About the School

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. Marylhurst programs are built on an emergent curriculum, which is a way of planning curriculum based on the student’s interest. To plan an emergent curriculum requires observation, documentation, creative brainstorming, flexibility and patience amongst the teachers.

Our Mission

Our 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.

What You Can Expect in each Classroom

Small Class Sizes

2 Teachers per Class

Experiential & Thematic Studies

Child-centered Curriculum

Our History

From its earliest design as a lab school at Marylhurst University, the school has honored the developmental time of childhood. In 1972 Delores Quinn, of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, established a school that put forth consideration for the individual—their intellectual wonderings, quality of character and creative expression. In 1986 the school was established as independent and relocated to historic Oregon City. After 40 years of excellence in early childhood education, our expansion welcomed the inaugural primary-grade class in 2012.

Our Classrooms Have These Values


Mindful teaching creates an intentional stand-alone philosophy grounded in respect for the social and emotional aspects of the developing child.


Our philosophical foundation is guided by each developmental stage; taking pride in honoring and stretching childhood play.


Curriculum development is organically seeded through open-ended listening and community enrichment. As a result, our programs are well-connected and celebrate families.


Marylhurst is proud to be a partner school with the Progressive Education Network; is accredited as a subscriber school member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools; is licensed by the Oregon Department of Education child-care division and recognized as a federal nonprofit 501(c)3.