We use an experiential approach: students learn by doing and acquire the skills to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. Learning materials and activities are multicultural, concrete, and relevant to children’s lives. Our curriculum is integrated and interdisciplinary. Students work both individually and in small groups.
The learning environment and lessons are developmentally appropriate to each multi-age grouping. Teachers differentiate instruction based on individual academic and developmental readiness. Children learn to set goals and take responsibility for their own learning. They learn about their role in the greater community through service learning and mentoring.
We base our curriculum concepts on the standards set by:
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- The National Reading Association
- The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Northeast Foundation for Children
Our teachers use a variety of instructional materials, including but not limited to:
- Starting Out Right by the National Research Council
- Words Their Way by Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton, & Johnston
- Everyday Mathematics, produced by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project
- Investigations, developed at Technical Education Research Centers (TERC)
- Word Journeys by Kathy Ganske
All our students study music, drama, and visual art. These subjects center on an annual schoolwide theme and tie directly to students’ core studies in literature, social studies, math, and science. Each student studies Spanish, learns about Latino cultures, and benefits from an international exchange program between Community School and a private school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. (Our Bolivian exchange program is currently suspended due to the pandemic.)
Regular technology classes begin in the lower elementary. Teachers integrate technology into the curriculum in upper elementary and middle school. We provide a fully-equipped computer lab as well as computers in most core classrooms.
We offer many off-campus learning activities ranging from class field trips to Fall Festival family camping trips. Middle school students enjoy Friday Group electives. All students participate in service learning projects.
We are a non-graded school. We hold quarterly parent/student/teacher conferences. Students set personal goals and compile portfolios of their work, while teachers provide skills-based assessments and detailed narratives describing students’ physical, social, emotional, and academic progress. We administer the Stanford 10 to our older middle school students and provide grades for high-school-level course work.