Learning how you learn

The key is confidence

Main Street Scholars is a fully accredited private prep school for grades 7–12. Our academic approach is personalized, collaborative, interactive, and designed to encourage students to stretch themselves in new ways. We honor the talents, learning styles and interests of all our students and blend a structured core curriculum with interesting electives and customized courses. And, because our class sizes range from 1:1 to 1:6, every child has a “front-row seat,” making learning more focused and active.

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November 2021 | Past issues

A “Best-Fit” approach

Main Street Scholars works within a “Best Fit” framework, and every decision is made with one question in mind: Is this the best fit with our mission to build confidence in our students?

A principle part of this framework is that we share authority with all stakeholders—educators, parents, and most of all students, who are given a voice in their learning.

We believe that having clear roles for the school/educators (curriculum), parents (long-term goals) and the student (short-term daily, weekly goals) allows our students to thrive and parents to worry less, and all stakeholders to be empowered and feel more supported.

diamond-shaped graphic indicating that students follow the lead of school admin and parents until grade 7, lead thereafter

Main Street Scholars believes that the best learning outcomes happen with strong school/parent/student teams. Younger students (kindergarten through grade 6) follow the lead of school and parents, gradually transitioning to being SUPPORTED by school and parents as they come to understand their “why,” and begin to plot their own course (grades 7–12).


Main Street Scholars focuses on learning outcomes, with our ADVOCATES program providing clarification and measurement of what all students should know, understand, and be able to do in the process of their learning.

Best Fit Kids develop the ability to adapt and change to improve their education, lives, and the lives of others in their communities, including their families, at school, and within their local community. These kids meet challenges with an open heart and mind in order to build a better future for themselves and the world. They seek solutions to problems and use their education to guide their critical thinking skills exploring innovative and creative solutions to life problems they encounter.
Best Fit Kids find their own unique place within their community, then expand their experience to the greater world. These kids discover how to become a passionate and compassionate member of society by first developing a sense of self as each relates to the greater good of the community, through participating in hands-on community projects, reflecting on the community’s role in their own success as they develop global citizenship.
Best Fit Kids find and develop their “voice” as it relates to them personally, socially, emotionally, and academically. Kids discover their words matter and develop a sense of responsibility for how they speak to and listen to their school community. They develop a more empathetic and compassionate voice about the world around them by balancing personal needs with community needs. These kids use their voice to build up their own confidence as well as the confidence of others, and learn to understand and express their passions.
Best Fit Kids take ownership of their learning by accepting their role as a prominent team player. “Students discover their words matter and develop a sense of responsibility for how they speak to and listen to their school community” with attention to both intention and impact. Academically, they learn to take on the learning process and accept responsibility for doing their best to meet short-term goals (daily, weekly). They understand and accept that their academic team is built on a shared power structure made up of parents, subject experts, and the student.
Best Fit Kids reflect on their work, efforts, and beliefs to be better able to build relationships with community members, inside and outside school. These kids build confidence by questioning their motives in order to improve their life and the lives of people in their communities and by setting a course that empowers them to succeed. They learn to listen and to be listened to which leads to better decision-making building a personal sense of confidence. When kids are given the opportunity to explore choices, through successes and failures, they can live their life more freely and responsibly.
Best Fit Kids are thoughtful in their analysis and reflection about the world which encompasses their lives. These kids view and evaluate new information within its social justice, historical, and cultural context. They learn to develop a sense of their place and personal impact in the world through reasoning and understanding the past and present circumstances that play a role in how the world works.
Best Fit Kids are integral members of a Best Fit Team, made up of a parent/s, subject expert, and student, and for college-connected high school students, our college advisor. These kids succeed in developing an understanding of their role on the team, including how they learn, what their passions are, what their strengths and weaknesses are as well as accepting responsibility for their learning. Each student team member comes to an understanding of the value added to their life through their effort and participation within the Team. The Best Fit Team supports each child to become unafraid and accepting of the importance of making “mistakes” in order to build their confidence so they may become a self-reliant student who feels empowered to learn at a very high level in preparation for life.
Best Fit Kids bring their best to every class and understand the value of being well-educated, now and in the future. By fully participating in learning, giving their full effort, and recognizing the added value in life that a well-educated person brings to a community, Best Fit kids enhance the community and brighten the future for the world…these kids become not only confident leaders, but advocates.
Best Fit Kids are scholars (one who studies) who learn to understand that learning itself is part of the maturation (maturity) process, and the level and quality of curriculum provided subject experts leads kids to a deeper desire to learn more. These students are empowered by becoming well-educated by developing a sense of their world and becoming aware of the impact their lives have on the world they inhabit. Best Fit students develop the confidence to become the leader-advocates the world needs to thrive.

Grades 7–9

In order to prepare for the rigor of a concurrent enrollment during the high school years, students in grades 7–9 focus on and develop organizational and time-management skills as well as building their academic abilities.

Every student completes three years of English, history, math, and science in a 1:1 – 1:4 setting. Coupled with a rigorous academic curriculum, which is customized for success, each student actively engages in high-level-interest elective classes, such as horseback riding, tennis, cooking and sewing. This type of junior high experience builds confidence and prepares students for our college-preparatory high school.

Grades 10–12

MSS offers concurrent enrollment for students in grades 10–12, allowing them to attend courses at one of three local community colleges to earn college credit while receiving high school credit at MSS. Concurrently enrolled high school students can earn up to 55 transferable college units, and our Best Fit Team will work with your family to ensure that your child’s academic plan is created with attention to college-level admissions standards.

Our customized high school curriculum will include zoom, online, community college, and in-school classes, with the goal of ensuring the academic success of every student as they prepare to attend college independently.

MSS classes are A–G approved by the University of California and California State University.

PORTRAIT OF A STUDENT | Finding his own path

Kai began at MSS as an 8th grade student after being homeschooled for 1.5 years. Starting in 10th grade, he chose to do concurrent enrollment, taking classes at the local community college while continuing his high school work at MSS. He spent six semesters in junior college earning 55 college credits (39 will transfer with him), and was on the Dean's list for five semesters, earning a 4.0 in three. Accepted at every school to which he applied, Kai was ranked as a Merit Scholar by 11 different universities and offered Merit scholarships by seven. He eventually chose Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, because he can continue to customize his education as he pursues a degree in history. Juniata's study-abroad program also allows a student to choose a campus anywhere in the world; Kai is considering Paris, Rome, and Athens.

Kai became an Eagle Scout in January 2019, and graduated high school five days after turning 18. This confident young man hopes one day to go to law school, and then sit on the Supreme Court. He epitomizes what a hardworking, determined student can achieve when given the opportunity. Supported by his team—MSS, Liz Murphy, and his parents—Kai blazed his own pathway to success.

You may read more about how Kai customized his education in this article from the Half Moon Bay Review.

60 Stone Pine Road, Suite 201
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

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