One of the hallmarks of our school is the manner in which our children create, develop, and maintain connections to their learning, their peers, their teachers, and the broader world. Relationships are key to learning. Our children are known. They participate in the life of our city – its people and its places – as a way of embedding personal relevance and a sense of community responsibility. We interact with local theater groups, dance studios, community organizations, local authors, and other experts. We are developing partnerships that include opportunities for our children in stewardship and service. We have begun to build relationships in a manner that will create shadow positions and mentors, opportunities to define and solve problems, and forums for sharing thoughtful voices about those things that concern and inspire us most. A capstone on a Renaissance education is a multi-dimensional project that draws together multiple disciplines to explore and express aspects of a broad-based question in an attempt to uncover new learning.
As a school, we tap into local resources, expertise, and talents. This is in an effort to bond children to adults in the community and open doors locally they may not yet know exist. Those relationships and resources can fuel an investigation or create a relationship of support and encouragement, essential for growing minds. We also create partnerships that can sustain and extend children’s academic learning.
Our goal is to personalize each child's education, to challenge each child as an individual at the edge of abilities and interest areas. The faculty members strive to create balanced academic classes for morning studies in literacy and numeracy. In the afternoon, children are assigned to classes based on age, and to elective classes based on interest. Each child has a walking buddy (olders with youngers) and each child is a member of a family-style clan that performs school-wide service and acts as a conduit for information and school-wide connections. The entire school comes together for morning meeting, snack, read-aloud, lunch, and noontime recess. Children are encouraged to participate fully in each of these groupings. Sharing across the school and in small groups, with the support of others, has resulted in spontaneous declarations of inspiration: "I was inspired by __- to make this chart at home."