The Marylhurst School

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The Marylhurst School is built on mindful teaching, respect for the social and emotional life of the child and the understanding that knowledge is seeded through curiosity, experience and reflection. To that end we practice an emergent curriculum steeped in a progressive education model.

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About Us


The Marylhurst School is an independent, progressive education community located in historic Oregon City. Founded in 1972, we serve 200 children in preschool through eighth grade. We embrace the creativity, questions and risk taking of childhood in a supportive, hands-on environment.

  • Small classes, each with two full-time teachers who inspire learning and build relationships so that every child is truly known.
  • Experiential, thematic studies which reflect our community of learners and the limitless opportunities in the world around us.
  • Child-centered curriculum infused with poetry, gardening, art, science, tinkering, creative writing, music and play, all rooted in developmentally appropriate practice.
  • Welcoming community that celebrates the unique contributions of students, families and faculty.

The Marylhurst School: honoring the journey of each child.

We believe children deserve the opportunity to think big and relish in rich content. Curriculum throughout The Marylhurst School is child centered and framed around the essential questions children are grappling with at each developmental stage. Exploration of these questions informs classroom study and the academic, emotional and social growth of children.

    Preschool: Autonomy – How do I become independent?
    Grades K and 1: Community – Where do I thrive?
    Grades 2 and 3: Identity – Who am I?
    Grades 4 and 6: Relationships – With whom do I identify?
    Grades 6 2o 8: Justice – What is the greater good?

The student body represents 30 different zip codes throughout Clackamas and Multnomah counties with the majority of families coming from West Linn, Oregon City and Southeast Portland. After Marylhurst, students move on to private, parochial and public schools throughout the greater Portland area.
Our student-to-teacher ratio is 8 to 1. All faculty are experienced educators who care deeply about children and the field of education. Teachers participate in professional development annually, have a long tenure with our school-on average 10 years and more-and 40% hold graduate degrees. The Marylhurst philosophy and curriculum attract faculty who are committed to our educational values and to fully supporting each and every child. Faculty profiles are available online at

Admissions & Aid Info
The Marylhurst School seeks students who will flourish in a progressive educational environment of emergent pedagogy.

Preschool Open Enrollment (twos, threes, fours and transitional kindergarten) begins on January 27, 2018 during the annual Open House. Requests are accepted until we reach capacity. Preschool enrollment does not guarantee future admission into primary programs.

Applications for K-8 Grade Programs are due by February 5, 2018. Once all parts of the application have been filed (parent short answer questions, student self-portrait, teacher recommendation) a student visitation day and parent conference will be scheduled.

Program #/Days Time Tuition
Middle School 5/M-F 8:30 – 3:15 $9,000
K-5th Grade 5/M-F 8:30 – 2:30 $9,000
Transitional Kindergarten 4/M-Th 9 – 2:30 $6,790
Fours 4/M-Th 9 – 1 $4,880
Threes 3/T, W, Th 9 – 12 $3,350
Parent/Child 1/W 9:30 – 11:30 $1,430
Parent/Child 1/Th 9:30 – 11:30 $1,430

Note: Posted Rates reflect costs for 2017-18 and may change for subsequent years.

The Marylhurst School offers a limited amount of financial aid; as a nonprofit, full tuition grants are not available. To qualify, families must demonstrate financial need by submitting a TADS application with nominal fee at and meet the TADS eligibility requirements. The deadline to apply is April 15.


Sheila Walker
Head of School
Sheila has been with The Marylhurst School since 1994 as a parent, board member and teacher. Now in her role as Head of School, she is furthering her commitment to children and families by leading the expansion of our preschool into a K-8 community. Her two children, Lucy and Liam, both attended Marylhurst and it was during those years she watched them grow and thrive in ways she never imagined. Sheila holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Education from the University of Montana and has taught Theater to all ages of children for over 25 years. She believes that “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” – Aristotle.

Laura Layton
Admissions Director
Laura has 15 years of experience recruiting and retaining students in the higher education world. She has worked in admissions and orientation at the University of Oregon, Saint Mary’s College of California, and Marylhurst University. Since 2009 she has been an active parent at The Marylhurst School, and is delighted to be serving as admissions director during the schools expansion. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Fredonia with a dual major in psychology and communication, as well as a Master of Science in student personnel administration from SUNY Buffalo. “Selecting the right school community for your family is a personal decision unique to each child. I am honored to be part of the conversation.”

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