What do the classrooms look like?

The preschool-kindergarten classroom is a child­-sized world. By careful selection of materials, the classroom allows the child a place to explore life on a level they can understand. The materials or exercises are designed to stimulate independent explorations. The environment entices the child to proceed at their own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and they begin to experience the joy in discovering the world around them. The children’s environment includes both the inside classroom and the “Outdoor Classroom.”

The elementary classroom is designed to nurture imagination and reason. There are large tables and open areas for children to work collaboratively on big group projects. They are filled with materials such as musical instruments, bones, maps, charts and art supplies that aid in the child’s spontaneous exploration and research of many subjects. The materials are carefully selected and encourage collaborative work. There are many resources available for research and independent study. Children are encouraged to follow their interests and take initiative to go out into the community to learn more. The classroom stimulates discovery and deep thinking. The elementary classrooms have pets that the children learn to feed and care for.

In middle school, the students use the classroom as a home base, while regularly going out into the community and into nature to accomplish specific goals.