Our Mission: The Raleigh School is a cooperative community of children, parents and teachers that fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere of challenge, inquiry and respect.


Mission & Values

Since its founding in 1952 as a parent cooperative, The Raleigh School has been a model for excellence in early childhood education. Our mission and abiding values drive our actions and have kept our community strong over the years.


The Raleigh School is a cooperative community of children, parents, and teachers that fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere of challenge, inquiry, and respect.

Abiding Values

Our educational practice is guided by knowledge of how children develop and learn.

  • We believe a child-centered and developmentally appropriate approach to teaching enables children to become competent, confident, and intellectually curious lifelong learners.
  • Learning is active, cooperative, hands-on, and play-based.
  • We challenge and encourage children to think critically, creatively, collaboratively, and conceptually.
  • We connect the curriculum to children’s lives to emphasize the interdependence of ideas and help children form connections in learning.
  • We engage children, foster their intrinsic motivation, and instill a love of learning through exploration, discovery, and inquiry.
  • We cherish the time that children spend in nature and emphasize outdoor play and environmental stewardship.

Our intentional focus on the social and emotional development of children values and strengthens the whole child.

  • We know and nurture each child as an individual with unique interests, skills, and abilities, helping develop confidence and self-awareness.
  • Our teachers actively model, coach, and help children develop social and emotional skills, including kindness, self-control, leadership, and conflict resolution.
  • Our teachers help children gradually develop empathy, compassion, and social responsibility for their classmates, the school community, and the world at large.
  • Our teachers create supportive classroom environments where children are free to take risks and learning is characterized by curiosity, enthusiasm, humor, and joy.

Our inclusive community is an active partnership of parents, teachers, and children built on a foundation of respect.

  • We have an inherent trust in and respect for children’s growth and development.
  • Parents’ presence on campus, contribution of time, and dedication to the cooperative community is a hallmark of our school’s identity and culture.
  • We honor all students and families with a broad view of diversity as we seek to help children appreciate their own and others’ uniqueness.
  • Our teachers help children see the world from varied perspectives, allowing children to develop awareness of themselves as well as a deeper understanding of the richness of cultures and ideas across the globe.

The Raleigh School is an inclusive, active partnership of parents, educators, and children built on a foundation of respect. As a school community, we honor the identities of all children and families and are committed to building a safe community where every member feels a strong sense of belonging. The Raleigh School is open to change and is committed to growth as we strive to prepare children to be active, culturally competent citizens. -Revised 2021


Teachers and parents thoughtfully partner to ensure each child's unique capacities and learning styles are recognized and encouraged ... Every morning our children literally ran to their classrooms, thrilled by the prospect of what each new day might bring!

Mark and May Bensen, alumni parents