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A Balanced, Holistic Education
Guest Author: Dana Abplanalp-Diggs, The Grauer School's Principal

I’m often asked what makes The Grauer School different from other secondary schools. We are a school founded on the core value of kindness. We believe that every student has an innate talent and, when given the space and support to pursue it, they will achieve happiness, joy, and success. We are the best at balancing expeditionary learning and relationship-based education with college preparation. Our talented faculty and staff work diligently to balance intellectual pursuits with resourcefulness and kindness. Academics matter and our courses are accredited by the University of California’s a-g curriculum standards and follow the standards set by the State of California. We also believe that compassionate young people that are willing to work for what they believe in are our greatest legacy.

Grauer's Middle School Varsity Girls Volleyball team posing after winning 1st place in the Independent Middle School League Finals - November 7, 2019

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend lunch with the Directors of Admission for both the University of Southern California and Santa Clara University. When asked what makes an applicant stand out among the thousands of applications received, Tim Brunold, the Dean of Admissions from the University of Southern California shared, “We want to see that a student is living their life with passion and purpose that is only theirs to define.”  I think that The Grauer School gives our students the supportive environment and space to find and explore their passions and purposes.

Grauer Marine Biology students Jake, Case, and Erik preparing to go snorkeling to survey fish and plastics in the ocean - November 4, 2019

In a typical Grauer School day, you will see students engaged in Socratic discussions in their classes. You’ll see them doing homework and working (and reworking) assignments to mastery. You’ll see them collaborating with their classmates and teachers, attending office hours, and utilizing resourcefulness as they employ a variety of materials to find answers to their questions. You’ll see them having class in our teaching kitchen, holding discussions around the fireplace in our Meyer Hall, engaged in nature activities outside in our habitat corridor, delivering presentations in the Carr Gazebo, and even doing math at Rico’s or a local coffee shop. You’ll also see our students taking on leadership roles, writing proposals for events (our most recent passed proposals were for the Middle School ASB to hold a dance this Friday and for our High School ASB to host a Food Drive), and engaging in internships throughout the community. Our students are writing and performing songs for Café Night, they’re developing photography blogs, producing films, learning second (or even third) languages, gardening, cooking, and taking physical fitness and health seriously. They’re engaging in athletic competitions, defending bills at Youth and Government Bill Hearing nights, and representing The Grauer School in Robotics, Mathematical Modeling, Science Olympiad, and at other academic competitions. And, they’re traveling on expeditions around the world and engaging in humanitarian service opportunities both locally and globally.

7th grade students Martina and Kiran representing The Grauer School at a FIRST Lego League tournament - November 11, 2019

As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our entire Grauer School “family” for the trust that you put into the school daily.  Your generosity and support are sincerely appreciated. We will continue to prove to you that, at The Grauer School, our students (and wonderful families) really do mean the world to us. 

Grauer High School students performing classic songs at Music Cafe Night - November 7, 2019 


Dr. Grauer loves to hear from his readers. Please click on the "Comments" drop-down box below to leave a comment about this column!

Photos for Dr. Grauer's Column

Grauer's Middle School Varsity Girls Volleyball team posing after winning 1st place in the Independent Middle School League Finals - November 7, 2019

Grauer Marine Biology students Jake, Case, and Erik preparing to go snorkeling to survey fish and plastics in the ocean - November 4, 2019

7th grade students Martina and Kiran representing The Grauer School at a FIRST Lego League tournament - November 11, 2019

Grauer High School students performing classic songs at Music Cafe Night - November 7, 2019 

Fearless Teaching® Book
by Dr. Stuart Grauer


Fearless Teaching® is a stirring and audacious jaunt around the world that peeks—with the eyes of one of America’s most seasoned educators–into places you will surely never see on your own. Some are disappearing. It is a bit like playing hooky from school. You will travel to the Swiss Alps, Korea, Navajo, an abandoned factory in Missouri, the Holy Land, the Great Rift Valley, the schools of Cuba, the ocean waves, and the human subconscious—oh, and Disneyland.

There you will find colorful stories for the encouragement, inspiration, and courage needed by educators and parents. Fearless Teaching is not a fix-it book—it is more a way of seeing the world and the school so that you can stay in your work and focus on what matters most to you.

"Grauer’s writing reminds us that Great Teaching, singular, rare, unusual, is something that should be sought after and found. Thank you.”
Richard Dreyfuss, Actor, Oxford scholar, founder of The Dreyfuss Initiative

Click here to order Fearless Teaching® today

Dr. Grauer's Column: Archive of Past Columns

Dr. Grauer's Column - Summer Breeze

We want to be the teachers of a great generation that rises to incredible, complex challenges with courage and clear thinking. In this week's column, Dr. Grauer shares results from The Grauer School's recent parent survey showing how our families feel about the current challenges posed by the pandemic.

Dr. Grauer's Column - The Moon in a Jar

The Grauer School's Class of 2020 graduated on June 5, 2020. Dr. Grauer's column this week features the text of his powerful keynote address that he delivered at the school's 29th annual graduation ceremony.

Dr. Grauer's Column - Voices Of The Unheard

The horrific, senseless killing of George Floyd was more than another murder. It was a tipping point for a broken culture that every one of us and every school has a role in.

Dr. Grauer's Column - Our Honor Code

Since students aren't under the direct supervision of their teachers during this unprecedented time of quarantine and social distancing, many schools including The Grauer School are revisiting the importance of their honor codes.

Dr. Grauer's Column - My Cause

Dr. Grauer takes a look forward to what school will look like in the coming years, based on lessons learned from the pandemic and changes to education that should be continued for current and future students.

Dr. Grauer's Column - Intrinsic Motivation

The Grauer School's weekly assemblies on Tuesdays are a special part of the school's community, and they begin with a message from Dr. Stuart Grauer. In this week's message, Dr. Grauer asked the students to think about what makes them intrinsically motivated to learn.

Dr. Grauer's Column - Quality Pho…

After learning this week of the passing of a friend, Dr. Grauer revisits times before the quarantine, to tell the story of a "survivor" who has some qualities we want to hang on to in these times.