Spring into Art: Student Art Show in Tiburon

Come join us! 

Artist Reception • Monday, March 26
5:00 - 7:00 PM

We are excited to be showcasing artwork by MTS students in Spring into Art, an exhibition at the Tiburon Town Hall. The show is hosted in partnership with the Tiburon Heritage and Arts Commission. On view will be a selection of 30-50 student works that display a broad range of ages, materials, and creativity. Join us in celebrating the artist reception open to all MTS families and the broader community! 

Tiburon Town Hall
1505 Tiburon Blvd.
Belvedere Tiburon, CA

The exhibition will be on view through April 30, 2018.

Tiburon Heritage and Arts Commission
(415) 435-7373 (call for viewing times)
Patti Pickett

MTS Cultural Day - Brazil

Mount Tamalpais School celebrated the culture of Brazil at its 12th Annual Cultural Day. The jam-packed day was filled with fun Brazilian festivities including folk tales, samba dancers, capoeira, food, and workshops. Enjoy a recap below, as well as photos and videos from the amazing day. 


In the morning, parent volunteers visited lower school classes, leading students in projects and reading Brazilian stories. Rob Potter then kicked off the all school gathering with a keynote slide show presentation, offering a glimpse into the history, geography, and culture of Brazil that was then followed by Amor do Samba dancers Jazz Elaine Baptist and Halima Mahdee as well as a performance by the ABADA Capoeira Dance Troupe. After a lunch featuring Brazilian Cuisine of Pão de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), Bobo de Camarao (savory chowder), Empanadas, and Feijoada (black bean stew), the Middle School attended a series of afternoon workshop presentations as described below.

Afternoon Workshops - Middle School


Brazilian Treasures and Treats - Jaiara Almeida Boudreaux shared interesting treasures and artifacts from Brazil. She talked about her experiences growing up in Brazil, and told her life stories about Brazilian food, animals (jaguars), school, Carnival, and soccer. Students also enjoyed delicious Brazilian lemonade and some treats of plantain chips. 


Brazilian Masks - MTS Art Teachers, Tyler Bewley and Evy Packer, introduced students to Kalapalo masks created by the Kalapalo indigenous tribe who live on the banks of the Xingu River in the Amazon Rainforest. The masks were made using acrylic paint and hemp on painted cardboard. 



Rainforest Reptiles - Tree Frog Treks wowed students with Trucker the red-footed tortoise (not to be confused with a turtle!), a boa constrictor named Rocky, an orange tree frog, and a tarantula, all native to the Brazilian Amazon forest. Tortoises like Trucker are "pets-for-life" as they can live up to 80 years old, and they are veritable "garbage disposals" as they will eat just about anything, including carrion.  


Samba Dance - Dancers Jazz Elaine Baptist and Halima Mahdee from Amor do Samba of San Francisco taught students some basic samba steps and then showed how to incorporate them into a short routine. 




Capoeira - Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. Diego Fretias and Lisa Silva from ABADA Dance Troupe introduced students to some simple Capoeira techniques.




Pachamama Alliance - In the final workshop of the day, Pachamama Alliance gave a presentation on their organization. The Pachamama Alliance is a global community that works to empower the indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just, and sustainable world. 

Watch videos below to see additional highlights from the day. You can also watch Rob Potter's Introductory Brazil Day Slide Show Presentation here

MTS Eighth Grader Qualifies for Semifinal State Geography Bee


We are proud to announce that eighth grader, Rob Rudy, has qualified to compete in the 2018 California National Geographic State Bee. It's no small accomplishment as the state of California has somewhere between 3000-4000 school finalists take the standardized test to determine who will be among the 100 state finalists. Rob is the 12th student from Mount Tamalpais School to be eligible in the last 20 years. 

In December, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students competed against one another in the MTS School Bee to earn the chance to represent our school at the state competition. Rob was the last one standing with his correct response to the question, "In 1991, Abuja replaced Lagos as the seat of government of which West African country?" (Answer: Nigeria.) As school champion, he went on to take the qualifying test to earn an invitation to the State Bee. Rob was one of the 100 top-scoring students invited by The National Geographic Society to participate in the state semifinal event.

