It is difficult to describe a typical day for students at Progress School, because each student has so much control over how she spends the day. Drop off is 8:30-9:00. We have snack at 10:00 am, lunch at 11:30 am, and school is out at 2:30. If we have students that need it, we might introduce an afternoon snack time. Students bring their own lunch and snack (though we are exploring providing a gluten/dairy-free snack option). We are also interested in offering an after school option. Some families have been interested in a part time option, so we are offering that as well.
Upon arrival, an activity will be set up that she can choose to participate in that will relate to a student’s interest, the weekly unit, or a subject area; the activity will be designed to be accessible to students of different ability levels and most will incorporate reading/writing skills and different subject areas. Our space is arranged so that she could choose to use any of the library books, play a game, build with Legos or recycling materials or start an art project. She might also choose to converse or play with a teacher or other students. We also have a teacher outside for much of the day, so she could go outside to play with others or interact with nature; many of our activities take place outside. Throughout the day opportunities are offered to spend time in the garden, work in the wood shop, or participate in a variety of activities. If she wanted a teacher to help with a project or game or to read a stack of books he selected, she can arrange for that; it could be that the teacher would be occupied for a short time, but make an agreement to work with her at a certain time. Teachers make time throughout the day to connect with each student, to ensure a close relationship and meet each student’s needs. As the students settle into the school year, a rhythm typically emerges, but we avoid rigid schedules so that we can accommodate as many of the students’ needs and interests as possible.
Teachers plan activities according to the current and potential interests of the students. Your child will be invited to participate, but at no point will she be required or pressured to do so. She will be exposed to topics in literacy, math, science, social studies, and art in integrated formats and have the opportunity to delve further into any topic that interest her. She will also be able to make the decision to do something else with her time at school.
As the students mature, we will offer the option of classes or clubs where they can focus on more specific topics or skills (as in a history class or spelling club), depending on the needs or interests of the students. We will also assist students with independent study. Students will be supported in developing any of the skills needed to pursue their future plans, whether they include high school, college or a more individualized education. Each student is truly in a position to create her own education, supported and nurtured by teachers and enlivened by peers.