New Village School Reopening Safely
The health and safety of our New Village community is our priority right now! This page will continue to be updated with the latest policies and procedures as we work to adhere to the latest county and state guidelines. These are guidelines for returning to school in-person, however if any student is not able to attend classes in person, due to exposure or contraction of COVID-19, quarantine mandates, public health concerns or is unable to adhere to these guidelines, distance learning will be offered to those students.
All activities are consistent with and will adjust to changing applicable state and local Public Health orders.,
The New Village School was founded in 2008 by a group of passionate, excited parents, their children and their teacher, Meinir Davies. The school began in one room in a home, but by February 2009, the school was able to move to its large Sausalito Campus, the site of the former Martin Luther King Jr. School.
This beautiful location, that offers ample space for running, easily accessible from North and South from Highway 101 is an ideal location that has allowed children to join us at the school from as far north as Fairfax, San Anselmo and Novato, to South San Francisco and even from the East Bay across the Richmond Bridge. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to everyone who made it possible to found and grow our school.
The representatives of the City of Sausalito, have been nothing but hugely supportive and helpful in this process. We are very grateful to have a long term lease that allows us to continue our work on this campus. The large campus and its proximity to Richardson Bay, and its location in Southern Marin, allows the children opportunities for wonderful play and discoveries during recess times and thrilling days off campus with our excellent teachers.
Our school is led and managed by its teachers. Its Management Team works closely with the Board of the New Village School and together we ensure the school’s financial and legal health and the smooth and professional unfolding of the work with the children. A list of the names of members of the board can be found on our Governance Page. The current Chairman of the Board is Geoff Barneby.
The school stands on a very firm financial footing. The organization is run with a keen eye on the efficient use of funds, awareness for its environmental impact, and an incredibly well thought through use of all its employees’ gifts and time.
Alongside the use of the campus in Sausalito, the school owns a 5-acre piece of land nearby where children are able to learn experientially in its gardens and hills. Subjects such as Chemistry, Physics, Botany, Environmental Studies alongside a range of other subjects are often taught there.
We were fortunate to celebrate our tenth anniversary in 2019!
The process of growing up and gathering rich, colorful, textured childhood experiences along the way is a fundamentally important one for becoming a balanced, well-educated child and adult. Many experiences that we have as children can hinder the healthy unfolding of such a process in the most varied of ways.
We see our task as teachers at the New Village School to do our utmost:
- Not to hinder this unfolding with any fixed philosophies
- No projection of what it means to be “successful”
- Not restrict learning approaches
- Not cause unnecessary stressful situations for the children...
...but rather in the observation of each unique individual child and the initiating and creating of a learning atmosphere, colorful and filled with sensory experiences, that allows each child to feel able and encouraged to explore his/her/their gifts, challenges, and potentialities, with an inner sense of ease and safety. It is the team of teachers gathered around the children:
- With whatever inspires them to engage with children in a healthy way
- In an ongoing process of observation and conversation with each other, that creates, fresh every day, the space and the relationships needed for the children to learn and develop an ever-expanding and deepening understanding of in which they are growing up
In that sense then, the philosophy of the school is not to have a fixed philosophy according to which children learn, but rather to be sensitive to, and strive to understand, each and every child’s ways of relating to and coming to an understanding of the phenomena of the world. In this way, each child feels acknowledged, seen, respected and loved in his/her/their very own growing unique individuality.
This means that each teacher has to be engaged in ongoing explorations of his/her/their biographical experiences, in order to prevent avoidable and unnecessary projections that can be a hindrance for a child. This ongoing biographical exploration also involves proofing one’s own perhaps still unconscious biases that would otherwise have remained hidden and would have affected others.
With a conscious, conscientious, sensitive and careful approach to:
- The use of language
- The choice of stories
- The way content is brought…
…we hope to offer the children the broadest and deepest picture of what it can mean to be a human being:
- Wherever we were born
- From whatever culture or religious background we come
- Whatever language we speak
- However we manifest our being human in physical form
A key element in this work is giving our children the opportunity to develop a vocabulary for speaking about themselves and others, for describing others, and resolving conflicts with others, should they arise. Alongside a rigorous academic life and the expectation for the highest quality work each student can achieve, our children leave the school prepared not just for high school, but for life, as they move into the next phases of their development.
