In the spring of 1997, a group of Sonoma educators, representing decades of experience, endeavored to bring a “renaissance in education” to the Sonoma Valley. Their vision integrated high standards in academic achievement, with a balanced view of a young person’s learning and personal growth.
This “dream school” would support children not only in their academic growth, but also in their appreciation of art, language and athletics, and most importantly, their exploration of faith, character, and commitment to the community.
These teachers, now known as the “charter faculty,” possessed the determination to nurture this emerging vision, bringing it to a group of supportive parents and community members. The response was extremely favorable. A rare seed was planted. And what was once a dream has become a fruitful reality for more than 20 years.
The first ten years of the school’s life were spent in the Sonoma Community Center, where each day, a group of intrepid parents, teachers and students would set up and take down the tables and chairs that made up their classrooms. Following a successful capital campaign, the school moved to its modern and spacious campus on south Broadway in 2006.
In searching for a name to bestow on the school, the founding members of the school community sought to reach back to the Catholic roots of education in the Sonoma Valley. In 1888, sisters from the Presentation Convent in San Francisco founded a school on Napa Street in Sonoma. Thus, the name of "The Presentation School" was chosen, honoring both the past and a new beginning in education.
Presentation School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). We are members of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Independent Schools of the San Francisco Bay Area (ISSFBA) and is SEVIS Certified to accept international F-1 Visa students.
Although Presentation School may only be a young school in our twenties, we have developed many strong traditions that celebrate both our faith heritage and educational philosophy while celebrating the uniqueness of the developing child.
Once a month, aligned with the Catholic/Christian liturgical calendar, the school community gathers to celebrate student-led liturgies. These ecumenical services highlight a gospel value and invite students and teachers to consider the role of God in their own lives and the obligation to serve a world in need of our gifts. Parents and Friends are encouraged and welcome to celebrate liturgies with us.
Sharing learning and developing confidence in public speaking is a core value at Presentation School. Students are able to begin developing these vital skills through classroom activities, and continue to refine them through our monthly showcases. Families and friends are invited to attend the monthly showcase, where students share their learning with the school community. Showcases range from singing, dramatic performances, instrumental demonstrations, poetry, and speeches, to sharing art and special projects completed in class.
Buddies is a cherished tradition for Presentation students. Each year upper school students look forward to being “big buddies” to their lower school friends. Each upper school class is partnered with a lower school class and together they build a year long friendship that includes shared school events and learning support. Whether designing Valentine cards, reading in pairs, or conducting science experiments together, our graduates frequently reflect that the buddy experiences were highlights of their years at Presentation School.
There is no better way to bring a school together than shared play, and play is an essential component of a Presentation School education. Lead by our eighth grade students, the annual Field Day includes integrated class clusters. Whether it is sack races, face painting, or sponge and balloon relays, there is laughter and friendship at every stop. This annual tradition ends with an 8th grade v. Teachers volleyball, dodgeball, or kickball game.
Presentation School understands that we are preparing kids to live and lead professional lives in a world that is constantly changing. We believe that students are best served by preparing them to be flexible, integrative thinkers, and clear and thoughtful communicators. A balanced education seeks novel ways to understand the cross sections of Science,Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Each Spring the middle school spends a week fully immersed in a STEAM challenge, with multi-grade teams. Past Challenges have ranged from mini-golf course design, to structural engineering solutions during an earthquake, to the physical phenomenon of flight. Lower school students participate as learners and judges.
SCHOOL Performing Arts
Yearly, Presentation produces a full-scale play. Pre-COVID, we had a Spring Musical and we were proud to bring drama back to our campus in a school play in 2022. Grades 6 through 8 are invited to audition to join the cast or sign up for crew to be part of the team as stage crew, and lighting / sound, hair & make up all managed by our middle school theater arts students.
Following the Spring Musical, the Art Fair shines! The school’s activity center is transformed with a year’s worth of learning and creating, in all media, and at all grade levels.
Love. Learn. Lead. Putting our words into action, community service is a year-long focus for all grades.
EXTENDED FIELD EXPERIENCES
Student learning is solidified through hands on learning experiences. Beginning in fourth grade, each class has at least one extended field trip that involves being away from school (and home) overnight.