Mission Statement

Our practice is based on what we understand about children:

  • All children are curious about the world and want to learn!
  • Children learn by having experiences with each other with materials and the environment.
  • When school is integrated with the rest of the child’s life, it makes sense and becomes meaningful.
  • Children are capable of contributing to the group, learning cooperatively and being peaceful productive members of the both a democratic classroom and the larger school community.
  • Children engage in learning and demonstrate what they learn in many ways.

With the deep belief in the remarkable capabilities of each child we build on their strengths whether they are academic, artistic, physical or social.

We provide a safe and motivating environment for them to try new experiences to build on their strengths and to go further in the areas where they need improvement.

We provide a place where their natural capacity for discovery is stimulated and their innate and natural curiosities are focused into a context for learning about themselves and their world.

We encourage them to make connections, explore their interests, make good choices and be self confident about their abilities through the curriculum.

Children are provided the opportunity to integrate a wide range of skills and subject matter though a core curriculum. In this way, children study the history, natural and physical environment, geography, culture and people of a particular location and time to learn and think critically about themselves and others.

A typical first/second grade curriculum might focus on services in the neighborhood (fire station, police department, post office, etc.) or the buildings of New York City. Within the study there are field trips, rich literature, writing experiences, math activities and extensions and enrichment in the arts.

Our entire curriculum has a strong emphasis on developing research skills, critical thinking, problem solving, communication and socialization. As children grow and move on to the upper grades they go from studies of their immediate environments to the larger city and its history as well as other geographic areas and their histories.

We look at the children and measure their growth and development on an individual continuum. Regular curriculum letters, Director’s letters, individualized progress reports, portfolios and family conferences provide avenues of communication between school and families. Teachers use techniques of assessment such as anecdotal notes, running records and writing and math samples to analyze individual student’s progress and make decisions about class instruction.

As facilitators, we help the children come up with solutions and solve problems. Conflict resolution provides techniques for teaching children how to be peaceful members of a multicultural, non-sexist learning community.

School wide policies and practices are formed collaboratively and dynamically to provide a cohesive, unified, thoughtful environment for children. We are self-reflective and reevaluate our policies periodically in an effort to meet the needs of our children and ever evolving community.

Download curriculum outline (PDF)