About MAP

Ross Valley School District's Multi-Age Program (MAP) is a K-5 program of choice, located within Manor Elementary School, that is committed to having children learn in their own way and at their own pace while maintaining a strong commitment to basic skills.

MAP’s essential goal is to provide a school experience for every child that fosters a love of learning while integrating social and emotional development, academic standards, and developmental understanding within a community where parents, teachers and administrators are partners with discrete roles.  Research shows that a child learns best in an environment in which he or she feels safe and emotionally connected.

To that end, the program's innovation begins with a creative curriculum and the belief that children learn skills and content best when they are engaged in their learning.  The curriculum emphasizes experiential learning and supports the integration of more than one academic subject into lessons whenever possible.  Through guided choice of learning activities and processes, students learn to take responsibility for the outcomes of their choices.  The teachers value each student’s unique qualities and encourage collaboration, experimentation and exploration.  Curriculum teamwork among teachers is critical.

Formalized partnerships among teachers, administrators and parents expand classroom practices to address social and emotional development and individual learning rates and styles.  The social and emotional focus is an opportunity to build a sense of connection and confidence for children at school, which allows them to feel engaged, empowered and safe.

The multi-age structure of the classroom allows children to stay with the same teacher for two years, and creates strong relationships between students and teachers.  In addition, children benefit from being the younger or older students in different years.  Students develop a sense of caring and nurturing as they help each other learn through peer mentoring.  

The expanded age range within the classroom also creates an environment which meets developmental needs by encouraging a wide range of learning styles and developmental rates.  

Nestled within a traditional public school, it also demonstrates that an alternative program can function cooperatively alongside traditional education.