History

Rolling Hills Preparatory School

Rolling Hills Prep School was established as an independent not-for-profit school in 1981. The founders wished to create "an academic powerhouse with a soul," believing firmly that, given talented, committed teachers, passionate about their disciplines and supportive of the whole child, a school can prepare young people for success and happiness in college and beyond without burning them out in the process.
 
Founded initially as the high school division of Rolling Hills Country Day School, the school began teaching in classrooms at Rolling Hills Covenant Church. Receiving accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and graduating its first class of just seven students in 1985, the school's reputation grew quickly. With this growth emerged a demand to offer programs for younger students. In 1992, RHP added middle school grades and moved to larger facilities on the Malaga Cove School campus, remaining there for fourteen years and adding programs in academics, the arts, athletics and outdoor education as the enrollment grew to well over 200 students.
 
In 1994, as part of its continuing commitment to program improvements, the school adopted the Four Pillars as guiding principles: Disciplined Minds, Sound Character, Healthy Bodies, and Creative Spirits. The innovative Outdoor Education program grew during the 1990's and was implemented in its current form, taking students from every grade level to a week-long outdoor adventure during the past decade. The school has continually sought to add new and creative programs, such as robot design, American Sign Language, horticulture and gardening, and computer science.

Renaissance School for Arts and Sciences

In April 2004, the trustees of Rolling Hills Preparatory School established the Renaissance School, which was specifically created to give the gift of time to middle school students who face challenges learning in a traditional classroom setting. The unique founding structure of two co-directors, who served as both administrators and teachers, created a “one-room schoolhouse” feel to the learning environment, where students recognized each member of the class as important and that groups are strengthened by diversity, whether cultural, behavioral, or intellectual.
 
The Renaissance School was intentionally designed to incorporate flexibility in the student’s program of study, allowing them to understand and master a skill before moving on to the next application or concept. The teaching approach of Renaissance School was, and continues to be, based on an educational therapy model, meaning teachers meet each student where they are currently in the learning process, teach in the moment, and have a responsibility to respond to the immediate needs of each student while building a strong foundation for future learning.
 
The curriculum of the school was developed so that students received instruction using grade-level content materials in all subject areas with a deliberate focus on the process of learning. By 2006, the Renaissance School curriculum expanded to include direct instruction in comprehension, executive functioning, social-emotional learning, and communication skills. Renaissance School expanded into upper school grades in 2007 and celebrated the first Renaissance Upper School graduate in 2010. As an evolution of the Renaissance teaching model, we developed the Career, Life, Academic, and Social Skills (CLASS) program that fosters and integrates life and career skills to prepare students for their transition into young adulthood.
 
Renaissance received high marks in its most recent full accreditation visit from Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the visiting team referred to Renaissance School as, “The Bentley of schools.” We took this as high praise, indeed.