preschool, which is a fantastic school, for four years and it was only in her third year, when she first had Chiara as a teacher, that she actually looked forward to going and said she liked school! I think Chiara’s gentle and caring approach made it easier for my sensitive girl to go to preschool. Chiara made my daughter feel special and she took the time to do that which made a world of difference for my little girl. Chiara was special in that she was caring and also had the academic acumen in working with young children. I felt that she really understand the importance of early childhood education and I see the rewards in my child now who is a wonderfully well-rounded girl. Chiara really approached learning through the eyes of the child and that’s what made her class so much fun. I also don’t want to leave out that in addition to being a wonderfully caring person, with a deep understanding of early childhood education, she also was able to communicate really well to parents. Yes, the teacher is there for the kids but it also takes a special person to be able to handle adults. Chiara was always very polite, communicated clearly, timely, and was very open and easy to talk with. -Besse Family
Our daughter Zola (4.5 years old) was truly beyond blessed to spend her second year of preschool in Chiara’s classroom at The Discovery School in Sausalito, CA. Chiara’s warmth, patience, and positive energy are felt in every aspect of her work with young children. Grounded in her incredibly on-point intuition, Chiara consistently demonstrates competence and expertise in the field of early childhood education. She is committed to ensuring that her students feel seen, known, and understood, and takes whatever time is needed to keep parents feeling comfortable and informed. From the moment we met her, we had no doubt that Zola was about to learn from quite possibly the very best teacher she would ever have. And when Chiara decided to move on from TDS, our entire family missed her before we even said good-bye. Zola still refers to Chiara as ‘my rockstar’, talks about her daily, and says she wants to “play music just like her when I’m a grown up. -Krasner Family
We are incredibly grateful that our daughter had the privilege of attending SLCC for preschool. We dropped off an anxious, shy toddler at SLCC in the spring of 2021 (after COVID shutdown) and 2 years later we have a curious, creative, empathetic and poised little girl on her way to Kindergarten. SLCC was absolutely the perfect place for her to learn and grow and to prepare her for the next stage of her journey. Chiara and the teachers (Eunice and Shanelle) are wonderful people and thoughtful, committed educators who create a magical environment for the kids every day. We felt our daughter was deeply cared for at the school and this created a safe and nurturing environment for her to develop. We are going to dearly miss everyone at SLCC next year, including the tight-knit family community. If you have the opportunity to send your child to SLCC, do not hesitate. -Bill G.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about SLCC. Our son just graduated after two years there, and we are so thrilled with our experience (and sad to go!). The teachers are deeply patient, knowledgeable and loving. They get to know each child as an individual and nurture them as such. Our son's personality blossomed from a shy but very curious 3-year-old to a joyful, playful and deeply considerate 5-year-old. He can name his emotions and use tools to calm himself. He made wonderful friendships there who I hope to stay in touch with as our children get older.
I have so much respect for the teacher's dedication to research, and the ways that they formulate activities so that the children are playing and learning in line with the most up-to-date science on child development and early childhood education.
We were so lucky that our son's earliest years of school were at SLCC. Can't recommend it highly enough! - Jessica O.