In the fall of 1983, All Saints' Episcopal Church of Beverly Hills founded a preschool to serve its parishioners and the local community. It opened its doors with four children enrolled and one teacher, Alise Shafer. It was a blank canvas with a palette of possibilities. A social constructivist approach was adopted as a theoretical framework, influenced by the work of Piaget and Vygotsky, among others. As awareness of the school's program spread through the community, the student population expanded and diversified.
In 1996, having outgrown its church setting, the school transitioned to an independent non-profit status, and the entity Evergreen Community School was born at our current Santa Monica location. This new, fully updated facility gave us the freedom to further refine our practice, unencumbered by the constraints of shared and limited space. These freedoms enabled us to more deeply explore our constructivist roots and the approach of the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Ever conscious of the impact of words to convey underlying meaning and points of view, we chose our name, Evergreen Community School, with care. Evergreen reflects our desire to be perpetually growing and reaching for greater heights while remaining steadfastly rooted in our respect for children's strengths, competencies and potential. Community is our middle name. The strength of our school lies in the relationships that we build; and further, in the sense of community that we create, both within our school environment and without.