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Curriculum Framework

At the heart of our elementary curriculum is a commitment to purposeful, structured inquiry. Our many subject areas are taught as part of an interdisciplinary, integrated whole, rather than only as separate, autonomous disciplines. This approach will help students:

  • Participate in their own education.
  • Acquire basic skills for analyzing and categorizing new information, data, and input that extends far beyond the classroom experience and is useful throughout their lives.
  • Begin to experiment with their own personal organizational strategies in order to determine what works best for each individual.
  • Aquire both trans-disciplinary and disciplinary skills.
  • Begin gaining an appreciation for diversity and a corallary respect for all the complexities that involves.
  • Gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance.
  • Develop an understanding of concepts, which allows them to make connections throughout their learning.
  • Develop attitudes that lead to global mindedness.
  • Feel encouraged to take action and initiative as a consequence of their learning.
  • Explore, recognize, and honor a sense of individual integrity which is inherently unique from, but connected to, the integrity of others.
  • Have tools for reflection so that they may give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and be able to analyze their own strengths and weaknesss in a constructive manner.
  • Be able to respect the views, values, and traditions of other individuals and cultures and be accustomed to seeking and considering a range of points of view.
  • Feel well balanced and understand the importance of physical and mental balance and well being.
  • Act and feel confident in their ability to express ideas through language, mathematics, and artistic expression.
  • Be able to approach unfamiliar situations without anxiety, and have the confidence and independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas, and strategies.
  • Be courageous and articulate in defending those things in which they believe.

Latin class

Learning often begins with a question. Some of the reoccurring themes we use as a unifying framework for exploring the different areas of the curiculum are:

  • What do we know about the universe we live in?
  • What do we know about our own planet, as part of the universe, as separate from it?
  • How does the world work?
  • Where are we in place and time?
  • Who are we?
  • What fundamental needs are at work here?
  • How do we express ourselves?
  • How do we organize ourselves?
  • What will be my role in this?
  • How does this relate to other larger ideas I have explored? Smaller connections? Possible connections?

Our interdisciplinary program is designed to foster the development of the whole child, not just in the classroom but also through other means of learning. We endeavor to focus on the total growth of the developing child in a manner which encompasses social, physical, emotional and cultural needs, in addition to each child’s academic welfare. Through this approach, “knowledge” is considered to be a holistic understanding of feelings, experiences, and ideas, and not merely the acquisition of facts and skills. Facts and skills are indeed relevant, and are still an important part of the curriculum. The mastery of facts and skills, however, is always connected to the idea of usage and application. It is always recognized and discussed that different skills have different applications depending upon the different circumstances or subject areas in which they are applied. The focus is not on just learning the skills themselves, but also on exploring the applications in which they can most successfully be utilized.

In other words, what we have in common with all other elementary programs is our development, support, and reinforcement of basic reading, writing, math, and attending skills. All “the basics”. But here, we strive to do this in a way that emphasizes individual thinking and development, and is never divorced from creativity. We would like our students to become creative and reflective inquirers, thinkers, and communicators. We also help them become active, knowledgable, caring, concerned, and creative participants in the world around them.