The school members view the classroom curriculum as an ongoing, ever-changing, student-driven continuum. Teachers design and implement curriculum with input from staff, parents, and students. There is an emphasis on helping children develop their own voice and use their power to be responsible, intelligent, caring, and articulate citizens. Academically, children learn through thematic, in-depth studies, a comprehensive whole language approach to literacy, constructivist-based math, inquiry-based science study, community research, and a project approach to the arts. Principles that guide curriculum design and development are:
- An integrated curriculum, which teaches children how to learn and think critically
- A learner-centered, project-based curriculum that integrates classroom studies around developmentally appropriate themes of inquiry.
- Arts as an essential and integral part of children’s learning process and central to education. Children are given opportunities to explore, describe, and explain their learning through the use of artwork, body movement, role play, music, film, writings, visual arts, computer, and other media.
- A multicultural education that helps children appreciate diversity and develop understanding regarding issues such as racism, prejudice, and gender bias.
- A social action curriculum that develops children’s critical perspective as well as offering students practice in democracy.
- A commitment to using the city as a learning resource.
- Performance-based assessments that support individual growth by building on children’s strengths and interests.