The small inclusive atmosphere is supported by highly qualified educators who collaborate with students to understand their unique intellectual abilities. High academic expectations of an accelerated curriculum are fostered by continual teacher –student interaction. Students are engaged in an experiential and stimulating learning environment. Emphasis on STEM disciplines promotes the critical thinking and problem solving skills that are essential for success in this evolving global context. The core values of tolerance, integrity, and mutual respect are instilled throughout the curriculum. Cornerstone students distinguish themselves as proficient citizens prepared for challenges, opportunities and responsibilities they will encounter over their lifetime.
The way we teach and learn at The Cornerstone School is a very different experience from what you will find in a public school, or in other traditional private schools.
The program at The Cornerstone School an intellectually challenging, progressive education that responds appropriately and rapidly to the changing demands required of the world in which our students will find themselves. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are integrated into an accelerated and enriched curriculum to create and facilitate authentic and challenging problem solving opportunities.
While our curriculum certainly has its basis on the NATIONAL CORE STANDARDS, the teaching and learning at The Cornerstone School is geared toward creating higher level understanding, such as the ability to synthesize and analyze, and to critically evaluate information- skills and strategies essential to enable multi-level problem solving. The intention is to not only challenge students, but also to encourage them to construct their own understanding of ideas. Because of this, a number of learning experiences will be framed around problems, projects and questions that challenge, rather than around discrete facts and skills. Field trips, or what we consider as “outdoor classroom opportunities”, relevant to the curriculum are organized to provide an authentic context for learning.
Multiple forms of assessment and evaluation are used, including the CTP4, a nationally normed standardized test, to ensure that children are meeting and succeeding at the intended outcomes and also to ensure that our curriculum remains accelerated and enriched.
Learning is considered an active experience that requires interdependence and independence, a caring community that fosters collaboration and intrinsic motivation, and teachers who respond to the “whole child”. This means that in addition to teaching academic skills and competencies, teaching practices also focus on physical and social- emotional development and competencies, aptly summarized in our tagline, “Knowledge, Leadership and Community”.
The Cornerstone School’s educational philosophy clearly states that students will develop their potential “in an atmosphere that fosters honesty, trust, openness and respect for the dignity of all people.” The Cornerstone School has created and maintains a learning environment that is safe with an expectation that students are self-disciplined and trustworthy.
With this philosophy in mind, The Cornerstone School began implementation of the Tribes Program
(Gibbs, 2006) in 2006.
At The Cornerstone School, we understand that teaching to maximize each child’s learning potential requires a multi-faceted effort and approach. The small community allows each child to be known and valued as an individual, and for teachers to respond to each child’s learning style.
At the end of The Cornerstone Experience, it is our intention that The Cornerstone School Graduate:
- Is a compassionate, socially aware individual who can participate with empathy in a global context.
- Is a self-directed, intrinsically motivated lifelong learner
- Is visionary, goal oriented and ready to perform with distinction at the next academic level.
- Understands the importance of collaborative and cooperative problem solving.
- Is an innovative, creative and critical thinker.
- Is a STEMcentric student who integrates, transfers & applies the use of technology effectively in the real world.
- Is a self-confident communicator and public presenter.
- Is open and responsive to complex choices and decisions
- Demonstrates an understanding of mutual respect, attentive listening, and personal choice.
- Is able to reflect and self-evaluate.