The Environment

“My son attends Ziji this year as a first grader and simply loves it! When anyone asks him how he likes school his whole body seems to tingle with delight as he answers with untempered enthusiasm, "I love it!" His joy and curiosity have only been fostered while at Ziji--which for me speaks volumes. I myself appreciate how the teachers address the whole child throughout the day: social, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. I never see them over-emphasizing any one aspect of my son's experience--and indeed, he seems to be flourishing in them all. With seeming effortlessness he learns to read and write, add and subtract, construct bows and arrows and enter into elaborate imaginative play with friends. He comes home with new songs, stories, and explanations of wigwams daily. Ziji has been such a blessing and joy for us all.” CH


“There are lots of things that I love about this school but one of the most important for us is that the school feels like an extension of home. We value that our son is learning and thriving in an environment that is warm, welcoming, and loving not only on a personal level but also on an academic level.”  AS


"Ziji provides a unique environment that enables children to enjoy the magic of early childhood longer in a culture that promotes both social/emotional learning and academics at a pace and in a way that meets each child where they are in that particular moment."  KN


"Every child is celebrated for who they are and you can see it in their faces.
My son has space to explore and discover himself..."  SS


“The environment is so friendly, playful and caring yet the attention to academic readiness and the development of confidence and personal responsibility for self and others is precise and consistent.  

Sometimes I walk in with my daughter and we are drawn to the beautifully laid out lesson for the day.  On the large table there are materials carefully placed at each neatly lined up seat and a beautiful arrangement of flowers or made objects and items that represent the unit they are studying in the center.  It is so clear and inviting.

There is time and room for making a ruckus outside, cuddling in a small group with pillows, sitting straight in a good seat or creating a completely creative mess. Children are offered a rich environment of skillfully chosen materials, lessons, tasks and stories to weave into their continually evolving and unique development. “  JH

The Teachers

"The teachers are exceptional--far above and beyond others, and a sense of fun permeates everything."  DR


"Norah and Marti see my daughter for who she is, connect with her and hold her in a way that sometimes stuns me.  There is no better place for her to explore who she is and learn how to relate to others."  KN


“We have both a son and a daughter at the school and both have thrived under the care and guidance they receive from their teachers.  Our two children have very different baseline personalities and learning styles, and the teachers create an environment that touches both in ways they each need and respond to favorably.  At home, we hear them practicing both academic and interpersonal skills they have learned at school.  It has been a joy to see how the relationship between the two children has flourished, as well; their imaginations have taken flight and their respect and affection for each other has grown.  The learning is very hands-on and experiential, nurtured in a way that encourages a joy in learning, not just accomplishing a required check list of educational items.  It's hard to imagine what child wouldn't do well at this school.”  BT


“My extra-sensitive son has blossomed in a way I could never have dreamed possible here. The teachers help each child feel safe and comfortable with themselves and each other while helping them learn.”  KB

The Contemplative Approach

“Ziji is a place where the real practice of mindfulness and awareness is secured in the teacher’s intentions and moment to moment interactions with their students and parents.”  JH


“For me the “contemplative approach” at Ziji has much more to do with the teachers' personal practice than anything else.  It creates the space for things to arise naturally in the classroom and for them to respond authentically with clear seeing.  This is an invaluable gift to the children and families.”  KN


"The teachers exhibit inquiry in every moment and self-reflection before judgement. The way they embody and hold the contemplative practice have given my son a model and the tools to stay in the present moment ."  SS

The Curriculum and Academics 

“The acknowledgment of the importance of play throughout the early elementary years is one of the reasons we chose Ziji.   Now in first grade my daughter's day includes more formal lesson time, which offers a refreshing and appropriately challenging balance to the more open ended play space of the kindergarten.  I find that my child’s intellect and heart are fully engaged throughout her days at Ziji.  She comes home inspired and clearly nourished.”  JH


“I love that art and storytelling are big parts of the curriculum.”  KN


“I'm impressed by how thoroughly my son has mastered math and other subjects. Ms Holley has about 30 ways to teach math, mostly with hands-on activities that are fun and interesting.”  KB

What's Unique About Ziji

"My son has joy and freedom of expression without shame and guilt. This is not only unique in our school, but unique in our world. As a parent, Ziji has been such a gift!"  SS


“The teachers at Ziji offer and hold an environment which continually invites children to connect.  The children are given a rhythm of the day, materials, freedom and restriction.  All these paths encourage connection--connection to their environment,  connection to others and connection to themselves. “  JH


“Ziji Early Elementary is a school where every child can experience spontaneous joy! This is something I've found lacking at other schools I've visited.”  KB