A Publication of Springhurst - The Whole Child School
Volume I - - - - - - - - Issue 1 - - - - - - - - - Autumn 1996
welcome to the first issue of SPRINGHURST QUARTERLY. The first day of school is a year away. Much has been done in the last few months and much more lies ahead. The goal of this newsletter is to keep our friends informed of our progress and to share our vision. We welcome any comments, suggestions, or ideas. -ed.
The Mission of Springhurstspringhurst is committed to the development of creative and highly capable children. This commitment is to the whole child. We are dedicated to providing a wholesome and holistic education for each student, at a level appropriate to the individual. All Springhurst students will learn.
In summary, Springhurst will be a school for the highly capable, creative, gifted learner. We are opening in the fall of 1997 in the Lake Washington area near Seattle. An exact site has not yet been chosen. Our plan calls for leasing a space initially, then buying land and building a larger facility as needed. Enrollment the first year will be open to children ages 6-8 years (first through third grade). We will also have preschool and kindergarten for 3-5 year-olds. We are planning for a total enrollment of 20 students for the first year. Enrollment will be open to students who show high ability in language, art, mathematics, music, or any other domain or any of these in combination. Each student will have an individual learning plan (ILP) and portfolio to plan and record their progress. Our flexible curriculum is designed to meet the needs of each individual. Whereas in a more traditional school these students may feel stifled, we hope to inspire and encourage exploration. Learning at Springhurst is expected to exceed and be much more diverse than the state learning goals.
In the coming years we will expand to include grades 4-6, and then middle and possibly high school. It is also our hope to begin offering some after school programs
beginning the spring of 1997, using some of the new curriculum ideas. Ultimately, we may have a teacher training program and open schools in other locations.
The Springhurst Philosophywe believe that each child has unique ways of interpreting and learning about the world. We believe that an understanding and appreciation of reality -- of life -- is the purpose of education. We believe that this can be gained when learners study the components that make up the whole of reality, along with the parts within it.
We believe that students learn best when they are interested in what they are learning. We believe that an inclusive, holistic curriculum can be designed with and for each student. This "ownership" of education is what the capable student needs to be an interested and growing learner. Teachers are most effective when they are facilitators of a student centered curriculum.
The Springhurst Curriculumthe Springhurst curriculum is designed around a conceptual structure integrating all human experience -- a supradisciplinary curriculum. The overarching framework of all reality is context. The context of knowledge is a fundamental part of the curriculum at Springhurst. Gifted learners find meaning in their studies when the relationships and systemic nature of the disciplines are explored. A supradisciplinary model is not a strict list of how and what students must be taught. Rather, it is used as a guide for structuring a student-centered study of life. Learning outcomes set by the federal, state, and local governments are met and exceded in a way that is meaningful to the student. The curriculum for the younger learners is based on student interests and uses integrated themes. Each theme considers three elements of understanding: structure, pattern, and relationship. In A Study of Reality, Marion Brady compares reality to a puzzle. The reality-puzzle put together can be described by its structure, pattern, and relationships. The pieces
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