Culture of care and cooperation across socio-economic class

Child-centered space for provocation, inquiry, and innovation

Socially active child and school, engaged with the community



When you arrive to Untitled No. 1 each morning, we imagine your child will be enticed by the sight and smell of morning snack cooking in the kitchen and will want to join in on the preparation. Or maybe a slower goodbye will take place to the soft sound of music playing in the library as you cuddle for a few extra minutes in the library chair with a picture book. Some may need a bit of an extension of their night’s sleep to have a do-over wake up, while others will bounce in ready for morning stretches. There will be routines children learn in order to prepare for our day.

Arrival is offered within a time range (but not later than 8:30am) and we encourage families to allow enough time for this important “wiping off the road dust” beginning of your child’s day. Greetings are also foundational for us to feel seen, welcomed and safe.

The children and teachers will gather as a group for a morning circle to sing or dance or share a story and to chart out the day. Because the majority of the day is spent in small groups (6 or fewer) some children will continue with ongoing individual or group projects that they anticipate and plan for. Others will have a “day off” from projects, for example if it’s Wednesday and it’s their turn to shop at the Farmers Market for the week. Each day children will go to Ishihara Park around the corner from us, or to Gándara Park down the street, where they will have ample time to run, strengthen muscles and coordination, and freely play in a range of structured to unstructured ways. 

Morning snack is “self-service” buffet-style so that as children who are hungry anytime mid-morning can go to the deck to eat. This unregimented approach to morning snack aids children to grow aware of their own needs. Teachers will attend to whether or not a child has eaten in the morning.

Your child may be involved with all aspects of the snacks and lunches from planning, shopping, preparing, table-setting, serving and eating, to composting, cleanup and loading the dishwasher. We garden year-round too.

The morning ends with a second circle gathering of either the whole group or the smaller project group. This allows children and teachers to mentally process what they just did that morning, to self-assess, think through challenges together, and to anticipate next steps and plan. We value documentation of the learning taking place and this circle is one of the places it happens in speaking and writing, drawing and photos or video. 

Before eating lunch, your child will have had physical exercise and after lunch will take a brief nature walk before resting. Teachers will learn what benefits each child during the afternoon naptime – for some it’s deep sleep and for others it’s relaxation to daydream.

Your child will emerge from naptime artfully, stimulated by aural and visual imagery (occasionally of their own creation, recorded).

The afternoon mirrors the morning with children typically in small groups inside or outside the house and free play time. 

Before being picked up, children cooperate to organize and care for the house and for one another. When you come to pick up your child, you can expect a healthy amount of tiredness! But if up for a debrief later at home, have a look at Storypark together to re-live the precious moments of our children’s lives at Untitled No. 1!


Untitled No. 1 is open year-round except for holidays and breaks (which follow the Santa Monica Malibu School District calendar). Summer break is two weeks, and we also close up to five days per year to accomplish intensive professional development with teachers.

Our program is Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm, with options for early arrival at 7:30am or late pickup by 6pm, if pre-arranged in the Admission Agreement.


Fresh breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack are included.  We source our ingredients primarily from the Santa Monica Farmers Market, Co-Opportunity Market, our own garden, and the Ishihara Park Learning Garden, with an emphasis on organic and plant-based ingredients. We are not nut-free, but other special dietary requirements can most likely be accommodated.  Click here for a sample week autumn menu.

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Families are who we are. We rely on one another as we raise children, and this means we want to know one another well, to bond - teachers and families, and also to strengthen relationships among families. Everyone considers their children’s well-being paramount, so we build on that unifying fact and trust that we all have much to learn from one another. One significant way we fulfill our mission of unity is by hosting Family Forum (without children) at the house, once monthly for one hour (6-7pm). This is a time families share with one another about whatever they wish, about children.


We cherish the time you and your child spend with us, and to stay in close touch about your child’s development we communicate in ways convenient to you. We are responsive face-to-face, via email, and through Storypark.


