Living a culture of learning
We believe that students learn best when using their minds to solve problems, create solutions, and collaborate with peers to make the world a better place. Curating authentic, fun, and purposeful learning experiences is at the heart of what we do. The experiential nature of our program ensures that all students find meaning and joy in their learning, especially as we break down traditional silos between disciplines that can limit solutions and innovations. Our unique approach of blending social and emotional learning with problem-solving and critical thinking gives our students the capacity to think about systems, contexts, and their learning from multiple perspectives. Students begin every lesson with why–why are we learning about math or multiplication, about revolutions or history, about communicating creatively.
Our school community is dedicated to limitless adventures in learning. We believe that every student, every teacher, every parent, and every leader has an ethical imperative on this planet to pursue learning and growth in every activity of our lives. Because our whole community is dedicated to being better for our world, we love learning, embrace mistakes as opportunities to grow, and challenge ourselves to be both loving and candid in our relationships with one another.
Our teachers are guides that ignite and protect the innate curiosity that allows kids to find joy in the art of learning, throughout their lives. They serve as guides, as facilitators of insights and discovery. Not as truth-holders, but as co-learners expecting to be surprised and moved by the inquisitive and adventurous potential of our students.
Lectures are replaced by labs, memorization by questions, textbooks by project plans. We are comfortable with complexity and find joy in questioning and exploration; in investigating the vastness of our intellectual curiosity. Our classrooms shine with imagination, creative expression, and a limit-less pursue of knowledge and meaning.
We see mindfulness, enhancing emotional intelligence, nutrition, and exercise as drivers of wellbeing – an interrelation between a healthy mind, a healthy body and a healthy spirit.
Mindfulness is intentionally weaved in our schedule through meditation, self-awareness and gratitude journaling moments at the beginning and end of each day. Our faculty and staff are trained in mindfulness to be truly present for students and practice self-awareness and compassion.
We believe that emotional intelligence and resiliency can be nurtured and that they enhance physical and mental health, social functioning, collaboration, and learning capacity. Developing abilities to be aware of our emotions and those of others, label them correctly, understand them, regulate them, express them, and use them effectively to guide thoughts and behavior is central to the work of our counselors and teachers. Fostering empathy, self-awareness, self-motivation, active listening, grit, and coping mechanisms to overcome adversity are integral to our approach.
Food and nutrition also play a big role in wellness, promoting healthy brain development, enhancing mental and physical performance, and regulating energy and behavior. Fresh, organic, healthy nutritious meals are prepared daily. We also use the origin of food, gardening and composting to advance curriculum objectives in culture, geography, natural sciences and sustainability.
Movement and exercise are also essential to learning, leading happier / healthier lives and stress reduction. Movement is directly related to developing strength, balance, coordination, and optimizing brain development to support self-regulation, understanding, memory, higher-order learning, and attention. Sensory and kinesthetic activities are integrated throughout the classroom and school day. Our fitness class is designed to support neurodevelopment and help children reach gross motor milestones. We incorporate specific exercises and movements that support children in integrating essential reflexes for higher-order learning and attention. Weekly yoga reinforces the mind-body connection, deepens self-awareness and provides space for reflection. Our athletic program and participation in team and individual sports further strengthen values like excellence, perseverance, responsibility, and promote self-learning and character development.