Specialist Classes

The power to take risks

A vital part of our educational philosophy is giving children the time to pursue talents and interests with teachers who are specialists in their fields. Since our founding, we have been committed to educating the whole child and we approach our diverse specialist programs with the same attention to detail as our classroom curriculum.

Our specialist teachers work closely with our classroom teachers to enrich the classroom experience.

Children's paintings of Oakland history


At Aurora, our art room motto is “Take Risks – Make Mistakes”. Students study art and artists from around the world, flex their “mistake muscles” and let their creativity soar. The process of discovery and self-expression is emphasized over the final product.

Teacher helping elementary student with STEM project on computer

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Each year, our 2-5 grade teachers utilize Bridges in Mathematics to lead our students through an 8 week STEM unit applicable to their grade level. Our middle schoolers engage in STEM Quests all year long in 6 week units with our middle school STEM Guide.

    Kids sitting on library floor, looking at books together


    Although Aurora is a small school, our library is one of the largest in East Bay independent schools with over 10,000 books for children to borrow every week. For many students, the love of books and the joy of reading is sparked with weekly library exploration.

    Elementary school kid playing xylophone

    Music & Band

    The music program at Aurora School is based on the philosophy and practices of Orff Shulwerk. This approach is characterized by active involvement in music making through the body, voice, movement, and work on specially designed Orff instruments. Students learn how to read and write music. Our middle schoolers have band class once a week, where they learn and play instruments together and perform in front of the school throughout the school year.

    Kid playing on bars outside

    Physical Education

    Physical Education is not only fun, but it is also an important piece of our social-emotional curriculum. Our program strikes a good balance between individual and group activities, as students learn the concepts of fair play, cooperation, sportspersonship and teamwork.

    "Hola" spelled out in child's letter blocks


    Students are fully immersed during Spanish class with many opportunities to hear, speak, create and move while using Spanish vocabulary. We focus on comprehension and speaking in the early years and build reading and writing abilities in later grades. 

    Woodshop teacher and elementary student working together


    Students in all grades attend woodshop in small groups, where they build knowledge and confidence through woodworking projects. Students take the lead on projects that are process oriented and practice tool safety, using a vice, cutting with a handsaw, sanding and measuring.


    Rolling admissions are open for the 2023-24 school year!
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