The New School is organized into three family-style classes with 10-15 multi-age students in each class. Multi-age classes allow each child to learn at their own pace without an emphasis on comparison and competition. It also fosters the ability to communicate and collaborate across ages, something that is necessary in every walk of life beyond school. Children typically spend three years in each class grouping and progress to the next class as they mature. Classes progress not only in academics but also in each student’s responsibility and self-direction in their learning.
Class Focus and Objectives
Younger Class: 5- to 8-year-old Students (Kindergarten through Second Grade). The Younger Class is the epitome of learning through play and experience. The class is full of multifaceted learning opportunities and resources with an emphasis on discovery learning. Foundational academics are intertwined with hands-on activities and presented in a myriad of ways so each learner can achieve mastery as they are ready. Children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn drive the focus of the class projects. NOTE: Four-year-old students may also join the younger class on a part-time or full-time basis when appropriate. Please ask for details.
Middle Class: 8-to 11-year-old Students (Third Grade through Fifth Grade). The Middle Class comes at a time in children’s cognitive development where they begin to understand how to apply the academic concepts they are learning. They are able to see connections and understand complexities, which are the building blocks of problem solving and critical thinking. The Middle Class is also a time where students begin to take more responsibility for their learning and are able to begin to develop self-management abilities. As they progress through the Middle Class, students build their leadership abilities, presentation skills and organization skills, which culminate in a third-year independent project.
Older Class: 11- to 14-year-old Students (Sixth Grade to Eight Grade). The Older Class is where it all comes together for New School students. Unlike some of the typical struggles middle-school age children encounter, New School Older Classers thrive in the combination of challenging academics, growing personal responsibility, and freedom of expression. Older Classers are co-creators in their assignment schedule, project development, and class culture. Students work closely with their teachers to develop personal goals and organizational tools for accomplishing their goals. If something isn’t working, there is no shame or blame; this is a critical time of discovering and developing strategies that work for each individual student, so mistakes are embraced as much as successes. Students progress through more intensive academics to ensure high school readiness but do so with individual support for each learning goal. Graduating students also participate in “high school class” in which they can experience what it will be like to have tests and homework. Students graduate from The New School ready for their next phase of life, armed with confidence, communication skills, critical thinking abilities and a solid academic foundation.
Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for additional details regarding a typical New School day as well as transition to high school information