The current annual tuition is: $19,250. Although kept deliberately low compared to other private schools, but still a large amount of money for so many, the New Village School has strived to keep tuition at a level that allows a broad spectrum of economic backgrounds to contemplate joining our school. We are always open to conversations about the financial aspect of joining our community.
We do not think of our school in terms of how it is different than other schools. We focus on what we feel to be the most balanced, and creative way of offering the students the opportunities they need to discover and grow into an awareness of the SELF.
When we speak of Academics, we relate the word to its origin, the place, Akademeia, where Plato worked and taught his students. Academics, in its original sense then, have more to do with students in conversation with their teacher/s, walking, speaking and discussing, rather than with worksheets, tests, grades, and multiple choice questions. Often today, when the word “academics” is used, it is referring actually to a more theoretical way of learning, detached from ongoing conversations and the development of ideas with a teacher or group of teachers. What we mean by academics, is the ongoing work with teachers on meaningful content, while having one’s own experiences in a setting that is - the real world!
The New Village School approach to learning is more of a marriage between an Apollonian/Dionysian one. We allow the children to first dance, move, experience a phenomenon or phenomena or aspects of the world, before asking them to develop theories or hypotheses about these phenomena or aspects. Questions such as: Why do we have to do this? What does this have to do with real life? When will I ever have to do this in real life?, therefore, do not arise.
Everything that is presented as a “subject,” already exists in the realities of life. Depending on how we are guided into discovering these “subjects,” we will know that it is “in and from life” or not. If we do, we will be able to access and use our own intrinsic motivation to work on understanding the “subject” more easily.
On a daily basis, we see that our students do have the sense that everything they engage in is “ life itself” and are thus able to access and use their own inner motivation to attend to the tasks they are guided towards. The idea that the world is our classroom, the first and foremost space in which discovery and learning take place, plays a fundamental role in our school. The curriculum then is the world and we walk with the students through aspects of the world that are appropriate and graspable to them at their age, grade by grade. The inner logic of the curriculum allows a sense of meaningfulness and wholeness for the children.
Everything begins for us as humans with the Geography of this planet. The study of Geography begins through experiences the students have through our Classroom Without Walls program, on walks, hikes and explorations in Sausalito and other beautiful landscapes of Marin County.
The name: Classroom Without Walls, that we use for the program that allows children these experiences in the world, has its name because being in life itself is the best classroom of all. They know the local area thoroughly and therefore, when the study of Local Geography is taken up more overtly in Fourth Grade, we are able to draw from inner pictures they have stored from actually being in the local geography of their more immediate surroundings. They will have hiked on Mount Tam, waded through the creeks, touched the Redwoods, had mud on their faces, felt the climate and weather, been on a boat on the bay and seen the coastline. When then, in the classroom with walls, they begin to draw maps, they are drawing something they have actually used all their senses to experience already.
Developmentally, giving students a sense of orientation in the area where they live, at this age, is a wonderful way to help them feel connected and rooted in where they physically find themselves. From this local beginning to this subject, we expand into the study of:
|Central and South America (often studied in Spanish)||6th Grade|
The Middle and Far East and India (in conjunction with the study of Ancient Civilizations)
|Africa (to understand where many modern-day Americans came from originally and why)||7th Grade|
|Europe (to understand where many modern Americans came from originally and why)||7th Grade|
|Australia and other areas of the world (By the end of 8th grade, the students have a clear orientation of where they are geographically in relation to other people with whom we live on this planet.)||8th Grade|
Similarly to Geography, the study of History, for example, begins in the early grades while they are out in the world. How local indigenous people lived in Marin County is part of the conversations during the Classroom Without Walls days.
