At Carpe Diem in our K-3 program, we implement The Responsive Classroom approach to create a culture based on safety, trust, and empathy. Using this approach allows us to increase academic achievement, decrease problem behaviors, improve social skills, and teach to the whole child. We hold morning circles and closing circles every day to reinforce our connection with one another, maintain some common goals for our school and ourselves, and to have some fun together. The culture and social bonds that we foster around these principles are of utmost importance to our community.
Each week, students gather together for classroom meetings led by a teacher. They focus outwardly on topics such as how to join games, what to do if you feel in the middle of two friends, and how to navigate a variety of social situations. Inwardly, we focus on mindfulness, self-management of big emotions, and understanding the way our bodies and brains work.
Finding Solutions Together
Even in this small school, our commitment to each other and to living our values every day is not left to chance. The Upper Elementary (4 & 5) has both regularly scheduled and ad hoc class meetings to discuss school issues and decide all manner of resolutions as a group.
TEAM WONDER: Upper Elementary 4th and 5th graders homegroup.
PANDAS, THE RAW & THE BLU: Once students leaves the “nest” of the Upper Elementary for the more peripatetic life of Middle School, they are inducted into one of three Homegroups: the Blu, the Raw or The Pandas. These multiage teams of sixth to eighth graders meet regularly with a faculty advisor. In these groups students forge a different identity, plan and undertake activities, Service Learning and partake in the newly organized Harbor School Cup.
Homegroups meet weekly following our Community Lunch.
Once or twice a year the entire K-8 program assembles. Every Friday afternoon grades 4-8 assemble together to listen to a wide range of guest speakers, organize for school events or Travel Study and finish the week in a communatiy setting.