The progressive and independent curriculum at High Meadow School reflects our student-centered approach, fostering classroom discourse that acknowledges, encourages, and embraces diverse and divergent points of view.
We support students as they build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to take on the work of creating a more just and sustainable world. In that vein, service is an essential value embedded in the philosophy and curriculum of our school. Students of all ages participate in school-based community service as well as local service opportunities and national global efforts, and in the Upper School, are required to fulfill service hours as part of the curriculum. With the modeling and respect of the adults around them, students learn how to think critically and empathetically, to effectively self-advocate, to take responsibility for their choices, to embrace community, and to love learning.
Our curriculum centers on five concepts:
Valuing equity in a diverse society, using one's voice to advocate and effect change, and being given the power to make decisions that benefit the public good are all parts of democratic education. This method of education was seen as a means for inspiring children to become engaged citizens in their respective communities. Dewey's philosophy countered the common educational model of the time that emphasized obedience and rote memorization. We are beginning to engage further in the vision for democratic education at our school by thinking about how to more actively give students venues to participate in the decision-making process and to use their voices to effect change.
Personal and Social Responsibility
We believe every child has a purpose and something to offer their community. We support our students in discovering what they have to give, and appreciating the impact of each person’s contributions to the group. We extend this work into our larger community through a commitment to encourage service and democratic participation. Children learn best when they feel included and emotionally safe. We build a community of belonging each day through student-centered class meetings and our use of the restorative practices.
Our students are driven by curiosity, allowed to wonder out loud, and to follow lines of inquiry that are personally meaningful, authentic, and exciting to them. Curiosity, choice, and self-expression are woven into a curriculum that encourages students to think creatively and learn deeply with a sense of purpose and joy.
We work with our students to identify their strengths, talents, and passions. With frequent opportunities for choice, we aim to provide continuous and appropriate challenges through differentiated learning. We strive to develop both students’ sense of competence and their resilience in the face of uncertainty.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We promote every student’s capacity for independent thought and action by encouraging original ideas and innovation and honoring difference, giftedness, and individual voice. Teachers respect unique interests and attributes, support speaking up for oneself and others, and make space for alternative paths to learning.
The arts -- Drama, Visual Arts, Music, and Dance -- are woven throughout the High Meadow curriculum, with students of all ages taking part in artistic inquiry every day.
Study of the arts has countless benefits across developmental stages, promoting observation skills, self-expression and individual choice, self-discipline and goal-setting, historical and literary understanding, empathy and connection-making, physical coordination, and technological skills.