Mission and Philosophy

Our Mission

The Cambridge-Ellis School provides a warm, stimulating early-school experience in a joyful, loving environment built upon a foundation of trusting relationships with a diverse group of children and families. We promote the optimal development of the whole child through a creative, play-based, emergent curriculum, an emphasis on arts and outdoor play, and immersion language offerings. We strive to foster a community that is anti-racist so that children from a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities, and interests can learn and thrive.

Our Philosophy

At Cambridge-Ellis, children gain knowledge and an understanding of their world by using open-ended materials, participating in hands-on activities, and learning from and with classmates and teachers. This developmental approach to early childhood education celebrates individuality, self-expression and creativity while fostering relationships among all members of the classroom community. Using emergent curriculum based on children’s evolving interests and a combination of Reggio Emilia, Inquiry, and Constructivist inspired approaches to education, teachers foster environments designed for child-driven exploration and discovery.

Our Values

We believe that the school’s foundation is its highly trained teachers and staff, innovative curriculum, commitment to parent involvement, and dedication to a diverse community.

We support and educate a diverse local and international community of children and their families.

We value children as “experts” and use their ideas as motivation for developing curriculum.

We view each child as an individual learner, each with their own unique strengths and characteristics.

We connect to the community through artisan programs and other experiences. We believe that young children learn best in an environment that offers play-based education.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Cambridge-Ellis School community intentionally and continuously fosters an environment in which children of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests can learn and thrive. We are firmly committed to anti-racist education, examining our assumptions and biases, and actively cultivating a sense of belonging. We can only achieve this if all children and adults feel affirmed and accepted for their various identities.

Learning at Cambridge-Ellis builds upon and extends these values. The educational philosophy emphasizes the importance of cooperation, creative problem-solving, and perspective-taking. Students are encouraged to make connections, approach others with empathy and curiosity, and engage across differences in a complex and increasingly- connected world.

These values animate all aspects of our program, including how we develop our curriculum, culture, and community; hire leaders, teachers, and staff; support families from various backgrounds; and engage with the parent community, including through our Board of Directors.

We acknowledge that we are a work in progress and that seeking equity is ongoing work.

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them."

— Lady Bird Johnson