Living a culture of learning
We believe that students learn best when using their minds to solve problems, create solutions, and collaborate with peers to make the world a better place. Curating authentic, fun, and purposeful learning experiences is at the heart of what we do. The experiential nature of our program ensures that all students find meaning and joy in their learning, especially as we break down traditional silos between disciplines that can limit solutions and innovations. Our unique approach of blending social and emotional learning with problem-solving and critical thinking gives our students the capacity to think about systems, contexts, and their learning from multiple perspectives. Students begin every lesson with why--why are we learning about math or multiplication, about revolutions or history, about communicating creatively.
Our school community is dedicated to limitless adventures in learning. We believe that every student, every teacher, every parent, and every leader has an ethical imperative on this planet to pursue learning and growth in every activity of our lives. Because our whole community is dedicated to being better for our world, we love learning, embrace mistakes as opportunities to grow, and challenge ourselves to be both loving and candid in our relationships with one another.
Our teachers are guides that ignite and protect the innate curiosity that allows kids to find joy in the art of learning, throughout their lives. They serve as guides, as facilitators of insights and discovery. Not as truth-holders, but as co-learners expecting to be surprised and moved by the inquisitive and adventurous potential of our students.
Lectures are replaced by labs, memorization by questions, textbooks by project plans. We are comfortable with complexity and find joy in questioning and exploration; in investigating the vastness of our intellectual curiosity. Our classrooms shine with imagination, creative expression, and a limit-less pursue of knowledge and meaning.
We see mindfulness, enhancing emotional intelligence, nutrition, and exercise as drivers of wellbeing - an interrelation between a healthy mind, a healthy body and a healthy spirit.
Mindfulness is intentionally weaved in our schedule through meditation, self-awareness and gratitude journaling moments at the beginning and end of each day. Our faculty and staff are trained in mindfulness to be truly present for students and practice self-awareness and compassion.
We believe that emotional intelligence and resiliency can be nurtured and that they enhance physical and mental health, social functioning, collaboration, and learning capacity. Developing abilities to be aware of our emotions and those of others, label them correctly, understand them, regulate them, express them, and use them effectively to guide thoughts and behavior is central to the work of our counselors and teachers. Fostering empathy, self-awareness, self-motivation, active listening, grit, and coping mechanisms to overcome adversity are integral to our approach.
Food and nutrition also play a big role in wellness, promoting healthy brain development, enhancing mental and physical performance, and regulating energy and behavior. Fresh, organic, healthy nutritious meals are prepared daily. We also use the origin of food, gardening and composting to advance curriculum objectives in culture, geography, natural sciences and sustainability.
Movement and exercise are also essential to learning, leading happier / healthier lives and stress reduction. Movement is directly related to developing strength, balance, coordination, and optimizing brain development to support self-regulation, understanding, memory, higher-order learning, and attention. Sensory and kinesthetic activities are integrated throughout the classroom and school day. Our fitness class is designed to support neurodevelopment and help children reach gross motor milestones. We incorporate specific exercises and movements that support children in integrating essential reflexes for higher-order learning and attention. Weekly yoga reinforces the mind-body connection, deepens self-awareness and provides space for reflection. Our athletic program and participation in team and individual sports further strengthen values like excellence, perseverance, responsibility, and promote self-learning and character development.
Exploring individualized learning journeys
Students develop a joy for learning and discovery when it is meaningful and authentic; when their learning journey meets them where they are, challenging and supporting them. Students learn different skills and subjects at their own rhythms, and with varying levels of interest. We provide adventures in learning that stretch their curiosity and spirit - never stressing or standardizing. Learners strengthen responsibility and agency as we blend structure with autonomy, providing choices on electives, extracurricular passions, languages, independent research, and endeavors. Our assessment system allows students to choose how best to demonstrate learning, without limitations or pre-conceived limits - with the freedom to flourish. Teachers also focus on their areas of expertise and strength, with constant professional development aligned with their passions and capacities.
We see teachers and students as co-learners. Our teachers facilitate and guide collaborative problem-solving that leads to applied and meaningful learning, without arbitrating truths or demanding memorization, inviting collaboration over competition. Learning how best to work in teams, build on our diverse strengths, find support in peers, and actively listen to each other are central to our problem-based learning model.
Our facilities are designed as creative environments to amplify cooperation, debate, and imagination. Spaces where dialogue and discussion are constant and welcome, and where leadership and advocacy opportunities abound. Where learners, teachers, and families are engaged in constant exploration and development across different passions, aptitudes, and vocations. A special partnership that we build together every day, nurturing authentic relationships. A school community that invites honest feedback and insights, with a vibrant culture bonded by compassion, trust, and love.
Leading from a global perspective
Central to our purpose is nurturing thinkers and leaders with the capacity to step outside their own world views, and take the perspective of others, everywhere. Discovering languages is fundamental to our curriculum from an early age, not complementary. Leadership from empathy and the desire to make the world a better place, preparing learners for a rapidly evolving global society with multicultural workplaces thirsty for ethics and transformation.
Miami is an ideal location to embrace different backgrounds and cultures, embracing them through a globally-minded student body and curriculum. Travel opportunities and experiences that further expand viewpoints across boundaries and advance new thinking are offered from third grade onwards.
Embracing service and sustainability
Our commitment to service and future generations stems from the opportunities that have been made available to us, an understanding of historical injustices, and our strong foundation in compassion and respect for all life.
We understand our responsibility as inter-generational, aspire for social equity, stand up for justice, and are conscious of the systems that enable life. Understanding conscious consumption, resiliency, regeneration, and circularity through food, composting and gardening, engaging in volunteering opportunities with neighboring organizations and leaders, participating in philanthropic initiatives, and integrating sustainable development challenges across our problem-based curriculum and electives are an important part of our student experience.
Environmental and social impacts are a crucial component in the decisions we make when purchasing food and supplies, organizing events, and designing the built environment for our schools. Students are actively engaged in improving our environmental and social performance, as they strengthen attitudes, behaviors, and mindsets required for a much needed societal paradigm shift.
Embodying our values
The values we learn at home and at school shape the world we live in. They define our attitudes, behaviors, perspectives, choices, and mindsets. Living and staying true to our values is the basis of every interaction and activity in our school community.
We are all constantly holding each other to account and having frank conversations when we fail to uphold the values that bond us as a collective: kindness, compassion, excellence, perseverance and respect. Developing leadership, entrepreneurship and critical thinking skills make sense to us only when infused by these values and others that learners discover throughout their journey.
Valuing artistic expression
We believe that all the arts are a conduit for social change in our world. Artistic expression, whether through digital media, music, poetry, performance arts, or plastic arts are central in our endeavor to nurture global change-makers and develop creative problem-solving skills. Arts are an important part of our curriculum - not an add-on.
Teachers constantly innovate merging disciplines to engage students in the joy of learning, teaching math through music or history through dance. Artistic learning experiences also support the development of motor and verbal skills, highlight the importance of observation, patience, grit, and a deeper love for beauty. Our arts and music program allows students to innovate, take risks, engage in perspective-taking and empathy for others, explore multiple cultures, and make sense of the world around them.