We want our students to get to know all they are and all they can be, by exploring all their unique talents and tapping their full potential.
We believe that it’s our responsibility to help our students get to know themselves and all their capabilities. Ultimately, we want to help them find their unique path to purpose and a meaningful and fulfilling life.
We start by offering students the widest possible range of opportunities to explore their interests and talents. In our Lower and Middle Schools, to supplement our engaging core curriculum, we offer an extensive variety of “specials,” robust required courses in the arts, physical education, science and technology, media, and world language skills to allow students to explore every aspect of themselves. Beyond this, students can also choose from a wide array of other optional experiences, in the arts, athletics, and a host of interest-based clubs and after-school activities to pursue emerging interests even more fully.
Moreover, we encourage students to reflect on these experiences. In Lower School guidance classes and our Middle and Upper School Advisory Program, they look back on some of the choices they’ve made and plan new things to explore. Advisors and guidance counselors monitor students’ progress and help guide them toward new growth opportunities. They also serve as advocates for students, helping each to choose courses and understand themselves as learners and as people.
This process accelerates in Upper School. In ninth-grade advisory and in our four-year college counseling program, students inventory their strengths, learning styles, and interest areas, in order to make focused decisions about course selections, extracurricular activities, and community service opportunities. Students are also exposed to a variety of guest speakers through the assembly program. In their self-designed, self-initiated Personal Challenge projects, students invest themselves in something they’ve always wanted to learn or do—learn Arabic or write a rock opera or restore a Jeep or any of a million other ideas that inspire their curiosity. In the process, they discover more about themselves as learners and sometimes even decide what career they’ll pursue.
In the Upper School, our signature Experiential Learning program helps students refine their emerging understanding of their “path to purpose.” Our Director of Experiential Learning guides students and their families toward enrichment experiences, including summer community service, travel and study programs, internships, and job shadows. He also coordinates our May Term “Intensives” and works with students who may choose to pursue an interdisciplinary “Concentration,” prior to graduation.
With experiential learning woven into the curriculum, students identify their strengths and focus on their interests. In Lower School, students are exposed to a wide range of programs that encourages them to explore and try everything. With specials in world language, physical education, guidance, library, technology, and a yearlong immersion in the arts, they gain new skills and learn new things every day. Our After School Enrichment programs and Summer programs encourage our youngest students to have fun while they build strong foundations in the areas of interest they might wish to explore further.
In our Early Childhood program, every day and every lesson is hands-on. Children explore the solar system by constructing their own in the halls of the Early Childhood Center, learn to conceptualize and build in the Creation Studio, and begin to participate in specials classes. In a nurturing, home-like environment, students foster their natural curiosities and new interests can emerge.
In Lower School, students continue their studies in specials classes, including Spanish, physical education, visual arts, drama, music, library, and guidance. Specials, along with field trips, expose young children to a broader world. Our After the Bell and Summer programs also provide supplementary instruction that stretches beyond their lessons.
In Middle School, students continue to take classes focused on world languages, the arts, physical education, and our signature Design Thinking program in our Innovation Lab. Students also have access to a wide range of interest-based activities, such as athletic teams, leadership programs, arts, and clubs.
In Upper School, as part of readying students for college and their career, students have access to learning opportunities that pique their curiosities and expose them to career options. Alumni presentations, community service projects, workshops, internships, and field trips are just some of the tools that enable them to authentically experience their fields of interest.
In conjunction with our Advisory Program, our signature Experiential Learning program gives students space to grow and the tools and options to support them along their way.