Specialist Classes

A vital part of our educational philosophy is giving children the time to pursue a range of learning 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 intention, as we do with our classroom curriculum. At Aurora, students engage in Art, STEM, Library, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, and Woodshop classes from expert teachers in these fields,  who integrate classroom curricula, further enriching their learning.


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. Students activate knowledge learned in social studies to inform design and creation of sets and backdrops for class performances.
VIDEO: Meet Aurora's Art Specialist



Science, technology, engineering, and math are taught in the classroom.  Iteration and design are at the heart of our STEM curriculum. STEM units are project-driven and work from ideas like designing and buiding playgrounds, bridges, and solar homes.
We use the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum for math. Math is taught to grades 2-4 by their lead teacher, and 5th graders work with Aurora’s math specialist.



K/1 students focus on rhythm, melody, singing, and percussion instruments. Grades 2/3 build on this by learning musical literacy and the joy of music and movement, and simple instruments like the recorder. In grades 4/5 they’re introduced to composition, music notation, and  creative expression. They play xylophones, read and interpret music notation, develop their sense of rhythm and melody, and explore the art of creative expression through individual and collaborative music-making projects.
VIDEO: Meet Aurora's Music Specialist



Aurora School’s library has one of the largest book collections in East Bay independent schools with over 12,000 books for students to borrow. For many students, the love of books and the joy of reading is sparked with weekly library exploration. Our library is also a place to learn about books, where discussions are held and students learn about topics such as Banned Book Week.


Physical Education

Our PE program balances individual and group activities, as students learn not just the rules of the games but the concepts of fair play, cooperation, sportspersonship and teamwork.
K/1 students work on mastering catching ,throwing, balancing, gymnastics and sports. Students in grades 2/3 learn more sophisticated sports and games, and grades 4/5 are ready to learn about setting goals, the benefits of exercise, and healthy exercise habits.
VIDEO: Meet Aurora's PE Specialist



Students are fully immersed in Spanish during class with many opportunities to hear, speak, sing, create, and move. K/1 students begin with learning basic vocabulary with an emphasis on cultural awareness. They learn greetings, ways to express their feelings, and how to discuss simple topics like weather, days of the week, and colors and shapes. Students in grades 2/3 expand their language skills by discussing subjects relevant to their lives, like their homes, pets, school subjects, and food. By the time they’re in grades 4/5 they’re ready to engage in conversations, and they practice discussions around topics like family, food, finances, and Latin American culture and history.
VIDEO: Meet Aurora's Spanish Specialist



Students in all grades attend woodshop in small groups, where they build knowledge and confidence through woodworking projects. They take the lead on projects and practice tool safety always. In K/1, students are introduced to basic hand tools and techniques, and a hands-on understanding of what wood is and how to make simple, fun toys. In grades 2-5 they work on more advanced, semester-long projects. Middle schoolers build their own school lockers, boats, treasure chests, and various small creative projects based on their interests.
VIDEO: Meet Aurora's Woodshop Specialist

Rolling admissions are open for the 2024-25 school year! Learn More
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