Member Schools

Why the Horse Remains Central to the Thacher Experience

The nature of the Thacher Horse Program and the gifts it bestows can test the limits of reason and language. As the program’s longtime director Cam Schryver says, “I don’t think that all of the lessons, the things you learn, can exactly get expressed or quantified… there are parts that go out to the limit…

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Seizing the Day Inside and Outside of the Classroom: The Diamond Curriculum

Santa Barbara Middle School offers students in grades 6-9 a profound educational experience, guiding young people as they transition to adolescence. Through ancient traditions and rigorous academics combined with bicycling and expeditions in the outdoors, SBMS aims to teach compassion, kindness, and self-knowledge and solidify a foundation for a child’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and sense of…

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Healthy Sexuality Education

I became the “consent lady” by default. A health educator for 25 years, I value all aspects of wellness–sex education included. While developing the Health program at the Urban School in San Francisco, my colleague and fellow health education teacher, Jenn, and I were both juggling parenting commitments and child care, and trying to create…

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Image of the Child and the Reggio Emilia Approach

Last spring I was invited by New School-West—as a parent—to travel to Reggio Emilia, Italy, on a Five State Educator’s Tour with the entire faculty and one other parent. I have been a parent at The New School-West Preschool for seven consecutive years. One might call me a New School-West expert—not necessarily for raising 3,4,…

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Maintaining Dignity, Integrity, and Community in the Discipline Process

The word discipline originates from the Latin root discere which means “to learn” and forms other derivatives like disciplina which means “instruction” and discipulus which means “disciple or pupil.” At Turning Point School, the disciplinary process in middle school is rooted in the intention of “learning” rather than “punishment” and lends itself best to personal…

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Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Independent Schools

Working in schools is a vulnerable act. Every day can feel like a high-stakes performance review in front of an audience of young evaluators: performing effective planning, organization, pedagogy, relationship management, flexibility, patience, community building, knowledge of human psychology and all the additional skills of being an educator. It’s no wonder then that when teachers hear they’re about to be evaluated, anxiety sets in and amygdala hijack takes hold.

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Of Bake Sales, Menstrual Pads, and the Oscars

The Girls Learn International club at Oakwood School recently won an Oscar for their documentary short, Period. End of Sentence. Learn more about the movement for menstrual equality and the group of students that brought global awareness to this important topic.

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The Benefits of Immersive Learning

Realizing Our Vision This past January, The Bay School of San Francisco launched its inaugural Immersives program: three-week academic courses that are experiential and project-based. After two years of developing curricula, honing pedagogy, securing partnerships with organizations throughout California, and working out the logistics of each course, Bay expanded its campus beyond its walls and…

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