Third Grade is the time when we begin to speak about the fact that humans began as ancient hunters and gatherers. They study this only after they have been in the places where ancient indigenous people hunted and gathered and made lives for themselves in and around where their school is located.
How did they build shelters? What did they eat? How did they hunt? How did they gather? In what relationship did they live with nature? These are some of the questions explored. When we talk about the transition to Settling and Farming we are very careful to look at this human activity in a way that shows respect for what that meant for other animals and plants. Not until the later part of middle school do we speak about the development from settling and farming and its immensely negative impact on animals that has come about as we industrialized farming more and more.
In Third Grade the emphasis is on the enormous responsibility we have towards animals if we choose to “domesticate” or more honestly said, subjugate them. Since we have a piece of land with gardens, fruit trees and animals, children studying this part of their history in third grade, have access to many “real” ways of experiencing these themes.
From this ancient time in Third Grade we continue with:
|US history in relation to indigenous tribes (US history in the post Columbus age we study later in order to be able to tell an accurate and truthful version)||5th Grade|
|Ancient Civilizations||6th Grade|
|Ancient Central and South American (Civilizations, often taught in Spanish)|
|The Middle Ages in Europe (Judaism, the rise of Christianity, Islam)|
|The “Cradles of Civilization”||6th Grade|
|The arrival of the Europeans and its effects||7th Grade|
|The Renaissance in Europe||7th Grade|
|World History and Current Events||8th Grade|
(Revolutions, political and economic systems, the horrors of the Third Reich, conflicts and events that have led to where we are today: slavery, religious differences, colonization and the consequences thereof that still remain in the 21st century).
Through the study of Geography and History in this way, the students by 8th grade, have had the opportunity to orientate in space and time. They have at least an initial understanding at this age, of why they are experiencing the world in the way they are through the news, the internet and all the sources of information they have at their disposal.
In Math, we begin in First Grade with questions such as:
What is a number? What is the quality of each number? Why did we begin to develop symbols for quantities? What did they look like when they began to be developed? What do ours look like? Where do the names we use for quantities come from? What do the signs + - x and ÷ and of course = mean? Why did we create those symbols? We also learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
We work with whole numbers until 4th Grade, when we begin to work with fractions. This is a very deliberate developmental choice.
All the fundamentals of Arithmetic are covered and in addition, work on Pre-Algebra begins in 6th Grade.
By the end of 8th Grade, each student will have had the chance to work through Algebra 1 and some will have advanced to the themes of Algebra 2. The progression then is again logical. From quantities in the “real world” to the more abstract realm of Algebra - “ Al jabr”.
The students also discover Geometry as an abstracted form of naturally occurring forms in nature. Fibonacci numbers, the Golden Ratio, for example, are introduced. Free hand geometry gives way to work with geometrical tools and the study of:
- Ancient Mathematicians such as Archimedes
- The circle and “pi” and areas of other forms, angles, volumes
- Platonic solids
Again, it is a matter of offering opportunities to see how humans have studied nature in which they live, and have quantified, calculated, and discovered complex and fascinating forms that nature itself creates. Thus they have a solid foundation in the understanding of what math is.
Even if then, a student is not yet able to be “good at math” in the more conventional sense, there can still be a great deal of enjoyment in the study of math as an aspect of human life.
Science begins in KG through the experiences they have in the garden, while cooking and playing.
|The Study of Other Animals on Planet Earth||4th Grade|
|Physics||6th - 8th Grade|
|Chemistry (organic and inorganic)||7th - 8th Grade|
Whereby to the highest degree possible, what the students learn through the observation of experiments and deduce from what they are experiencing in a science class, will be based in experiences they will have had over the years at school.
An example: Speaking theoretically about levers and pulleys is much easier if you have used them to move heavy objects on our land or in our garden at school!
Languages play an enormous role in our school. We want our children to know the predominant language of communication amongst themselves at school and for teaching, English, very well. English as a way of communication, its vocabulary and expressions, its grammar and its literature, is explored. We work from the experience to the consciousness and understanding of HOW it offers us its particular vehicle of expressing ourSELVES, our ideas, feelings and thoughts.
