Knowing the answer isn't all there is to learning.

Challenges come in all shapes and forms. That's why at Mead, we foster profound learning by guiding students along several paths toward knowledge and discovery; paths that encourage them to evaluate the importance of what they've learned and then apply it to their own lives. Traditional education focuses on telling children what they should know. At Mead, we create a sensory-rich environment that engages children's passions for learning and encourages risk-taking, reflection, and the freedom to go beyond the parameters. Students develop their skills in critical thinking, and oral and written expression, but not at the expense of cultivating intuition, imagination and creativity.

Mead's two-teacher system guarantees that children's needs are addressed. Children have a Home Center Director, who is responsible for their students' physical, social, and emotional well-being. The Curriculum Directors are teachers dedicated to instruction in all content areas.

Home Center Directors

At Mead, we believe that social and emotional development are as vital to children's future success as their academic pursuits. Our commitment to teaching, challenging and nurturing the whole child is realized throughout our approach, but most uniquely through our Home Center Directors.

Each class has a Home Center that is led by a Home Center Director (HCD) — a teacher who is dedicated to the academic, emotional and social development of each child. The role of the HCD is to continually assess each student's physical, social and emotional well-being and to guide students through challenges and opportunities as they arise.

Students gather in their Home Center every morning. During their time together, they discuss challenges or opportunities they are facing in the day or the week ahead. The HCD serves as the common thread to the students and gives support and guidance as needed. HCDs connect with students on a personal level, cultivating open conversations and building trusting relationships. HCDs serve as the bridge between students, parents, and others in the educational process, ensuring that children's specific needs are addressed.

HCDs give children the guidance and support they need to navigate challenges and identify opportunities for growth that are often outside the purview of the traditional academic process, so that children have the opportunity for deeper academic learning and more profound personal development.

Curriculum Directors

Simply put, our Curriculum Directors (CDs) are our teachers. They are experts in specific subjects, such as language arts, math, early childhood development, Spanish, music and drama.

CDs take an innovative, personalized approach to teaching. They design their curriculum to engage students on a more meaningful level by presenting the material in fresh and interesting ways. Mead students don't simply learn facts and figures, they are challenged to think deeply about a subject and understand it from many different perspectives. The result is motivated students who love to learn.

While the CDs expect students to meet high academic standards, they also encourage them to be curious and think creatively and independently. By promoting self direction, our teachers guide children toward independence and the development of personal responsibility. The Mead approach encourages student's abilities and ensures children are actively involved in their own learning process.

Small classes allow these teachers to really get to know their students so they can both challenge and support them to achieve the highest level of learning.

While CDs challenge students to excel academically, they never forget about the social and emotional growth that's such an important part of learning and success both in school and in the world.

Seven School Skills

The Seven School Skills are unique to The Mead School and are integral to our approach. These skills provide a framework for the learning process that is essential for students to become independent, creative thinkers. The Seven School Skills challenge children to learn deeply, think critically, use their imaginations and ask questions of themselves and the world around them. These tools help us educate the whole child and help them navigate their academic, social and emotional lives.

With a strong foundation in these Seven School Skills, Mead graduates have the academic skills, the self-discipline and the self-confidence to embrace challenges, pursue their passions, and make a difference in their world.

Think: To Reason & Reflect With Intention

We ask children to think more deeply and with a level of consciousness that is unparalleled at other schools. While many schools teach kids what to think, we teach them how to think. We teach children that every issue has many perspectives and we encourage them to practice taking sides and thinking critically about potential outcomes. The process of learning to think challenges students to find many different ways to answer the same question or solve the same problem. They develop flexible thinking so they can see opportunity and options, rather than one "right answer."

Imagine: To Visualize The Possibilities

As Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand while imagination embraces the entire world." We need imagination to create new ideas and solve complex problems. At Mead, we continually ask students to push beyond conventional thinking by asking "what if?'<br><br>As others worry about declining creativity in America, we see creativity as the cornerstone of our curriculum. We encourage original thinking and nurture creativity in everything we do. Our students' creative approaches to problem-solving sets them apart from others.

Receive: To Perceive With Awareness, Attention & Openness

At Mead, we believe deep understanding begins when students are receptive to new ideas, fresh perspectives and people of different backgrounds. Students are receptive when they are ready to receive new information. The richest learning happens when students receive new information through all the senses, rather than merely hearing and seeing. When students are receptive to new learning, barriers and judgments fall away. Once students learn to be receptive, they develop the skills to analyze, evaluate and hypothesize.

Students must care about what they are learning or they won't be receptive to the material. At Mead, we help children care about learning, not by using external motivators, but by creating lessons with personal meaning. The result is that students make personal connections with content and are able to achieve deep understanding of the material.
Act: To Respond To Learning In Unique, Creative & Responsible Ways

When we talk about "act" we're talking about all the different ways students can respond in any situation in their lives, from the academic to the interpersonal. We talk about students' choices, and help them identify different opportunities of acting in any situation. They can think, move, write, speak, sing, question—every possible action verb is included in to "act".

We want students to involve themselves in learning by making plans, moving forward — or sideways, backwards and then forward again — and working toward goals. When students put what they've learned into action, they are able to truly own and value their learning on a deeper level.
Express: To Communicate Clearly & Effectively

Mead believes in encouraging many different types of communication. Although it is critical to master both oral and written communication, we also stress the importance of the expressive arts— theater, music, art, dance and movement. Students at Mead develop new ways of expression by using all of themselves. This sparks creativity in exciting and unexpected ways.

To encourage clarity of expression, we have an on-going dialog with students in which we continually challenge them by asking things like, "what did you mean by that?" and "is there a different way you could express that?" Their communication skills are honed and they become thoughtful and expressive in a range of different types of communication.
Respect: To Understand & Honor Oneself & The World

We encourage our students to care deeply about themselves, about learning and the greater communities of school, country, and world. Respect means to "look again," to go back and question to see if you've understood everything about a particular situation.

We want learners to respect others' points of view. This requires a personal and emotional connection with other people's stories. At Mead, we emphasize the concept of "walking in someone else's shoes" so even young learners can understand different perspectives.

We believe that as members of a community, everyone needs to feel respected so they feel safe. Only when a person feels safe can he or she grow to reach his or her highest potential.
Intuit: To Understand On A Deep Level

Intuition is not guessing and it's not an emotional, blind response. Intuition is the fast, unconscious work of the brain as it accesses its deep and broad bank of knowledge, drawing upon elements of prior learning in ways that directed thought cannot.

We ask our students to recognize and tap into the power of personal intuition from the time they are very young. The more they tap into that power, the more it develops so they have faster access to greater knowledge and the opportunity to achieve new insights.
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