This year will be the 30th Annual National Geographic Bee, and the contest will be held at the California State University, Fresno on Friday, April 6. The top 3 state finalists will win cash prizes, college scholarships, and the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to compete in the final National Geographic Bee Championship, which will be streamed live starting May 24, 2018, at www.natgeobee.org


6th Graders Artwork to be Shown in SF Art Exhibition


The Surfrider Foundation is hosting an annual art and education event to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, and artwork produced by Mount Tamalpais School 6th graders will be featured in the exhibition. The artwork will be on view at The Venue of the Palace of the Fine Arts from February 23-25 . 

The 6th Grade class began this art project by learning about the environmental impact of plastic waste on marine habitats. The students watched videos about the formation of trash gyres throughout the worlds oceans and learned how plastics enter our oceans and the marine food chain. Finally, the class discussed ways in which they could make difference through local efforts and at home.


This art project represents the culmination of the student’s experience. Using mixed media including oil pastel, watercolor, color pencil and collage, each work is an abstraction of the Pacific Garbage Gyre and represents the most common plastic wastes found in our oceans as well as the process of photo-degradation. The final compositions will be included in the Surfrider Foundation's annual Message in a Bottle Art and Education exhibition. The event seeks to shed light on the major issue of marine plastic pollution and features art from schools around the Bay Area as well as from working Bay Area artists.

Sixth Grader, Oliver, from the class was motivated by the lesson to participate in a beach clean-up at Stinson Beach. He was surprised that they were able to collect 10 pounds of trash in just 10 minutes. Hear Oliver talk about the experience in the video below. 

A Message In a Bottle Art and Education Event
Hosted by the Surfrider Foundation
The Venue of the Palace of the Fine Arts
3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123
February 23-25

Friday, February 23, 6-10pm – Gallery Opening RSVP here.
Saturday, February 24, 10am-2pm – Open House & Craft Day
Sunday, February 25, 10am-2pm  – Student Appreciation Day

For more information, visit the event website

Third Graders Visit the San Francisco Symphony

Third graders had the opportunity to go see the San Francisco Symphony on a field trip earlier this week. The Symphony performed their Concert for Kids: "Music Here, There, Everywhere!"

The group especially loved the brass section performing Quidditch music from "Harry Potter" and the Brazilian song "Tico-Tico." After the concert, students got to speak with the percussionist from the orchestra who is a childhood friend of Jen Bennett. 

The gorgeous sunny day made it distinctly fun to cross the bridge into the city, and enjoy a snack outside in the plaza. A special day for everyone!

Project-Based Learning, Ancient World History, & The Archaeological Dig

understanding cultures and ancient history in Nancy's 6th Grade Social Studies Class

While we are continually looking for ways to evolve our curriculum, some class projects are too good to give up. A case in point is Nancy's 6th grade social studies "Archaeological Dig Project." Project-based learning at its best, this ancient world history lesson has students develop an understanding of different cultures and the way that humans construct history from incomplete data by creating and deciphering their own invented civilizations. 

The project has such long-lasting impact, that it inspired MTS Alum (1986), Justin Wells, to launch a life-long career in education, as well as become an expert in and write a book on project-based learning. In a book he recently co-authored, Transforming Schools: Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core Standards, the authors describe the project in detail. Read the following excerpt from the book below to learn more about the project.

Lawrence Hall of Science Field Trip

Seventh graders had the opportunity to visit the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley last week. Students viewed the current science exhibits, as well as participating in two hands-on lab projects. The first was an engineering project in the Ingenuity Lab where students were challenged with making objects using pivots and linkages. In the second classroom workshop, students learned about and dissected squids. 

Robot Dash Visits Kindergarten

Dash visited the kindergarten class today giving students the opportunity to learn about programming robots. Together they figured out how to give Dash directions to different places on the map. By placing certain "puzzlet" pieces into the play tray, they could give Dash simple directions, such as go straight, turn right, or turn left. After successfully programming Dash to go to both the playground and the zoo, students were treated to a couple surprise commands that enable Dash to laugh, blow a kiss, or "vroom" across the room. So much fun!

Impressive Performances at the Winter Recital 1

Impressive performances by students in grades 3-5 at the first Winter Recital last night in a big range of styles and talent.

Third grader Aggie performed a song "Smoke in the Air" that she wrote about the Marin fires, and Rebecca did an incredible job on the harp.

