Founded in 1995, the Gardner School is southwest Washington`s only independent, private progressive student-centered learning environment, serving students from preschool through 6th grade. Inspired by the theory of multiple intelligences identified by Harvard professor Howard Gardner our community of teachers and learners recognizes and honors many ways of learning, thinking and expressing. Our whole-child philosophy integrates homeroom studies in mathematics, language arts, social studies and outdoor learning with specialist teachers in five disciplines: science, music, art, spanish and physical education. Preschoolers enjoy music, physical education and Spanish classes.Our small class sizes promote individualized instruction while our beautiful campus allows teachers to use all facets of the environment to stimulate learning.
At Gardner, we believe in creating not only avid learners, but inspired and engaged global citizens.

Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • School Type: School with Special Program Emphasis
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-6
  • Enrollment: 105 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $19,500
  • Average class size: 16 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Nursery/Preschool-6
ADD/ADHD Support
Yes
Learning Difference Programs
Yes
Learning Programs Supported
Individualized Instruction Opportunities
Year Founded
1995

Student Body

Total Students
105 students
Student Body Type
Co-ed
Students by Grade
The Gardner School of Arts & Sciences Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
17 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
6:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size
16 students
Classroom Dress Code
Casual

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
check out our website for more detailed information, including our tuition assistance program.
Admissions Director
Courtney Tomlinson

School Notes

  • The emphasis is on building a nurturing student community where individuals encourage and support one another, and where respect is given freely to all members.The school is a diverse learning community where there is an understanding of the impact of one`s actions on the community, on the environment, and on the self.Our thriving school community depends on the active commitment and talents of parents.
Source: Verified school update

