St. Mark's is a play-based preschool for children ages two through five.

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...

  • Classes for children ages two through entering kindergarten

  • Small class sizes combined with opportunities for children of different ages to play together

  • Play-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum focused on building community and developing a life-long love of learning

  • Flexible schedules to suit the needs of our families, including:

Click here to schedule a tour! We would love to show you our school! Please email us at for more information.

Chickadees & Hummingbirds

At St Mark’s, our Chickadee and Hummingbird classrooms provide a small intimate environment in which our youngest students have the opportunity to have their first school experiences under the guidance and supervision of a loving and experienced team of teachers. 

Blue Jays

The Blue Jays class provides a rich and engaging curriculum for our three-year old students. The class provides ongoing opportunities to practice cooperative play, community building, and verbal conflict resolution.

Quail & Hawks

The transition from preschool to elementary school, whether to a TK or kindergarten classroom, is an important step for both students and families. At St. Mark’s our teaching team takes great pride in maintaining our play based philosophy while simultaneously engaging the children in child inspired, teacher guided emergent curriculum projects that provide our students with the opportunity to gain the skills needed to be successful elementary schoolers.

Projects in our Quail and Hawks classrooms range from cooking our own snack and building endless kinds of towers; to creating super heroes (complete with capes and our own stories) and even hatching baby chickens. Each and every project is inspired by the children’s interests and includes many different learning opportunities, including but not limited to:

  • Practicing pre-math and pre-writing skills

  • Expanding our vocabulary

  • Honing our verbal negotiation and complex cooperative play skills

  • Building community

  • Taking care of our environment

  • Practicing kindness

  • Practicing observation and prediction

  • Taking risks

  • Problem solving