Inspire and empower compassionate, global learners.
What does that mean? To us it means everything.
To “inspire” learners, we meet them where they are, individualize instruction in an environment and with experiences that are developmentally appropriate to them, and create space for their voice to be heard. We cultivate their curiosity and creativity, and provide them with opportunities to express them.
To “empower” learners, we strive to balance structure and choice by setting high expectations while also giving learners the power and agency to make decisions. We engage learners in authentic and meaningful tasks that have real impact on the world, help them understand and leverage their own agency to positively impact their community. Learners have a voice in shaping service learning opportunities and exercise leadership in solving novel problems in a collaborative atmosphere. They graduate confident, capable, and critically thinking problem solvers.
Academic achievement isn’t our primary goal. It is a by-product. The real work is to nurture “compassionate,” humane, and caring people. The foundation of this work is made up of seven core virtues: compassion, giving, honesty, self-discipline, perseverance, respect, and responsibility. These core virtues shape our work and compel us to pursue both social and environmental justice in our service efforts. We also seek to foster compassion for others and one’s self that stems from empathy, understanding, and tolerance.
By “global” we certainly refer to an international-mindedness. Our project based curricula make planet-wide connections to help students see and understand our globalized world and know the people who shape it. However, we also focus on “global” as it pertains to the whole learner. Our community creates a safe environment (physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually) for learners to take risks, make mistakes, reflect, and learn in real and transformative ways far beyond the limits of traditional subject areas.
“Learners” are the very center of our practice. Neuroscience tells us that all people learn. We create an environment where those learners thrive. Our academics are rich with novel experiences — field trips, projects, and integrated subjects. Walk into any classroom and you’ll find learners (teachers and students alike) who are joyous, industrious, innovative, thoughtful, creative and caring. These experiences are the cornerstone of a life long love of learning.
Knowing where you are going and what you are shooting for is an essential element of any endeavor or project. When the project is your child or student the importance of giving thought to desired outcomes is essential; as it should inform every decision, large and small over years. We asked our parents to think carefully about the characteristics they hoped their children would possess as adults, to write them down and to share them with us. Their responses served as a framework for our school’s Outcome Statement:
Cornerstone Graduates Are:
Supportive of a Diverse Community
Socially and Environmentally Responsible
Flexible, Open-minded Problem Solvers
Curious, Creative, Engaged Learners Throughout Their Lives