Slate School's central tenets are kindness, integrity, and respect. All members of the Slate School community adopt and practice these fundamental values, which are reinforced and reflected throughout the school day. It is expected that all families and staff will similarly value character and ethics as central tenets. Slate School's character education will be modeled by the adult community at the school, and this social curriculum is integrated into the academic curriculum. For example, all books and stories selected for the classroom model the central tenets of kindness, integrity, and respect.
Slate School utilizes the Responsive Classroom approach to build social and emotional competencies, including cooperation, empathy, and responsibility. Each day begins with a morning meeting, where everyone in the class gathers for a greeting, sharing, group activity, and morning message. The day ends with reflection and questions of the day. This Responsive Classroom approach fully integrates social and academic learning throughout the course of the day.
All children are also engaged in reflection and goal setting. Early in the academic year, students identify their hopes and dreams for their own learning for the year. This process leads to a conversation about the way we must behave in order to ensure our success and the success of all of our classmates. These positively-stated behaviors are displayed for all who enter our classroom, and as a daily reminder of our purpose.
Routines established in the first six weeks of school form the bedrock for social and academic growth throughout the year and beyond.
Respect for the Child
Respect for the child is at the heart of our mission. Slate School's students are embraced in a safe and nurturing community of lifelong learners. Each child embarks on guided discoveries which are designed intentionally and lovingly to excite and motivate the children, and to nurture each child's innate love for learning.
Slate School believes that offering students the time to make meaningful choices about their learning is central to their success as lifelong learners. Therefore, every activity in the Slate School classroom has a purpose that can be understood and appreciated by the child as well as by the teacher. Time is built into every component of the day for exploration and tinkering. All of the students have opportunities to choose their own deep investigations and project work. Children whose studies are based wholly on their interests will ultimately grow the skills needed to fully explore their curiosity about a topic. They seek greater understanding in reading, math, and expression to learn and share about their discoveries. Students also quickly identify topics of expertise and immediately seek to teach each other. The result is a classroom that is transformed into an active learning workshop for all who enter.