As a public charter school, we meet the Common Core Standards. However, our rich and comprehensive curriculum goes well beyond academics. Social and moral questions are addressed. Practical work takes place to develop the will and a sense of responsibility.
There is time for creative play-both structured and free. Arts, crafts, music, movement, Eurythmy and Speech are also an integral part of our curriculum. We understand the developmental necessity of providing all these elements, so that the combined effect stimulates the natural creativity and curiosity of each student so that they “love to learn℠.”
Many aspects of our current culture tend to awaken intellectual activity within children too early. Children at this age are great mimics and mirror what is in their environment. While these “little adults” may seem precocious, premature awakening tends to damage imaginative faculties. By “preserving childhood,” maximum development can occur at each child’s own pace during this crucial foundational period.
As students move through the grades, more complex conceptual elements are added as they mature. However, the development of critical thinking is accompanied by the ongoing imaginative work arising from the arts, practical work and consideration of social and moral issues. This holistic approach leads them towards flexibility and freedom of thought, self-confidence and self-awareness. It creates an internal moral foundation, providing a basis for sound judgment and problem solving that will be needed for success in life.
At the high school level, the current questions of sustainability and the future evolution of society are placed into the context of the history of western civilization. The high school program meets college entrance requirements and prepares DMS graduates for a future as socially aware leaders in whatever realm they chose.
We participate in the required standardized testing, but see it as only one facet of assessing a student’s development. We find that our curriculum prepares children sufficiently without “teaching to the test.”