Volunteerism is admirable! Untitled No. 1 welcomes family participation in myriad ways and we especially invite you to inform what we do with your expertise in your areas of experience. We also welcome you to join us on daily walks to Ishihara Park (a couple hundred feet away) or one of our other local parks, and on weekly food shopping trips via public transportation.


Our wider community can be considered our extended family, and we seek funds from individuals and organizations who recognize the significance of serving those who would not otherwise have this opportunity. We do not plan events to fundraise.

You are welcome to participate as a donor to Untitled No. 1 School as we have public charity status under our 501(c)(3) #47-5604182. 

And if you shop on Amazon, this can also benefit us. 



Untitled No. 1 is designed in collaboration with architects experienced in preschools steeped in our similar philosophies and pedagogy. The Santa Monica firm, March Studio, organized the Creative Vision Strategy around our core values. Our 3 design objectives each point to a design strategy to traverse and loop abstract vision to concrete plans.


to create an environment that acts as a teacher and a source of inspiration


A Questioning Stance – environment rich with evocative objects and exposure to the real world, open-ended environment flexible with room for play and discovery, diverse spaces and multi-sensory experiences


to achieve the highest environmental standards in the construction, operation, and curriculum


It’s OUR Earth – outdoor space is prioritized and shared, care for natural resources is learned and lived, sustainable school acts as a model for others


to create a cooperative community that supports social justice, world unity and peace


From Me to We – Untitled No. 1 builds on the community history, children and families come together to engage their community, Untitled No. 1 fosters social innovation to better the community


Our landscape architects, Terremoto, have created our play-scapes to address children’s development in needed ways. Children build their ideas into form using a variety of available materials, and their evolving thinking is observable in the sustained focus they pay to rebuilding, as they may also talk about and negotiate with others the worlds they imagine in this construction process. Constructivism as an educational theory is exemplified in the building, remodeling, repurposing, and demolition of what children construct with the materials (and in the “hundred languages”) at hand. 

The educational goal is for our outdoor spaces to have components such as logs and rocks of various shapes and sizes that can be moved around by the children to discover and learn concepts related to all the content they encounter in school and life. This requires a skilled balance of intimate teacher participation with simulation of unsupervised play. Niches in the back yard and the expanse of the front yard arroyo provide space and time for children to find what they could not if right beside an adult, and we respect their need for these spaces “off in the woods” to be “in the flow.”

The arroyo front yard is to be an immersive experience for a small number of children at a time to learn and play in what could be “land before time.” Before the I10 and houses and people were here and when earth’s earliest living things were home here, what was that like? By keeping this ~900sf area free of human-made hardscape we invite ecological microsystems to evolve, where children can discover worlds that they will tinker with and further find their power to interact with nature.   

Nature-based school proponents contend that everything can be learned outdoors. Our design team of March Studio and Terremoto collaborated so that what happens outdoors informs what happens indoors and vice versa. Children also learn in hybrid spaces such as the lab deck and lunch deck each attached to the house.




Untitled No. 1 is a certified California Green Business, and has the further distinction of certifying LEED Gold.  Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a rating system to evaluate the environmental performance of a building.

Untitled No. 1 is also the first WELL certified preschool in the world and has certified WELL Gold. WELL considers 7 concepts - air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind – to “comprehensively address not only the design and operations of buildings, but also how they impact and influence human behaviors related to health and well-being”. To be certified we are required to -

  • promote clean air and reduce or minimize the sources of indoor air pollution,

  • promote safe and clean water through the implementation of proper filtration techniques and regular testing,

  • have available fresh and wholesome foods, limiting highly-processed ingredients, and support mindful eating,

  • adhere to illumination guidelines that minimize disruption to the body’s circadian system, enhance productivity and support good sleep quality,

  • promote the integration of physical activity into everyday life by providing opportunities and support for an active lifestyle and discouraging sedentary behaviors,

  • consider thermal, acoustic, ergonomic, and olfactory comfort to optimize the indoor environment, and

  • optimize cognitive and emotional health through design, technology, and treatment strategies.

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