Students understand their own learning styles
By becoming aware of their strengths and areas of growth and through small class sizes, student-teacher conferencing, sessions focused on study skills and executive functioning, differentiated instruction, and workshops for building professional skills, students are empowered to tackle new material in ways that best align with their natural competencies and advocate for themselves when they need help. This awareness builds independence and confidence in students to take ownership of their learning and work within a structure that is sustainable and meaningful for them.
Students resolve conflicts and advocate for themselves
There are a number of opportunities for students to develop their conflict-resolution and advocacy skills including the Peer Facilitator training sessions, the Learning To Breathe mindfulness curriculum, and advisory meetings that focus on addressing complicated social scenarios through group discussion and role-playing. In addition to these structured settings, the close relationships with teachers, who are available to listen and offer guidance, help make students feel known and emotionally understood. This warm social environment gives students the space to learn from their mistakes and feel safe to peaceably face difficult situations in life.
Students live with integrity and acceptance
Our young people are equipped to be confident in who they are and who they can become as leaders and advocates for good. As real world challenges and initiatives (such as Fair Trade) are introduced and discussed in our classrooms, opportunities to volunteer and provide service are regularly available. Students are paired with elementary partners to develop relationships with them throughout the year, and a deep awareness is developed in their capacity to be agents of change in the world as advocates, volunteers, and mentors. These opportunities along with others such as Student Leadership and Mix It Up lunches (intentional times to share meals with new friends) are anchored in the Quaker SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Service) that serve as core values in all that we do.
Students develop strong academic problem solving
Within the academic problem solving piece you could look to the mathematics program at MPFS. It is designed to promote intellectual curiosity and abstract thinking skills, while each student learns to apply basic operations to increasingly complex problem solving. We work to foster an appreciation for and enjoyment of the mathematical problem solving process, the ability to articulate mathematical concepts in writing and orally, fluency and automaticity with mathematical algorithms and facts, and an understanding of both the simplicity and complexity of math. The exact time at which we cover topics each year and the exact content in each area may shift and are influenced by students’ interests and areas of curiosity
It’s normal for children to be at different places in their learning. That is why MPFS differentiates lessons for individual challenge. Students may work independently, conference one-on0one with the teacher about strategies and techniques, or problem-solve with peers who often offer perspectives that spark new directions and connections.