Village School

Principal's Corner: January 2018

Principal David discusses how teachers and parents, working together to contextualize learning and create shared experiences, account for 'the Village difference.'

The Village Difference

It’s just started hailing, and every student at Village School is in the courtyard celebrating this chilly, rare and exciting experience. Not only are the students out in the hail, with their heads back, arms outstretched and mouths open to catch ice crystals, but teachers are out in the hail. Parents are outside too. The courtyard is filled with excited screams and laughter from the children and bright smiles from the approving adults. After a few minutes the hail stops and everyone returns to class, a bit colder and wetter perhaps, but richer and fuller from the common celebration of nature’s wonder. Not a single grump bemoaned the loss of instructional minutes while students played and celebrated in the hail. 

I ducked into one of our Kindergarten rooms and the excited teacher told me, “We’ve been studying weather patterns for two weeks. How wonderful that we just had hail. They’ll remember this their entire lives!” At Village School we strive to contextualize learning – to make it real, to make it fun. Sometimes it’s by accident; other times it is carefully planned and orchestrated. Either way, the Kinder students who had been studying weather for two weeks truly experienced weather today. Imagine how much richer their discussions and writing will be now. 

At Village School, we recognize that life’s joys can be found in the simplest experiences and sharing those experiences enriches all of our lives. That’s why, when you join our learning community, you make a commitment to participate. It is the Village custom that we travel on many field trips. Busses are expensive; most schools are very limited in the number of field trips they can offer. Not so at Village! Because parents drive, we can visit many more locations and have many more shared destinations. 

At Village School, every student experiences 50 minutes of rotating STEAM centers weekly. Students learn first hand about strawberry DNA, spies, ceramics, woodworking, Tiko, juggling and many more topics. Parents teach these centers and their participation is vital for this contextually rich Village experience to be successful. 

Shared experiences are a defining element of the Village learning community. From our daily communal classroom snack to our annual all school camping trip, ours is a culture of togetherness and unity. United in what’s best for all our students. 

Our Community Vision says it best, “We all belong. We are all significant. As we work, learn and play, we come together with compassion and respect.”