The Cascade Canyon School mission

Cascade Canyon School provides a nurturing environment where students are
valued, respected, and challenged.

We combine rigorous academics, visual
and performing arts, and multi-­disciplinary projects in a curriculum that
inspires students to take academic risks and support one another.


Connected Community

Cross‐age interaction and close student–teacher relationships strengthen  
our community and promote caring, kindness, and empathy throughout our community. 


Hands-on Learning

Outdoor education trips, art, music, theater, and STEAM programs
complement our core academics and keep students active and engaged. 


Success Beyond Cascade Canyon School

Our graduates are confident, articulate, and self-­aware. They are
academically and socially equipped to thrive in high school and beyond. 


A Progressive and Inclusive Education


Cascade Canyon School teachers, students, and families work together to foster intellectual, social–emotional, physical, and creative development. Within our connected kindergarten through eighth grade community, we cherish cross-age experiences and constructive relationships. We create a joyful environment in which children are encouraged to express their individuality and take risks. Our students are actively engaged in hands-on learning, creative thinking, and environmental exploration. Teachers emphasize collaborative and independent learning, differentiation, integrated curriculum, and inquiry. A Cascade Canyon School education provides students with the academic expertise, self-awareness, and ingenuity needed to thrive in today's world. Our graduates are confident, socially conscious, articulate, and eager to pursue their passions.


We challenge students to think deeply.

We engage students in active learning.

We inspire students to express themselves creatively.

We encourage students to connect mindfully.


Cascade Canyon School actively welcomes students, families, and staff members from diverse backgrounds. Admissions, hiring, educational policies, financial aid, the academic program and activities, and all rights and privileges are offered without regard to race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economics, family structure, disability, religion, ancestry, age, or national origin.


A Message From The Head of School


It is my sincere pleasure welcome you to Cascade Canyon School.  We are a small school that makes a big impact. Since 1981, we have offered a progressive, inclusive, creative, and dynamic K-8 educational experience to families who want to be part of a connected learning community.

The power of being small lies in our ability to form strong relationships.  Our teachers really see and know each of their students, resulting in a “just right” level of challenge and support. Our thoughtful, intentional focus on social-emotional intelligence gives students the tools to understand and appreciate themselves and each other. Our parents are valued collaborators and partners. These relationships form the web of connection that is at the heart of the Cascade Canyon experience.

We know that rich learning happens when students are engaged with relevant content, when they feel safe to take risks, and when they are offered multiple pathways to explore and create.  At Cascade Canyon, the these three pillars of academic rigor, social-emotional development and creative expression guide everything we do. Our graduates go on to high school as curious and thoughtful learners who are ready to embrace opportunities and make a positive difference in the world.

The best way to get a sense of what makes Cascade Canyon special is to see it for yourself.  When you visit classrooms and hear the pride that shines through when students talk about their school, you’ll know why we love it here. We look forward to meeting you!


Michelle Herron
Head of School


school profile

Student Body

  • Current Enrollment: 72 students

  • Maximum Class Sizes
  • Kindergarten/1st grade: 16 students
  • 2/3 and 4/5 mixed-grade: 16 students
  • Middle school: 16–18 students


  • Full Time: 6
  • Specialist: 5
  • Support Staff: 2

School Day

  • Kindergarten/1st grade: 8:30–3:00
  • Grades 2–8: 8:30–3:10

Specialist Programs

Extended Learning

  • Overnight trip: Fall Outdoor Education Trip (K–8)
  • Washington D.C.: 8th grade
  • High school transitions, overnight: 8th grade
  • Field trips: Multiple field trips for every class throughout the year, including museums, performances, films, community events, and service learning, all integrated into the curriculum
  • Peak Week: Field trips, outdoor education, all-school overnight (K–8)

Community Events

  • Our favorite Fall traditions include our Welcome Back Barbecue, Back to School Night, Variety Show and Community Potluck, and Winter Celebration.
  • Spring traditions include our Open House, showcasing the students’ Science Fair Projects or Humanities Project Exhibitions (alternate years), our School Play or Language Night (alternate years), Poetry Café and Spring Concert, Spring Auction (parents and staff), our Town Hall meeting (Board, parents and staff), Grandparents and Special Friends Day, and Graduation (all-school, all-families event).


  • Each family donates 40 hours of service to the school each year and actively participates in the school’s major fundraisers and fundraising events.

Tuition Assistance

  • % of Students Aided: 24.0%
  • % of Budget Allocated: 6.7%

Memberships and Affiliations

  • CAIS, The California Association of Independent Schools
  • CASE, The Council for Advancement and Support of Education
  • SSS, School and Student Service for Financial Aid
  • ABADO, Association of Bay Area Development Officers
  • ISBOA, Independent School Business Officers Association
  • BADA, Bay Area Directors of Admission


Cascade Canyon School was founded in 1981 by educators Ann Barar (Evans) and Peggy March (Tunder). The original group of 2 teachers and 10 families wanted to establish a committed and connected learning community because they felt that their children's success lay in the relationship between teachers and students.


Three basic tenets were established to support this philosophy:

~ Small student-to-teacher ratio

~ A familial atmosphere that included community meetings and cross-age learning

~ A sense of student responsibility and ability to effect positive change in the world


Over the years, the curriculum has grown to include Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Spanish, STEAM, and Physical Education in addition to core studies in English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. The school moved from its humble beginnings in the Community Center near Peri Park to our current home at 102 Marinda Drive in Fairfax (with a few stops along the way). However, the three founding principles of remain as integral components of the school’s mission today.



On-call K–8 Substitute Teacher

Job Description and Qualifications
Cascade Canyon School is seeking individuals with elementary or middle school classroom experience to work on an on-call basis to cover daily absences and long-term absences during the school day. Positions available as needed in our elementary self-contained classrooms, our middle school single subject classrooms, and in our specialist program areas (art, music, physical education, Spanish and theater). We seek candidates with personal warmth, an understanding of progressive educational practices, and an ability to manage an engaging, active and differentiated classroom. Responsibilities include implementing the daily lesson plans, collaborating with colleagues, and providing a written update to the classroom teacher. A valid teaching credential is strongly desired. A Bachelors Degree is a pre-requisite for this position.

How to Apply
E-mail cover letter and résumé with references to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As a small, collegial, independent school, Cascade Canyon School offers a connected community of teachers, students, parents, and administrators; small class sizes of 16–18; and a positive working environment that supports professional growth.

Cascade Canyon School is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, orientation, or veteran status.