Updated: Feb 24
"This is all very exciting! Is there somewhere I can read more about what day-to-day will look like? And if there is the option to supplement homeschooling? Because it’s kid/self-led, I’m interested in how you are incorporating messages of anti-racism and equity-based economics and being trauma-informed. Is there a curriculum being used? Are there any goals for each grade? Thanks!"
Thanks for all of the great questions!! I will start at the top and work my way down.
The day-to-day school community is shaped by the learners themselves, but here is a default schedule.
8:00 am to 10:00 am Soft Opening: Students can arrive at any time before 10 am
Self-directed learning block #1: Eat breakfast, relax, visit with friends, play, get to work; Guiding Staff offer yoga/ mindfulness/ art/ play/ tutoring/ support/ etc.
10-10:30 am Optional Community Circle: Youth-Led gathering together, orient to learning opportunities of the day, make offers/ requests to each other, play a game together, Restorative Practice mini-lesson. Those who do not want to participate are able to do another activity as long as it doesn't infringe upon the Circle.
10:30 am to 12:30 pm: Self-directed learning block #2
Play, Read, Make Art, Build Something, Take a piano lesson, eat a snack or lunch. Collaborate, build a business proposal, play with Leia (our therapy dog), Ask a guide to teach you a math concept that you are finding difficult. Meet with your mentor, build a fort, play games, watch a film, daydream, go outside, tend the garden.
As needed: The Restorative Circle will meet to facilitate the circle process for issues associated with rule-breaking or complaints that require community support to resolve.
12:30 pm: Lunch and Learn: Optional shared learning with read-aloud/ performance or presentation by staff or students.
1:00-3:00 pm: Self-directed learning block #3
Classes offered at the request of youth, self-organized project work, continue focusing on passion projects, etc. Get outside, sing, dance, go practice the piano on one of the grand pianos in the Unity Sanctuary. Sit outside and read. Check on the plants, fish, or other critters in the "zoo".
3:00 - 3:30 pm: School Wide clean-up
Preparing for the end of the day, individual projects are cleaned up and put away. If students or staff have a weekly chore assigned for that day, it should be completed at this time.
4:00 pm Fare Well!
Supplementing a homeschool learning journey? No, this is not currently in the works. But it is a possibility for our evening and summer programs.
Anti-racism, Trauma-Informed Resilience Culture & Equity Economics are embedded into the policies and practices that comprise our organizational culture; they are not subjects that are explicitly taught to students unless requested by individuals or groups of students. These policies are exemplified in the daily school program, procedures for receiving donations, writing grants, purchasing resources & books, hiring staff, and celebrating our student's home cultures.
All staff receives extensive and ongoing training on these core elements of our school's model. Our staff interactively model lifelong learning in these and other essential life skills and restorative practices. Including recognizing and dismantling white supremacy culture, Curating multi-cultural learning experiences/ spaces, advocating for social justice, engaging in courageous conversations, empathy, perspective-taking, mindful listening, noticing, biofeedback, body awareness, gratitude, affirmation, giving and receiving critical feedback, self-regulation, co-regulation, and interpersonal relationships, (to name a few).
Parent(s) or caregivers are expected to engage in 8 hours of training as a part of our pre-enrollment learning journey.
2-hour orientation to KCRS learning model: democratic education, sociocracy, restorative circles, self-directed learning, entrepreneurship, and co-production.
3-hour orientation to Restoration Culture = Introduction to Trauma-informed Resilience Culture (1hr) + Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ADEI) (2 hr): Trauma awareness, Sensitive Practices, Brain-based stress-management, and Compassionate Community Care in social learning environments. Anti-racism policies and praxis (reflective action for collective liberation), Moving beyond optical diversity toward equity and the fine art of inclusion.
3-hour orientation to KCRS Equity Economics Model; KC Timebank, Sliding Scale Fees, Staff Compensation & Barter Network. All of these learning experiences are required for parents and will allow participants to earn time credits in the KC Timebank. Each household is expected to commit to 20 hours of service through the KC Timebank, the mandatory training counts toward this.
All Parent/ Guardian learning opportunities will be offered free of charge, but with a suggested donation. Dates for these 3 pieces of training will be announced in March 2021.
Curriculum and Learning Goals
Each child will be given the freedom to self-direct their own learning journey and goals. There is no predetermined curriculum, but children will be able to participate in the embedded learning opportunities of our daily Community Circles, Weekly School Meeting Circle, and Restorative Circles as needed. Guiding Staff will invite children to learn in a variety of ways, based on their areas of expertise and passion, but there is no mandate that they do so. Guides will adapt their offerings to attune to the needs and interests of the youth circle based on their role as "model of lifelong learning", youth requests, and/ or observations of collective interest. Students will have vast opportunities to be oriented to learning portals and pathways. Ultimately we are offering a learning community that respects the nature of learning through play and curiosity. We seek to support young people to harness their inborn drive to learn and grow. When this drive has been dulled because of previous learning experiences, we seek to support the child becoming reignited and reclaiming their internal authority to recognize the infinite potential that lies within.
How? We will always default to the simple pleasures found in play, conversation, and improvisation. Our Guiding Staff members are experts in a variety of fields and are trained to provide master coaching for young people seeking to identify their just-right next challenge; whether that is learning to spell so that they can achieve their dream of being a storybook author or learning algebra so that they can prepare to become the scientist who discovers time travel.
Measures of Success? We invite all students to complete the "Hope Scale" as a yearly pre/post-assessment. This will give us insight into their individual capacities for goal-setting, authoring their own experience, and navigating difficulties. Beyond that, all students will work with a mentor to identify relevant assessments for achieving their unique goals. Some students will absolutely be encouraged to take the ACT, while others will be focused on a certification in audio-engineering. We will measure that which the child seeks to master.