Pencils, paper, classrooms and new schedules….When you think of the first day back to school, what comes to mind? For some 65 high school students, their first day was anything but typical: arriving ninth through twelfth graders at Mount Madonna School (MMS) toted sleeping bags and swimsuits. The occasion? A beginning of the year, 4-day white water river rafting and camping trip! This annual tradition is just one of several enrichment opportunities students at MMS participate in throughout the year.
“We do this trip to bring the high school together at the beginning of the year,” explains Ward Mailliard, a longtime MMS teacher and trip leader. “It is an opportunity for incoming ninth graders and new students to share an adventure with returning students. Everyone works and plays together and it helps start the year on a high note of cooperation and fun.”
Founded in 1979, Mount Madonna School is a non-religious, Pre/K through 12th grade, CAIS & WASC accredited independent school. Mount Madonna School offers small classes, rigorous academics balanced with arts and physical education, and hands-on environmental learning designed to help each student excel. Graduates have been admitted to America’s finest colleges and universities, including Yale, Princeton, Amherst, Harvard, Stanford, Reed, and the University of California campuses, among others.
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.