We also however, lay an emphasis on the learning of Spanish. We are after all live in California. Initially, the children sing, play and speak in Spanish. From Fourth Grade onwards, they begin to write and read in Spanish. Handwork is also taught through the medium of Spanish, thus giving the children an opportunity to hear and understand the language while creating beautiful handmade projects.
Our Japanese Kindergarten teacher speaks Japanese to the KG children. They experience that after hearing something a few times and associating that with things they have to do, such as putting shoes on, hanging coats up, getting ready to go out, eating…they assimilate the language and can understand everything that is being said! Our other KG teacher speaks English and thus the children experience what the world is like!!
From First Grade onwards, the children also learn a third language. Once that language is chosen, that is the language they will learn until 8th Grade. Currently we have:
|Russian||Third and Fourth Grade|
|Arabic||Fifth through Eighth Grade|
In this way, we help our children feel that they are not only citizens of one place but citizens of the world.
There is much more to say about other hugely important subjects such as: Woodwork, Movement, Painting, Drawing, Sculpting, Music, Theater, Anatomy, Physiology, Meteorology, Astronomy, and our Classroom Without Walls program…but suffice it to say that our goal is to offer the students a broad and deep educational experience that allows them to:
- Retain their curiosity
- Retain their interest and passion for their lives and the lives of all other living organisms.
In pre-Covid times and hopefully again in post-Covid times, Classroom Without Walls trips that children undertake are:
|KG||The local harbor and beaches|
|1st/2nd Grade||Marin County|
|3rd Grade||2 nights on a farm.|
|4th Grade||1 week in Headwaters Outdoor School, Shasta.|
|5th Grade||1 week to 10 days sailing or cross-country train.|
|6th Grade||2 weeks in Mexico or to the country whose language they are learning as their third language at school.|
|7th Grade||3-week self financed trip to Portugal, Spain, Athens, Morocco, UK, Lesvos (with meetings with young people seeking refuge from war).|
|Trinity||3-week trip that includes a 48 hour “sit” alone with water, and a sleeping bag in locations such as The Alps of California, Mendocino California, and High Andes of Peru.|
We hope this gives some insight into our curriculum but of course, more questions can be answered in conversation.
The short answer is most definitely yes and not only for High School but for life.
The students are very prepared for a more traditional high school after the New Village School because: they have grown up in the world, we have worked preventatively with questions such as relationships to one’s own body, to the health of the body, and relationships in general. They will have experience with all the “academic” subjects that you will find in any high school. Every student needs at least a short period of adjustment when entering a new school. Our students are agile and are able to adapt while retaining their own inner integrity.
Having been in the real world:
- Having been in the real world:
- Through the meaningfulness and logic of the curriculum. Our students are more than prepared for the themes, whether academic, emotional, psychological or physical that await them from the ages of 14 onwards.
- Through the Classroom Without Walls Program, the trips, speaking to the various guests that have visited the school over the years.
New Village School grads are:
- Have spoken to others whose first language is not theirs
- Have taken trains, buses, planes, ferries to all sort of places, including to refugee camps on Lesvos, Greece. Know therefore how others live
- Have interacted with children and young people of all ages
- Have had close relationships with all their teachers and know how to ask for help when they need to
- Have been allowed to be honest and not pretend to know something if they do not
- Have not been judged with grades but encouraged and supported through conversations about their work
- Know what reasonable risks are and take them if it is necessary
- Know their bodies and respect their own and those of others
- They are well educated and also of course ready for what a high school curriculum entails.
- All of us, but especially children, need to be allowed to move and not be constrained in a room for an unhealthy amount of time. Movement, therefore, is essential.
- Breathing and being allowed to breathe is essential for health and should not be constricted by avoidable and unnecessary stress factors.
- Music and singing lifts the spirits and is a way of expression that is innate in all of us as humans and in other animals too! That all our senses are engaged during the day. It helps to make life “make sense”.
