At Red Cedar students develop a love of learning within a community that values mutual respect and honors the voice of each individual. Intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and communication skills are supported by an interactive curriculum that emphasizes authentic and rigorous learning. Personal and social responsibility are cultivated, and students grow to become active citizens of the local and world community. Small classes emphasize inquiry, writing, discussion and hands-on learning. Special programs, field research, travel study, wilderness trips, the outdoor workshop and the school garden all augment classroom learning. Red Cedars culture of authentic and rigorous learning engages the minds of students. High expectations and structure foster academic habits. Support for personal initiative and investment nurtures the growth of independence. Students are prepared for college and for lives of active learning. Essential skills of life-long learners, most importantly critical thinking and communication, are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Students are encouraged to care about ideas, ask important questions, gather information, and consider deliberatively. Students regularly engage in scientific investigation, and in problem solving. Writing is an integral focus throughout a students years in the school. The reading of literature is valued across the curriculum. Lively discussion is a hallmark of many classes. Students share and present their work orally and publish their writing. Experiences in the visual arts, music, drama, design and building are interwoven throughout the curriculum. Students study Spanish at all levels. Hands-on projects and learning in the field motivate students by providing genuine and meaningful opportunities to integrate and apply skills of research, critical thinking and communication. Examples of such projects include forming a farm-market business that grows and sells garlic; researching the relationship between humans and the landscape in the local community through interviews and site studies, and presenting findings at the Vermont Folklife Center; participating in the Cornell Feeder Watch program through banding and observing birds; developing and performing a play based on a piece of literature; and building a staircase while studying the Pythagorean theory.Classes are small, with an average size of ten. Teachers work closely with students to understand, engage and challenge each of them. Every student receives a significant amount of personal attention, and each students individual learning style is honored. Multi-age groupings with a span of about three years form the make-up of most classes. Students work together within these groups on shared themes and activities, with each individual working at a personally challenging level and pace. Classes such as math and Spanish are focused directly at a particular level. Each group within the school has a home base with a core teacher.Red Cedar offers a personal community in which everyone feels a sense of belonging and experiences mutual respect. This community provides a safe base from which an open interest in learning can develop, and in which students can acquire the important social skills that will be needed in all areas of their lives. Each group starts the day with a morning meeting that focuses on community building and social learning. Older students are given leadership training and are supported in their roles as mentors to younger students. The entire K-12 student body gathers together regularly for all-school activities such as older-younger partners, a hike, or work on a community project such as the building of the cob oven. Teachers are closely involved in all aspects of the school and provide modeling and guidance in social interactions throughout the day.Red Cedar supports the voice of students as they learn who they are, develop confidence and personal initiative, and become active members of the community, in preparation for becoming active citizens of the local and the global community. Students ideas, questions, choices and feedback are encouraged in our small and interactive classes. Students are counted on to contribute to the life of the community, and to speak up and help solve problems when they arise. Teachers work to ensure that each students voice is heard.Red Cedar chooses to encompass grades K through 12 because of the richness a mix of ages can bring to a community. Responsibility to the group and for each other is naturally valued. Cooperation and collaboration are emphasized rather than competition. Individuals, and their unique characteristics, strengths, challenges and aspirations, are valued rather than single age standards. Older students provide inspiration and encouragement to younger ones. Students are empowered as learners because they can see the continuum of where theyve come from and where theyre going.