The philosophy of early childhood education at St. Mark’s Nursery School embraces teacher guided, child-driven, play-based curriculum in a structured, nurturing environment. Our curriculum provides children with daily opportunities to develop across all areas (social-emotional, cognitive and physical). Our smaller class sizes promote a sense of community allowing teachers to model verbal conflict resolution skills and help children enter into play with their peers. Our program is designed to strengthen critical thinking skills and engage children's natural curiosity leading to a life long love of learning.

We are located in Orinda, CA and primarily serve Orinda, Lafayette, and Moraga families. Established in 1962, many families have happily called St. Mark's "our preschool" for over 50 years.


Our program offers...

  • A balanced program, which offers children a mix of free play and structure in a safe and secure environment. We provide a preschool curriculum for children ages 2, 3, 4 and 5, including a Kindergarten Preparation program. The separate classes for each age allows teachers to focus on the unique developmental needs of each age group.
  • Developmentally appropriate curriculum focused on building community and inspiring a life long love of learning. Plenty of free choice playtime encourages children to explore, play and learn in their own unique way. During group times, children develop fundamental social skills. They learn to take turns, share, listen well and to be responsible contributing members of a group.
  • Deliberately small classes. Over the years we have found that smaller groups create the warm and nurturing environment that preschoolers need to develop strong social skills.
  • Professional staff, educated in early childhood and passionate about creating learning opportunities for young children.

Our school is owned by the United Methodist Church, but does not include faith based curriculum. Please call 925-254-1364 or email us at to schedule a tour. We would love to show you our school! 

--Claire Peterson, Director

2's Program

In order to better serve the needs of our current families and the Lamorinda community at large, St. Mark’s Nursery School launched a brand new 2’s program in January of 2015. Like other St. Mark's programs, the "2s" enjoy our play-based, child-driven and teacher- guided curriculum. Other program features include:

·      Morning Program (9:00-noon)

·      Small Class (6 students per class)

·      2 year olds attend Tuesday /Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday

St. Mark’s is very pleased to announce that Wendy Wellbaum Brooks is our new 2’s Teacher. As an early childhood educator for the past 20 years, Ms. Wendy has extensive experience with young children and toddlers and is thrilled to be a part of St. Mark's Nursery School. 

Kindergarten Preparation

Our Kindergarten Preparation (K-Prep) is designed to give a child, who may not be ready for the rigors of Kindergarten, more time. It gives them an extra year to work on their fine motor skills, social and emotional growth, or need for more play. As in our 4’s program, the children will work on cognitive skills including pre-math and pre-reading skills as well as be given an opportunity to engage in science activities that are developmentally appropriate (and good messy fun). We use the whole child approach to education: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. All three styles of teaching are used in order to touch every child’s needs. 

K-Prep students are typically enrolled at St. Mark's 5 days per week and as we move through the year, the small group learning time for K-Prep students becomes a longer block of time. In addition, Lunch Bunch enrichment classes are offered at different times throughout the year, such as: Mad Science, Soccer Shots, and Music.