The Learning Project is a small, urban, elementary school that provides high academic and behavioral standards in a school community that welcomes diversity and is influenced by a deep respect for each individual. While we are a school that believes that children learn at different rates and some in different ways, we also believe that young children benefit from learning in groups and that they learn best when they are actively engaged and interested. We are a place where children in dynamic classrooms are challenged to work hard, to help one another, to make choices, to take risks, to learn from mistakes and to achieve. We endeavor to build on each child’s inherent curiosity and profound desire to succeed and to be a place where the cognitive, aesthetic, social, emotional, physical and moral dimensions of life are nurtured within individuals and within our community.
The acquisition of academic skills is critical; so too is the development in children of a sense of purpose and of motivation. We strive to enable children to become increasingly self-directed, disciplined and independent learners and to develop the skills and the confidence they need to pursue their own intellectual interests. A child who knows how to learn and who loves to learn is well prepared for the future.
Our school is unusually small—for a purpose. We are small in order to ensure a close and personal relationship between each child and teacher, to be a school that is of a “manageable” scale for elementary aged children, and to be a place where children of different ages feel safe in their environment and have opportunities to teach, learn and socialize across age lines. The scale of the school enables a powerful sense of community to develop among students and faculty and parents, and a sense of involvement and caring that includes alumni, Board members and friends.
There is purpose, as well, to our urban location. We are a school that believes in the uniqueness and value of all human beings of whatever race, sex, gender, age, ability, religion, family structure, sexual orientation, and cultural or socioeconomic background. The city offers such diversity and, where needed, our strong tuition assistance program enables us to support it in our enrollment. Additionally, the racial and cultural richness of the city provides a primary resource for teaching openness, tolerance and an appreciation of the ways in which people are different.
As a community and as an institution we are deeply dependent on the commitment and hard work of faculty and staff, of parents and members of the Board. We strive to maintain open and frequent communications and to invite participation in the life of the school. As an employer, we endeavor to be fair and to provide work conditions that encourage teachers and staff to grow in their skills and to remain in the profession if that is their choice.
Honesty in word and deed, courtesy and a sense of responsibility towards others, respect for nature and care of our material environment and a commitment to talking through and solving interpersonal or group problems are principles that give shape to who we are and what we do.
The Learning Project seeks to bring these ideals to the wider community through direct programs and by encouraging and supporting their application in other school settings.