Where life and learning are one.

Where life and learning are one.

About Us

How we do school differently.

We believe children are innately curious and that excitement is the key to learning. Education is a lifelong process, and it’s our role to assist, direct, and challenge students in a way that fosters cooperation and joy. At Kino, we believe that children are essentially compassionate and inquisitive. If nurtured in a caring environment with trust and respect, they’ll grow into engaged and happy adults.

Kino students experience joy in learning and delight in life, for learning and life are one.

The Kino School Experience

What makes us unique.

Red heart doodle.

Our homerooms build community.

At Kino, our multi-age homerooms are an essential part of our community. It is a time for students and teachers to come together and build mutual trust, respect, understanding, and love for learning. Our homeroom teachers work closely with students to help them make their schedules, communicate with parents, and check in throughout the day.

Rainbow doodle

Learning is bigger than a classroom.

We believe the world around us is a classroom, and our open-concept learning environment reflects this belief. Our campus encompasses 10 acres of lush desert, including an animal center, greenhouse, unique playground, and walking trails. We encourage field trips, apprentice work, and community service as opportunities to connect what students learn in class and what they experience outside of school.

Yellow stars doodle.

We think beyond grade levels.

Kino School doesn’t use traditional grade levels. Instead, we group our students into four main categories: Primary (K-2), Mid-Level (3-5), Junior High (6-8), and High School (9-12). Each category corresponds to a specific age range, and we base our curriculum on each student’s interests and developmental needs. Our educational practices are student-centered, small-group instruction.

Our Mission

What drives us.

Kino School’s mission is to cultivate a community where students of all ages develop a lifelong passion for learning. Our non-traditional education model adapts to the specific needs of students with varied abilities.

We Value:

Creativity
Respect for Others
Community
Diversity
Inclusion
Independence

Get Started

Your child is unique, and so is our process.

Begin our enrollment process by scheduling your tour.

A person doodle reaching for the stars.

Get Started

Your child is unique, and so is our process.

Begin our enrollment process by scheduling your tour.

Our Newsletter

What we’re up to.

Solar Eclipse

This Monday was a total solar eclipse! Thanks to a generous donation by Christine (Nathan's mom), all the students (and teachers) were able to wear solar eclipse glasses to safely view the eclipse. Scott even brought in his telescope (with a special filter) so the...

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Project Week

This week was Project Week at Kino! It was hard to keep track of all the fun projects throughout the week. Here are some workshop highlights: scrapbooking with Neha, knitting with Cezanne, painting the basketball court with Tony, a picnic with Caroline, sheep shearing...

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Career Panel & Ken’s Goodbye Party

Career Panel This week, Serena (our counselor) organized a career panel for our high schoolers. We had five panelists speak: Andrew, an electrical engineer who specializes in digital signal processing; Caleb, an apprentice at a local construction company; Genesis, a...

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Give to Kino

Support our mission.

Kino School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It depends, in part, on the support and engagement of our parents, alums, friends, and students to ensure the school has the resources to sustain our mission. All donations are fully tax-deductible!

A stick figure holding up a heart.

Testimonials

What Kino families have to say.

“I asked my nine-year-old what she’d write in a review of Kino and she said, “Kino school is very flexible. And their learning is *fun*.”

My 14 year old’s favorite classes are plant science, theater, and history, which with my child’s past experience with other schools is a jaw dropping testimonial.

This model of education including the smaller class sizes and no testing or homework in younger grades, the emphasis on students learning about themselves and figuring out how they learn best and taking charge of their education, alongside an amazing level of resources they’ve developed over so many years is all just incredible to me: the veggies my 14 year old picks and snacks on from a class taught outdoors and in a gorgeous greenhouse (and coming home inspired and sharing knowledge for gardening projects at home), a music/recording studio that I’m so jealous of, a beautiful and wide variety of art and pottery offerings that would draw even the most hesitant of child in, the animal husbandry and care and free play and nature outings on their 10 acres of gorgeous property offerings, so many computer and science resources, math and language arts classes that my kids find engaging and empowering, an amazing spanish as a second language program that my youngest child regularly raves about and practices for – just to name what’s been most important to my kids.

Watching my kids and their peers get to benefit from all these (40+!) years of care and intentionality of curating beautiful and child accessible resources and environment combined with a philosophy that doesn’t have to sacrifice the students’ individual developmental needs or opportunities to focus on their strengths in order to “teach to a test” leaves me feeling gratitude on a daily basis.”

Rachel J. (Mother of 2 Kino kids)

“I assisted in the search for the right school for my grandson after public school with it’s large class sizes had been an overwhelming challenge for him. He eventually was placed in occasional small “special help” sessions as well as placed in the gifted program, largely due to many efforts by his parents to provide accurate assessments.

