Welcome from the Head of School

 
Jim Benz

Jim Benz

Welcome to Peninsula School’s website. There is so much I want to share with you about this unique and wonderful school: how we build a strong community, our approach to developing the intellectual lives of young people, how we foster each child’s individuality, and why Peninsula holds such a respected place in the history of progressive education in America. Peninsula is a school where you’ll find children being children — climbing trees, running on the porch of our 1882 Victorian mansion, swinging on a rope from a giant oak tree, playing tag on our “Big Field”, or just hanging out with friends having lunch. You’ll also find children being students — engaged in class discussions about the Civil Rights Movement, working in a group to solve a math problem, writing a personal essay about a class trip, learning how to weave a scarf, or participating in a daily class meeting.

Children love coming to school at Peninsula and look forward to what each day offers them. How do we do it? We make the best of being a small school. We have dedicated teachers who create curriculum that is deep and responsive to students. We have a community of supportive adults who are committed to the emotional development of each child, helping guide students to learn from their inevitable mistakes along the way. Our ungraded learning environment is focused on a low-pressure and cooperative process rather than a competitive and test-driven product. We provide students with abundant unstructured time to explore the arts and their passions and to practice accountability and social responsibility. Our value of play remains one of the most treasured components of our program for students and parents alike. 

The success of our approach to teaching and learning is reflected in our amazing graduates. They have gained a reputation among both public and independent high school teachers as curious, creative and motivated learners who know how to work collaboratively with a diverse array of peers, as individuals who are comfortable being themselves and with defining their own success, and as compassionate citizens and ethical leaders who stand for equity and social justice.

Peninsula is a place where children feel loved, secure, and empowered. It is a place where children are excited to learn and understand the potency of asking good questions rather than possessing all the answers. Peninsula students appreciate different perspectives about the world they live in. Our website can only give you a small glimpse of the great things that occur here each day. I encourage you to schedule a visit to gain a better sense of our community, our students and our school.

Best,

Jim