Our primary purpose as a school is to prepare our children to be engaged learners and compassionate, responsible citizens of the world. We nurture curiosity and passion for learning at the same time we cultivate each child’s sense of care for each other and the world. Ultimately, the pursuit of knowledge and discovery in this manner leads a child to utilize their gifts to become positive contributors to their communities. This is what we mean when we refer to “holistic education.” At Mountain Sun, we serve the whole child’s developmental needs: cognitively, naturally, creatively, emotionally, and socially.

Mountain Sun Community School’s mission is to cultivate each student’s natural curiosity and love of learning through a challenging academic curriculum grounded in mutual respect and a sense of belonging. We recognize each student’s unique potential and nurture their passions and abilities through a balance of direct instruction, collaborative and independent study, hands-on experiences in and out of the classroom, and service learning.


Mountain Sun helps each child discover the wonders of a life of the mind and what it means to truly love learning. Our school believes academic and cognitive development is one of the fundamental responsibilities of any school and of holistic education. Utilizing a Montessori approach, Mountain Sun facilitates the development of the child’s sense of self as a student, feeds their innate curiosity, and inspires them to become lifelong learners. We strive to give children a strong foundation in fundamental skills so they can extend beyond academics to become creative, independent thinkers at the same time we introduce practices to help them become more aware of the nature of their own minds.

Academic Skills

Mountain Sun provides a strong academic understanding of fundamental skills in reading, writing, math, critical thinking, and investigation, while honoring each child’s unique blend of intelligences. Compelling content in language arts, math, and science engages each child in the discovery of their academic strengths, passions,and interests. We emphasize hands-on materials and experiential lessons that facilitate meaningful experiences that challenge students intellectually.


Mountain Sun embraces the Montessori philosophy of education with multi-age classrooms, a carefully prepared environment with developmentally appropriate materials, and independent learning. We believe children thrive in the intellectual and social diversity of multiage classrooms where competition is reduced and collaborative learning is balanced with independent initiative. In this setting, every child can focus on his or her own individual path within a continuum, and this, in turn, fosters responsibility to self and others. Our educators intentionally and skillfully guide each child on their own learning journey by balancing individual and group lessons with self-guided studies.


Using a variety of mindfulness practices, Mountain Sun helps children discover the nature of their own minds. Daily centering circles and exercises, regular yoga practices, and mindfulness meditation techniques help children slow down and improve concentration. Both in the classroom and in the forests that serve as our campus, children learn the importance of following the breath to reduce the noise of the mind in order to connect more completely with themselves, each other, and the natural world.


At Mountain Sun, children are encouraged to be children and to actively and freely explore the natural world. Each day, students have the opportunity to get out into the forests and streams on our campus at Brevard Music Center. On field trips and expeditions, children go deeper into the Bracken Preserve, Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, and beyond. We believe connection to the natural world cultivates learning from within, fosters whole child development, and reinforces care for self and others. This connection is facilitated by practicing environmental responsibility in all aspects of school life, creating hands-on learning opportunities within the natural world, and providing ample unstructured physical exercise and exploration in the outdoors.


The mountains and forests of Western North Carolina serve as an important area of learning for our children and our families. For our youngest students, the unstructured play of daily outdoor time on our campus turns into a grand adventure. As children get older, they go out on a variety of expeditions. Lower Elementary students begin with family camping trips, and Upper Elementary and Middle School students go on multi-day backpacking and camping trips in the forest or to outdoor education centers like Buffalo Cove. 


When children understand the connections between the species around them, they begin to have a more complete understanding of their relationship to nature and their place in it. Whether through the simple act of recycling or composting or through the in-depth study of ecosystems and ecology, Mountain Sun students recognize the complex network of relationships and consequences that make up the natural world.


We value the power of play in the outdoors, from the personal and group transformations that are possible in the woods to the understanding of how seeds emerge. We have spaces on campus to introduce students to the fundamentals of gardening, plant care, and the importance of vegetation on the environment. Our students play in the dirt, dig in sandboxes, rake up leaves, and discover the beauty in and around our local streams and rivers. This outdoor play transfers into the classroom as students care for indoor plants, plan outdoor field experiences, discover games as works in the classroom, and more. The benefits of free, unstructured play in the outdoors are endless, from improving cognitive abilities, physical health, self-discipline, and stress management, to supporting creativity, problem-solving skills, and improving academic performance.


Mountain Sun believes that the freedom to create art and express ourselves is a vital part of what makes us fully human. Our school nurtures creative self-expression and individuality through regular dedicated art and music classes and access to creative materials throughout the classrooms. We encourage each child to experiment with a variety of artistic media and draw connections between art and the world.


Creative expression of identity is fundamental to a child’s development. Daily opportunities are provided for children to cultivate creative expression and integrate such expression into the learning of traditional academic material. Often, our art lessons incorporate the natural world through representation, abstraction, or the use of natural materials.


Mountain Sun encourages students to enjoy creating a variety of objects. Children may receive lessons in pottery, knitting, crochet, embroidery, felting, and carving. Indoors and out, children learn to take pleasure in the work of their hands.


Through lessons and frequent group singing, Mountain Sun students learn to appreciate the joys of creating music. In the younger grades, children learn the fundamentals of rhythm and melody. Older children are introduced to the basics of music theory, harmony, and learning to play an instrument.


Above all, our students and their families embrace belonging to a diverse and thriving multi-age community. Mountain Sun celebrates difference and strives to create an inclusive and accepting environment in which we appreciate each person’s unique gifts and strengths. In such an atmosphere of compassionate trust, each individual is able to grow and thrive. We believe the school should play an integral role in the development of a child’s communication, collaboration and conflict resolution skills as they serve a variety of communities locally and globally.


In addition to the importance of independent, individual work, Mountain Sun students frequently work together on both daily work and larger projects. Our classrooms enjoy the quiet hum of productive collaboration as students turn to each other for advice or assistance on the work. The multi-age classroom creates many opportunities for collaboration and friendship across the grades, as the older students emerge as mentors and leaders for the younger students learning their way.


Montessori education is fundamentally an education of peace. This peace begins with the individual child developing an increasingly complex emotional vocabulary and expression. Each child learns how to become focused, calm, and expressive appropriate to their developmental phase. This peace then extends to developing peace with others. In any group, it is natural for conflict to arise, and, in many ways, the productive resolution of this conflict is some of the most important work for children and adolescents. Each of our classrooms has a peace table where children are able to find calm and talk through challenges. Beginning with our youngest students, we teach the language of peaceful conflict resolution utilizing active listening and empathy. As they grow, children expand their natural ability to have healthy, rewarding relationships with other children and adults.


Through active contributions to the school community and service learning projects, Mountain Sun students realize their connections and responsibilities to communities near and far. By tending to their classrooms and each other, our students practice acts of kindness that build a foundation of caring that can extend outward. As they get older, they engage in service projects to understand and help other communities in Brevard and the world at large.

Contact Us Today

Questions about admissions? Interested in taking a tour of our campus with your family?