- We all, especially children, need to be surrounded by beauty, through the colors and textures inside the school but especially by having the chance to experience the beauty of the natural world.
- Being allowed to develop a love and respect of the natural world is essential.
- A clear path to the ability to think clearly, constructively, critically, and sharply but a thinking that is always imbued with a deep sense of a situational morality that is innate in us but is often hidden or lost through our biographies.
The first answer to this question is a series of questions: Differently from whom? Is there truly an objective standard against which everyone else can be measured? What does it mean to a child if he/she/they is assessed and seen to be learning “differently”? Of course it is true that a “norm” has evolved over the years that education for the general public has been available and there are certain capacities and skills that a child can develop by a certain age in general.
All of us experience the world in our unique way. Had these “norms” not been made into a standard, and if traditional education were not such an artificial construct in so many ways, children would not be seen to be learning “differently”...they would just be seen as learning at their own pace and in their own unique way. How freeing would that be!
If a child is stuck behind a hindrance, or finds it difficult to get over a hurdle, then of course, the teachers intervene. They do everything in their power to help the child. The moment we acknowledge that everyone learns differently or thinks differently and it is not the goal to standardize learning or to reduce the spectrum of differences, we allow each child the freedom to explore and understand the world in his/her/their unique way.
We introduce the children into the world of writing and reading in first grade and some children take to it like ducklings take to the water following their mother. The fact that some children are not yet ready to go into that water, does not mean that they never will. The question is: How long are we willing to support and help them individually or in the group before we insist that they now function “like everyone else”? Often, not long enough unfortunately.
So many of this world’s incredibly successful individuals are dyslexic. It took them a great deal of courage and inner strength to believe in themselves given the educational world many of them had to grow up in. When being able to read by a certain age is held up as a measure of a child’s potential academic success, there is the danger of losing many children, all of whom are gifted, to the idea that they are not up to par.
A highly developed sensitivity around these children is essential. We must avoid at all costs giving them the impression that there is something “wrong” with them or that they are inadequate in comparison to others. As teachers, we of course identify early on, even in KG sometimes, those who might potentially face challenges with certain tasks when they enter the grades. Never, however, would we make a prediction based on such observations about how they will succeed in their learning journey.
On the contrary, when a child has to struggle with something like writing, reading or math, that very same child is hugely gifted in equally important realms. It is essential that adults recognize each and every gift or challenge as equally important. Reducing a child to their ability to read by a certain age can be demoralizing and can cause a child to feel often deflated and even defeated.
Fortunately at our school, we are very subtle in our work to support children. We do not use textbooks, pre-prepared worksheets, or standardized materials, which means that we can create our classes based on the children that are in front of us. We can address each child’s way of learning and understanding and adjust our lessons accordingly. We can take more time with certain children in phases of the classes or after school in small groups. We work to find ways to allow a child to have the experience of being part of the peer group, gifted and challenged in his/her/their unique way.
The teachers are there every step of the way to observe, to acknowledge difficulties, to support and to help. Should there be a more severe manifestation of dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia, then of course, through more intensive work with teachers, if needed, with support from outside the school, we help our children get to the place that they can get to when they are doing their best. More they cannot do.
Thankfully, since our lessons are based in conversation and much if not most of the writing in First and Second Grade emerges out of these conversations or stories, each child has the chance to be part of the class in his/her/their own way.
When more independent writing begins, the teachers, since they know all the students extremely well, can intervene, support and help as needed. When you ask a math question for example and get answers from students, then ask them how they got to the answer, you will find so many different paths that children took to get to the correct answer or to an interesting answer. Sometimes, the unusual but inventive and lively path even to the “wrong” answer can be truly impressive!
In summary then, we hope not to lose gifted and talented students to the idea that if you cannot do “x, y, or z” by a certain age, that your ability to succeed academically is in danger. We know from experience that with the right kind of support, and with helping children do their best, all children can succeed in the way they need to.
