Outside School: Live life, be a part of the Earth. Enroll for '23-'24!

K-12 Schools with Immediate Openings
East Bay
Kinder, School-Aged, Preteens, Teens


The antithesis to public and private schools.

Celebrating nature, individuality, and freedom in the urban outdoors!

This alternative education model is all about relationships, with each other and with the land.

Learning is child led and teacher supported, with all of us learning through play, conversation, and direct experience. This developmental approach respects everyone for who they are and encourages growth in all realms: head (knowledge), heart (social and emotional), hands (physical), and holism (to acknowledge the understanding of ecology and human interdependence with the ecosystem (Sobel & Bailie, 2016)). Lessons are organic, weaving together my life and educator experiences, everyone’s strengths, challenges, and interests, and what our environment and needs provide us each day.

We experience awe regularly.


Year-round, mixed-age program fosters social relationships. Everyone connects with the natural world and develops empathic, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

We are 100% outdoors in the East Bay within beautiful Alvarado Park and Wildcat Canyon, at the hub of El Cerrito, San Pablo, El Sobrante, and Richmond, in California’s beautiful East Bay.

We explore and adventure, making discoveries and observations, and experiment with newfound knowledge while being immersed in the environment and being a part of the earth’s and life’s cycles.

We embody democratic ideals such as discussion and voting every day.

We strive to be light on the land. We rotate our locations throughout the park. Our materials use is minimal and may include nature journals and pencils, maps, knives, and rope. I read and tell stories each day. The books usually have social justice messages and cover complex topics.

We work to leave sites better than we found them by regularly participating in volunteering projects such as litter removal and invasive plant abatement.

Small group size in the outdoors helps relationships develop at a natural pace.

Enrollment is limited to no more than eight school-age children (kindergarten through 12th. grade- elementary school, middle school, and high school students, 5-18 years old).


The perfect adjunct for flexischool, unschool, deschool, hybrid, homeschool, learning pods, independent study, or privately tutored students looking for an alternative or organic/natural education.

School begins the day after Labor Day and follows West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) holidays: Veterans Day (if it’s on one of our school days), Thanksgiving Week, Winter Break, Presidents Week, and Spring Break. The school year ends the Thursday in June that’s during WCCUSD’s last week.

-Tuesday through Thursday

-9:00 - 3:00 (drop-off by 9:15, pick-up as early as 2:45)

-Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until August 15 of each school year. The earlier you get your application in, the sooner we can all begin dreaming of what our school year will be like!

-Late enrollment may be available as space and group dynamics allow, with the last deadline for any school year being February 15 for a March 1 start.

For more information, application, and tuition visit www.outside.school!

Heather Taylor
teachoutside [at] gmail.com