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To thrive in the current century, students need to master a more complex set of skills than ever before.

While the traditional skills and competencies of foundational literacies such as math and the humanities are critical, research and our experience tell us they are not enough. To that end, we integrate foundational literacies, cross-disciplinary literacies, and metacognitive skills into our school curriculum:

Foundational Literacies

Students build deep understanding in the foundational literacies and learn to combine them flexibly in order to analyze, problem solve, and create. Foundational literacies include English, science, math, world language, physical education, the arts, and social studies.

Cross-Disciplinary Literacies

Throughout our program, foundational skills and competencies in traditional disciplines are interwoven into school curriculum with four cross-disciplinary literacies: cross-cultural literacy, ecological literacy, social and emotional literacy, and media and information literacy.

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What skills do our students need to succeed in today’s world? Our seven metacognitive skills are embedded across subjects and grade levels, and they guide each student’s educational journey: curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, community mindset, growth mindset, and self-understanding/self-direction.

Though we are a K-8 community and there are many moments, including twice weekly assemblies, when we all come together, our school is also broken down into smaller communities: divisions.

Lower Division (Kindergarten - 3rd grade)

Foundational Years: The Lower Division, or early elementary school, years are a time during which students develop a growth mindset alongside foundational skills and attitudes about learning and community. Students are developing rapidly physically, emotionally, and academically, and they thrive here in a nurturing and safe environment. During their time in the Lower Division, students are asked to try many things with the goal of helping them to discover their passions and develop a deeper understanding of what makes each of us unique. Small class sizes and experienced support teachers foster meaningful relationships and differentiated instruction in the classroom. Our ultimate goal is to provide students with the school curriculum and skills they will need to succeed and the tenacity to try again when they make mistakes. The students remain with their homeroom teachers for core subjects, visiting specialists for world language and specialists classes throughout the week. 

Middle Division (4th - 6th grade)

Emergence of the Independent Learner: The essence of our program in the upper grades is to develop critical and creative thinkers in the core academic subjects who can also make links and connections across the four broad literacies woven throughout the curriculum. Upper elementary school 4th and 5th graders learn core subjects in a homeroom setting and middle school 6th graders are led by homeroom teachers who guide their metacognitive skill development as they learn with specialized teachers for each subject in a weekly block schedule. Students in 4th, 5th and 6th grades have daily PE, world language four days a week, and specialized weekly classes in art, drama, and music. Moving through these years, students develop greater independence, confidence, and curiosity, taking increasing ownership of their learning process while discovering new interests and passions. 

Upper Division (7th - 8th grade)

Leaders of the School: Our 7th and 8th graders follow a weekly block schedule with both short and long blocks of time for core subjects alongside daily world language and PE classes. Students choose arts and creativity electives, during which they select from a range of courses including  art, music, drama, video production, dance, coding, and more.. Our cross-disciplinary literacies are taught even more formally in the upper grades through weekly classes in media information literacy, cross-cultural literacy, social-emotional literacy, and ecological literacy. At the center of the upper division experience is our mentor program. Every student is a member of a small group of 7th and 8th grade students that meet twice a week to connect, discuss issues in their lives, and engage in leadership activities that benefit all the students in the upper grades.  Each mentor group is led by an upper division teacher, guiding students in their academic, personal, and community growth over two years. Students graduate very well prepared to take ownership of their learning and be active, involved community members in high school and beyond. 

Click below to learn more about our school curriculum in each of our subjects and grade-levels.

Watch our Curriculum in Action with Mark Day Moments

8th Grade Media Literacy Week

Kindergarten Fairytale Engineering

1st Grade Immigration Unit

7th Grade Probability Game Project

5th Grade Colonialism

Kindergarten & 8th Grade Buddies

Kliptown Youth Program

7th & 8th Graders Study COVID-19

7th Grade d=rt Car Collision Project