Visiting Kino I learned my grandson would not be treated differently than his classmates, as they all would be learning at their own pace, where teachers would assess how each best learned. Students were not confined to one room – instead it is an open setting with opportunities at times to choose an educational focus (though the days begin with half hour home rooms). Wow, wish I’d had this interesting approach in the primary school I’d attended !!

An administrative person first introduced me to the Reading Specialist, and from her first sentence I knew she would be a great asset for my grandson – with her kindness and easy-going nature. Learning would not be a stressful experience at Kino. My grandson’s progress has been dramatic.

The animals impressed me as a big plus, as was the policy to not assign homework (until high school I believe). In public school my grandson refused to do homework and also often refused to work on class assignments – the teacher expressed frustration that he would sit holding his pencil and just not even begin. He does not learn through mounds of repetition, but through an interesting curriculum with innovative methods – and you will find these at Kino !!!”

Sharon H. (Grandmother of a 9 yr. old student)

“Kino School has been and continues to be an amazing experience for our children and family. We appreciate the family-friendly start time, we can drop our children off between 8:00 am and 8:30 am. Kino’s no homework philosophy has meant more quality time with our children after school, and fewer arguments. Kino has an animal center where we volunteer on the weekends to feed animals. Within a few months, we noticed a change in how our children communicated with us–there was a new depth and understanding. Our children actually enjoyed telling us about their day at school and they made new friends quickly. Conversations with teachers are frequent and focused on learning and the skills/behaviors needed to be contributing members of the Kino School. If you are looking for options for your children, I highly encourage you to pick up the phone and call. Schedule a tour for yourself and a 3-day visit for your child(ren). We considered several schools including Basis Oro Valley, The Academy of Arts & Sciences, and Desert Christian School. We selected Kino School because 90% of its graduates go on to complete college education and contribute to the betterment of their community.”

David T. (Father of three Kino kids)

“Kino School (K-12) located in Tucson Arizona saved our kid. Elementary School at a charter school was great for our child.  He was an enthusiastic learner, loved his subjects and made many great friends.  And then came middle school.  Every class had 30+ students, tests every week and 2-3 hours of nightly homework.  Unfortunately, our child was constantly bullied.  This all added up to an anxious, unhappy and hostile child.  Something had to change.  Upon a recommendation from another parent, we found Kino School!  Kino believes that children should be children first, and not a slave to a high paced, rigid curriculum which requires hours of homework.  Annually, students choose what topics interest them.  The teachers then tailor the curriculum around the students’ selected themes to make academic progress fun and interesting.  Another motivator is Kino’s Animal Care Center.  Our child learned to be responsible by feeding, caring for and training the chickens, turkeys, sheep and donkeys.  Our child has developed patience, empathy and self-confidence.  Scholarships and financial aid are available so attending this private school is well within the reach of any family.  The proof of Kino School’s success is that our child tells us,” “Thank you for sending me to this school!”

The Villarreal Family 

“I first heard about Kino six months before moving to Tucson, from an education specialist who thought it might be a good fit for my ASD child. Taking a tour, I could see not just my ASD child, but my neuro-typical children thriving there as well. Six years later, I have two kids attending Kino. They are safe to explore their academic, technological, and artistic interests — and to discover themselves.”

Starr T.

“My son did not start at Kino until the 9th grade and if I could go back and do it all again, I would enroll him from 1st grade. My son has learning disabilities and school has always been a struggle for him. We have moved him to multiple different schools, from the public sector to charter schools, trying to find a good fit for him and his educational needs. All fell short until we found Kino. The differences I see in my son are something I never thought possible. Not only is he learning far more than he did at any other school, he is HAPPY. Before Kino, he was a quiet kid with low self-esteem. When asked how school went, I was lucky if I got more than a “good” out of him. Now, he comes home with so many stories about his day and all of the cool things he learned. By providing a fluid and flexible environment that works best for him, he not only looks forward to going to school, and has actually asked to stay after school a few days a week. Change can be scary, but I am so thankful we took the leap. Kino has changed my son in so many amazing ways and I cannot recommend them enough.”

Christine B.

“Kino school has been a lifesaver for my son and our entire family. My son (now age 9) wasn’t able to function or learn in a public school classroom with 28 students. He was miserable, and would fight daily about going to school and doing homework. Now at Kino he is happily thriving with the family-like atmosphere, small class size, stellar outdoor space, and individualized teaching style. The teachers are experts in diverse fields, and students are allowed to pursue their many interests whether that be recording music, incubating chicken eggs, making mixed media artwork, or 3D printing a new computer design. The students at Kino get to move their bodies, be outside, play games and enjoy reading and learning instead of being stuck bored behind a desk all day.”

Jessica T.