Vocalists sang songs including from Adele, Hamilton, Beatles, and Annie, and others played violin, ukelele, and piano. Congratulations to all the performers for putting on a great show!

Discovery Museum - Try It Truck is here!

The Discovery Museum's "Try It Truck," an engineering lab on wheels, is here at MTS for its second week. The truck introduces students to the engineering design process and encourages them to experiment and try new ideas. 


Last week, K-2 had fun testing out their designs on a laser cutter, hammering nails into wood, and dismantling computer hardware. They also designed and created nests for hummingbirds and shelters for bats. 

This week, grades 3 and 4 are discussing the environmental challenges associated with all the plastic that ends up in our oceans and are working on devising creative ways to remove the plastic using the engineering design process.

We're very excited to have the truck here, and the students' enthusiasm has been palpable!

Click here for more highlights from the first week posted in our MTS Too blog. 

Basketball Season Off to a Great Start

The basketball season is upon us, and the MTS teams are off to a great start. 


The 8th grade boys team won their first game of the season 58-38 against Kent. They play again in two home games this Thursday, January 25 and Thursday, February 1, starting at 4pm. 

Both the 5th and 6th grade teams are undefeated after 3 games each. The 6th grade boys won both their last games 42-15 against St. Anselm and 22-16 against St. Patrick. Fifth grade boys won their last game 26-25 against St. Isabella.

Both 4th grade boys and girls teams won their games last weekend. 6th and 7th grade girls lost their games, though coach Cathal says they played very well. 

The Culture of Competition: Exploring the Evolution of Sports in the Media and Social Landscape

MTS Parent Education Speaker Series "Bringing It Home" presents Brian Murphy from KNBR's "Murph and Mac" morning show, The Culture of Competition: Exploring the Evolution of Sports in the Media and Social Landscape.

When: Monday, February 12
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: MTS campus (location TBD)
Link: To RSVP, and learn more about Brian Murphy

Bay Area journalist and broadcaster, and Mill Valley native, Brian Murphy discusses the value of professional and youth sports in the social media age. How are recent changes in our culture reflected in media coverage of professional sports, as well as participation in youth sports? From minute-by-minute reporting on Twitter to the ever-increasing emphasis on completion and success over participation and enjoyment, Mr. Murphy will explore the ways in which sports are a reflection of changes in our culture.  

This talk is open to MTS parents, students in fifth grade and up, and the greater community. Childcare will not be provided. 
RSVP required.

Klimt and Rodin at the Legion Of Honor

First and second grade art classes had the opportunity to visit the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco today to see the Klimt and Rodin exhibit. "An Artistic Encounter" is a collection of Gustav Klimt's works together with Rodin's sculptures. Rodin is known as "the father of modern sculpture," and Klimt, the pioneer of modern painting for his time. The exhibit is a rare opportunity to see the collection of Klimt's work on the West Coast. Students had a docent led tour to guide them through the exhibition. 

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!

Students and faculty alike are back on campus feeling refreshed after the holidays. We've been hearing what everyone did over the break and thought we'd share a few highlights with you. 

Ellie (age 10 in 4th grade at MTS) visited the San Rafael Arcangel Mission. The 4th graders are researching California Missions as part of the social studies program. Emmie (age 2) and her sister, Ellie, spent a great deal of time outside at the park over break. It's always nice to see siblings helping each other and cracking each other up!

 Kindergarten teacher, Julia, with her family representing MTS at the San Francisco Zoo. 

Kindergarten teacher, Julia, with her family representing MTS at the San Francisco Zoo. 

 Evy's family celebrating Carolyn's 30th birthday at Hog Island Oyster Co. Carolyn (MTS alum) is now a product designer for Medium Daily Digest in San Francisco. Also, Claire (MTS alum) is currently at OHSU Medical School, and Chris (MTS alum) is an account manager for Uber Eats in New Zealand. 

Evy's family celebrating Carolyn's 30th birthday at Hog Island Oyster Co. Carolyn (MTS alum) is now a product designer for Medium Daily Digest in San Francisco. Also, Claire (MTS alum) is currently at OHSU Medical School, and Chris (MTS alum) is an account manager for Uber Eats in New Zealand. 

 The Guarriello's enjoyed some unexpected snow in Portland, Oregon. 

