The main educational purpose of Alcuin School is to provide a Montessori and International Baccalaureate® environment for its students that will enhance their intellectual, social, aesthetic and physical development and will enable them to live happy, rewarding and productive lives.
We are committed to the following essential principles as a means of establishing an effective Montessori and International Baccalaureate® environment throughout our community:
Program and Environment – We recognize …
- The tendency toward purposeful activity is human. Learning is natural, self-satisfying and lifelong.
- True happiness is a product of sustained involvement in challenging, purposeful activities that provide a feeling of self-worth and satisfaction.
- Concentration deepens involvement and offers an intrinsic reward separate from the accomplishment of a particular goal.
- There are periods in a child’s development when the acquisition of particular knowledge and skills is accomplished with greater ease. These sensitive periods must guide the curriculum.
- The environments and teaching methods will reflect the changing needs of students as they move through a series of metamorphic stages from birth to maturity.
- An atmosphere of order, beauty and harmony best supports the work of the individual and invites participation.
- Children learn best through engagement with materials and activities which are self-correcting and isolate basic concepts.
- The work of the young child is not like the work of an adult because children use the environment to construct themselves; adults often work to achieve an end result.
- Activities that promote cooperation rather than competition are encouraged and lead to individual well-being and a more cohesive society.
- Children develop character through direct involvement in and responsibility for conflict resolution.
- Younger children need experiences and materials leading to physical independence, socialization, sensorial awareness, development of concentration, language and mathematical exploration, cultural exposure and opportunities for creative expression.
- Inquiry-based learning helps students ask effective questions, develop strategies for problem-solving, pursue their own interests and establish a basis for a lifetime of learning.
- A balanced curriculum supports the development of the whole student. Students are asked to reflect on their own abilities and challenge themselves in each area of study.
- Service in the community provides students with opportunities for inquiry, planning, action, communication, and the transfer of skills.
- Cultivating international-mindedness in students requires a focus on collaboration, communication, critical thinking and cultural understanding.
Students & Guides/Faculty – We recognize…
- The support of the independence of the child is the foundation on which the interdependence of humanity is based.
- Students need the opportunity to exercise choice, in widening circles, as they demonstrate the ability to make sound judgments and accept responsibility for their choices.
- The development of inner discipline is fostered by allowing students to take initiative in choosing their focus of activity, following their own inner timetable, completing cycles of activity and participating in the evaluation process within the limits of time and readiness. The adult provides explicit and reasonable limits and the structure that allows the student to feel secure.
- Mistakes are a natural facet of learning. The environment should enhance the development of a friendly relationship to error as one of the means for growth and self-improvement.
- Multi-age grouping provides the student with a valuable experience that allows confirmation of skills and exposure to a wider range of experiences that include the opportunity to guide others.
- If an adult performs an activity that could have been accomplished by a child, the child loses an opportunity for growth.
- The role of the guide/faculty member is to help the children in the natural process of learning. The guide/faculty member creates opportunity for observation of students in order to assess their individual needs. The guides/faculty undertake continuing study in order to meet those needs.
- Caring is demonstrated in our community through the grace and courtesy that we show to each other and the environment, respect for the social and emotional development of each individual, our commitment to service, and the development of a sense of social justice. Alcuin School fosters responsive relationships and strong principles.
- Open-mindedness allows individuals to communicate more clearly with others, to respect other perspectives, and to consider innovative solutions.
Family and Society – We recognize…
- Children are content and more likely to succeed when supported by a home and school that share common values. The school recognizes the role of the family as the first and primary education and supports this work through parent and community education.
- Education must be viewed as a partnership, where mutual trust and open lines of communication are maintained among all parties.
- A respect and appreciation of life in all its forms is taught and molded at all levels of school life. Students will be aided in becoming conscious of the universe as the embodiment of order and harmony; work at all levels of society will be valued as a critical aspect of the whole.
Parent Education and Involvement
Parents can expect from Alcuin School...
- An effective educational approach focused on preparing children for life that includes: experiential learning, a prepared learning environment and a trained educator to facilitate each child’s learning
- A multi-age classroom which builds each child’s self-confidence, requires fewer transitions, provides maximum curriculum options and fosters a unique connectedness among the children
- Annual standardized testing for Lower Elementary 3rd level through Upper School students
- Internal standardized testing for Lower Elementary (1st and 2nd levels)
- Conferencing twice each year accompanied by a written report to document each child’s progress
- Productive, independent and small group work
- Minimal discipline issues
- High level of independence and initiative
- Student love of purposeful work
- Challenging and appropriate individual academic work for each child
- Classrooms without walls—Going Outs, OEE trips, campouts, etc.
- Social emotional learning (SEL) opportunities across all divisions that seek to enhance students' social competence, self-awareness, self-management, communication, problem-solving and resilience, thus supporting the development of character and socio-emotional wellness throughout the student community.
Alcuin School expects from the parents...
- Conscientious attendance and punctuality for each child
- Attendance at parent education programs (GPM, J&D, Observation and Chats)
- Attendance at Parent/Teacher Conferences
- Adherence to school policies and procedures
- Commitment to the school’s mission, and to the essential guidelines for Montessori and International Baccalaureate® classrooms
- Advocacy for Alcuin School
- Use of prescribed channels of communication with faculty and staff
- Active support of the school’s Annual Fund
- Participation and volunteerism in various school events