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (12 reviews)
5  
I have so many wonderful things to say about Gardner that when I started to write my review, I was having a hard time figuring out where to even start. So, I turned to my sweet 6-year-old child and asked, "What is your favorite part about Gardner?" She smiled, gave me a thumbs-up, and said, "I love that we got chicks! And I also love pajama days. And I like that teacher Deborah is so nice." The Gardner School has become one of my child`s favorite places (next to Disneyland, of course). The teachers and staff are incredibly kind, accommodating, and feel like family. My favorite part of Gardner is their practice of learning through experience. The grounds at Gardner provide children a place to learn AND observe their world. The chicks that my child`s kindergarten class nurtured and watch grow from eggs, for example. What an incredible experience! My child came home each day and told me all about the growth of the eggs and was beyond thrilled when they were able to witness the chicks hatch. The small classroom size was also a huge draw for me because my child tends to be shy and uncomfortable in a large group. I also truly appreciate how the staff at Gardner focus on the children`s growth in all areas. Gardner has helped her find her voice and grow academically, emotionally, and socially. We just love Gardner so much!
- Posted by
5  
This school has been an amazing opportunity for my two children. I wasn't sure about how my kids would transition from a bigger public school to a private school, but it turns out they really loved it and felt like they could make better friendships, closer connections with teachers, and they grew in their independence and confidence. The curriculum is just so much more engaging for them- it challenges my advanced student, and it provides lots of creative ways of showing learning for my artsy student. They both say they don't want to go back to their old school, and they're so much happier here at Gardner. Highly recommend!
- Posted by
5  
We have been at Gardner school for 3 years now and could not been happier!! Teachers and staff are excellent and know every child by their name and their personalities. Kids learn in a playful supportive environment with plenty of outdoor activities. Overall, an excellent independent private school which lays a solid foundation for the very important early years of learning!!
- Posted by
5  
We love this school! Our daughter is so happy here and loves her teacher. We appreciate the small class sizes and special attention and the fact that there are lots of PE so she can burn off her energy. There are lots of learning and we like the schools approach to understanding our daughter's interests and motivations. It's been fun getting to know the other parents, and we all agree that the school really cares about our children. This is a really special place.
- Posted by
5  
This school is a gem! Our daughter has been a student there for two years and she has blossomed. The teachers are very caring, talented and experienced. And the school facility is charming. The value of small class sizes and focus on building character and knowledge can't be understated. This is the best investment we have ever made - we love this school!
- Posted by
5  
My son attended this school for the past three years. It was the best choice we ever made. He succeeded in developing confidence, a variety of skills, and a quality education. The school lived up to its mission to provide high quality education. He benefited from the numerous field trips, hands-on experience, on-site gardens/living lab and quality teachers. The school is transitioning but retains high quality teachers who make the experience and education of the students a first priority. We would highly recommend this school.
- Posted by
5  
We had a very positive experience with Gardner. The staff truly do care about the students! The hands-on, cross curriculum projects suited our son perfectly. The are outside, on field trips, developing their own questions and seeking solutions while learning to be caring, compassionate and curious kids. We would recommend this school!
- Posted by
5  
Our son is currently finishing 5th grade at The Gardner School, and has been attending there since 2012 when he entered 1st grade. While reflecting on our experiences there, three main areas come to mind:First, the community at Gardner is unparalleled. I remember back to when we first toured, and were told, "All the teachers know all the kids, and all the kids know each other." I recall thinking to myself, "Yeah, okay, sure... how is that possible?" But it's true! The community at Gardner is so incredible, and the kids really DO know each other and the teachers really DO know all the kids. It's an amazing and supportive community.Second, the focus on experiential and individualized learning is one of the main reasons we initially chose Gardner. The kids do not sit at a desk all day, they do not focus on regurgitating information to complete standardized tests. Instead, they focus on integrating information across disciplines while exploring their campus and their community. For example, this year my son's class was studying biology... the parts of a cell, mitosis, etc. As a part of this unit of study, they painted a type of virus/bacteria in art, wrote a song about the parts of a cell and played instruments along with the music, and created an animated video about the parts of a cell, all while still focusing on the nitty gritty learning.... Art, music, technology all integrated into what could have been simply a basic 5th grade topic of biology!Third, Gardner offers so much more than just classroom instruction. They play outside... in the rain... and will come home with paint on their pants and mud on their shoes... like EVERY child should. They have "buddies" that are older and/or younger than themselves. They go on field trips to complement their classroom experiences. They learn about what it means to create a business and the importance of philanthropy through an annual Gardner Market. They work with clay and oil paints, learn to play xylophones and ukuleles, sing songs in Spanish, and use technology to do video creation and editing. They have a garden where they grow vegetables, and even have an enclosed beehive in one classroom where the children can safely watch the hive activity through a windowed barrier while the bees have full access to the outdoors. It's so much more than just elementary school curriculum. Simply stated, The Gardner School is a very special place.
- Posted by
5  
After having toured many, many schools in Portland, we happened upon The Gardner School. Upon visiting, we immediately felt this was an amazing environment and the perfect school and community for our son. He has just finished kindergarten and has had a wonderful year! The small class size ensures that each student is met and challenged right where they are academically. His teacher and the classroom assistants have fostered a great sense of confidence in our son and he is so proud of his accomplishments this year. We also love that our son is already learning Spanish without the pressure of attending a complete immersion program. The art, music and P.E. programs are absolutely top-notch and the beautiful campus is perfect for hands on and outdoor learning. The Gardner School parents and faculty also work to cultivate a spirit of caring and empathy for others - 8th graders are paired with kindergarteners (and are often found voluntarily playing with their buddies at recess even when not doing a specific buddy program activity!), the students create blessing bags for those in need, and an annual student-run market is held (also a great opportunity to encourage entrepreneurship skills!) to raise money for local charities. Gardner is really a magical place - pulling up each day and watching my son jump out eager to start his school day brings me great joy! We are excited for our daughter to also attend next year!
- Posted by
5  
This is my daughter's second year at Gardner, and it's been incredible. The staff are so focused on the students. They all know my daughter by name, even teachers of the older kids who would never cross over in a regular school. My daughter is very bright. Gardner's innovative teaching methods allow her to spend time with peers her own age while keeping her challenged in different ways. The thing I love best is how open the staff are. You can (and I have) go to anyone for help, even with silly parenting questions. They really care about the children. They want them to succeed and feel good about it. If your child needs extra help in one subject, they can teach to that. If your child is above her grade in another, they can teach to that, too. They have prepared curriculum through grade 12, so overachievers will always given every opportunity to stay challenged. It's also worth mentioning that kids in all grades from preK to 8th grade have music, PE, and Spanish regularly.
- Posted by
5  
Simply an incredible learning environment! We have been blown away by the experience we've had at Gardner. The administration, teachers and student/parent community are top-notch. We have done a lot of reading about effective teaching methodologies - free play, in-depth learning of fewer subjects vs. superficially learning many subjects in order to pass standardized tests. This school focuses on how to learn and gives each and every child a true thirst for knowledge. It's important to know that this is not a school full of kids from privileged families - it's just a community of like-minded parents that work hard and sacrifice for a unique experience for their child/children.
- Posted by
5  
Our son will finish 8th grade this year, after having the good fortune of attending 4 1/2 years at the Gardner School. We have been very happy about his experience at this wonderful school. The teachers are the best; they are creative, caring and they engage their students in learning about the world and themselves. They are true educators, in that they foster the strengths and gifts of each student. I love that students at Gardner spend so much time outdoors and have a chance for physical activity. They also spend quality time relating to each other, with the older kids acting as buddies to the younger ones. From attending Shakespeare plays in Ashland to spending a week studying civil rights in Alabama, we have watched our son has grow and mature. Students are asked to learn in so many different ways: projects, productions, discussions, field trips, and collaborations. The academics are integrated with music, art, spanish and p.e. My son's skills have been nurtured and honed so that he will be ready for high school, both academically and most importantly to us in his self-confidence, his empathy and his character. We attribute his development to the conscious efforts of the faculty and the caring community that is the school's culture. I wish everyone's children could come to the Gardner School. It has been worth all of our efforts and sacrifices. We will be sad to leave!
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • School Type: School with Special Program Emphasis
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-6
  • Enrollment: 105 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $19,500
  • Average class size: 16 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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The average private school tuition in Vancouver, WA is $10,084 for elementary schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).

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