Mission and Philosophy

Nestled on a seven-plus acre campus, Community School is a small, secular, independent school serving students ages three through fourteen. We value the whole child and seek to develop each student’s individual gifts. We encourage self-reliance, critical thinking, and creativity. We respect the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of each child. We strive to nurture brave, good and curious citizens who contribute responsibly to their local and global communities. 

For over 50 years, we have embraced a progressive educational tradition. We understand “progressive” to mean:

The child is at the center of the learning process and is given an active role.

  • Students contribute to thematic and curricular design.
  • We emphasize mutual respect between teacher and student and de-emphasize hierarchical relationships.
  • Our students set goals for their own academic, social and emotional development at required quarterly conferences with student, parents, and teacher.

We promote community building within the classroom and outside our school

  • Our students learn in a multi-age environment: students often spend more than one year with the same teacher in order to develop stronger student-teacher relationships.
  • Older and younger students regularly interact as buddies and share playtime.
  • We maintain small classes.
  • We frequently take our students off campus to take advantage of local resources and to be involved in community service.

Our teachers understand that education is learning how to learn.

  • We believe in an integrated and collaborative curriculum that emphasizes involvement in the humanities, mathematics, arts and sciences, and assumes that all are useful and necessary to every student.
  • We value experiential learning and empower our teachers to develop engaging and appropriate coursework.
  • We provide opportunities for students to take risks and to learn from their mistakes.

We have high academic expectations.

  • We present challenges that encourage problem-solving, analytical thinking and deep understanding.
  • We respond to each student’s individual level of development and ability and expect performance commensurate with a student’s capabilities.
  • We are a non-graded environment.
  • We provide narrative and skill-based assessments which address each child’s progress and reflect on an individual portfolio of work.

We go outside to explore, observe and play.

  • The outdoors is an extension of our classrooms.
  • We value play, both directed and undirected, and consider it essential to the development of social skills and independent inquiry.

Our guiding and central rule is called the BIG ONE: Treat yourself, others and the environment with care.

  • From it, we learn to take personal responsibility and to become accountable for our actions.
  • Students learn that diversity strengthens our community and that differences enrich our perspective.
  • We are committed to multicultural, nonsexist education that promotes understanding and acceptance.