We use interactive, interdisciplinary, and student-focused materials to bring all subjects to life, and to expose their relevance to the “real world” and to current events. Sankalpa Academy was launched in 2018 with only a 5-day a week program for all classes. We are exploring the addition of a 3-day a week program for the preschool for the 2019-20 academic year. Please stay tuned.
Our Preschool Program
While the learning environment is a key element at Sankalpa Academy for all children, it is especially important that preschool children experience a safe, caring and emotionally supportive community. As many are entering a learning environment outside their home for the first time, for them to really explore and thrive, they need to feel safe and respected. In fact, with our focus on a holistic and individualized curriculum, we are very mindful of the emotional, social and physical needs of all our learners.
At the outset, we recognize that children are innately curious and that they thrive in an environment where they have agency. A significant fraction of the preschooler's day at Sankalpa is therefore devoted to self-directed experiential learning that is child-centered. While this closely mirrors the Reggio Emilia philosophy, our preschool curriculum is also influenced by the philosophies of Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf) and Jiddu Krishnamurthy.
Since young learners have an absorbent mind, prepared classroom materials can also be very valuable. At Sankalpa, our mentors use their understanding of a child's learning edges to design classroom experiences. While this is in alignment with the Montessori approach, we may or may not use the Montessori materials, or use them exactly as they were intended. When possible, we try to favor implicit learning through exploration than explicit learning through manipulatives. Also, we try to provide large, uninterrupted blocks of time for exploration when we see that such time can lead to deeper understanding and progress than would otherwise be achieved. These materials and experiences are typically used for a child's intellectual and physical development, including motor and sensorial skills. We are also huge fans of the emphasis that Reggio Emilia and Waldorf place on documentation of student achievement.
At the same time, we also strive to develop imagination and creativity and are very mindful of opportunities for building emotional understanding, resilience and social skills. Towards this end, we strive, at Sankalpa Academy, to foster a learning environment that values relationships.
Since a reflective mind that tries to understand itself can care better for the self as well as the environment and the needs of others, you will see our teachers engaging our young learners in interesting Socratic discussions and exploration. We are also in full agreement with Krishnamurthy's ideal of a school as a community where everyone believes that he/she is a learner. This is modeled everyday through our teachers' support of child-led activities as well their Socratic discussions.
Finally, we value outdoor time as it is a great vehicle for promoting exploration, respect for nature and imaginative play, key elements also of the Waldorf and Krishnamurthy philosophies.
The best way to appreciate the magic that our passionate and talented educators create everyday in their classrooms is for your child to experience it by shadowing one of our classes for a short duration!
Our Elementary Program
Learning environment, core competency and subject matter proficiency assessments will be used to design individualized learning plans for the children, training opportunities for the faculty and curriculum for parent education.
Our individualized curriculum is carefully crafted by our master teachers, so every child works at a level that is most relevant and appropriate for him/her.
Our science curriculum brings out the magic and wonder in the world around us so children can feel the awe and excitement. Social studies helps our children understand the world around us, often from the lens of socio-emotional learning (SEL). While honoring their need for independence, SEL also supports our children’s curiosity and quest for making, maintaining and understanding relationships.
The following sections offer more details on our elementary program.