Topanga Mountain School

knowledge naturally

A unique and innovative program that provides for a solid academic foundation in core subjects, inspires a love of learning and cultivates compassionate, well-rounded citizens.

Mountain Mail: 1/8/19

Hi everyone – we’re back!!

I hope that everyone had a restorative winter break. This year the theme for many seemed to be to keep things simple, including myself. My time was spent relaxing at home with a brief four day Christmas celebration in San Francisco. I have reached that wonderful (st)age where I am now hosted by my own children and get to experience, once again, the joy of a Christmas with small (grand)children still full of believe and wonder.

Art Show and End of Year Party

Our own end of the year TMS celebration and the Art Show set the stage wonderfully for this joyous holiday season. It was such a pleasure to come together as a community, something we have had little chance to do this year. The students created an inspiring art show/workshop. Thank you Kristine for, as always, elevating and generating real conversation and action around the medium, as well as providing the space and guidance for the children to produce such stunning thoughtful art.

Thanks to all of you for bringing great food and great energy. Thanks to Lori Mellman for always making sure the party happens and shepherding us all along.  Special thanks to Geoff Seelinger and John Coy for supporting Kristine in curating the show. Thanks to Lise Lauer for making the place look so festive and to Angela Lindvall for helping her with the set up. Thanks to Cindy Hitchcock and Bobby Espinoza for always cleaning up and making the end of the day an easy one for us, and once again to Geoff for staying with me to the bitter end.  And thanks of course to Liz who is there through out making sure it all gets done.

Finally, the biggest gratitude to all of you for honoring the work the staff has done this year with your kind words and your incredibly generous gifts. Thank you, thank you.


2019!! Happy New Year!!

It has been great to get back to school. This two weeks leading up to our trip to Big Bear the students are engaged in a special unit on Awareness and Navigation. I hope you have all had a chance to check out the booklet for the unit. The children are spending a great deal of time outside and are off campus most days doing field work relating to what they have been learning in the classroom.  

Tomorrow, Wednesday will be a full day hike (Calabasas Peak)

as will Friday (Stage Coach Trail, Simi Valley).

Please make sure your child has a couple of full water bottles, snacks, a good packed lunch and of course appropriate footwear and clothing for both days.

Drop off and pick up all week is at school at 8:15 and 3:30 respectively (regular carpools).

Here are some photos from our first week back….

Big Bear Winter Retreat!

On Wednesday the 16th we will head off on our adventure in the snow – and there will be a ton of it!!

This is a very different kind of trip for us. Instead of rolling out our vans we rent a bus to take us collectively, instead of sleeping in the open air we stay in warm cozy cabins and instead of cooking all our own food we get fabulously well fed by the staff at Alpine Meadows.

We spend our time playing in the snow, sledding, building snowmen, having snowball fights and we get to adventure on a rock climbing and high ropes course. In the evenings we gather around the fire playing games. All of this made even more exciting when done in exquisite flurries of snow. Truly a magical trip.

Please make sure your child comes well equipped to enjoy the snow. Being dry and warm makes all the difference. Water proof pants and boots are essential.

I know not everyone has all the gear – but maybe we could help each other out? If you have items to share I would love to hear from you. If you desperately need something let me know. Hopefully I can do some match making.

All the information for the trip can be found here.

Letter with cost and logistics.

A packing list.

Release - Please sign and return

Mark Your Calendar:

Thursday Jan 9th Director’s Tea – Room 10. Please RSVP

Sunday February 3rd Monthly Community Hike. Nike Missile Hike, Reseda

Monday 21st – NO SCHOOL Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Other things to know….

No Study Hall next Tuesday.

Check out the video on the “Our School” page of the website.






Topanga Mountain School  |  5920 Shoup Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91367  |  818.346.8355