The Guarriello's enjoyed some unexpected snow in Portland, Oregon. 

 Joelle's dog, Wilbur, living it up at the beach near Half Moon Bay. 

Joelle's dog, Wilbur, living it up at the beach near Half Moon Bay. 

 Nancy took this photo while camping at Steep Ravine Beach on New Year's Eve.

Nancy took this photo while camping at Steep Ravine Beach on New Year's Eve.

 Marcia with her husband, Greg, and 7 month old dog, Ellie Mae, at Stinson Beach. 

Marcia with her husband, Greg, and 7 month old dog, Ellie Mae, at Stinson Beach. 

 Andrew in Phoenix "relaxing" with family. 

Andrew in Phoenix "relaxing" with family. 

 Lots of late-night Monopoly and Yahtzee with out-of-town family for Suzanne's family this break.

Lots of late-night Monopoly and Yahtzee with out-of-town family for Suzanne's family this break.

Rob backpacking with his family. 

 DJ going on a hike with his son, Maguire.

DJ going on a hike with his son, Maguire.

Heather's daughter, Hannah, experiencing truly cold winter weather for the first time visiting her cousins in Wenatchee, Washington. She may have been ready to head back to California. 

Tracy tried out spin class in the pool for the first time while down in Cabo... and then had foot surgery on 12/21. No... the pool spin was not the cause!

 Mike on his travels in Paris enjoying the "glam and glitter" of the city over the holidays.    

Mike on his travels in Paris enjoying the "glam and glitter" of the city over the holidays. 


Impressive Performance of Beauty and the Beast

The 4th and 5th grade students shined in their rendition of Beauty and the Beast for this year's Winter Play at Mount Tamalpais School. All of the characters in this wonderful story learn that beauty comes from within. From Belle, Gaston, the Beast, and Belle's father, Maurice, to the Enchanted Objects, Gaston's cronies, and more, the students were transformed under the skilled guidance of the Performing Arts department instructors, Lindsay Berkovitch, Deborah Marcom, Michael Matson, and Jackson Currier. The amazing costumes and set design put together by dedicated parent volunteers left viewers to fall under the spell of this magical performance from start to finish! 

View selected scenes from the show in the video below. 

Fresh Off the Presses! MTS School Magazine

Hot off the presses is the Mount Tamalpais School Magazine, MTS News! Published as part of the Journalism Club, the student staff of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, worked hard during the first Trimester to produce the content for this impressive magazine. The class, led by Winifred Macleod, publisher of FastForward, guided students in interviews, school highlights, photographs, and news about life at MTS. The magazine includes an in-person interview with none other than Lemony Snicket, American novelist and author of numerous children's books including A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions. This interview was additionally published in the December issue of FastForward. Congratulations to the student writers for their accomplishment! Parents can expect a copy of the magazine by the end of the week. 

MTS Book Fair & Parenting Book Recommendations

The MTS Book Fair has kicked off! The School Library is currently set up as a bookstore today, Tuesday, November 14 until 5:00 pm and tomorrow, Wednesday, November 15 from 12:00-5:00pm.

Book Passage has supplied us with many wonderful reads. We have something for everyone in the family! You may pay by cash, check or charge. 15% of the proceeds come back to the school. The students' wish lists are available in the library. If you can't stop by, you may shop at your local Book Passage and mention MTS through this week. It's a great time to start your holiday shopping. 

Parenting books recommended by the Head of School, Andrew Davis: 

- Susan Cain: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

- Michael Thompson: Raising Cain and Best Friend/Worst Enemies

- Lythcott-Haims: How to Raise an Adult

- Chip Wood: Yardsticks

- Ana Homayoun: That Crumpled Paper was Due Last Week and Social Media Wellness

- Leonard Sax: Boys Adrift and Girls on the Edge

- Carl Pickhardt: Why Good Kids Act Cruel


Happy Reading! 


Big Hit – Fall Concert

Our recent Fall Concert highlighted works from the first trimester enrichment classes.  Those in attendance were treated to an outstanding show that included dance and vocal performances as well as a slideshow of visual art works. 

The evening ended with an original production titled "Unplug and Connect."  The scene study elective chose popular songs that spoke to the students.  Using the lyrics as texts, the class ordered the works to create a moving piece of dramatic interpretation.

Watch a few clips from the evening in this video.