1. Subjects are experienced, not taught, and will not be segmented as separate, unrelated areas of study.
2. All subjects are experienced with Earth Literacy as the primary focus.
3. Assessment is ongoing through exhibitions, portfolios, and project-based rubrics rather than through conventional grades. Ongoing assessments include evaluation and self-evaluation, based on criteria and standards developed collaboratively by teachers and students.
4. Students receive ongoing preparation to succeed on all state-mandated standardized tests reflecting mastery of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.
5. Students can expect to spend approximately 25% of their learning time outdoors.
6. Teaching methods are primarily modeled on experiential education methods. Experiential education has the interests, attractions and natural abilities of each student as the basis for their learning.
7. Students are encouraged to use sustainable lifestyle practices at school and at home.
8. Children may work with younger and older schoolmates, or in multiple and flexible group arrangements. This develops interpersonal skills appropriate to the various roles of team member, mentor, guide, teacher and learner.
9. Students participate with teachers in designing and adapting academic activities. This reflects their personal goals and develops their multi-faceted talents.
10. Students learn conflict resolution techniques as part of a formal conflict resolution program. All discipline problems that are not in the category of causing physical harm or property damage will be handled through the mediation process.
11. Students participate in establishing the rules of their classroom.
12. Students develop problem-solving skills through their participation in community real-world projects both individually and with classroom groups.
13. Students have opportunities to spend a large portion of their day working collaboratively with other students.
14. We strive to create a learning atmosphere in which more questions will be asked by students than by teachers.
15. Teachers identify learning styles and specific interests of their students and guide learning accordingly.
16. Students have access to all of the teachers on the staff as resources and advisors.
17. Grammar is be integrated into the process of writing, not taught as a separate subject.
18. Inventive spelling will be encouraged prior to third grade.
19. Our balanced literacy approach includes whole language and phonics based on student readiness and ability. Students are encouraged to read every evening.