Santa Lucia School

Santa Lucia School

Santa Lucia School (http://santaluciaschool.org ) is a unique, alternative school that for over 30 years has been serving grades 1-8 via a holistic and experiential approach with an integrated curriculum that incorporates the arts, draws upon the natural world, and includes peace education. Founding principles of the school draw upon Montessori, Waldorf, and Responsive Classroom philosophies and our primary goal is to foster the development of the whole child. Our classes are small (16 students) and multiage (a 2-3-grade span in each), and each class is staffed by a full-time credentialed teacher and a full-time instructional aid. We are in session 4 days each week (Monday-Thursday), and provide students with a nutritious and often homemade morning snack each day. Students help to keep the school clean, taking turns to fulfill inside and outside cleaning duties at the end of each day. Each week, students are responsible for about a half day of academic work on their own, which is supported by their parents. Parents contribute hours to the school through activities such as driving and chaperoning field trips, helping with set up and clean up for special classroom or school events, and maintaining and advancing the school facilities and grounds. The school sits on 5 acres of land with mature trees, and one border is formed by a creek that is utilized by the students for fun and exploration, and as part of the curriculum for more systematic study or for inspiration for writing or creating with the arts. The arts are an important component of curriculum at the school, and key resources for this include a pottery studio with a kiln, a weaving studio with a class set of looms, tripods and other materials for painting or block printing, and a number of musical instruments. Teachers have considerable freedom in crafting a curriculum that provides rich and authentic learning opportunities, often approached via theme-, problem- or project-based instruction. We are mindful of our impact on the environment, and school practices are structured to minimize any negative impact and maximize positive impact. All of these features help to create a strong community of adults (staff and parents) and students working closely together to support one another's growth and development toward the betterment of the world.

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