That same year, Nitai Deranja arrived at this new community near Nevada City, California. Nitai had earned an MA in education and a California teaching credential, but had been uninspired by his work in the public school system. He was eager to explore these new concepts of spiritual education.
That first year there were six students, ages four to eight. The school grew gradually and by 1986 had ninety students in preschool through eighth grades. Week-long Parent/Teacher Training Seminars were launched in the summer of 1976, and in 1979 Nitai finished the Art of Joyful Education, the first printed description of the Ananda Schools.