We believe in developing each student to their fullest potential. This involves providing both a rigorous academic program and a science-based foundation for human development.
Developmental Science is the integration of neuroscience and developmental psychology. It offers us a scientific foundation for healthy individual formation. In contrast to academic testing alone, it provides a more integrated educational framework through which educators can apply a range of immersive curricula and experiences to foster healthy human development as well as advanced academic readiness.
Developmental science points us to three essential elements for a healthy passage through middle school:
1. Space for Self-Exploration
“Who is that in the mirror?!” Not only are their bodies changing daily, an adolescent’s sense of Self is expanding rapidly. Young teens are consumed by a heightened experience of their changing emotions, beliefs and self-awareness. If these capacities are consciously developed, students can build the ‘non-academic’ skills – mindfulness, emotional intelligence, resilience, and others – that research indicates correlate with long-term success more than any other factor.
2. A Safe Social Environment
Middle school is the most socially-influenced time of our lives. Peers become trusted more than parents. A positive, safe, pro-social environment and authentic relationships at school are essential for healthy identity formation.
3. Connection to the Real World.
As students enter adolescence, they crave greater autonomy and independence. They are highly curious about how the world works, and loudly resist what doesn’t feel “Real” to them. Their academic motivation depends on a direct sense of relevance and agency.