Each child's progress is characterized thoroughly in parent-teacher conferences and in a written report at the end of each school year. We do not give grades unless asked to do so for Private High School applications or when children move to another school that requires them. We give children constructive and honest feedback on their work, always based on the premise that if the child is working to his/her/their fullest capacity, then that is excellent. It is the development of stamina, inner motivation, resilience, a love of learning that is important.
If a child for whom math is challenging, gets 13 out of 30 questions correct and was doing his/her/their best, then that is excellent. If a child for whom math is not challenging, gets 26 out of 30 because he/she/they were not doing his/her/their best, that is not excellent. It is then urgently important to find out why the child was not able to be at his/her/their best! That matters more than the outcome of the test.
A teacher of course is in the process of assessing how a child is experiencing the content of a class with every question the teacher asks, by seeing every look on a child’s face and with every answer a child gives. It is only in that way that a teacher can adjust, change, deepen, make more accessible to each child, the content the teacher is sharing. Any teacher worth his/her/their salt knows exactly how much a child is understanding or learning through observation.
Conventional testing of course is also introduced to students at the latest in the Middle School, so that they know how that looks and feels. However no conclusions are drawn about the future of a child based on such tests. They are a quick glimpse of how the child was able to answer under the circumstances of a test! It is the direct experience of the children in all the activities that they are engaged in at school that really matters. Knowing the child is what really matters, so that we can, as teachers, with great sensitivity and care, offer any support a student needs.
New Village students are engaged in the most varied activities during the days and weeks. Handwork, woodwork, math, singing, moving rocks, problem solving challenges, working individually, working in groups, working on projects alone, working in a group, doing theater, preparing for a concert...all the while being in or developing strong relationships with their peers, younger or older children and their teachers.
They are given the vocabulary to address conflict situations with their fellow students or teachers. They are supported by the teachers and can often at a very early age, address issues as they come up. If a child is doing something and you don’t like it, tell him/her/them kindly and clearly. We encourage and help develop the ability to speak without reproach but truthfully.
Often someone that you are having difficulties with has no idea that that is the case and it was not a deliberate act on their part. If they are not told, clearly but without reproach that you have a certain unpleasant response when something is done, then your counterpart cannot change his/her/their behavior!
- The practical work with wood, yarn, rocks, soil and so on
- The emotional work of learning how to live in a social group honestly and authentically
- The development of relationships
- The addressing of conflicts as they come up
- The rigorous demands on their intellect
- Their chances to interact with people from all over the world in the most varied of circumstances
….are just some of the ways that we give the students a chance to access and use their various intelligences.
All children can thrive at the New Village School even if he/she/they is not interested in relationships, getting to know the world, meeting people or doing any of the work we offer them to do. Sometimes a child just needs to be left alone until he/she/they is ready to interact and be open and active. However, it is not the school for all parents. Parents enjoy our school if they find importance in:
- Being out in nature like learning Astronomy under the stars
- Writing about themes that you truly care about
- Working with math, writing and reading at a pace that is healthy for each individual
Parents must be at peace with their child as a unique individual, but who, despite support, may need more time to learn certain skills. Or they can enjoy their child who is wonderful at math, but not yet so good at drawing or painting, and suddenly comes home with an incredible rendition of van Gogh’s Starry Night painting! Parents are happy if they know that it is healthy for their children to resonate with the world in a way that makes them feel buoyant and at home.
We like to have our classes to be at most 18 students. Some classes are smaller. 18 is a large enough group for children to have a good range of personalities in a class to relate to. We have one class per grade. On the practical level, since we go off campus regularly and have 9 seater vans, two of which are used for one grade, having a class of 18 is ideal. In the younger grades, when a child cannot sit in the front seat of our vans, we have three vehicles in action!
Parents, pre-covid and hopefully again, post covid, create the adult community around the children at the school. Conversations at drop off and pick with one another and with teachers were always a very enjoyable part of our life at school. Strong supportive relationships amongst the parents support strong supportive relationships amongst the students!