“Other schools would tell me, basically, that my son is incredibly smart, but that it won’t matter in his life because he’s lazy. They would show me papers he’d torn up and pictures of his messy desk and then pull out 5 page long papers he’d written brilliantly and tell me, “He’s clearly capable, but just doesn’t care.” Other schools would tell me how he’s so kind to the other students, especially those getting bullied, and then he’d come home in tears because of how he saw others being treated – by teachers and students alike – and I could feel how isolated he felt. Now he runs a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with 4 other students on the weekends and their laughter fills our home. Now he’s a peer mentor and helps resolve disputes, at a student level, when they arise. Now his teachers tell me how amazing and intuitive his questions are, how funny he can be, and how dedicated he is when he finds a topic that really interests him. My son comes home now and tells me about his day. My daughter wants to go to school and pretends not to be sick sometimes, in the hopes I won’t keep her home. I feel like Kino is all the best of what homeschooling is, but with teachers better than I could be at this point in my life. I don’t feel as though I’m failing every morning when I drop them off at the front door. I feel, instead, that even when we can’t do family dinners or I’m so busy with other obligations I barely see them for several days in a row – I feel like, it’s okay because I’m doing something right. Arguably the biggest thing I can do right for them at this age.”

Heather M. (Mother of two Kino kids)

“Our family has been blessed to be associated with Kino School for the past nine years. Our son went there for two years, in 7th and 8th grades. Being at Kino for his Junior High years was just what he needed. That is such a hard age in life and I knew he was well taken care of at Kino. He became less stressed and more confident. Kino had a positive impact on how he was able to navigate his high school years at a large public school. Our daughter has been at Kino since kindergarten and is now in the seventh grade. The school could not be more perfect for her. She is given the freedom to use her creativity and to try many of the ideas she comes up with. She has had the ability to explore MANY activities and subjects and learn what excites her. She has learned to be very comfortable around all people in the world – all those who look and act different than her. She has learned to communicate with, lead, cooperate with, accept and care for others. Their student-led, hands-on approach includes an animal center, tool shop, science lab, music room, and multiple field trips. Kino truly is a school where life is learning.”

Monica H.

“My son did not start at Kino until the 9th grade and if I could go back and do it all again, I would enroll him from 1st grade. My son has learning disabilities and school has always been a struggle for him. We have moved him to multiple different schools, from the public sector to charter schools, trying to find a good fit for him and his educational needs. All fell short until we found Kino. The differences I see in my son are something I never thought possible. Not only is he learning far more than he did at any other school, he is HAPPY. Before Kino, he was a quiet kid with low self-esteem. When asked how school went, I was lucky if I got more than a “good” out of him. Now, he comes home with so many stories about his day and all of the cool things he learned. By providing a fluid and flexible environment that works best for him, he not only looks forward to going to school, and has actually asked to stay after school a few days a week. Change can be scary, but I am so thankful we took the leap. Kino has changed my son in so many amazing ways and I cannot recommend them enough.”

Christine B.

“Kino school has been a lifesaver for my son and our entire family. My son (now age 9) wasn’t able to function or learn in a public school classroom with 28 students. He was miserable, and would fight daily about going to school and doing homework. Now at Kino he is happily thriving with the family-like atmosphere, small class size, stellar outdoor space, and individualized teaching style. The teachers are experts in diverse fields, and students are allowed to pursue their many interests whether that be recording music, incubating chicken eggs, making mixed media artwork, or 3D printing a new computer design. The students at Kino get to move their bodies, be outside, play games and enjoy reading and learning instead of being stuck bored behind a desk all day.”

Jessica T.

“Our family has been blessed to be associated with Kino School for the past nine years. Our son went there for two years, in 7th and 8th grades. Being at Kino for his Junior High years was just what he needed. That is such a hard age in life and I knew he was well taken care of at Kino. He became less stressed and more confident. Kino had a positive impact on how he was able to navigate his high school years at a large public school. Our daughter has been at Kino since kindergarten and is now in the seventh grade. The school could not be more perfect for her. She is given the freedom to use her creativity and to try many of the ideas she comes up with. She has had the ability to explore MANY activities and subjects and learn what excites her. She has learned to be very comfortable around all people in the world – all those who look and act different than her. She has learned to communicate with, lead, cooperate with, accept and care for others. Their student-led, hands-on approach includes an animal center, tool shop, science lab, music room, and multiple field trips. Kino truly is a school where life is learning.”

Monica H.

“I first heard about Kino six months before moving to Tucson, from an education specialist who thought it might be a good fit for my ASD child. Taking a tour, I could see not just my ASD child, but my neuro-typical children thriving there as well. Six years later, I have two kids attending Kino. They are safe to explore their academic, technological, and artistic interests — and to discover themselves.”

Starr T.