Our Philosophy

Students studying the Huron River Watershed


Summers-Knoll School exists to prepare children for the future through a challenging academic program that considers the whole child in a supportive, encouraging, and joyful environment.


Summers-Knoll School is recognized as Ann Arbor’s only independent progressive preschool through eighth grade program.  The school’s unique combination of project and place based interdisciplinary curriculum and its focus on the development of key academic and 21st century skills (including creativity, problem solving, effective communication, community membership and initiative taking) makes Summers-Knoll School unique in the region.  At Summers-Knoll, we prepare students for success at the next academic level and for life.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The mission of Summers-Knoll School includes every member of our community. We welcome and affirm our differences and experiences based on, but not limited to, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, national or ethnic origin, and age. We also embrace learning differences and celebrate the many positive experiences and viewpoints that diversity, in all forms, brings to our school community. It is essential to ensure that these principles are not only policy but actively practiced and promoted. We apply our commitment through training and initiatives that support diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school community.

Core Values

High academic standards – work of excellence

Students at Summers-Knoll learn to value challenges, seeing them as opportunities to grow as learners and as people.  We meet individuals where they are and challenge them to take their learning to the next level.

Getting out in the world

We believe school needs to extend itself beyond the borders of the school walls whenever possible. As such, we connect learning to the real world by encouraging students to be active participants in the community and inspiring them to imagine their future place in the world.

Meaningful learning that is full of connections

We believe that children learn best when their work is connected to what matters to them and when they are given the opportunity to explore their passions.

Respect, community and belonging

We believe that a place where everyone is respected, known, and where diversity and the importance of empathy are nourished, fosters an optimal environment for learning.  At Summers-Knoll, we believe that that the development of emotional intelligence holds equal importance to the development of academic ability.

Experience the world

Summers-Knoll students learn through rich experiences in our community and beyond. Field trips are not rare occasions, but central to each child’s learning.

Explore our Signature Academic Programs

Preschool – Kindergarten
Through exploration, experimentation, and play, our preschool students find deep understanding in appropriate academic and social learning environments.

1st – 4th Grade
Our lower school students continue their interdisciplinary core subject discoveries with a focus on collaboration and independence.

5th – 8th Grade
Our Upper School students are prepared for success in high school, college, and life. Our program culminates in eight 21st century proficiencies by creating an instructional program so that students can apply what they have learned.

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