Daily Life

Our Studios

The Studios at The Village School are flexible spaces for work, learning, and play. Each Studio is a tight-knit community of mixed-age learners who support each other and collaborate daily. This environment fosters a culture of respect and much of the character development that occurs here.

We replaced external motivators like high-stakes test scores and grades with an intrinsic growth mindset, so our students are motivated to work hard and have fun. Respect is the foundation for every other skill we learn at The Village School. We respect our time, our fellow learners, our space, and our materials. The students work together to create rules for the space. Some areas might be off limits for play, while others are more flexible. Ultimately, the students come together to agree to those ground rules and promises—all based on a key promise to not distract themselves or each other during times of work.

Spark Studio

(Ages 4-6)

The Spark Studio is a place where our youngest learners come together to explore the world around them. Following an emergent curriculum driven by the child’s natural curiosity, the Spark Studio Program is experiential and intended to cultivate a love for learning. We are Montessori-based to increase confidence, emotional intelligence, and independence. Children use hands-on materials to build a strong foundation of core skills and have ample opportunities for exploration and free play.

Elementary Studio

(Ages 6-10)

The Elementary Studio is a place where students come together to learn core skills, and develop life skills and character while having ample opportunities for collaboration, exploration, and free play. Children use hands-on materials as well as adaptive technology to build a strong foundation of core skills. Our Quests and Socratic discussions put a strong emphasis on creative and critical thinking. A primary goal in the Elementary Studio is to guide children in their development of social and problem solving skills. They learn how to set goals, work collaboratively, and love learning, while also helping and being helped by their friends in the Studio.

Middle School Studio

(Ages 11-14)

The Middle School Studio (Launching in 2019) is for students ages 11-14 who have already proven that they are able to work independently. These students will work on difficult real world problems and learn to write and think more deeply. Students continue collaborating, building their character and building friendships with their studio-mates who will challenge and support them through peer review of their work. This Studio ultimately brings students to a deeper understanding of their character, while they explore their natural talents and gifts to discover who they are and where they are headed.

A day in the life

Sample Daily Schedule

8:30 Arrival/Free Time
9:00 Yoga/Mindfulness
9:15 Morning Launch
9:30 Core Skills - Reading, Writing, Math
11:45 Lunch/Recess
12:45 Afternoon Launch
1:00 Quest/Project (Art twice a week)
2:30 Free Time/Recess (PE twice weekly)
3:00 Studio Maintenance
3:15 Close
3:30 End of day

*Discovery Day- One day a week we will have free time to work on individual passions, optional workshops, or outings. Every session (4-6 weeks), we will have a full day field experience that ties in with our session quest.

*3:30-5:30 - After Hours Care and Enrichment

Quests

Joy

Quests are real-world projects to master 21st-century skills. Usually lasting four- to six-weeks, each Quest includes a series of challenges bound by a compelling narrative and is designed to deliver 21st century skills while simultaneously incorporating traditional topics like science, social studies, and history.

Ingredients of a Successful Quest

  • Exhibition A great Quest starts with a powerful Exhibition as the goal. For example, in the "World-Changing Speech Quest," learners know on day one that during their Exhibition they will stand on stage for six minutes in front of their family and friends to deliver a speech.
  • Real-world skills Quests focus on real-world skills, rather than memorizing facts for a test. For example, in the "Medical Biology Quest," learners diagnose diseases and interpret MRIs and X-Rays. At the Exhibition, learners test these skills on their families in a simulation.
  • Narrative and motivation Learners play a real-life hero at a critical moment in history, solving a problem about which learners care deeply. For example, in the "Electricity Quest," learners develop patents for new electrical devices in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park lab.
  • Real-world measurement A Quest should have some way to measure and track outcomes, in a way that mirrors as closely as possible the real world. For example, in the "Bridge Building Quest," learners measure weight supported by the bridge vs. cost to build in order to determine a winner.
  • Relevance As much as possible, Quests are place-based to prioritize engagement and authenticity. Leveraging local assets including parks, public spaces, museums and businesses, Quests engage learners with their local community in meaningful ways.

School Calendar