Monthly evenings allow for interactions between parents and teachers, as well as parent teacher conferences twice a year or as the need arises. Parents are engaged in events such as Auctions, Fund Raising Events of all kinds, Grandparents’ Day, the Winter Fair to name a few of our main ones.
They are not engaged in the classrooms, whereby if a class is in a Meteorology Block or are studying Aerodynamics and we have a pilot or an engineer in the community, then obviously we would ask that parent to join us for certain phases of the blocks where their level of expertise would be invaluable.
The Board consists of current and often former parents and two teacher representatives of the Management Team. There are ways to participate in such activities but only to the degree that the parent can remain healthy and happy doing so. The teachers of the school fully understand that parents have busy lives to lead and…children to look after!
In Covid times, the structure of the day is somewhat different since grade pods do NOT mix and classes are much longer since each grade only sees 2 and when the situation improves 3 teachers a day. KGs are separated into two pods, the Seahorses and the Sea Turtles. The flow of the day remains somewhat similar. Please feel free to contact us should these answers have brought up more questions. We are more than happy to meet with you.
There are typical days. There is a schedule. There is a thread that goes through every grade through every year. If we need to, we can adjust or change things radically if we see that something is not working or adjust slightly to accommodate a wonderful opportunity that might have arisen to engage in something out of the ordinary.
Kindergarten Typical Day Pre-Covid:
- KG begins at 8:30, arrival therefore should be early enough to allow a child to settle and be ready for the start of the day.
- All KGs join the older children for the time we call Circle Time. They sit with their older friends and join in singing, conversations, stories. They love this time and look forward to it very much.
- After circle: Movement or getting ready for soup and baking bread or tortillas
- Snack in the KG room
- Recess. The KGs are joined by their friends from the grades on a large field on the campus. (40 - 45 minutes)
- Activities, depending on the day, such as free play, painting, handwork, sweeping, woodwork, drawing, working in the garden
- On the off campus day, the children leave after snack to go to places such as Clipper Harbor or Schoonmaker Beach in Sausalito and stay for the day.
- Lunch in the KG room
- Recess with their Grades friends.
- Activities as mentioned above
- A story
- The day ends at 3.10 p.m.
In pre-Covid times we had an and will have again, an extended day program, called TEATIME until 5.30 p.m.
Grade School Typical Day Pre-Covid:
- School begins at 8.30 in the Big Circle. Arrival therefore early enough to be ready for the start of the day.
- Two periods
- Snack ( 40 - 45 minutes) on a large field on the campus
- Two periods
- Lunch and recess ( 40-45 minutes) on the field
- Two periods
- End of classes: 3.10 p.m.
- Clean up followed by a Circle to check in and make sure everyone understands any tasks they have been guided towards to do at home. (4th grade and up has a balanced amount of homework)
- End of day: 3.20 p.m.
We live in a world where some fundamental things never change. Nature remains nature even though we have managed to damage so much, humans still have conflicts, still need to breathe, move and love. Children grow up, become more aware, or not as the case may be, we become adults if all goes well.
What is changing is how we live in the world, the technologies that we have continued to develop since the first stone that was thrown to kill an animal. We have always had the tendency to delegate the use of energy from ourselves onto other living beings or machines. We are doing that now to a degree that was impossible to imagine even a decade ago. With these changes that we have brought about, come changes in capabilities that children develop left to their own devices...as an idiom but also meant literally. So many are left not to but with their own devices! All of this has consequences.
At our school, we continually ask what capabilities do children fundamentally need in order to grow up into adults who can live well physically, emotionally, intellectually and even spiritually, in their presents and in their futures. What Zeitgeist is moving through our cultures and societies? What can we anticipate about the future our children are growing into? This question is extremely difficult to answer. The sudden onset of this current health situation demonstrates that clearly.
With all of that said, we, as a team of teachers, are constantly observing and asking these questions. We are adjusting, changing emphases, initiating, responding in the ways that the children in front of us at the moment, need us to. It would be neglectful and lazy of us as a school not to have been engaged in a constant creative metamorphosis over the years of being with children.